Chapter 7 ~ Holiday Fun

It was Saturday morning; the day after Annie told everyone about the trip to Michigan. Annie just finished what was left of their morning routine when she left the room, carrying a laundry basket of dirty clothes, on her way to the washing machine. She was almost on the last step coming down the stairs, when she saw Abby sitting at the Island pouring some milk into a strainer that had another bowl under it.

"Honey, what are you doing?" Annie asked as she walked over to Abby.

"I found a new way to make it so my cereal doesn't get soggy." Abby explained as she scraped the wet cereal out of the strainer and into another empty bowl. "And then if I want more, I'll use the same milk I used the first time."

"Okay, Sweetheart." Annie smiled as she hugged Abby and kissed her on the head.

Abby started giggling and laughing as she picked up her spoon and took a bite of her wet, crunchy cereal, while Annie took the dirty clothes to the laundry room.

"How did you know where to find the strainer and how to use it?" Annie asked as she walked back in the kitchen a few minutes later.

Abby was confused. "What is a strainer?"

"It's the one you scraped your wet cereal out of, Honey." Annie said pointing to the strainer.

"Oh, it's the bowl that has all the holes in it! Uncle Eric got it out for me. I saw Grandma use it when she didn't want the green bean juice when she helped you make our food." Abby giggled.

Annie giggled along with Abby as she put some bread in the toaster. "Do you want some toast, Sweetie?"

Abby smiled. "YEAH! I want lots of strawberry jam!"

"Okay, Sweetheart." Annie replied as she took out another slice of bread and put it in the toaster.

"Will you please, watch Sesame Street with me when it comes on?" Abby asked.

"I think Grandpa and Grandma are outside watching your cousins play. Do you want to go outside and play instead?" Annie suggested.

"Can we please do that after Sesame Street? I really want you to watch it with me." Abby smiled as she begged Annie.

"Okay, Honey." Annie replied as she opened the butter and then the strawberry jam. "But after that we're going outside, okay?"

Abby smiled. "Okay!"

After Annie finished making their breakfast, she sat down next to Abby and started eating as Lucy walked in from outside. "Mommy, where's Daddy?"

"He's doing church stuff in his office, Honey. Can I help?" Annie replied before taking a bite of her toast.

"Mary wanted me to ask him if he would fill up the pool so we can swim." Lucy explained.

"I guess I could put the hose in, but you'll have to be patient while it fills up and you can't swim unless there's a grown up out there." Annie said.

"Grandpa and Grandma are outside watching us play." Lucy said as Eric walked in. "They're watching Matt, Jeff and Simon, too."

"I'll put the hose in before I leave." Eric said before he kissed Annie. "I'm just going to visit a few people at the hospital, I'll be back soon."

"Could you please pick up some hamburger, steak and extra hot dogs on your way home?" Annie asked.

Abby smiled. "Don't forget the Doritos!"

"No problem, but why do we need extra hot dogs?" Eric asked.

"Abby doesn't like steak." Annie said as she started to make a list for Eric.

"Okay." Eric said as he started to walk out the door with Lucy following behind him. "I'll be back to pick up the list as soon as I put the hose in the pool."

"Is Uncle Eric going to buy all of our food for us?" Abby asked as soon as the door was closed again.

"No, Honey, he's just picking up a few things so we can have food on the grill this weekend." Annie replied as she put her dirty dishes in the sink and started to rinse them.

"OOPS, I forgot my car keys." Eric said when he came back in the house. Eric took his keys, the list, kissed Annie and then left.

"Sesame Street will be on in a few minutes, Honey." Annie said as she took Abby's empty cereal bowl to the sink and rinsed it.

"Okay!" Abby smiled, before putting the last bite of toast in her mouth.

After Annie put all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, she followed Abby as she skipped into the living room. When Sesame Street came on, Abby danced to the opening music and then sat down beside Annie after it went on, to another part. When it was over, they went outside where Charles, Jenny, Matt, Jeff, Mary, Lucy and Simon were.

"Auntie Annie, will you please push me on the swing?" Abby asked as they walked over to where Charles and Jenny were.

