Hello and Happy New Year!  I hope everyone is enjoying a great start to 2007, though I know some are digging out from under ice and snow rather than seeing the sunshine and mild temperatures we've had here in southwestern Pennsylvania.  I wouldn't exactly call it warm, but it sure doesn't feel like January.  It didn't feel much like Christmas, either.  That was something we heard over and over again everywhere we went.
    Speaking of Christmas, we had a very nice holiday.  Megan and I were finished with work/school on December 21 so the following day I took her out to do her shopping.  Tim was paid early on the 22nd and everyone wanted to leave so he worked only a half day and then was off Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  I'd hoped he'd take vacation the week from Christmas to New Year's, but the long weekend was almost as nice.  We finished our shopping for the kids on the 22nd, too.  Tim received a very generous bonus that enabled us to pay some bills and still give the kids a nice Christmas with the gifts they'd asked for.  There's enough, too, to get Matt a clunky old car when we find the right one.
    Christmas Eve afternoon we met up with Tim's family at his brother's home.  Everyone was in good moods for a change and we had a very nice time.  Tim's brother has a pool table and everyone likes to play so there was a bit of a tournament going on.  The Steeler game was on, too, but they suffered another loss.  Around 6:00 everyone was getting ready to leave and we headed out to pick Matt up in Pittsburgh.  He is working for Radio Shack now and as low man on the totem pole he had to close on Christmas Eve.  At least that meant he got Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off.
    Christmas Day was our usual small gathering of us, my mom and her husband, and my aunt.  Everyone got so much and was really pleased with their gifts.  I got a digital camera that I hope to use to take pictures of things to sell on Ebay (and also to share photos of us), but I have to figure out how to work it first.  I also got a gift certificate for a remote starter on my car.  That was from Tim so I wouldn't have to clean off the car on those cold, icy mornings....not that we've had any.  The garage needs my car all day so I can't get it done until February 3.
    The days between Christmas and New Year were filled with visiting family and friends, exchanging gifts that didn't fit and eating waaaaay too much food.  We took in a movie, too, but I had to leave in the middle as a toothache started just as we got settled and got progressively worse till I couldn't stand it.  I guess I'll find out how "Night in the Museum" ends when it comes out on DVD.
    We spent New Year's Eve playing cards and a game called Boxers or Briefs? with friends.  We had fun, but once that ball came down we were ready to head for home.  I guess we're getting old.  We just aren't the party animals we used to be.  Mom had us up for dinner on New Year's Day.  We had pork, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, of course.  John watched football after dinner and Tim went back to work in his shed.  Mom, Megan and I played the DVD version of Deal or No Deal.  It's pretty fun.  After that I came home and spent the rest of the day taking down the tree and packing up the decorations.
    Oh yes, and there was Matt's bombshell, announced at midnight the night I was suffering with a toothache and Tim was asleep.  HE WENT AND GOT HIMSELF ENGAGED FOR CHRISTMAS!
    It was back to work and school for Meg and I on the 2nd.  It's been a pretty quiet week up until today.  Tim talked to Matt's school today, which resulted in a flurry of calls between us, Matt and the school.  We're going down to see him tonight, but the decision's already been made.  He is dropping out of school (kind of a moot point since we've discovered he's rarely gone in the last 6 months).  He had talked about moving in with his fiancÚ's family, but Tim and I think he may be depressed or messed up with something he shouldn't be so Tim put his foot down and we're moving him home this weekend.  Tim said he actually seemed kind of relieved.  We're still getting him a car so he can keep his job until he figures out one closer to here will be better and so he can see his fiancÚ.  Once he's home I'm getting him to the doctor's to be checked for depression before the insurance drops him since he's no longer a student.  Beyond that, I don't know because Matt doesn't seem to have any idea at the moment what to do with his life.
    Well, I am off to work for the afternoon runs.


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