Friday, December 30, 2011

School then skate… Day 1139 30DEC11

Joshua got a little extra incentive to get school finished today since I had promised to take him and Jarrod to skate if he got it all done. So right after lunch, since he got it done :), we headed out to get a little ice time in. Joshua skated as a goalie today and got some good tips from a coupe of the goalies we have gotten to know. Jarrod and I had a good skate and then headed for him. As soon as we got our hockey gear stowed Jarrod and I headed over to Renee's dads to help him get the last piece of the boat lift taken down and dragged onto shore. We got it finished although we were pretty beat by the time all was said and done and headed home to get some dinner going, Renee had picked up some pork chops at the market so we tossed them on the grill. We finished our night off relaxing together and watching a little tele.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Joshua + 2… Day 1138 29DEC11

Joshua did school work during the morning but after lunch Trent and Chas came over for a while to play. The boys played inside and out for the duration of the afternoon and had a really fun time hanging out. Jarrod received the LEGO kit that he had ordered with his Christmas money so he, of course, settled in for the afternoon building. He finished it tonight during the hockey game and really enjoyed the build. We won the game which made a nice ending for our day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Trade ins… Day 1137 28DEC11

Joshua and Jarrod got a bunch of their old games together this afternoon and we took them up to Gamestop so they could trade them in and get something new that they have been wanting. The line was rather long but we persevered and made it to the counter so they could do their business. It worked out like they wanted and they left the store with a new game and a burning desire to get back home as quickly as possible. Renee and I had  a few other stops on the way but we managed to get them home relatively fast. They spent the late afternoon playing together until it was time for a little dinner. Renee was working this evening so the boys and I curled up and watched a few episodes of Doctor Who before bedtime. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

School and a little shopping… Day 1136 27DEC11

Joshua got back on his school work  this morning and managed to get through a book report with out any trouble. He is still trying to get caught up and he is gaining ground. The morning was gloomy and rainy so it was a perfect time to stay inside and get stuff finished. After lunch the boys asked if I could take them up to Walmart so they could look for a few things that they wanted to spend their Christmas money on  so we loaded up in the car and headed out. We had fun walking around the store and Joshua found a new Xbox game that he wanted so he pooled his resources and bought it. I managed to sneak a few extra errands into the schedule but the boys didn't mind riding around with me for a bit. We got home a little bit before Renee had to leave for work. After we got some dinner the boys played the new game that Joshua picked up while I did some chores around the house. We settled in at 7:30 to watch the Bolts game and were rewarded with a nice win at home. The weather is turning off cooler for the next coupe of days which will be  a nice change and a good incentive to get some work done outside.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The day after the merry… Day 1135 26DEC11

Taylor and Joshua were up early playing. Jarrod got up with the sun because he had his big LEGO set to build, we only got him one large technic model but the one he wanted was huge and had over 1200 pieces so he wanted to get an early jump on it. He managed to get it done by the middle of the afternoon and was very pleased with how it looked. I will try and get him to take some pictures to share. Taylor stayed until lunch time and then headed home. Joshua had a pre-arranged play date with Carly this afternoon so he headed over to her house after lunch. The rest of us did our own thing around the house until dinner time when Joshua returned. He had  great day playing but was rather tired out. We relaxed for the remainder of the evening until it was time to send the boys off to bed, the memory of Christmas  still buzzing in their brains :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas… Day 1134 25DEC11

The boys did well and at least slept in until sunrise. We all got up, I made a cup of coffee, and then we sat down to watch the boys open presents. As you might suspect there were mostly presents with LEGO on the outside of the box along with a few games and other goodies. Breakfast followed and then the building began in earnest. Both boys got a few things constructed by lunchtime at which point they took a break for a while. My dad headed for home after lunch and we headed over to Renee's parents a little later in the afternoon for a visit and a great meal followed by a few more presents that needed to be unwrapped. It was a nice afternoon and we were pretty tired after we got home. Taylor has joined us for the night so Joshua and him have been running around the house and playing and enjoying each others company. 

