Christmas with the Wenells

After Anders was done with school on Friday, we headed down to Iowa for Christmas with my family. We all gathered at my brother's house near Dallas Center, Iowa (the one house that has enough room for all of us). We arrived in time for supper (good timing on our part). Afterward we piled all of us into vehicles (5 people each in 3 cars) and drove to downtown Des Moines to see Jolly Holiday Lights in waterworks park. It was three miles of Christmas lights--some of them in impressive displays. They gave you some "3-D" glasses to use. 3-D was a bit of a misnomer, but they were fun. One of them formed a snowman around each light bulb.

On Saturday morning we opened presents. It's fun to see the excitement on their faces. Afterward we bundled up and went outside for some sledding and fun in the snow. That, of course, was followed by rest time. Climbing up those hills pulling a sled (and sometimes a kid) is tiring. That evening, my parents took us all out to America's Incredible Pizza Company. It's one of those pizza buffet places (with the sort of food you expect from a buffet) with all sorts of games and activities (and the prizes you'd expect). This is something they would have never done for us when we were little. Things sure change when grandkids are involved. The boys haven't really played arcade games before (for that matter, neither have I much). They had a good time--especially since you practically get a ticket for a prize no matter how well you do. The go-karts were a highlight.

On Sunday we all went to church together and tried to get my brother's house cleaned up some. We stopped in Des Moines on the way home to go swimming with my sister at her apartment. It had been a while since the boys had swam in a pool (we usually go to a lake), so they enjoyed the time (and we enjoyed the exercise after all the food consumed over the weekend). We all had a great time together. It's nice to have a family that gets along well together (oh yes, we have our dysfunctionality and issues, but for the most part we can have a good time). And now to rest up and recuperate for the next family gathering . . .

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