Our flight was mostly uneventful. Dave sat with Hayley, her by the window seat and Dave in the middle. Hunter and I sit right in front of them, window and middle. Hayley tends to kick the seat in front of her so we place Hunter there. Now don’t get me wrong Hunter DOES NOT like when she kicks his seat but when this does happen I promise to let him engage me in a lengthy conversation about Pokemon or Madagascar 2. These are conversations that we have often so I know all the right things to say, questions to ask and know when to nod my head. In the mean time Dave is furiously changing DVDs, helping Hayley dress Barbies and digging for snacks we brought just to keep her vocals down and the hysterical laughter at bay. At least I do have the pleasure of reading when Hunter is occupied, these times are very short because Hunter always has something to say and likes to show me rewinds of one of his movies. At times I try to ignore him, but out of the corner of my eye I see him staring at me with huge expectant eyes. This I can’t ignore so I give in and watch the clips and laugh along with him. Baggage claim is never fun (Hunter had a Grand Mal Seizure 3 years ago at baggage claim #8, but that is for another story) as I get left with all the carryons and Hunter and Hayley which neither want to stay with me. Hunter I can threaten (I WILL take away Pickachu is you leave my side) but Hayley I have to get a death grip on her hand to make her stay and hope that she does not drop to the floor pulling me with her or screaming at the top of her lungs which tends to stop everything and everybody so we get to be the center of attention, something I am not very fond of. We got home, unpacked and proceeded to take all the Christmas stuff down and put away for next year. We used to decorate the whole house, every room on the first floor. In our Great Room we had a 15 ft. tree that we need a ladder to decorate the top, all kinds of candles, decorations on all the table surfaces etc. The last two years have been very tough and Dave and I are burnt out, so we bought an already lighted six ft. Christmas tree that we put in the sunroom where the kids are most of the time, decorate it and just put a few things around there and in the attached kitchen. We used to have Christmas decorations up for six weeks, this year not even three. This year Hayley was POSSESSED by the tree, she wouldn’t leave it alone. There were a good size Mary, Joseph, shepard, sheep, goat, camel, baby Jesus and not to be left out Santa (not my choice). Hayley insisted on throwing baby Jesus into the tree, which resulted with tumbling ornaments falling to the floor and often times breaking. Finally I said that was it, the Holy Family and Santa must go, Dave brought them up to the attic and put them away except for the camel because Hunter wanted it in his room as a reminder of the “tragic way” Hayley treated Baby Jesus. Going back to our first day home, while Dave and Craig did the final clean up it was my job to box and pack all the ornaments. The difference this year was I needed to separate and box Katie’s and Kevin’s ornaments that they have collected since they were born. Katie lives with Bill and Kevin lives with Devon so both have their own Christmas trees. Wow I could cry even now as I am writing this. In 1975 my mom bought me my first Hallmark ornament and since then we have bought Hallmark ornaments for all the kids and even when my mom died Dave carried on by buying mine. So as I boxed each of their ornaments, they brought back so many happy memories. As I looked at Katie’s “Babies First Christmas” and Kevin’s first “Baseball Player” ornament it really seemed only yesterday that they were little. I will miss not seeing their ornaments on our tree anymore but I know once I see them on their own trees it will give me comfort knowing that they are happy, independent individuals living the life we raised them for. Once that job was done, I was able look around and feel happy that there was no more clutter and overjoyed by the fact that we would not have to decorate for quite awhile. Dave and I were so tired and glad to sit down when we heard SMASH and hysterical laughter. We looked in the kitchen and saw that Hayley had taken a glass from the sink and threw it on the tile floor and proceeded to dump the dish detergent all over her baby doll, at the same time Hunter runs in and says “hey, I got a great idea, lets decorate for Valentines Day this year!!!!”………..I looked at Dave and said Welcome Home.