Tomorrow will be another day filled with the unmistakable sound of LEGO bricks being sorted through as new creations spring to life all over the house. I'm looking forward to it all :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve… Day 1133 24DEC11

Well Joshua and Jarrod are thrilled! Christmas Eve has finally arrived and as I thought they started the hourly countdown at breakfast this morning :) It is so much fun to watch them be all excited and anxious. 

As a treat Jarrod and I went up to get in some ice time, just the two of us, since Joshua and I went to skate the other day. The rink was pretty empty and we had a really fun skate together. Jarrod is skating really well and he was working on his backwards cross overs today and doing a good job of it.

We headed home afterwards and got there just before my dad showed up to spend the rest of the day and the night with us. Renee prepared a wonderful dinner and set quite a pretty table for us to eat at. After dinner we all headed to the living room to watch a little tele before sending to very reluctant to go to sleep boys off to bed with strict instructions to not get up too early :) Not going to help but we tried… 

I am sure that like every Christmas morning in the past a small voice will ask us if we are awake just as the sun is rising somewhere over eastern China ;)

Friday, December 23, 2011

The eve of Christmas Eve… Day 1132 23DEC11

The boys informed me this morning that this was the eve of Christmas Eve :) They  are pretty excited, understandably, about the next two days coming up. Joshua got a little bit of school work done today, he is still trying to get caught up from Thanksgiving break but he is slowly hacking away at the backlog. We spent the day doing stuff around the house and just enjoying the holidays. Renee went out for the evening to meet up with her friend Laura whom she hasn't seen in a while. They had  anise time together and she made it back in time to watch the Bolts play out in Denver. Jarod and I were the only ones who stayed up to watch the whole game which is good since they lost in overtime :(

Tomorrow is the eve of Christmas, as the boys pointed out on their way to get ready for bed and I am sure they will start the hourly countdown sometime after breakfast tomorrow.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A little ice time… Day 1131 22DEC11

Joshua and I headed out after eating a bite of lunch to go to a parent and player skate and shoot up at the rink. We arrived early so we cold get his skates sharpened and make sure we were on the list to go out on the ice. They only allow so many players and we were almost at the top of the list. Joshua also needed a new hockey stick as he has outgrown his older one so we looked around and found a replacement that he liked. He choose to wrap it with red tape to match his socks and jersey. We had a great two hour skate and got a lot of good practice time in. Joshua really liked his new stick and said it help him do better on the ice. We were pretty tuckered out and rather hungry when we got off of the ice so we stopped by the snack bar to get him something to eat before we headed for home. While we were gone Renee and Jarrod ran a few errands and Jarrod went for his follow up visit with his podiatrist. His toe is healing perfectly and the Doctor was pleased with the result, it shouldn't bother him anymore. Skating really drained Joshua's batteries so we took it really easy for the rest of the evening, I am sure that after a good nights rest he will be right as rain in the morning.

Play day… Day 1130 21DEC11

Wojtek came over to have some fun with Joshua today while Ania and Renee went a great Polish deli over in Clearwater to get some goodies to eat. The boys had a lot of fun playing with LEGO's for a while and then after lunch I drove them up to the park so we could have a bit of outdoor recreation. Renee and Ania were back when we came home and they spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with us. Like always they came back with lots of yummy stuff for us to munch on. Joshua ran out of gas about mid afternoon as the chemo from Monday caught up with him. He spent the rest of the evening taking it easy and not doing a whole lot. So far he has kept the monster pretty firmly in check which is great. If he is feeling up to it we might go up to the rink and skate tomorrow, I will have to see how he feels in the morning when he gets up.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Quiet day… Day 1129 20DEC11

All quiet on the home front today, Joshua has been doing extremely well managing the steroids so far. Renee and I spent the better part of the day running around town while the boys hung out with pa and helped him on a few projects. I didn't pick them up until almost dark and both off them had a good day. The weather was pretty nice which made being outside a nice thing. Joshua and I manage to get a little skating in before dinner. After dinner we all relaxed a bit and caught up with each others days. Tomorrow Wojtek is coming over for a play date which should be a lot of fun :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

The week before Christmas… Day 1128 19DEC11

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house every one was walking on eggshells and being as quiet as a mouse for fear that the monster would soon be near… Joshua went to clinic this morning to get his counts checked which came back fine, his ANC was 2200 and everything else looked good. He got his port accessed and received his vincristine and then got his pentamadine breathing treatment. He also gets to start his steroids pulse today, he had 12 pills to take this evening.

