Today’s blog post will wrap up our story of the Flat Stanley who came to visit me in Louisville, Kentucky from my great nephew Ben’s house in Glenn Dale, Maryland. If you have not read STAN VIEWS SELF-PUBLISHING UP CLOSE (Part One) or STAN VIEWS SELF-PUBLISHING UP CLOSE (Part Two), you might want to click on the titles above and read those before continuing.
Tuesday, December 23
Nonny says she is “down to the wire.” She has used lots of paper and changed the ink cartridges in her printer over and over!
Nonny’s son Nolan and his family, five in all, have been traveling most of the day to get to Louisville from where they live just outside of Chattanooga. His wife’s name is Laura. And their three boys are Stephen, Jeffrey, and River.
After the Chattanooga family arrived, we all went out to eat at a buffet style restaurant. Wow! There were all kinds of soups, salads, meats, vegetables, fruits, and desserts. I had a hard time making up my mind as to what I wanted to eat. I finally decided on a little tossed lettuce salad, a slice of pepperoni pizza, some green beans, and vanilla yogurt with a chocolate chip cookie for dessert.
When we got home, I played with Jeffrey and River. River had me dancing on the piano keys!
While the boys and I were playing, Nonny made two fruit cobblers for tomorrow’s family get-together: one blackberry and one peach. She told me she uses a recipe which never fails and makes the process easy.
Melted butter goes into a deep rectangular pan. Next Nonny pours in a flour, sugar, baking powder and milk mixture. Then she spoons on a layer of fresh fruit. And last, she sprinkles sugar over the top.
Nonny called me away from playing to see some magic! She let me peep through the oven window as the crust rose from the bottom and covered the fruit with a golden cap! She assured me it will be as tasty as it looks when she serves it tomorrow with either hot blackberry or peach syrup. I can’t wait!
Wednesday, December 24
Nonny got up early to fix a crock pot dressing (or some people call it stuffing) for the family Christmas Eve celebration which was to start when the rest of the family would arrive around 2:00 P.M. Nolan and Laura helped Nonny with the other food preparations.
This included two casseroles—a syrupy sweet potato casserole, and a green bean/mushroom soup casserole with crunchy fried onions inside and on top. There was lots of chopping and arranging of a raw vegetable plate and a colorful fruit plate.
Nonny made cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries which were cooked on the stove with sugar until the berries popped. Her strawberry sorbet was made last week and will be served out of the freezer.
Nonny said Nolan’s sister Neva was going to bring a baked ham. And she said his other sister Eve was bringing a tofurky. Nonny told me that is a vegetarian dish made with tofu.
About noon, Nonny and I hid ourselves away in her home office with the door shut and worked until 2:00 P.M. punching holes in the story copies and illustrations and pulling them together in plastic folders. Nonny said she was glad that I was here to help!
As we were finishing the children’s Christmas surprise, Nolan’s sisters Neva and Eve arrived. Along with Neva was her husband and their little girl Sara. Including me, there were now eleven of us in all.
We ate first before doing anything else. Everything was so delicious I almost ate too much! You know, a Flat Stanley is supposed to be flat! I thought my stomach was pooching out just a bit after I finished eating!
Tonight was great! We did lots of different things.
Everything got finished and Nonny was ready to start the Christmas Eve activities. I took this picture myself!
Several adults read the Christmas story from a large lap-size Holy Bible as we all sat in the living room near a Christmas tree shimmering with lights and decorations. The children waited for their cues to move the little papier mâché figures of Mary, Joseph, Shepherds with their sheep, various Angels, and the Newborn Baby Jesus to the stable in Bethlehem. They pushed them along over the rug at just the right time to match the Scripture readings. I felt right at home since Mary and Joseph aren’t any taller than I am!
Then the Wise Men were scuttled across the carpet as the Scripture reading said they were following a star to Mary and Joseph’s house in Egypt as the Holy Family had left Bethlehem shortly after Jesus was born. They were in Egypt because Joseph had been told in a divine dream to run away with Mary and Jesus since King Herod was going to kill all the Jewish baby boys. Some people were calling Jesus the King of the Jews and Herod felt threatened. The Bible story says they found the Toddler Jesus there, fell down to worship Him and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
After the Christmas story-telling time, Nonny gave Jeffrey, River, and Sara their copies of her rhyming stories with her drawings. And also, each got a “Nonny Bear” or a “Nonny Lamb,” the grandboys a bear and the grandgirl a lamb. They were delighted when they found out they could listen to Nonny’s voice reading her stories and singing her songs with her special Christmas Eve gift.
Then the children put on Santa hats and passed out the other Christmas gifts. I was just as excited as they were with the toys they got. I played race cars, building blocks, grocery store and Barbie House with Jeffrey, River, and Sara.
Meanwhile, Nolan, Neva, Eve and Nonny sang and sang and sang at the piano. With all the music, playing with toys, talking, and laughing it was a loud night. Later I was too tired for the board game that Jeffrey’s older brother Stephen played with Nolan and Nonny.
Thursday, December 25
This morning was the last play time and pack up time for Nolan and his family. They left midday for the other grandparents’ house. They will spend Christmas Day and tomorrow there and then start home on Saturday. Nonny and I stayed in our Christmas PJs all day long!
We’ll finish up my journal tomorrow and then I’ll be heading home. Nonny is going to put me in the U.S. Mail so I can have a flight on an airplane. I’ve never traveled by plane!
I’ve had fun visiting Nonny and learned a lot about writing and self-publishing. If Ben will send me a few more places, I may just put all my journals together and self-publish a book myself—the way Nonny does!
THE END of This Story. But Nonny always has more!