Sunday, January 8, 2017


What's been going on at the zoo?

A lot!

Grant celebrated a very quiet birthday on December 13th.  He is now in double digits!  By now, Mom and Dad have collectively celebrated 55 birthdays with our four kids.  We are pretty much burned out on birthday parties in any form.

So....Grant invited a friend over for pizza and a sleepover.  Yes.  Only one friend.  It was awesome.

And I didn't even need my usual dose of Tylenol at the end of a birthday celebration.  Sweet.

For his actual birthday, Grant was supposed to perform in a winter concert with his fourth grade class at school.  He didn't think that sounded like a fun way to spend the evening after being at school all day.
So we skipped the concert and took the family out to eat instead.  Grant, being the birthday boy, picked the restaurant.

His choice?  Zaxby's.  He seriously loves him some fried chicken.

Our ECO Christmas party was December 10.  We had a great time with twenty or so guests celebrating the holiday season.  I think everyone enjoyed the evening.  A pool tournament always leads to lots of fun and laughter as the competition gets pretty serious between some of the guests.

Preparing to put presents under the tree.
The piles don't look very large.  Perhaps they've been bad this year?!

Christmas morning was a pretty quiet affair at our house.  Gifts were exchanged, and everyone got a chance to enjoy their new things before we headed to visit with extended family.

Grace received yet another American Girl doll, Leah, and Grant got a LEGO set from Santa.  I wonder how many more years Santa will be expected to deliver gifts to our house.  I was surprised he made the rounds this year.



John and Emily received many UK gifts in preparation for college next addition to the many books and DVDs that satisfied their current tastes in media.

We stopped for the day to visit family in West Salem.  Everyone spent the afternoon trying to figure out Perplexus puzzles.  Lots of laughs and fun together as we celebrated a new and very different kind of Simms Christmas.

We then headed on to Carrollton to visit with David's family for a few days.  We enjoyed the chance to visit and catch up with how everyone is doing.  Life is so busy.  It doesn't seem like we get to see one another nearly enough in a year.

We helped David celebrate his 50th birthday.  I made sure the day was filled with kindness and love.  (That is to ensure he doesn't repay me for any shenanigans when I hit the half century mark.)

New Year's was spent playing games and watching movies with the kids.  We helped Bill Murray pondered what there really is about Bob and went on a quest for the holy grail with Monte Python.

Most of us managed to stay awake to watch the ball drop in Time Square before heading to bed.

After one last day home for winter break, the kids headed back to school Tuesday and Wednesday.  YES!!

The return-to-school-so-life-can-get-back-to-normal celebration was cut short by an unexpected snow day on Thursday.  Once again we were all home playing games and watching movies together.

I can't complain.  These days together won't last forever.  Someday I can once again have a perfectly clean house and a schedule that is all my own.

Until then, I will embrace the mess, noise, chaos and furr (SO MUCH PET HAIR!!!!!) that comes from being a zookeeper.

(the cats LOVE hiding under the tree)

Sorry for the length of the post.  I'll get back to normal now and keep this up to date!!

I hope.

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