The first event of the trip was the welcome drinks and dinner at TT's house. We got to meet Roberts new girlfriend Ashley which was nice then hung out playing spades and drinking the rest of the evening. The funniest thing ever was that when Robert introduced me to Ashley and he says that "This is my sister Renee...she is MORE!" I was so shocked and humored by the comment it was so unexpected. I had to ask him where that came from and he said that when he was telling Ashley about us he was explaining TT and then told her about me and the best description of me was that I was "MORE"...I can't be mad at him but it was shocking for sure. Anyway, Mike and I really only get to play spades when we come to Kansas so we were excited to play a game against the new couple because Ashley is a new spades player. It was a fun game and of course Mike and I had to give them crap about being new at the game and that we have such a good track record for spades and blah blah blah. After a tight game and 2 last minute hail marys we came out on top!!!! It was a good time!!!!!
Saturday was our annual paintball event which we have been doing for the past 2 New Years. This year since New Years is on a Monday it was going to be easier to go to paintball over the weekend while every one was in town. The first place that we went to was the best so far but was like 1F so no one wanted to be outside so we decided to go back to the place we ended up at last year. Of course the place was packed because it is in a cave and it was a Saturday afternoon but TT made a reservation for us so we didn't have to worry to much. The problem with this place is that it is way too busy!!! And they have fields for rental users and for open play but last year we seemed to have ended up in a field with both rental and open play because some of the people on that field had semi automatic paintball guns which was killer. Mike nearly lost his ankle to a paintball because those guns were so precise and fast compared to our crappy rentals and each game was so fast which really sucked. We did not have as much fun as the previous year but it was still fun. So this year we were trying to figure out if we would do the rental field or go to a private field which is more expensive. At first we were not going to do private but after seeing all the people TT was not having it. Mike didn't even want to entertain the idea of participating there so that was sad but since we got a private field it made it that much better for all of us. We had a great time! At one point they were trying to join us up with the rental fields because there were so many people on the fields that they had to expand the fields into our field which was not ok. We finally got it all sorted and they even gave us a little more time on the field so that made up for it for sure. This will definitely continue to be the new year tradition but this place is out...we have to either go back to the other place or find another one. Either way we really look forward to it.
It is funny because Alicia is not really a friend she is more like family so even though she was flying in the same day of our paintball morning we still had a few other things to do before going home so we did our errands first and Alicia got to the house before we arrived. She spent the first 30min trying to convince Lino & Shaun that she knew them and that they spent time with her but they didn't believe her so she had to pull out old photos to show them. I'm not sure if they believed her or not but the evidence was there for sure. Shaun didn't seem to care if she knew us or not he just went up to her and gave her a big hug like he knew her so that made her feel good. That evening Chloe got a little introduction into black hair styling from one of Pierre's daughters. The poor girl was dying because she doesn't do a whole lot with her hair so she is a little sensitive but it was also good because she needs to know what to do with her hair. She was nervous about it at first but after all the tears she was happy with the end result. Christina was a trooper to to stick with it and give her a nice deep conditioning. It's funny because the last time Chloe was in Texas the same thing happened. I do feel a little bad for her but not really because she needs to know how to do her hair. We are a family so whatever needs to be done we do.
On Sunday we were suppose to have an early New Years Eve workout with Uncle Frederick but that turned out to be an afternoon workout. I was looking forward to it but not looking forward to working out in the freezing KS cold!!!! Fredrick has a really sick idea of workout because he made his to old sister go run outside in the 2F weather as part of our warm-up to our workout! It ended up being a good workout but no one liked the way it started out and we even got talked about by the family for going out in the cold...anything for family!