"Yes, I will, Sweet Baby." Annie replied as she followed Abby to the swing set. "After that, I'm going to sit down with Grandpa and Grandma, okay?"

"Okay." Abby smiled as she sat down on one of the swings. Annie pushed Abby on the swings for awhile with her giggling almost the whole time. When they were done, Abby followed Annie over to where her Grandpa and Grandma were sitting.

"Don't you want to play with your cousins, Honey?" Annie asked as she sat down.

Abby smiled. "No, I want to stay here with you."

"Okay, Sweetheart." Annie said as she helped Abby up onto her lap.

Abby smiled. "Auntie Annie watched Sesame Street with me this morning!"

"Did you have fun?" Jenny asked.

Abby giggled. "We didn't do anything, but sit there and watch TV!"

Annie smiled as she hugged Abby and then kissed her on the head. "You can still sit here, Sweetie, but I want to talk with Grandpa and Grandma, okay?"

Abby smiled back. "Okay."

"Have the children been good for you this morning?" Annie asked.

"I played in the sandbox with Simon for awhile." Charles replied.

Jenny smiled. "Mary played basketball with Matt and Jeff for awhile and when she was done, I pushed her and Lucy on the swings."

"I hope they don't hit us with the ball." Abby said as she looked over at Matt and Jeff, who were still playing.

"I'll make sure they're careful, Sweetie." Annie said as she hugged Abby. She looked at her Mom and Dad. "Thanks for watching the children this morning ~ it sounds like everyone had fun."

Annie, Charles and Jenny continued to talk and watch the children play, until Eric came home with the food.

"Auntie Annie, I'm getting hungry, again. What are we having?" Abby asked.

Annie smiled. "There's some left over macaroni and cheese."

"Okay." Abby said. "Can I please have a hot dog, too? I really like that meal."

"Sure, you can, Sweetheart." Annie said as she hugged Abby and kissed her on the head before helping her off her lap. She got up and went into the house, with Abby following behind her. After she boiled her a couple hot dogs and warmed up the macaroni and cheese, she poured some Seven Up into Abby's favorite Care Bears cup.

"Auntie Annie, look what I invented!" Abby giggled as she mixed Miracle Whip with ketchup and mustard. "It's for my hot dogs."

Annie smiled as she poured herself some Seven Up.

"Eeww." Matt said as he and Jeff walked past Abby. "Mom, is it time to eat yet?"

"No, Honey, your Dad is cooking the rest of our food on the grill." Annie replied, as she rinsed the pan she used to boil the hot dogs.

"I don't like my hot dogs black, so Auntie Annie boiled them for me." Abby said before taking another bite of her macaroni and cheese.

"Mom, we're hot and thirsty from playing basketball ~ do you have anything cold to drink?" Matt asked.

"There's some punch and kool~aid in the refrigerator." Annie said as she took two glasses from the cupboard and handed them to Matt. Matt poured some punch for him and Jeff, while Annie started to make a big bowl of potato salad.

A few minutes after Matt and Jeff went back outside, Jenny walked in. "Matt told me you were making potato salad. Do you need a hand?"

"Oh, thanks, that would be great." Annie smiled as she filled up another pan to boil some eggs. "This smaller bowl will be for the one without onions, for Abby."

"Okay." Jenny replied. "I'll cut the onions over here so they'll be away from Abby."

"I can still smell them." Abby smiled mischievously as she plugged her nose.

Annie and Jenny continued to make the potato salad and other foods for everyone to eat over the weekend, while Abby ate her hot dogs and macaroni and cheese.

After everyone had lunch and the kitchen was cleaned up, Annie and Jenny took the baskets of clean clothes to the living room so they could be folded and put away.

"This is fun!" Abby giggled as she stood in the middle of the living room, spinning around in circles.

"Abby, Sweetie, I don't want you to get dizzy or hurt. Why don't you play Nintendo and Grandma and I will watch you while we fold clothes." Annie suggested.

Abby smiled. "Do you want Super Mario One or Super Mario Three? I don't have number two."