Their was a little Christmas party at the hospital so Joshua and Renee hung out for a while to enjoy the festivities before heading for home. Jarrod and I meantime had  quiet morning together at home and got started on some projects around the house. Renee and Joshua got home just after lunchtime and started in on his school work while Jarrod and I worked out in the garage. Renee had to work for a little while this evening so the boys and I had a little dinner and then relaxed in front of the tele for a bit until she got back home. Tomorrow we have a bunch of running around to do until early afternoon and then we can come home and relax a bit.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lightning Ice… Day 1127 18DEC11

What a great smile! He was stoked!

We got to attend the Lighting Employees Christmas party today which was held, of course, at the rink where they skate. Their was food, music, and Santa came to visit but the highlight for us was the chance to spend the afternoon skating on the Bolts home sheet of ice. The boys were besides themselves the second we stepped from the players bench onto the ice. It was a really neat feeling to be seeing the same sights that the Bolts look at when they are playing and definitely something we will not soon forget. Joshua even got a special visit from Coach Raymond who put his skates on and came out on the ice with us. He worked with Joshua on his skating skills for a while and gave Jarrod and I some great tips as well. It was great to get to hang out with Martin for a bit and get a chance to talk a little hockey, he is truly a great guy! We spent three hours out on the ice and when it was time to leave we were the last ones to step off and close the door behind us. 
Jarrod at center ice

off he goes...

invisible hockey stick ;)

Renee and her hockey boys

Joshua trying out center ice

taking the blue line...

in the corner...

The Jumbotron

even the old guys got to skate

Jarrod serving a 2 minute minor for excessive speed :)

Lee and the boys

On the ice with Coach Raymond

What a great afternoon! 

We headed home and all took it easy for the rest of the day with a nice dinner and then a little tele before sending the boys off to bed. Joshua has clinic in the morning and will be getting accessed to get vincristine again along with starting up another week of steroids to get him ready for Christmas :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Quantum Leap… Day 1126 17DEC11

We were invited to a Christmas party today way up in Odessa at a horse ranch run by Quantum Leap Farm, a nonprofit organization founded in 2000, they are a nationally recognized equestrian program serving injured and disabled civilian adults and children, military service members and their families. The facilities were amazing and the weather couldn't have been any more ideal for being outside for the afternoon. We saw lots of our cancer family including a few families we hadn't seen in quite a while. The kids had a fantastic time playing and being around all the animals. Santa showed up in a horse drawn wagon and proceeded to hand out gifts to all of the kids. 

Joshua got to ride a horse whose name was Cooper. He really likes being up in the saddle and according to him he is ready to take a much longer ride out in the woods. He looked right at home to us.

One of the more interesting critters walking around was  huge turkey named Wishbone. The lady that runs the farm found him injured on the side of the road and nursed him back to health. He was very tolerant of all the kids and let them pet him and take his picture. He even wore his best red Christmas bows for the party.

There were goats, horses, a donkey, and several great dogs as well. The party wrapped up around four and we headed back towards our part of the world. What a wonderful afternoon for all of us!

The boys and I got a little skate in before dark and then settled in to watch the Lighting play the Blue Jackets. We won 3-2 :)

Tomorrow we get to go skate on the Bolts home ice during the Christmas party for Renee and her co-workers, we are all very stoked about the chance to be on their home ice!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sleepover… Day 1125 16DEC11

Joshua has been waiting for this evening to arrive for several weeks since he had planned a sleepover with his friend Trent. He actually got a two for one deal since Trent's younger brother Chas was part of the plan as well. Renee says they had a fun filled evening and when I got home they were all in the playroom watching a movie. Jarrod decided to spend the evening quietly playing on the computer :) In the morning we will feed all the boys and then enjoy watching them run around and have fun until their mom comes to collect them :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hockey with pa… Day 1124 15DEC11

Joshua and Jarrod got to go see the Bolts play tonight with pa. Renee was working and so was I but we had gotten tickets earlier in the week so Renee's dad was able to meet the boys and enjoy the game. It was a great game and we won it in OT on a goal from Stamkos, Joshua's favorite player. I am sure Stamkos heard Joshua cheering from the top of the rink :) I cheered from home with Hobie although he sept through the whole game. 

