Very happy holidays

The holidays were really, really good for us. As is usual for us, we did multiples of each one, trying to maximize time with each part of our family. Funny thing, not once did anyone bring up the fact we weren't around last year! For Thanksgiving I finally perfected my attempts at Banoffee Pie. The first attempt almost resulted in the removal of a few of the Flanagans' teeth, but luckily I learned not to overcook the caramel layer. I also made a bastardized version with a layer of chocolate. I can't believe I'm saying this, but in this case, chocolate is not needed.

Christmas celebrations were really lovely. On Christmas Eve we attended a service at one of Dave's churches. It is a small rural congregation and we felt right at home. Julian made it through most of the service before we had to retire to the kids room in the back. We are really proud that all sides of our family committed to reduce Christmas spending this year. As a result most of the gifts were hand-made or recycled. I have to admit that our reversible fabric shopping bags were a big hit! It truly was a family gift as Jonathan did a good bit of cutting and ironing. He may never again take part in a project that has cut-outs but he was a trooper and learned a little bit about the joys of sewing. Julian also got in on the fun. He is absolutely fascinated by the sewing machine, so we're trying to teach him to observe it carefully. No little fingers near the needle!

The biggest Christmas hit in our house was a second hand wooden train set and magnetic trains that Santa brought for Julian. We specifically asked for second hand, and so Santa picked up this one in Charlotte and delivered it to our house on Christmas Eve. The Bosaks added even more joy to the mix with a box of even more magnetic trains. Now Julian likes to grab any willing partner by the finger and drag them to his room to "play train."

We wrapped up the holidays with a trip to Birmingham to visit friends. We spent a really fun evening at the Ritter house and Julian charmed the socks off just about everyone. At one point Allen was down in the floor building trains and I caught Janice sneaking more than one kiss from our sweet boy. Mostly it was great for Julian to connect with friends that (mostly) haven't seen him since he was an infant. We really want him to feel connected to a larger community, and times like this let us know we're on the right track.

We rung in the New Year with a venison Hominy Pie casserole, watching a movie with Davey and Meredith, and falling asleep on the couch by 10:30. Happy 2009!


  1. You were with us in our hearts and on the webcam last year! I just know that I never want to have another Christmas where I can't put my arms around all of you. Oops, my eyes are leaking.....

  2. bannachoc pie? Did I teach you nothing? You really need another Christmas with us. GrandMama would survive!

  3. post or email a pic of those bags, sucka