Before Annie or Jenny had a chance to answer, Lucy walked in the room. "Mary is playing basketball with Matt and Jeff, Grandpa is with Simon and the pool isn't ready to swim in yet, so I don't have anything to do."

"Do you want to play Super Mario?" Abby asked.

"I don't know how to play." Lucy replied as she sat down on the couch, next to Jenny.

"Okay. Watch me." Abby smiled as she put Super Mario Three in the Nintendo. "Auntie Annie, I forgot to tell you that I made it past world one!"

"Great job, Sweetheart!" Annie said as she picked up another pair of socks to fold. "I knew you could do it!"

Abby smiled as she walked over to Annie and hugged her, before turning on her game. She played, while Annie and Jenny continued to fold clean clothes as they ~ and Lucy ~ watched her.

When it was time for Sesame Street, Abby turned off the game and watched it with Simon and Lucy, while Annie and Jenny went in the kitchen to start dinner. After Sesame Street, Abby stayed in the living room with Lucy and Simon, to watch Full House. When it was over, she left the room, giggling. "Auntie Annie, Lucy got me to watch this show, called Full House with her and one of the girls on there said something really funny!"

Annie smiled as she continued making dinner. "What did she say?"

"She said, how, rude!" Abby continued to giggle and repeat the funny expression until Annie walked over and hugged her. "Sweetie, Uncle Eric is trying to work on his sermon, okay?"

"It's okay." Eric said as he picked up his things. "I'll work on it in my office."

"What is a sermon?" Abby asked.

"A sermon, is when Uncle Eric tells everyone about God." Annie replied.

Abby was a little confused. "Where? When?"

"It's when he stands up in front of everyone at church and talks for a really long time." Annie explained.

Abby smiled. "Oh, okay! What are we having to eat?"

"One of your favorite meals ~ salmon and sweet potatoes." Annie replied.

Abby smiled. "I love eating at your house."

"Awe, we love having you here, too, Sweetheart." Annie said as she hugged Abby and kissed her on the head.

After everyone had dinner and the kitchen was cleaned up, Eric finished his sermon while Charles and Jenny helped Annie give each child a bath or shower so they would be ready for church the next morning.

Abby shivered as she stepped out of the shower. "I'm c~c~c~cold, Auntie Annie."

"Here, Sweet Baby." Annie said as she wrapped a towel around Abby. "We can't take too much time in here, because Mary and Lucy need to go next and then Matt, okay?"

"O~o~okay." Abby said as she continued to shiver.

After Abby was dried off and had her pajamas on, she went into her room and sat down on her air mattress bed. "Is Grandma helping Mary and Lucy with their shower?" She asked.

Annie smiled as she combed Abby's wet, strawberry blonde, curly hair. "Yes, she is, Sweetheart. Grandpa and Grandma are helping me with you and your cousins so all of you will be ready for church in the morning."

"Oh." Abby said. "Where is Uncle Eric?"

"He's downstairs, finishing his sermon." Annie replied.

"WHOA, he's going to talk for a long time!" Abby said as she looked over at her sundresses, trying to decide which one she wanted to wear to church.

"No, he doesn't talk for a long time, Honey." Annie said as she continued to comb Abby's wet hair. "Sometimes it just takes him longer to write the sermon than it does when he talks on Sunday morning."

Abby still had some questions about sermons, before she would completely understand everything about them, but since she gets confused easily, she decided she would ask questions later, when she could understand it better. "I hope my hair dries before I go to bed."

"You still have a couple hours before you usually go to sleep, so it should be dry by then. I know you don't like the noise from the hair dryer." Annie said as she hugged Abby and then kissed her on the head. "Your hair smells so good, Sweetheart."

After everyone had their bath or shower, Annie played Nintendo with Abby for a few minutes before they went into the kitchen to have some butterscotch pudding.

Abby smiled as she peeled back the cover on her Snack Pack pudding container. "My Daddy buys this for my school lunch."

Annie smiled as she hugged Abby. "I know, he does, Honey."

