Things have not slowed down for us yet. My in-laws are still here and we continue to do one adventurous thing after another. So let's get right down to business shall we?
Anton decided it would be fun to invite all the local extended family over to celebrate New Year's Eve with us. So I stoked the kitchen fires and made some yummy food for the party. My favorite were these:
Bacon-wrapped, Cheese-stuffed Jalapeños. They took a bit of time to make, and the first one you ate seemed a little ho-hum. But for some reason we just couldn't quit eating them. I ate far too many and my intestines were not happy with it.
To counter the spicy I also made this:
That happens to be the yummiest strawberry fruit dip ever. And it is in no way good for you. Fruit dip can be deceptive. You think, "Fruit. It's good for me, right?" Well on this one, guess again. It's a concoction of strawberry cream cheese and marshmallow fluff. Yep, marshmallow fluff. It is to die for, and will probably be a cause of my death some day. So good.
We had so much good food at the party:
People brought all sorts of things from KFC to pies to fudge and more. It was sinful. And I ate too much.
The party was crazy, and not always in a good way. We had all of these running around:
They were loud. They liked to scream (as is appears Ella is doing in this picture). And they didn't like to share. But hey, that's what cousins are for right?
Here are the one's that brought us all together:
Anton's dad is in the middle, with his sister on the right. Her son, Fred, is the one on the left. Anton's dad and Fred were like peas in a pod when they were younger.
I didn't think anyone would stay until midnight since everyone had kids with them. Boy was I wrong. They all stayed. I was pooped. But I got my New Year's kiss from Anton and all was well.
We spent New Year's Day bumming around the house recovering from the night before. I woke up feeling like I had a hang-over, though I drank not one bit of alcohol. There wasn't even any in the house. We needed a day off.
But the next day we headed off on more adventure. We ended up taking a bit of a drive over to Mobile, AL to see what there was to see there. Our first stop was the USS Alabama.
It's a battleship, just like the USS Arizona that was sunk in Pearl Harbor. It didn't take long wandering around before the kids were driving us crazy and we had to throw them in the brig:
(That would be the jail on the ship for all you land lubbers.) But they promised to be good so we let them out. We wandered all over from all the way down in the engine room:
All the way up to the decks:
Look at those big guns! They can shoot accurately at 21 miles. Crazy. You want to know what else I think is crazy about those guns? Their turrets run all the way down to the keel of the ship. (Am I using too many technical terms? Well, look them up.) And the only way to get in and out of them is here:
That little hole my fancy blue arrow is pointing too. That little hole is all the way down in the bottom of the turret. There is no other way in or out. That is where they loaded the shells with powder and sent them up to the guns. Now my thought is this: What happens when the ship starts to sink? What is the first place to fill up with water? Yeah, that would be the bottom of the ship. Right where that little hole to get out is. This would not be my ideal job locale. Let's just say that. Makes me think of those movies like U-571 that give me the creeps to watch. That's why I would never let my husband volunteer for submarine duty.
Anyways, back on topic. I did manage to get a fun picture while in the scary turret:
They also had a hangar full of planes and a submarine to tour also. My family decided to take naps on the oh-so-comfy submarine berths:
Of course, being the mother, I didn't get to lay down and rest. All in a day's work.
We then went and had lunch at a little Italian place before going to see Oakleigh House:
It was built in 1855 and makes me think of Pride and Prejudice. We got to do a quick tour before it closed. I like going to historical places like this.
But we were all pooped by then and headed home. We also all snagged a nap on the way. Except Anton, of course, who was driving.
Now for those of you who we sent our beach Christmas cards to, you might feel a bit of retribution by this next part. Today we decided to go down to the beach.
Now what is wrong with this picture? Do you see it? Yes, that's right. No swimsuits. Those would be winter coats and hats everyone is wearing. It has been in the 30's for the past few days and we are not enjoying it. Now I know that doesn't compare to the sub-zero temperatures and snow most everyone else has, but it does make living in the South a little less something to gloat about, let me tell you. Anton's parents aren't too happy that the cold weather showed up when they got here and it's forcasted to be in the 70's right after they leave. But Anton's mom wanted some beach sand, so off to the beach we went.
The kids don't mind the temperature too much as long as they get to run around and play, see:
He's happy as a lark. Ella found one of those bubble pipes in the sand and entertained herself with it the whole time we were there.
Here she had thrown it out into the water and realized she was going to have to go in after it. She timed it just right and managed to fish it out without getting wet, thankfully.
Anton followed his usual occupation of filming everything going on, as if a million photographs of it all wasn't enough:
I am willing to bet that my children will have some of the best documented lives of anyone.
When our toes started turning blue we decided it was time to head back.
Grandpa and Grandma enjoying a moment together.
We went and had a yummy lunch where we all ate too much then headed back home. We have been eating out way too much with Anton's parent's here. I feel like I'm going to explode.
On a side note, we saw an ugly accident on our way out to the beach. A semi had overturned in an intersection.
There was a light post through the cargo part and there were boxes spilled out everywhere. The windshield was missing and was laying on the ground. The cab looks fairly intact so hopefully the driver was OK. We can't figure out what kind of stunt this truck had to be doing to impale itself on a light post, but it must have been impressive. Glad I wasn't behind him.
Tomorrow our adventures will continue before finally drawing to a close. We will be doing a whirlwind tour of New Orleans before sending Anton's parents back to the rainy cold north. And of course there will be pictures and stories for all. See you then!