I am feeling so much better! The kids are getting sick and Sam sounds awful, but at least none of them have the lung compromise that I have. So they should weather the cold well enough.
Thanksgiving was wonderful. LOTS of "non-sharing" stories that I simply can not share on such public forum. If you are sibling/relative reading this and you missed Thanksgiving in Connecticut this year, email me and I'll give you the details. If you aren't a relative, well, I might tell you in a email or over a cup of tea!
My siblings from Kansas were unable to make the trip. My girls were rather bummed about that. They did have two cousins to play with: Olivia and Amelia made the trip out. My grandparents came, as well as two of my uncles. Crystal and her husband, John and his wife, Tom and his wife (Parents of Amelia and Olivia) all arrived for dinner. Andy and his new wife came for desserts. Andy's in-laws and Tom's in-laws also came. So it was a full house at my parents.
Sam ended up working 72 hours straight. While I am thankful for the overtime pay, it would be nice if he could someday spend a holiday with us. He is scheduled to work Christmas Eve this year so we will probably only see him for an hour on Christmas Day. That's because he can't leave the firehouse if no one comes in to relieve his position. Since he is the driver, it has to be a driver. In years past, when no one could relieve him, he would take a "3 hour emergency leave", drive the hour home, spend an hour with us, and then drive the hour back to the firehouse.
For the last two years we have tried something new. I make a huge brunch on Christmas morning with the girls, which helps to pass the time. We invite my grandparents, my parents, and my siblings to come. They do their Christmas opening before they come and then we all eat heartily! Once Sam arrives we let the girls open their gifts. It makes it all the more enjoyable for them to have EVERYONE watching them and I know my family really enjoys it.