After they finished their pudding and everyone was ready for bed, Annie joined Abby in the room they were sharing.

Abby smiled as Annie kissed her on the head. "I love you, Auntie Annie."

"I love you, too, Sweet Baby." Annie said as she hugged Abby.

"Auntie Annie? Will you please sing me a song before I go to sleep?" Abby asked. "I really like hearing you sing."

Annie sang, and when she was finished, she noticed that Abby was asleep. She gave her one more kiss on the head and then tucked in the sheets and blankets around her, before going to sleep.

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"I want to sit by you." Abby told Annie as they walked up the isle in the church, the next morning.

Annie smiled as she sat down next to Jenny. "Okay, Honey. You can sit on my lap."

After everyone was seated and quiet, Eric started to read the morning announcements and then continued to follow the agenda on the weekly bulletin.

After church was over, Abby followed Annie down stairs. "Is this where they have Sunday school?"

Annie smiled as they walked in the room with the snacks and drinks. "Yes, it is, Sweetie."

Abby noticed the food, right away. "Auntie Annie, they have doughnuts down here!"

"You can have some, Honey." Annie said as she led Abby over to the table. "You can take any of the snacks you want."

"Can I have more than one thing?" Abby asked.

"Yes, you can, Sweetheart." Annie replied as she took a plate and handed it to Abby.

Abby smiled as she took a plastic cup from the stack. "There's some green HI~C Punch! I love this!"

"Would you like me to help you pour it, Honey?" Annie asked as she picked up the large can from the table.

"Yeah." Abby said as she started putting some snacks on her plate.

After Annie and Abby had their snacks and drinks, they sat down next to Charles and Jenny.

"There's Uncle Eric with Matt and his friend." Abby said as she picked up her doughnut.

"When we have Sunday school, there's a class for your age group if you want to go or you can stay with me when I teach the Kindergarten class. Do you want to go with your age group or stay with me?"

Abby smiled. "I want to stay with you."

"Okay, Sweetheart." Annie said as she continued eating what was on her plate.

When it was time for Sunday school, Abby and Lucy followed Annie into the room where she would be teaching.

"Is Abby going to be in our class?" Lucy asked as she sat down.

Abby looked at Annie. "Am I in your class or your helper?"

"Do you want to listen to a story and color pictures?" Annie asked as she passed out some papers.

Abby smiled. "Yeah!"

Annie handed Abby the same papers, she passed out to the other children and then started reading the story.

When she finished the story, she passed out some more papers for the children to color.

Abby colored until all the other children went home and then smiled as she took her picture over to Annie. "Look what I colored for you."

Annie smiled back, as she gathered everything together so they could leave. "Wow! That is really special. Thank you, Sweetheart!"

Abby hugged Annie, before she and Lucy followed her back upstairs and outside to the car. "What fun stuff are we going to do, today?"

"We're having some friends over to have lunch with us, Honey." Annie said as she helped Abby into the car.

"Oh" Abby said as she sat down and made herself comfortable.

A few minutes after they were home, the doorbell rang.

"I think your friends are early." Abby said as she watched Eric leave the room to answer the door.

"I know, Sweetie, Uncle Eric is answering the door." Annie said as she put some Tator~Tots in the oven.

"No, I mean they're early, because you don't have lunch ready." Abby said.

Annie smiled. "Oh, it's okay, Honey."

"Don't forget my cheese." Abby reminded Annie as she watched her set a big plate of hamburger patties on the counter for Eric to take out to the grill.

"I won't, Sweetie." Annie said, as she was about to walk over to the refrigerator when she saw Patricia Hamilton. "Oh, hi Patricia!"

"Hi, Annie!" Patricia replied.

Abby watched Annie and Patricia give each other a hug, as three children walked in, with their Dad and Uncle Eric behind them.

"Do you remember my niece, Abby?" Annie asked everyone.

John, and Keisha stood there, trying to think, not sure if they remembered her or not.

Patricia smiled. "I do. Hi, Abby!"

"Hi, Abby." Morgan said.

Abby looked at Annie, confused because she didn't remember them.

