We headed down to Clover and Evan's for New Year's. Dad went down to visit his Aunt Emma in West Virginia while he was off work, so he took Orianna down with him to pick up Cheyenne and Tori from the Pittsburgh airport where they were flying in from Wyoming. Lily tagged along as far as Clover's, where she stayed for the week. When Dad came home Wednesday, he left Orianna at Clover's too, so she pretty much watched my girls while I tried out parenting for two. It is always bizarre how much one or two kids missing effects the dynamic. Gilbert and Elsie had a lovely time with hardly a single fight. But they missed the girls enormously!
While I was getting some food ready to take down to Clover and Evan's, Gilbert and Elsie were busy riding tandem on a hobby horse.
The kids spent a lot of the day decorating for the party. Clover let them pull the 2015 calendars apart, so they hung the pictures up in a festive way.
Some large cardboard was put to good use.
Immediately before the party cleanness
Paper chains were made into a smiley face too. Clover is pretty much a saint, letting them do all of this! They were some pretty proud kids.
We had two games of rook and some progressive rummy going on.
Ginger, Clover, and I played PR and yakked.
Cheyenne took my camera for some picture taking, so the credit for these next few goes to her.
Lincoln of the beautiful eyes
Orianna playing... well I don't know. Old Maid?
Rook. And tea.
Elsie and a book.
The other game of rook.
And then downstairs for the pinata! You can tell Owen is saying something completely outrageous to work the kids up and Justin is teasing them about being so loud when they delightedly protested Owen's nonsense,
Hoyt lovingly tapped the pinata. Several years ago Ashley started a pinata tradition for New Years. She has made some beautiful pinatas in the past, but this one was from the store.
Orianna got into the spirit of the thing. And British spirit too with some new socks from Aunt Hopie!
Elliott was so enthusiastic that the pinata came untied.
It wasn't quite as elegant after it was retied. Elsie apologetically nudged it with the bat.
Lily was out for candy.
And finally, after several hits each, Orianna dealt the fatal blow. Delight!
Scott modeled one of the girls flower clips from the pinata.
Until he realized he was having his picture taken.
Hoyt loved the broken pinata.
And took it for a ride with him.
Abilene and Ashley
Talking. Some riotous games of four on the couch followed this, but I didn't get any pictures of that.
The next morning, Scott was up betimes to make sausage and biscuits. And chocolate gravy.
Morning after lethargy.
Breakfast is a man's business.
Sarah read books and was well adored
A game of spoons. Somehow I didn't get pictures of the kids faces after Ashley painted them.
Hoyt had a lovely time with new and different toys.
Elliott had a bad cold, so he was a little quieter than everyone else.
Some Dutch Blitz
And a head clearing walk.
A running Gilbert and snowy woods.
Lily walking with the older "girls."
It was a bit windier than we thought, so Sarah was nicely taking her hood off to loan to Rilla who was rather cold. Gilbert practiced levitating.
Cool swampy hillocks
Tori and her cool boots.
Warm and cozy reading
A game of Dominion
Evan just got their central vac installed, so the kids adore vacuuming. Gilbert had to get in on the action, so Evan gave him a swiffer-ish thing.
Aunt Clover being adored.
Saturday was a snowy, lazy day. Clover and I went to the mall for a "quick" return. Clover was quick. But an hour later, she was decidedly regretting coming with me.
Then home again to cozy kids and marvelous husbands who had the kids all fed lunch.
A few rounds of Dominion
A squinchy Elsie
And one last game of Ticket to Ride!
Snowy, shadowy trees in Potsdam, almost home!