Thursday, December 25, 2008

Celebrating with the Rest of the Family

Around 11, we headed out to my mom and dad's house. Unfortunately, due to a flat tire, Michael and Michele were delayed another hour, but we were still good to go for dinner at 1pm. Just to keep the family on their toes, we added a little entertainment to the menu - having each of the eleven family member's taking on one of the verses of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (We all sang "Partridge in a Pear Tree"). I'm hoping the video worked out on that, it was a lot of fun.

Dinner was HUGE this year as we tried hard to incorporate every one's favorite menu items. We had tri-tip, ham with cherry sauce, corn on the cob, pretzel salad, sweet potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, and on and on and on. If we had put the "leftovers" back on to the table after we were finished, with the exception of the steak and corn, we'd have enough to re-feed everyone all over again....

At Grandpa and Grandma's house, we've wisely established the routine of opening presents after dinner. (It's kind of silly, we go from morning pj's at our house, slightly dress up for dinner, and then return to our pj's after dinner). We torture the children by making them wait for us to do dishes and get what needs to be organized before we allow them to distribute gifts. As crazy as it sounds, we actually have a little map to show us where everyone and their presents can sit and fit in the living room - if it all sounds a little orchestrated, it is. The guys try their hardest to mess with us about this, but in reality, it's a very fun thing.

Can you belive this woman will be turning 61 this year? It wasn't easy growing up with such a beautiful mom.......guys I dated would say things like, "That's your mom? - Wow, she's pretty...."

I like this picture of Nati - particularly with Mackie smiling in the background!

Michael and Michele got Brayden a "cool" bicycle helmet, he then felt the need to wear it. Apparently he was worried that the flying wrapping paper balls might hit him....

I wish there was sound that went with this, and that way you could hear Ellie proclaim, "It's WALLLLLLLL-EEEEEE"

Appropriate slippers....

This was a gift I put together for Dad that had pictures of us hitting Martins' Rapids on our rafting trip back in August. I love that he loved it.

Brayden most wanted a Jonathon Stewart NFL jersey for Christmas. Unfortunately, he didn't tell us this until late in the season, but somehow Santa came through. He was clearly delighted.

And finally, this was the most poignant of gifts. John spent a lot of time putting together a DVD of the pictures he had taken of Dad's most recent house project. It was very special and touched Dad tremendously.

However, this little present did end up stealing the show.....

One of my favorite moments of the day that did not get photographed was playing Dance Factory with my mom. It's a game that she received from my dad, along with the PS2 required to use it - that I took care of the "behind the scenes details" for him. This is a game that runs like "Dance Dance Revolution" but the great thing about it is that it allows you to load your own music and then it will create dance steps for you to follow, and even three different difficulty levels to work on. It's harder than you think to find good dance music with a great beat to jump to, but we had a blast working with the songs I'd previously downloaded on it. Mom and I danced side by side, trying to figure it out, checking out each track. By the time I was done, between the sweat pouring off of me, and yes, that little incontinence issue that comes from delivering two children...., man, I was ready for a shower!

We left around 7, so we could finish the packing preparations for Sunriver and be ready to leave by 10am the next day. Since I posted that "Sky is Falling" post, my attitude improved tremendously and evened out a lot - and in part to that, learning from past "lack of organization" mistakes, and embracing the moments, it truly was a SPECTACULAR Christmas. I do believe, John and I's favorite. Praise God.

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