Annie walked over to Abby. "Honey, do you remember my friends Patricia and Morgan?"

"No." Abby said, only quiet enough for Annie to hear her.

"It's okay, Sweetheart." Annie said as she hugged Abby. She looked over at Morgan and Patricia as they sat down. "She doesn't remember faces very well."

As soon as Charles and Jenny walked in the front door, John, Keisha and Nigel ran off to find Matt, Mary, Lucy and Simon, while Morgan helped Eric with the burgers on the grill and Patricia stayed in the kitchen with Annie and Abby.

"Grandpa and Grandma are back!" Abby announced.

"Sorry, we're late." Charles said.

"Uncle Eric is outside with one of his friends and they're making our food on the grill." Abby told Charles and Jenny.

Charles went outside to help Eric and Morgan, while Jenny stayed inside and helped Annie and Patricia.

"Auntie Annie, your food smells good." Abby said. "I'm getting hungry, again."

"It will be ready soon." Annie said as she walked over to Abby and put some Tator~Tots into a bowl. "Here, Sweetie, you can have some of these until the rest of the food is done."

Abby smiled. "Thank you, Auntie Annie."

After the food was ready, everyone sat down at the picnic tables to eat. When everyone was finished, all the children played together for the rest of the day, while Abby sat with Annie and the rest of the grownups. After awhile, she went in the living room and played Nintendo until she saw Annie walk in the room. "Auntie Annie, will you please play Nintendo with me?"

Annie smiled as she sat down on the couch, next to Abby. "Actually, Uncle Eric and Morgan went to buy some ice cream and I asked them to get some Mint Chocolate Chip, for you."

Abby smiled as she put her game on pause. "Okay! Is everyone else, eating Mint Chocolate Chip, too?"

"No, Honey, they're buying Vanilla and Strawberry Swirl, too." Annie replied.

"Oh." Abby said as she hugged Annie.

Annie smiled as she picked Abby up, and hugged her while carrying her upstairs. "Why don't we get our pajamas on, while we wait for Uncle Eric and Morgan."

"Okay." Abby giggled as Annie walked in their room and sat her down on her air mattress bed. "Where are my cousins?"

"They're outside with Grandpa, Grandma and Patricia." Annie replied as she helped Abby pick out her pajamas.

"Oh. Are they going to have ice cream, too?" Abby asked.

"Yes, they are, Sweetheart." Annie said as she pulled some clean pajamas out of Abby's bag.

After Annie finished helping Abby with her pajamas, they went downstairs to the kitchen, where Eric and Morgan were scooping ice cream for everyone.

"I want Mint Chocolate Chip!" Abby announced as she skipped down the stairs.

"He knows, Sweetie." Annie said as she followed Abby over to the Island.

"Auntie Annie, look what I'm making." Abby giggled as she stirred her ice cream until it was like thick soup.

Annie smiled. "Oh, you turned it into a milk shake, Honey."

"A milk shake in a bowl?" Abby continued to giggle, as she was about to take a bite. "I'm calling it Mint Chocolate Chip, soup!"

"You're a silly, girl." Annie smiled as she hugged Abby and then kissed her on the head.

After everyone finished their ice cream, they went into the living room and watched a funny movie that Eric rented.

When the movie was over and the Hamilton's went home, Abby raced Annie up the stairs and rolled around on her air mattress bed as she continued to giggle.

"Time for bed, Sweetie." Annie said as she sat down next to Abby and hugged her.

After Abby brushed her teeth and everything, Annie tucked her in, before leaving the room to get herself and her children ready for bed.

Abby smiled, as Annie was about to walk out of the room. "Goodnight. I love you, Auntie Annie."

"I love you, too, Sweet Baby." Annie said as she turned around. "I'll be back as soon as I get ready for bed and help your cousins."

"Okay." Abby replied as she turned on her side and went to sleep.

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The next morning, Annie held her hands over Abby's ears as the fire trucks went by at the Memorial Day parade.

"You should stand over by the road with us, so you can get candy when the people in the parade start throwing it." Lucy said as she ran over to where Annie and Abby were sitting.

