The wonderful and exciting holiday season is now over and everyone is back to their usual grind (except for those with “snow”). With all the hype, preparing, and our-right excitement, I wish there was a way to extend the holiday season. After this last trip home, I found that our family does quite a good job with that. With our family growing, seemingly by the minute, I feel the Fennimores will never have a dull holiday season.
I found that I had to constantly remind myself it was winter and not the middle of summer. We were still having hot summer-like days with eighty plus degree weather days. I found myself getting light sunburns from being outside and the ever constant pitting out in shirts (You have to love our family’s genes in the heat). Despite my surroundings I listened to Christmas carols and the Marines put up a few lights at the house and I found the Christmas cheer to carry me onto my leave period. Packing was an experience as almost all of my clothes are picked out for tropical/subtropical climates. But alas I was on my way back to Oregon! I definitely did not fit in at the airport as I was one of the very few wearing shorts and a t-shirt (and a funny speaking visitor, the lovely German, following me around with the Old Man) upon arrival in snowy Portland! Well, what would the holidays be without a little lost luggage (I mean, who needs long pants in winter…or rum? Haha). However, I was greeted at the gate by loved ones.
The first weekend was filled with running around and saying hi to all, a few group meals, a little football, meeting the newest Fennimore, and of course a little winter sickness. I was lucky enough to introduce the lovely German to everyone and show her our home! On Sunday we were able to pick up the last Fennimore, not in Oregon, yet from the airport. Pee-yew, did that brother need a shower. Texas taught him some bad habits, haha. That night part of the reunited family was able to get together with Grandma and had a fun meal with her! A few of us stayed behind and got a lesson in Hand-and-Foot by the master.
The next couple days I took off, with the lovely German following me still, to the coast. The family stayed back and did regular family things. Some watched the new Star Wars movie, others worked, some ate, and one couple got stuck on their side of the mountains! And some of us continued shopping for our S.S. (Secret Santa not the bad kind). This year was special as the Big Sis of the family managed to put together a photo shoot that fit as well as it could with EVERYONE’S schedule. Not an easy task at all! It only took her roughly seven years to plan organize it! It was lots of fun to have everyone together and some new people at our family photo. The game of the night seemed to be ‘Make the Kids Smile!’, and we got some good photos of this.
There was still some decorating to be done and lights to be hung. With the work-force of the visitors we were able to decorate the houses and make ready for the fat man in the red suit! The “small” Fennimore Christmas was scheduled and as tradition has it, not everyone had finished wrapping (someone’s getting coal in their stocking). The food was prepared and everyone dug in! There may or may not have been a mini food fight at the table (more coal). It tasted delicious! Not a complaint in the house. We then moved onto the unwrapping of the presents!! The tree could barely hold all the gifts underneath its green covered branches. And then the chaos ensued! From books to toys to games-to the fine liquor at the end, everyone was feeling warm and happy. Another “small” Christmas had been completed.
We got to celebrate Little Sis’s twenty-third birthday! Alcohol and good company make for a fun night (but maybe a rough morning for others). That afternoon was the BIG one. There was lots of delectable food, a few winning lotto tickets, and of course never ending family members. I was able to do a lot more introducing of the lovely German. We had almost the whole family together under one roof. Something Grandma said made her very happy and grateful for. She couldn’t remember the last time so many were under her roof. Santa this year made a grand entrance (without scaring the kiddos!) and all received their Christmas gifts from Santa.
The next couple of days were filled with smaller get-togethers and meals and two big beasts. The lovely German and I were lucky enough to be treated to a zesty Smoked Salmon Benedict by the Master Chef himself. While the lovely German was studying away, I was out running errands and meeting family when and where I could. I was happy to help Little Sis pack up a U-Haul and a truck with all of her stuff (to include a Taser that we couldn’t get to work). She is off to start a new chapter in Ontario with her man and we are proud of her for it! I got to take two of the young cousins ice skating and had good back-up to help me out and together we were able to help the young boy learn how to skate! A group of us made some memories going to a Winterhawks’ game and saw them skate to victory and a few black eyes!
While not all the family was there, we celebrated at the Fennimore’s house (the Salem ones) and it was a fun easy going night. We learned how certain people felt about certain situations in the ever-telling game of Cards-Against-Humanity. And learned how NOT to wash the mouth pieces from Speak-Out. We also may have forgot to set a timer for the 2017 Countdown, but oh well, who needs that! It was a fun evening/morning and the new year brought a little more snow with it! On our last day at home the lovely German got to shoot for her very first time in the freezing cold! She is actually a half-decent shot. The lovely German and I finished out our adventure in Oregon by a having a hearty breakfast with our escorts that took us to explore Portland. Albeit freezing cold and windy it was a fun way to end the trip!
This trip was full of experiences. Some good, some bad, and some new, it was definitely memorable and highly enjoyed. As stated earlier it was great having the whole family together again and getting to meet the baby of the family. I was thrilled to introduce the lovely German to all of you (and realize all of the little monsters liked her more than they did me) and for you all to ever so graciously accept her into our family. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing you all even if it was only a short visit. This trip was special to me and I know to others as well. Situations have changed in our family and I love seeing how we, as a family respond. No matter the situation I know I find strength in knowing you all my back and I have yours. This family is resilient at sticking together through tough times and being supportive to those who need it. No matter how stubborn we can be, we know who our family is. I believe the oldest brother is the one who told me this; we have started our own family tradition in our “small” family Christmas. He explained that the large family get-together had to start the same way. A long, long time ago, before recorded time, Pops was celebrating Christmas with his siblings and their new families. I want to thank you all for a wonderful trip home. Keep taking care of each other and keep those of us not around updated on the kiddos and other events going on. Have a wonderful year and know that you are all thought of everyday! Keep being the awesome family that you are!