We were planning on heading straight to Kewanee Wednesday after work, but we ended making a few stops along the way. We had to pick up pictures from Wal-Mart in Decatur (Grandma Davis’ “big tree” picture as well as a few others), then to the old house to adjust the thermostat and check out the progress on the floors, then to get something to eat, and last to get James a turtle sundae from Culvers. After all those stops, we managed to get to my parents around 8:30 P.M.
Once we got there, we surprised Grandma with an 8X10 of the “big tree” and then a small photo album of miscellaneous pictures of the family.
She really seemed to enjoy the pictures a lot, putting the 8X10 up in her bedroom and telling us she was going to take the photo album with her tomorrow to show everyone. I then set to work making cherry delight and peanut butter cup pie for Thanksgiving, while James hooked up the router we brought to replace my mom’s old wore out one.
Thanksgiving morning we were up pretty early, got dressed, and then helped get things ready for dinner. This year was the K Jones’ (i.e., the Jones’ from Kona’s side) which ended up being Grandpa & Grandma Jones, Linda & John (and John’s mom Betty), Deb & Glen, my Mom & Dad, and me & James. Everyone started showing up shortly before 11AM and it was nice to eat appetizers and talk with everyone while dinner was finished up.
Yet, since we weren’t suppose to eat until 1PM (and it had been a long day Wednesday and early morning Thursday), James and I ended up crashing on the couch BEFORE we even sat down to dinner!!
Pretty funny since people normally don’t crash until after dinner! Luckily we woke up a little before dinner was ready and were able to help with a few last minute details before it was time to eat!
Since we were a relatively small group, we were able to all sit at the same table and that made for some fun dinner time conversation. There was plenty of great food and the desserts were even better! For ten people we had: Pumpkin, Cherry, Peach, Raspberry, and Peanut Butter Cup Pie, Cherry Dessert, and Thumb print cookies! Almost more dessert than we had food! James focused on the Cherry Delight (which unfortunately hadn’t set right and was rather runny), while I decided to try a little bit each of the Pumpkin, Peach, Raspberry, & Peanut Butter Cup pies! After dessert and picking up the kitchen everyone talked a bit more before it was time to go.
Grandpa & Grandma stayed the longest, relaxing in the front sitting room and chatting before eventually needing to leave. Shortly after, Uncle Rob brought Grandma Davis home (the Davis & Koehler side of the family had celebrated at Nancy’s house) and briefly stayed for some pie and to talk with my dad.
While it had been a long day, James and I decided to go see a movie uptown in Kewanee. Our options were pretty limited (Old Dogs and Planet 51), so we decided to see Old Dogs since that looked the best out of the two. It ended up being a really funny movie and there were a couple of times I was laughing so hard I was crying! Strangely enough we found out the next day that Ty & Austin had also gone to see Old Dogs Thursday night as well and also enjoyed it a lot more than they thought they would. When we got back from the movie, James helped me go through the Black Friday ads so I’d be ready first thing in the morning! There were some pretty good deals, but nothing I “had” to have.
Friday morning, Mom and I got up and headed to Wal-Mart a little after 5AM (when the Black Friday deals started). As we drove past Menards (which didn’t open until 6AM), the line of people waiting outside were already huge and we started to question our plan of going there directly after Wal-Mart. We then really started to question our sanity as we pulled into Wal-Mart… the parking lot was packed (way more than last year) and inside the lines and the people were even worse. I found a few things (only one thing that I had really wanted) and Mom got the printer she had wanted, so overall we didn’t do that bad. Yet, as we went to check out it was a mad house. The lines were almost to the back of the store and they didn’t seem to be moving at all. We decided to try the house wares check out and it seemed like a good choice, except there was a credit card problem and the line wasn’t moving at all. We then headed to lawn & garden, which did seem to be moving, yet before we could barely get in line a cashier came up to me to say that they were opening two new check outs at pharmacy. Mom and I immediately headed that direction and were still third in line! Luckily the line moved pretty quickly and we were able to get checked out in no time. Strangely enough, while this was going on, I was Facebooking back and forth with a HS friend of mine who was at Wal-Mart (the same one as us) with his Mom (who had seen me while they were standing in line up front). It was funny to be going back and forth about the lines and people while standing in line!
Once we made it out of Wal-Mart, we decided to head to Farm & Fleet instead of Menards (it had just looked a little too crazy). Farm & Fleet wasn’t any busier than is on a normal day, so it was a welcomed relief to be able to enjoy the Black Friday deals without the hustle and bustle of tons of people and the lines! We ended up not getting too much there, but were happy with what we ended up with. By this time we thought maybe the craziness might have died down a little in Menards, so we headed over there just to be proven very wrong. Menards was crazier than Wal-Mart had been! Mom and I went in and made a circuit of the store (as best as we could), running into a few people we had ran into last Black Friday at Menards, and ultimately deciding there was nothing there worth waiting that long in line for (the lines stretched back to the end of the building and were wrapping around even!). We did however briefly stop at Dollar General for a few things before heading home for a much needed bathroom break!