"She might join you after all of the loud trucks are gone, Sweetie." Annie said as she continued to hold her hands over Abby's ears.

"Yeah, they're too loud and the noise hurts my ears." Abby said.

"Okay." Lucy said as she walked back over to where Matt, Mary and Simon were standing.

As the parade continued, Abby collected a lot of candy and Bazooka bubble gum. "Auntie Annie, look what I got." She said as she held out another small handful of candy.

Annie smiled as she opened the sandwich bag for Abby to add another handful of candy. "Wow, Sweetheart! You're getting a lot of candy, today."

When the parade was over, they started to walk over to the carnival, when they saw Mrs. Bink and Mrs. Hinkle sitting at some picnic tables, having some lunch.

"Hi, Abby, it's nice to see you, again." Mrs. Bink said as she watched everyone walk by.

Abby looked at Annie. "Was she talking to me, or someone else whose name is Abby?"

"Yes, Honey, they were talking to you." Annie said as she led Abby over to their table. "They go to our church and they remember seeing you yesterday."

"Look what I got at the parade!" Abby announced as she held up her bag of candy for everyone to see.

"I got some, too." Simon said as he held up his bag.

Lucy smiled as she held up her bag. "So, did I."

"Don't eat too much candy, or you'll get cavities." Mrs. Hinkle said as Mrs. Beeker walked over to the table and sat down, next to her.

Abby smiled. "I have a Care Bears, toothbrush, but it's at Auntie Annie's house because that's where I'm staying right now."

"That must be fun." Mrs. Beeker said as she opened her lunch.

"Yeah. Later, we're going to Michigan." Abby told them.

Annie smiled as she took Abby's hand. "We better get going, Sweetie, if you want to ride on the tilt~a~whirl again. Today is the last day for the rides."

"Okay." Abby said, before waving to everyone at the table. "See you later!"

Everyone waved at Annie and Abby, as they followed Eric, Charles, Jenny, Matt, Jeff, Mary, Lucy and Simon to the carnival.

After everyone was done riding on the carnival rides, they left to go back home.

"I'm hungry." Abby said as she stepped into Annie's car. "Can, I please have McDonalds, again?"

"Okay, Sweetheart." Annie said as she started the car. "Since we're making steak on the grill and I know you don't like steak, I'll get you some chicken nuggets."

Abby smiled. "Okay! Can I, please have some French Fries, too?"

"Yes, you can, Honey ~ unless you want some left over Tator~Tots." Annie suggested as she followed Eric, Charles and Jenny out of the parking lot.

"Yeah!" Abby said as she continued to smile.

After they went to the drive~thru and left McDonalds, Annie turned the radio on so Abby could listen to her favorite music.

When they got home, Annie took a paper plate out of the cupboard for Abby to put her chicken nuggets on and then warmed up the Tator~Tots for her.

Abby smiled as she picked up another chicken nugget. "Thank you, Auntie Annie. Can, I please have some Rootbeer?"

"Yes, you can, Sweetheart." Annie said as she put the steak on the counter to get it ready for the grill.

After Annie poured some Root Beer for Abby, Jenny walked in from outside. "Wasn't that a wonderful parade?"

"Yeah ~ I didn't like all the loud trucks, though." Abby said as she continued to eat. "Are you going to help Auntie Annie make the food?"

"If she wants me to." Jenny replied.

Annie and Jenny made the dinner, as Abby continued to eat. When it was ready the Hamilton's came over again and everyone ate outside on the picnic tables.

"Is she eating, again?" Matt asked as he looked over at Abby's plate filled with potato salad, macaroni salad and strawberry Jell~O.

Abby giggled as she sat on Annie's lap. "I'm really hungry, today."

"Oh." Matt said as he picked up his dirty paper plate and took it in the house to throw in the trash.

When everyone was done eating, Mary, Lucy and Keisha went upstairs to play with Barbie Dolls, while Matt, Jeff, John, Simon and Nigel stayed outside with Eric, Morgan and Charles.

