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The past few days

Miss Marie had her last basketball game of the season on Thursday evening.  They easily won. . .her team was pretty good -- or all the other middle school teams in the area were really bad.  I'm not "big" on basketball so I'm not sure which it is/was :)
For once it wasn't Marie getting fouled but getting the free throw :)

She didn't make this shot but it's one of the few action shots I was able to get this season

 There were a few fans in the audience. . .Daddy and GRANDPA FOSTER!!!  Frederick and I were there too. . .but. . .no pictures.
Margaret, Grandpa, Thomas
We got out of school on Wednesday so Thursday was our first full day out.  We went to the movies with some neighbors and saw "The Rise of the Guardians" and ate a lot of popcorn!!!  Grandma Wolf gave the kids a refillable popcorn bucket for Christmas and I gave it to them early so we could fill it up :)  It's a great deal. . .we were able to fill the bucket and get two large sodas for $15.50. . .tickets for the 5 of us was $34.50 so it was a dead-even $50 field trip. . .and it was a crummy day outside so it was a perfect way to spend it.

Dukey came to visit too :)

Marie spent an entire evening setting up our village display and then I let her use some of Grandma's money to buy a couple little pieces to add to it. . .
(Oh, and look at all that light coming in to the dining room!!!!)

And I found space to hang this special decoration too:
Friday we were able to meet one of The Cooper's offspring as they were passing through our state. . .my beloved Aunt Susie and Uncle Bruce!

We were hoping to meet at a cute little place I had heard about on a blog but the traffic was so bad (probably Christmas shopping) that we just ended up at Cracker Barrel.  It was Fish Friday so that was good :)

Me, Uncle B, Aunt Susie, Frederick, Margaret, Thomas, and Marie. . .it was a bit rushed and this is the best pic we got.
When my dad comes to town we kind of have our "routine" and Zaxby's is one of the "regular" stops.  It's funny, too, because when my mom comes she likes it too :)  I finally got a picture of Frederick with Grandpa here:
Saturday we ran around doing this-and-that. . .and then my dad babysat the kids so Tom and I could have a date night!!!  We ended up at the movies, seeing Lincoln.  It was very, very good.  Because it was so long we didn't have a chance to go to dinner or anything but we did spend some time at a liquor store picking out some local wines for Christmas gifts this year.  Unfortunately the winery was already closed so we didn't have a chance to taste anything. . .I hope our family and friends like what we picked out from the middle of Tennessee anyway :)

Sunday morning we went to church and hit our favorite after-church Mexican restaurant before coming home. . .Dad had brought a gift down for the kids and we tried to get a good picture in front of the tree. . .
Marie, Grandpa Foster, Frederick, Margaret, Duke, Thomas
Ugh.  I wish the picture was better. . .I can't figure out the settings on my camera!!  Oh well. . .it's the memory that counts, right?
Their very own pickle ball set!!  Grandpa Foster introduced them to this game this year when he and I were out playing tennis.  He only has two paddles so the kids always have to share. . .now they have their very own :)  Hopefully we'll have some nice weather in the next day or so and can get out and play.

Marie has been making a lot of gifts this year and really wanted Grandpa to open his today. . .so, although we will see him on Christmas in two days we decided to do . .

Grandpa & Marie and the MI bracelet she made him

All-in-all it's been a full few days.  Our Christmas shopping is done, most gifts wrapped, and we're looking forward to hosting a family friend on Christmas Eve tomorrow.  He can't get home for Christmas and his family can't come down here so we'll be his family tomorrow -- yea!
Margaret has been having a great time putting bows on all the gifts and "prettying" them up :)
I'm so happy to have a little elf in the house :)

Looking forward to a beautiful Christmas Eve and waking up Christmas morning in our own home!  I've already gotten my gift (a Kindle Fire. . .it came in the mail unwrapped and I got the mail in that day). . .I have enjoyed having it so much though that it doesn't matter to not have something under the tree.  I sure missed my other Kindle when it died and the Fire is just that much better!  I'm excited about the kids' gifts from Grandma and the ones from Santa that will be here Christmas morning.  The kids all drew names and have completed their shopping and wrapping for one another -- they love doing that and I love that they love it.  Frederick was insistent that he buy things for his sisters too (he drew Thomas's name this year) and there's a story to him dragging us to the store at 8 a.m. Saturday morning.  You'll need to ask me about it!

Much love,


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