* Friday evening we enjoyed games & snacks with friends at their home. We visited, taught them how to play "Five Crowns," played several rounds of UNO and enjoyed a counterful of treats:
* Pretzel & Kiss Candy (Eli made and brought a tinful of it.)
* Sour Cream & Onion Dip with Chips & Carrots
* Pumpkin Cookies
* Lemon Tea Cake
* Sesame Snacks
* Crisp Apples with Caramel Dip
* Apple Cider
* Saturday morning E. and I ran some errands while M. and the older boys hunted:
- made a library run and picked up a few Christmas craft & recipe books that they were selling for a dollar
- to the post office to mail some Christmas notes
- stopped at the thrift store and found: a small pile of Christmas coloring books and Fun Pads, a strand of silver beads E. wanted to add to the little Christmas tree in his room, a copy of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" to read aloud, a copy of "The Horse & His Boy" by C. S. Lewis to add to Eli's collection, some ribbon and embellishments for homemade Valentines, and a free box of raspberry & white chocolate scones
- a surprise stop to the pet shop because I know E. likes to browse
* Saturday evening after making a chocolate layer cake, writing up schoolwork for the next week, and finishing up laundry M. took me out for dinner to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of our first date. We decided to go to Friendly's as that was the restaurant we went to after a movie on that first date. We shared an appetizer platter and both got salads - mine was a huge, delicious Asian Salad with mixed greens, grilled chicken, mandarin oranges, carrots, and sesame-ginger dressing. M. asked the waitress if I could take one of the colorful balloons dangling from the ceiling . . . We did some Christmas shopping then and came home to find a spotless house - the boys had done all the dishes from their pizza take-out supper, tidied up the living room and had a candle burning. What a treat to come home to!
* Sunday afternoon after church we drove down amidst snow flurries to visit M.'s parents and surprise his mom with a birthday cake as her birthday is this week. As the dining hall was closed for the weekend, we met them and drove to a local restaurant. If you're ever in the area of Union Bridge, Maryland, stop in at The Buttersburg Inn. We had an excellent meal there - and I enjoyed the lovely Victorian photographs and furniture in the back room. The cook seated us and after hearing Eli say he wanted spaghetti, offered to make it for him even though it wasn't on the menu. E. gladly took him up on his offer! We went back to the conference center then and visited for awhile before we had cake and played "Five Crowns" along with another couple that are also volunteers at the center. It was a lovely afternoon! We drove the hour home listening to Christmas songs and then watched "The Muppets' Christmas Carol" before bed.