"Auntie Annie, will you please watch Sesame Street with me, again?" Abby asked as she followed Annie and Jenny into the house.

"Not right now, Sweetie." Annie said as she hugged Abby. "Grandma and I are going to clean up the kitchen. But I'll tell you what. After we're finished, I promise I'll play some Nintendo with you."

"Okay." Abby said as she hugged Annie before leaving the room.

After Sesame Street and a few games of Super Mario, everyone had some ice cream, before the Hamilton's left to go back home.

"Where is Uncle Eric going, with Matt and his friend?" Abby asked as she watched them walk out the door.

"They're taking Jeff to his house." Annie replied as she watched Abby play another level on her game. "He and Matt have to go to school tomorrow."

"Oh." Abby said. "I'm glad I don't have to go to school anymore. I'm also happy that I don't have to see the other children who live on my road ~ they're really mean to me."

"I know, Baby Girl." Annie said as she pulled Abby onto her lap and then hugged her while kissing her on the head.

Annie continued to hold Abby, until Mary came in the room. "Mom, Dad just got home and he wants to see you in his office."

"Okay." Annie replied, as she helped Abby off her lap. "I'll be right back, Honey."

"Okay." Abby said as she continued her Nintendo game.

"What are you doing?" Matt asked as he walked in the room.

Abby smiled. "I'm playing Super Mario."

"Can we play?" Matt asked.

"Okay, but first let me finish my game." Abby replied. She continued to play, until she felt someone tickling her, but when she looked over at Matt and Mary they weren't doing anything.

A few minutes later, she heard giggling as she felt someone tickle her, again.

"What?" Mary asked as she pulled her hand back.

"Are you tickling me?" Abby asked as she put her game on pause, again.

Mary smiled as she started to tickle Abby under her arms. "Maybe."

"Please don't do that. I'm trying to play Nintendo." Abby said as Mary continued to tickle her. "Stop it."

Matt laughed as he pinned her down while Mary continued to tickle her.

"AUNTIE ANNIE! PLEASE, TELL MY COUSINS TO STOP TICKLING ME!" Abby yelled. "AAAHHH! Ow, that hurts! Stop it!"

"What is going on?" Annie asked as she ran in the room.

"We're just tickling her." Matt said.

"Please tell my cousins to stop tickling me." Abby repeated.

"Matt, Mary ~ please get off your cousin. You can't tickle her too hard like that ~ you have to be gentle or you might hurt her or make her scared." Annie said, as Eric, Charles, Jenny, Lucy and Simon walked in the room to see what was going on.

"Yeah, that hurt." Abby said as she sat up, shaky, out of breath with tears in her eyes.

Lucy looked at Charles and Jenny. "Sometimes, they do that to me, too."

"We weren't trying to hurt her." Mary said.

"I know." Annie said as she picked Abby up and hugged her. "It's almost time to start getting ready for bed. A few of you have to go to school tomorrow. Let's all go upstairs and start getting ready."

After everyone was ready for bed and tucked in, Annie sang Abby another song. When she was done, she was about to turn off the light, when she heard the phone ring. "I'll be right back, Sweetie." She said as she left the room.

A few minutes later, she came back, with the phone. "It's your Daddy, Honey. He wants to talk with you."

"Okay." Abby said as she took the phone and started talking. "The day after I got here, Auntie Annie bought me some sundresses and then she took me to see a movie. Then the next day, she took me to the carnival and rode some of the rides with me. She bought me some pudding like the kind you buy me for my lunch and then today, I got lots of candy from the parade. Earlier today, Matt and Mary started tickling me, but I didn't like that ~ Auntie Annie told them to stop. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot ~ Auntie Annie watched Sesame Street with me, too!" Abby smiled as she continued telling her Dad about the last five days.

When they were done talking, Annie took the phone and put it back on the hook, before turning off the light.

"Goodnight, Auntie Annie. I love you." Abby said as she turned over on her side, facing Annie.

"I love you, too, Sweet Baby." Annie said as she kissed Abby on the head, before going to sleep.

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Chapter 8

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