We were pretty lucky this year. Not only did we get to fly home this year instead of drive (thank you Allegiant Air) but we got to spend 10 days in Moses Lake, including Christmas and New Years. I was in heaven. I love being home with my family, spending time with my siblings and being surrounded by willing babysitters. But, really ten days is a long time, especially when you bring three kids into the mix. So some of the participants in the group needed a little extra persuasion to make sure they enjoyed our long stay as much as I did.
We will start with Jon, who is the hardest sell of the group. Don't get me wrong, Jon loves my family. But, we are a little slow paced for him. He kept asking to go on a day trip somewhere to see more of Washington.... in December.
"Umm... Leavenworth?" I suggested.
"Is it fun? What would we do there?" he seemed intrigued.
"Uhh.. wander around Bavarian themed shops?"
He was less than enthused.
But, we have found the perfect formula to keeping Jon entertained in December in Moses Lake.
Step #1 - You keep him busy with projects, lots of projects. Solving the dance studio's sound problem, fixing my dad's sinking dock, installing motion sensor switches through the house... keep the list long and keep the worker bee happy.
Step #2 - You have some kind of death-defying adventure available and ready.
What better risky adventure than taking a hike across a (hopefully) frozen lake?
He found the frozen lake fascinating and distracting many times that week. In between that, several rounds of basketball and a few long runs, adventure time taken care of.
Step #3 - When all else fails, let him escape with Bryan to the mancave (aka basement) so they can have some uninterrupted "Save the World" time.
Step #4 - Get the perfect Christmas present..
not for Jon. No that won't bring that smile to his face. The perfect present must be for Brad.
Nothing makes him happier than a good gag gift, especially one that involves a fashion show.
And if he gets to use his "Aww I Wanted a Forever Lazy! for Christmas" face? Pure satisfaction.
Before you know it, your husband will be the one saying, "Time to go home already?!"
My mom loves having us there of course. But it has been a long old time since she regularly has little children around destroying her home. And she has collected some seriously nice Christmas decor over the years.
Luckily, I have also solved the formula for keeping her happy during our extended stay. Just let her dress my children!
Yeah, I know, its a big sacrifice on my part but I am nothing if not a team player.
My dad, like most men I know, is pretty easy to please. The formula is simple but proven.
First, you bring treats.
Second, you make dinner a few times while home. Sensing a theme here?
Third, supply only the cutest and smiliest of grandchildren.
Works every time.
Courtney, Kylie and Kendall are the easiest sells. Don't make them change any poopy diapers or clean up any other bodily fluids and they are good.
Next, my kids. Even though they love their grandparents and Grammy's house is like the funnest place ever, it is still a bit of an adjustment. No naps, lots of moms telling them what to (and what not to) do...
The first trick is making sure Santa has your new Christmas address.
Luckily, he was able to find us and bring Rhode's requested Toy Solder Drum.
Scarlet received a Bella Dancerella set which includes a full ballet barre, dance mat and ballet dance videos.
Secondly, let Grammy spoil them rotten.
Possible side effects, along with the possibility of your children turning into whiny, demanding, greedy little monsters (which thankfully didn't happen) there is a high probability you will get spoiled as well (which thankfully did happen).
Asher needed no convincing all trip. Constant attention, lots of new faces to smile at, tons of new toys to chew and drool on, and a cozy mom shoulder when the day is done.
Now that is the look of satisfaction.
Play your cards right and before you know it, ten days will have absolutely flown by, leaving you wondering how soon is too soon to do it all over again.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!