Christmas break is fast approaching and the boys and I only have to get done with classes tomorrow before we all get a well deserved hiatus until next year rolls around. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Phonics kind of day… Day 1123 14DEC11

Joshua spent his school day working on phonics with Renee. He did really well and seemed to stay focused most of the day. Jarrod's toe was bothering him quite a bit last night but was feeling better this morning and continued to improve as the day wore on, he is definitely on the mend. The rest of our day was pretty standard and not a whole lot got done this evening. Every once in a while we all just need to veg out for a bit :) Tomorrow is back to work and school but the boys get to go with pa to the hockey game tomorrow night! I know they will enjoy cheering the Bolts on to victory...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lots of waiting… Day 1122 13DEC11

We got an early start today with a good breakfast of pancakes thanks to Renee. As soon as we were done it was time to drive up to north Tampa for a doctors appointment for Renee, the boys and I sat in the waiting room together passing the time. When she was done we all headed back to the house for lunch. Renee and the boys got the outside Christmas lights up before we all set off again. Renee went out to finish up the Christmas shopping and the boys and I did the grocery run and then a trip to the bank on the way to  Jarrod's late afternoon appointment with his podiatrist to get his ingrown toenail fixed. Joshua and I sat in the room with Jarrod while he got his toe numbed up and then the nail trimmed back. He did great but I am sure it will start hurting when the anesthesia wears off later on. We stopped off at the library to donate some books on the way back home. When we got there Jarrod propped his foot up and Joshua and I decided to get a quick skate in before the light disappeared. Renee got home from shopping while we were out in the street and we headed in to get some dinner going.

Sure enough Jarrod's toe started throbbing pretty bad as the numbness wore off, he was being a trooper and gritting his teeth a bit when he headed off to bed. I hope that in the morning he feels a lot better, the first 24 hours is the worst the Doctor said.

Tomorrow is a stay at home and get some school work done kind of day for both the boys.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Late start… Day 1121 12DEC11

Joshua got a rather late start this morning, he had a hard time going to sleep last night because Renee wasn't here so he wound up staying up until she got home which was after midnight. Needless to say he was pretty tired and slept until after 11 this morning. He seemed no worse for wear when he got up and was busy doing his school work soon after breakfast got taken care of. THe rest of the afternoon transpired rather quickly and it wasn't long before the boys were headed over to Renee's parents for a bit until I got off of work and could go pick them up. We watched the tail end of the Lightning game and then the boys headed off to bed.

Tomorrow has us pretty busy and running around quite a bit so I hope that Joshua can get a good nights sleep in.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Skate time… Day 1120 11DEC11

We all had a rather normal Sunday morning with everyone following their normal routine. We boys decided to go get some ice time this afternoon while Renee was at work. It has been a couple of weeks since we had a chance to hit the ice and we all miss it. We got our gear together, at a quick bite of lunch and then headed for the rink. We all had a good skate and enjoyed our time on the ice, Joshua did really well and his energy held up the entire session. We got cleaned up afterwards and headed for home to rest and get some dinner going. We had a nice quiet evening together hanging out and watching a little tele together before bed time. I always enjoy time with my boys :)

Tomorrow is the start of the last school week before Christmas break! Lots to get done for all of us so we can take a few weeks off.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Coral reefs and stars… Day 1119 10DEC11

Jarrod and Joshua along with the rest of us slept in this morning. Renee and Joshua didn't make it home last night until 1:30 so they were pretty tuckered out.

The boys had asked if I could take them to MOSI for the afternoon so we ate a quick bite of lunch and headed out. First up was an IMAX film called Coral Reefs that Jarrod has been wanting to see. We walked into the theater and Joshua picked out some seats for us, as we waited for the movie to start a group from the CCC came in and sat down right behind us. Joshua's buddy Trent was there along with the rest of the Lewis clan so Joshua was thrilled. Jarrod's buddy Matt came and sat next to him and we all enjoyed the movie together. We walked around for a few minutes with the CCC group after the movie was over until they had to leave to go home. 