After the bathroom break we then headed out to Walgreens. I really wanted some of the big jar candles that were on sale 3/$8.99 since I’ve been burning a lot more candles in the new house since it got colder. The price had been better at Menards, but the line just didn’t seem worth it! Once we got to Walgreens, I went straight for the candles and hit immediate pay dirt! When I moved in with James he had a candle whose scent was Cookie Crunch and I absolutely loved it, but didn’t know where he got it from or where to find it. It’s now burned down to almost nothing, so I was hoping to find something at least kind of close to replace it, yet what I found at Walgreens was Cookie Crunch itself!! I ended up getting three of just that scent, as well as six other candles in varying scents. After picking up a few Black Friday days, we decided to call it a day!
On our way home we decided that even though we had a ton of leftover Thanksgiving dinner and desserts left, we’d stop and pick up donuts for breakfast! We finally made it home, shared our donuts, and James & I watched Land of the Lost (with Will Ferrell). I wasn’t expecting much, but it ended up being so stupid it was funny. We then started watching the animated movie, Up. It was pretty cute, but before we could finish it, it was time for lunch, which was Hamballs (Yum) and then more leftover dessert! Yet, before getting dessert, James had to take off for his massage appointment. While James got his massage, I got ready for my massage (my appointment was for 30 minutes after his finished), and then did a little work on the computer. James got back to the house looking pretty relaxed and seemed to have enjoyed his massage even though it was only 50 minutes instead of the 60 we thought it would be. I then finished up what I was doing and headed for my appointment. I hadn’t had a massage since we were on our honeymoon, so I was more than ready for my turn! It was a great massage and very relaxing, but similar to James, she only did 50 minutes. Anyway, I’m not sure how I made the drive home because I was so relaxed and out of it from getting the massage and being up since 4:45 in the morning, but once I got there I crashed until after Mom got home from her massage appointment (hers was for a different place and an hour after mine was done). We then heated up some leftovers and watched my dad play musical channels until he headed for bed. We then finished watching Up, which was pretty good, but not as good as Land of the Lost.
Saturday morning James, my mom, and I all headed to Peoria for the day. Since Kristin (my Dad’s cousin) was having her 60th birthday part in Elmwood later that evening, Mom rode with us so she could meet up with Dad later that evening at the party. We started the morning by a quick (and yes it really was quick) trip to Talbot’s where both Mom and I found a few tops and James relaxed in the “husband chair” and read his book. The next store on our list was Casual Male: Big & Tall. We’d noticed that James’ shirts fit him fine in the shoulders, but were just a little too short for comfort. Thus, instead of large shirts, I suggested large tall (L-T) shirts. Unfortunately this store didn’t carry L-T clothing, only XL-T or bigger (even though they advertised for it on the door even!), but the sales lady did suggest Burlington Coat Factory as a possibility. On our way there we realized the time (almost 11AM) and decided lunch should be in order before anymore shopping.
Olive Garden is in the same area as Burlington and the rest of the stores we wanted to go to, so we decided it would be a good place to eat. After a relaxing and delicious meal, we made a brief stop at Burlington (absolutely nothing there) before heading to Kohl’s. After scouring the entire men’s section at Kohl’s we finally found two short sleeve and three long sleeve (yes long sleeve!) polo shirts that were the right size and color. We then went through the women’s section with mom and I both finding some pants and a few shirts before heading to the front to check out. Luckily we had been doing good on time because the movie we wanted to see, 2012, started at 1pm at it was about 20 till when we got done at Kohl’s. 2012 was a pretty long movie at 158 minutes (i.e., 2 hours and 38 minutes) plus about 15 minutes of previews, yet we all really enjoyed seeing the destruction of the world and humanity!
After the movie, we were still doing pretty good on time (the party didn’t start until 5PM), so we decided some dessert was in order! James stopped by Cold Stone for Mom and I, and then ran over to Culver’s for his recent favorite, Turtle Sundae. As James finished his ice cream, Mom and I ran into Sam’s for some of our favorite cocoa covered almonds. The lines were a bit crazy, but we finally got checked out and back to the car so we could start heading to the party. We took some scenic back roads that got us there a little too early, so we decided to do a little sightseeing before actually stopping. On our mini-adventure, we came across a group of houses, other larger buildings, and a giant golf ball looking structure all contained within a barbed-wire fence. We had no idea what any of it was, but later at the party we found out it was the Hannah City Work Camp (Illinois Department of Corrections) that was closed down in 2002 and was recently acquired by Peoria County. We still weren’t sure what the golf ball structure was, but after a little research afterwards I found out it provides long range radar for planes as well as collecting weather data.
Once we were done with our brief tour, we headed back towards the party and as we pulled up and were getting out of the car, my cousin Carrie, her husband Mark, and their little boy Jack pulled in as well! We all walked in together and were quickly engulfed the festivities. There were over 30 people there, tons of food, and three birthday cakes!! It was great to see and talk to family from out of town, but after spending more time than I meant to (it was hard to leave!), we headed back towards home after our long Thanksgiving weekend!