Todd Swank's Diary Entry for December 29, 2014
My sisters, Tracy and Tammy, came up from Dallas to join mom and I for Christmas. It's so much nicer when they have to drive rather than the other way around.
We had 14 people and 3 dogs in our house for five nights. We really like togetherness.
We started off Christmas Eve with a candle light service at church. Normally it's not safe to be around this crowd and fire at the same time, but we got lucky and made it through the night without incident.
Christmas morning was a lot of fun and laughs and spoiled children.
Since we had been having an unseasonably warm December in Minnesota, the ice thickness experts from Texas thought it would be a good idea to go out and test the stability of Prior Lake. Thank God the ice seemed to be strong enough to hold everyone.
Just to be sure, though, the kids thought it would be a good idea to stand close together to concentrate their weight in one area. These definitely weren't the brightest bulbs on the Christmas Tree this year!
On Friday, we traveled to Welch, Minnesota for some downhill skiing. We were worried about the conditions because it had been warm and rainy all week, but the artificial snow seemed to be holding up well and all the runs were open.
Some of us did better than others.
My son, Luke, convinced me it was a good idea to let him go down one of the hills with a black diamond sign posted. He made it about halfway down before bailing and losing his skis. His brother kindly went down afterwards to help him while Luke finished the hill on his belly based upon the suggestion of somebody passing by overhead on the chairlift. I was glad to see he was still smiling afterwards and that ended up being his last black diamond of the day.
I think the kids had more fun on the chairlifts with their cousins than skiing down the hills.
Three nights in and hardly any knock down drag out fights had occurred yet. That might be a new family record.
Since we still had a lot of pent up energy to disburse, on Saturday we went to a local sledding hill to do battle with one another on slippery pieces of plastic.
Hardly any blood spilled which is yet another personal family record.
Luke pushed the limit for the family ending with approximately three serious face plants and a couple of head-on collisions. Not bad numbers for only going down the hill 6 or 7 times.
Some of the members of my family didn't feel the need to join us in the sledding battles. I won't name names, but they are wearing blue jeans rather than snow pants.
On Saturday night, we went to the Mall of America for some good old fashioned Japanese Cuisine. It's like a family tradition, even if this was the first time we'd been there as a family.
The night ended on a log ride. As any good night should.