Jarrod's other request for the day was to go see the planetarium show so we headed across the street to the other wing of the museum to wait for the show to begin. The boys had fun playing with all the exhibits until it was time to go in and sit down in the dark for a while. Neither of the boys had ever been in a planetarium before and Jarrod relay enjoyed the show. Joshua got a little motion sick as the stars were moving about so he was less enthusiastic about the whole thing. We headed out of the museum afterwards to begin our journey back home but decided as we walked out to the car to take walk through the nature trails behind the museum. We had a nice walk and got a chance to get some fresh air and a bit of exercise. 

We made it home in time to get a little skating in before it got dark. As we were eating dinner pa called to tell us that the annual lighted boat parade was going to start in about 30 minute so we finished up our meal and jumped in the car. We arrived just in time to see the procession of boats parade past grandma and pa's dock. The boats were all lit up and it was quite the spectacle. We said our goodbyes after it was over and headed home to watch the Bolts play a little hockey to wrap up our day. Quite a lot of fun for one Saturday :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mickey's house… Day 1118 09DEC11

Joshua and Renee got to go visit Mickey's house this afternoon! The Children's Cancer Center along with Kill Mode Training Company, Vykin Corp. and Celestar sponsored the Hope & Shine Dream Event to take 15 cancer kids and a parent to see the night festivities at the Magic Kingdom. Renee and Joshua were joined by lots of our cancer friends including Ania and Wojtek. Wojtek has never seen the Magic Kingdom so it was an extra special treat for him. Renee tells me that they had a wonderful time and got to ride Space Mountain, Racecars, It's a Small world, and Pirates of the Caribbean… All the classics :) They had a nice dinner and were really living it up. It was a great opportunity for the kids and I know they all had a magical evening.

Jarod spent the afternoon and evening helping pa out with a bunch of stuff and said he had a great day. I picked him and Missy up on my way home and got them both safely tucked into bed. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thanks to the Lightning… Day 1117 08DEC11

Joshua had a little bit of a cough this morning so Renee gave him some meds and it pretty much went away which is good. We don't want him sick this time of year. Both the boys did really well in school today and got quite a bit accomplished.

After lunch Renee and the boys headed in to the Children's Cancer Center to film a short segment that will be part of a video thank you to the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Players for all that they do for our cancer kids. They are a great organization and we are lucky as a community to have their support.  

On the way home from the CCC the kids and Renee stopped at my dads to pick up Missy who will be staying with us for a week while my dad travels up north for a visit with my sister. Both of the boys are excited about her staying with us and I am sure she will be spoiled even better than she currently is :)

I made it home in time to get some dinner and sit down to watch the hockey game. We found out that one of the Bolts players, Martin St. Louis, was pretty severely injured during morning practice by a puck that hit him in his left eye. Our thoughts go out to him and his family and we hope for his quick recovery and return to the ice. The Bolts managed to rally together and win against the Rangers in a shootout, we really enjoyed the game.

Tomorrow is a busy day for all of us and a special trip is in store for Renee and Joshua, more details to come :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cold snap… Day 1116 07DEC11

The day started of pretty normal with the boys getting started on school and me heading in to work for a bit. I got home in the early afternoon just as it was beginning to rain and things fell off from there. We have now got winds gusting around outside with rain and it is much colder than it was earlier today. All of us are still a little tired from all the stuff we did yesterday so this evening was pretty relaxed with a little Doctor Who on the tele and not much else. Tomorrow should dawn colder still and it may finally feel like we are getting close to Christmas :) In the meantime we will stay warm and toasty inside and rest while we have the chance.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pretty busy day… Day 1115 06DEC11

Our day started with a trip to the clinic to get Joshua's lab done. His counts came back really good with his ANC at 3450 and everything else in the black. 

As soon as we got done with the doctor we headed for home to change and run off to help Renee's dad get his boat out of the water and lifted onto the new trailer he got for it. Joshua helmed the boat for the trip from the dock to the yard where we pulled the boat. We got it finished but it was a long hot and physically exhausting afternoon.