The rest of the day we spent the day getting ready for New Years...shopping for food and drinks and trying to decide what to eat for the evening. Our New Years Eve menu is always way to much food and some sort of NYE drink and this years drink ended up being Long Island Ice Teas. This is an oldie but goodie for us but also a very dangerous drink because it is so strong. We made jello shots the day before so we had those but the kids wanted jello too so we made some for them too. The nice thing about being in the freezing cold of KC is that we always have an outside refrigerator that we can use to keep stuff cool or to freeze things if needed. Oh and poor Pierre was nice enough to brave the weather to get the grill going so that we could have chicken poppers and wings! It was a massive feast of finger foods...enough food for 30 people even though there was only 15 of us planning to be there. The kids were having a great time together which was nice. Chloe fit right in to the mix and it was a happy little family. Lino & Shaun are the only boys and Lino sometimes has problems mixing with a big group because he wants his own way and doesn't really get the importance of sharing and letting other people make decisions about stuff so he was having a little more of a hard time but still enjoying the cousins. Shaun of course was in heaven with all of his cousins and was for the most part getting a long pretty well. The dynamics between the kids is always funny for us...if Lino & Shaun are here with only one of the cousins then they get along fine but if 2 of the cousins are here too (both girls) then the boys are automatically out of the loop. I always try to help them to include each other but I know how that feels to be so excited to see my cousin that the other cousins don't matter. Me & my cousin Jennifer use to be like that every summer we went to Gary to visit GG. We are still like that now and it is only because we have a much bigger family with our own family that stops us from going off into a corner and having our own little party away from everyone else. So I get it and I know there is no way to stop it so I only try to manage it as much as possible. Shaun seems to not mind the slight favoritism that Jaziya and Robin have for either other but Lino doesn't like it AT ALL. There is only so much you can do for poor Lino...he will figure it out eventually. Oh I forgot to say that Lino did get a chance to have his first video call with his friend from Ireland so that made him happy. I think his friend was more excited to talk to him than Lino was because Lino was enthrolled with the TV but he did seem happy that someone was calling to talk to him specifically and it was his friend from school so that was cool. Lino is really hard to read these days so I never know what to think about his actions...I just have to make the best call that I can.
Anyway...New Years Eve in Kansas means Christmas for the Brittons! We usually have a ton of gifts for the kids but this year wasn't too bad...thankfully! The funny thing is that Robert & Frederick were wrapping gifts for their girls at the last minute so the poor kids were dying to open the gifts and we had to keep stalling to make sure they had enough time to get everything wrapped. So finally we got it and the kids had a great Christmas. I'm happy the kids are not to particular about their gifts...they seem to be just happy to be with everyone and to have the few gifts and to play with their cousins...it is a simple thing but so amazing because the innocence of it all goes way to quickly. GG got a bunch of santa hats and had the kids put them on before opening the presents so that made a nice picture! After that it was all about opening the gifts and drinking!!!!!
The rest of the night was drinking and eating. We started out civilized and of course it got crazy...ther is not much to say...pictures speak 1000 words! We had a great New Years...at least the part that I can remember! I guess this is part of the reason I was given the description of "More"! We had a ton of Long Island Ice Tea's, played pictionary, lost then a few rounds of spoons which is always dangerous and then we played one round of Alicia's new game called "Shit Happens" which was way more difficult than it should have been but still a lot of fun... then a lot more drinking...man we love New Years!!!!
The rest of the time in KC was about drinking and hanging out! We went to KC break out place with the Doris Clan plus the significant others at the breakout KC location and we had a blast!!!!!!!! We did the escape room for TT's birthday last year and this year Mike signed us up for the save the world room! What a difference!!! Either way it was a ton of fun! With a bigger group it made such a huge difference. We eventually broke out and only needed 3 clues which for us was pretty good! I think we will be back next hear for sure. This place different from the p;ace that we took TT last year but close enough to the same area that that it made seance. Either way I think we will be back next year for sure since we were able to break our 3 clues and time still remaining on the clock!!!!! It was a true group effort! After breakout we went for dinner and thought that would be the end of the night but it normally isn't when you are dealing with "More" so we ended up at the karaoke bar singing like fools. That was a lot of fun too!! There are some great performers in this family that is for sure and we all love to have a good time so that is great.
Oh did I mention that Frederick's car died on New Years Eve so that meant that Mike and I had to spend several hours looking at cars on-line and at the dealer test driving them to see if they would work for him. This is not how i planned to spend my new years eve but such is the job of a big sister........
So between Wednesday looking at cars, and Thursday's auction, we spend the last 2 days looking at cars for Shredder. It is crazy the amount of cars that are available for his price range. BUT you have to keep in mind the price range which changes everything, so we agreed to help him find a car, but its not so easy because of the price and quality your looking for. We even asked Robert if he was interested in upgrading his car, but, he said he was not interested because his car was good enough for the moment. That makes me so happy to hear that my brother is trying to prepare for the inevitable future. Which leaves us with baby boy who needs everybody's help...poor baby. Anyway, its been a good time in KC the boys have had a blast and we my BFF's sold the car in Ireland so its happy days for all of us. Oh, and poor Pierre has been sick the whole time we have been here the poor boy.
Happy New Years!!!!