Fannying around

It was the inaugural “Freeze Your Fanny, Scrabble Showdown, and Burns’ Supper Extravaganza” at the Ryan house! Read the original story here on RyanCentric or go the easy route and read the copy of it below … followed by photos from the weekend.

Fannying around with Scrabble and haggis

The new year got off to a rather slow start for me as I spent the first two weeks convalescing after becoming ill over Christmas, but I managed to pack enough fun and excitement into this past weekend to make up for it! Yes, it was the inaugural “Freeze Your Fanny, Scrabble Showdown, and Burns’ Supper Extravaganza” at the Ryan house!

The fun began on Friday night when I got home from work. Mom and Dad had already arrived and made themselves at home, and it wasn’t long before Mom began making chili and cornbread for the evening’s meal. A couple hours later my lovely new friend, Jenna, arrived with her kids Karver and Avalon. At the same time my niece Felicity (Flik) and nephew Haden showed up with their adults, Celeste and John, in tow. Once everyone got settled in and fed, the children did the dishes then found their way to the toys while the grownups found their way to the beer and wine. Later in the evening Dad made the drive to Spokane to pick up The Jeanne at the airport. We all agreed it would be less stressful for everyone if she didn’t have to navigate on her own.

With so many people around the volume in the house rose to levels that Schrodie was unaccustomed to, so it was off to some random hiding place for her. She came out briefly to meet the children who were tempting her with toys and treats, but she soon decided that she wasn’t prepared to deal with the extra attention and returned to hiding. This didn’t excite the kids too much, at least one of whom spent the remainder of the weekend trying to coax her out with trails of treats.

On Saturday, Haden and I woke early to participate in the Freeze Your Fanny 5K in Lewiston, Idaho. It’s a race that Paul and I always enjoyed (mostly because of the name) and Haden was excited to be following in his uncle’s footsteps by participating in his first-ever race. Much like his uncle always did, Haden promised to keep pace with me for the entire race, then didn’t. However, also like his uncle, he was waiting at the finish line to cheer me on when I eventually got there. Haden ran the race in 31.05, a time to be extremely proud of. I ran it in 37.56 which is slow for me but since the last time I ran was nine months earlier, I was just pleased to have finished!

While Haden and I were out freezing our fannies, Dad and Flik met in the living room for a grudge match of Scrabble – a challenge game carried over from Thanksgiving 2008. Once their game was over, and Dad was declared the winner, Celeste began getting lunch ready for the hungry competitors. The kids didn’t seem to have the best appetite, which may be contributed to the fact that I’d left a considerable amount of candies and cookies out for them.

Throughout the afternoon, the house was filled with excitement. We all sat around playing games and visiting, which included a lot of laughter. The kids were all very excited about helping to make the night’s dessert, Cranachan, even though they didn’t know what it was. They were a bit disappointed to have to wait until after dinner to eat it. Of course, they soon got over that once they were handed a bit of cash and sent into town to get ice cream. Thankfully, they stopped off at the park on the way back to burn off some of the sugar rush! Their absence was also appreciated by the adults, and possibly the cat, who were all happy for a bit of peace and quiet.

Finally, it was time for dinner. Because Paul and I both lived in Scotland, and both loved Scotland very much, we found ourselves participating in Burns’ Suppers even after we settled in the states. While my initial suggestion that people join me for a night of haggis and Scotch was a bit tongue-in-cheek, I was delighted when there was a bit of interest in it so decided to go whole hog – or in this case, whole haggis. After saying grace, Flik made an impromptu toast to her Uncle Paul and then we all began to enjoy the feast. Well, I say ‘enjoy’ but don’t know that the haggis or mashed rutabaga (neeps) was too much of a hit, but everyone braved the funny foreign food anyhow. After Dad gave a toast to the lassies, and Celeste gave a reply, Flik recited a poem. It was a dinner that would have made Paul proud.

After the dinner dishes were done (thanks to John and Celeste) we sat around a visited a bit more. And after repeated requests for dessert, the Cranachan was finally served. The kids’ hard work earlier was a success! We then spent the evening laughing and talking once again while the kids played more games and continued their attempts at luring Schrodie out of hiding.

Sunday morning everyone got up and had a nice relaxing breakfast (courtesy of Celeste) and we sat around visiting once again before it was time to load the cars up so that everyone could make the four-hour drive back to Cle Elum, leaving Jeanne and me behind to visit for a while longer before she needed to get to the airport for her flight back to Arizona. It was a fun weekend full of great company and I am really pleased that so many people came out to celebrate with me. If I’m very still, I can still hear the laughter echoing through the house…

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