We came home got showered and changed and then jumped back in the car to head into Tampa for the St. Josephs Clinic Christmas party. The boy's have been looking forward to this one and we all had a nice evening visiting with friends and enjoying the food and music. 

After the party broke up we headed over to my Dad's house for a quick visit and so the boys could get his Christmas decorations out of the attic. That taken care of we headed for home so we could all fall into a deep sleep as so as our heads touched the pillows. 

Whew… I got tired all over again just recounting all of that :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

IVIG for December… Day 1114 05DEC11

 Joshua got up early to get ready for Caroline. She got here and got him started like always without a fuss or any problems. She really is a wonderful nurse and we are lucky that we can continue to get her for all of his transfusions. The day passed slowly with Joshua mostly resting on the couch while hooked up to the pump. I left for work before he got finished but Renee said he did fine and had no ill effects. The boys headed over to stay with Renee's parents until I got off of work and could pick them up. They were watching the Bolts game when I called and had a fun evening hanging out with grandma and pa. It was straight home and off to bed since we have a busy day tomorrow and have to get up early and head off for clinic to get Joshua's counts checked.

I received a few pictures from Lisa of Jarrod getting his award from the Mayor of Tampa so I thought I would share :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas tree… Day 1113 04DEC11

Joshua was feeling much better this morning with no ill effects from yesterday thank goodness. After lunch the boys and Renee decided it was time to clean the house up, re-arrange the furniture and get Christmas down from the attic. So we did. As soon as all the boxes were down and assembled the boys got to work on getting the tree up. They split the lights between Jarrod doing the upper branches and Joshua doing the lower ones. Next it was up to the boys to get the decorations out and hung on the tree. They did a fantastic job and worked well together to get the job finished. Now we have a pretty Christmas tree in the living room to enjoy for the rest of the month. Hard to believe that Christmas is once again right around the corner, this past year seems to have evaporated right under my nose.

In the morning Caroline will be here early to give Joshua his monthly IVIG transfusion, what a way to start a week...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wojtek's Birthday… Day 1112 03DEC11

Today was Wojtek's Birthday so right before lunch we loaded up and headed over to his house for a party. Ania prepared a bunch of yummy polish food and we spent the afternoon eating, playing games and generally having a great time. Renee had to leave around 3:30 to go to work but the boys and I stayed until dark. It was a wonderful day with our good friends!

On the way home Joshua started to get sick to his stomach and ended up falling asleep in the car about half way home. We got him in from the car and he still wasn't feeling well. Not long after that his stomach decided it no longer wanted to hold its contents anymore, I got him cleaned up and he curled up on the couch and promptly fell back to sleep. He stayed that way through the entire hockey game and didn't wake up until I moved him to his bed. He felt much better and was hungry when he woke up so we hopped into the kitchen and got his some food to help fill him back up. I really think that he played too hard, ate too little, and didn't get enough water throughout the afternoon. Nonetheless we will keep an eye on him throughout the night just to make sure. 

Pretty normal for 1111… Day 1111 02DEC11

Well it works out that today is day 1111 and since there are no Mayan legends associated with Joshua's diagnosis date the day passed without incident. The boys spent the morning engrossed in school work, Joshua got 11 lessons done before I left for work! Jarrod was rocking along as well. 

Later in the afternoon both boys headed over to Renee's parents to hang out for the evening as we were both working. They were going to spend the night but Renee got out earlier than she had anticipated and swung by to pick up the boys on her way home. I had to work extra late so by the time I dragged in the house was dark and quiet. 

We have a full weekend ahead of us with a birthday party for Wojtek tomorrow and a Christmas gathering with Yan and his family on Sunday. Should be fun and I am sure the weekend will whiz by before we know it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas gathering… Day 1110 01DEC11

We all got up early to start our day, I had to head off for a morning class and Jarrod had a doctors appointment. The rest of the day flew by until it was evening time and we all met up at the Children's Cancer Center for our annual Christmas gathering. There were a lot of people in attendance and we got to spend a great evening with a bunch of our friends talking, eating, and watching the kids have a great time running around and playing. We got home after ten and shuffled the boys off to bed for a night of rest. It was a great way to start off our Christmas celebrating :)