So, it's finally time to officially take down the Christmas decor. Mikayla was very displeased with this idea when I mentioned that the tree was tilting, but no matter, it would come down tomorrow. I don't know how long she really thought we'd keep it up. I think it's time for her to stop listening to Dolly Parton's "Hard Candy Christmas" as well (and yes, I know the story behind the song, but thankfully, she doesn't - she just likes it an awful lot and requests it every time we get in the car).
At around 10 am, the Riley side of the family started arriving. Leona, Jeff (beloved sis-in-law Laura had to work=( ), Tom, Mary Beth, Alex, and Andie. We had a casual afternoon with Chili and cornbread and opened lots of presents.
I think what delights me most about these gatherings is how instantly the cousins click with each other. Andie and Mikayla are only months apart in age, and Brayden and Alex are only a grade apart. They have really begun to pair up in their play, which I think is a sweet deal given how much the kids all appreciate their own playmates every now and then. John did an awesome job capturing some of the fun they had with these pictures:
This last picture was a random present I decided to put together for Jeff. I had made Laura some Russian Tea as a "third gift" and wanted to do something equivalent for Jeff. What he talks about loving the most seems to be ice cream, so I thought maybe something to do with that. I couldn't very well wrap up a gallon of ice cream and leave it under the tree, so we decided to make an ice cream treat and then John had a good time with Photo Shop putting this little picture together for him to open up in a gift bag. Their's obviously some "inside jokes" regarding the wording on it, but once again, props for John in his worthy efforts here:
Thanks family for a wonderful afternoon!