Thanksgiving in Rolla

Ludi and London
Ludi and London

This year it worked out that I didn’t have to work on Thanksgiving. So we headed to down for a two-day celebration at my brother Justin’s. My youngest brother Jon still had to work Thanksgiving, but he and his wife Brittney were able to join us Thursday evening.

It was fun to have everyone together. The kids had lots of fun playing, we busted out the Jaguar for an NBA Jam tournament, we ate a lovely meal, we watched the Cowboys pull off a win, and we all got home safely again.

I’m thankful for such a nice Thanksgiving.

I didn’t photograph exhaustively, but here’s a slideshow of a few fun moments:

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Visiting London (…the baby)

On Tuesday, The Renaud Empire visited our fellow Renaud realm in Rolla, to see our new niece/cousin London Olivia. What a cute girl! Justin was out when we first arrived and Becca was dealing with London, so Hayden and Keaton showed us their bedroom and their playroom in the basement.

Justin’s house is pretty nice. They bought it, gutted it, and built the inside anew. They have a great basement, and we spent some time playing Wii games. We also played outside, and I got to enjoy his portable disc golf basket. Justin also took me to their church (where he works) and took me on a tour of the new sanctuary and other stuff they are nearly finished building.

All in all, it was a fun day. Here are some photos to enjoy:

Christmastime in review

As I mentioned in my previous post, this was an interesting Christmas season. It was nice to have Justin and Becca in town for several days before the actual holiday so we could spend some time together.

Among the activities was a game of disc golf at muddy White Birch in Hazelwood. It was quite fun, even though I didn’t fare too well. The highlight for me was making a birdie on hole 17, which is not easy, and making par on 18.

On my side of the family, we often make Christmas lists to give relatives an idea of what kinds of things we need or would be a blessing to us. This can be a good thing. This year, Yoli and I kept our lists very simple. I wanted donations toward an iPod and she wanted donations toward a video camera.

This can be tacky, and I hope I don’t do it again for a good while. But I had been patiently waiting to get an iPod for several years now, and it was so good to finally get it. After Christmas I found a nice used one here in town (similar to one my brother Jon has already) with some accessories at a great price. Yoli did her research on digital video cameras and we are buying a refurbished Consumer Reports best-buy which we’ll take to Bolivia in January. It will be good to tape Jadzia with her Bolivian family so she can see them again and again when we are in the U.S. Likewise, we can make tapes of her and send them to Bolivia.

I am enjoying my iPod, but as is usually the case, the most memorable gift is the unexpected one. My mom got me a nice pair of gloves to replace the ancient tattered ski gloves I’ve been wearing since junior high or high school (I forget). Later in the morning she pulled out a fancy dress coat they had been saving for years for one of my brothers. Turns out it was too small for them, so she asked me to try it on. And it fit me fine. So now I have new gloves, a new dress coat, and my old English caps. When I go to work now, I look like a new man.

This past Wednesday we had our annual movie night with some friends from Hazelwood West, McCluer North, and UMSL. We watched “Million-Dollar Baby” which I had not seen before. The story takes a somewhat-surprising twist in the last portion, which made for lots of interesting discussion afterwards. Lots of thanks to Matt for hosting the night and for the great chili! Unfortunately, Jadzia was a “Million Cries Baby” through about the last 1/3 of the movie and the discussion.

That’s the challenge of the baby… Finding ways to adapt our lives to accomodate her. With movie night it wasn’t so successful, but we’ll get more creative next year.