By about noon on Christmas Day, both the Schillings and the Rileys were able to join our parents for the celebration there. First up on the schedule, was Christmas dinner. We put the girls to work (it's about time!) assembling the fruit skewers.
I worked on the gravy - we tried a new recipe in attempts to replicate the taste of KFC. =)
I believe Mom was working on the broccoli here.
And, Michele, well, she's always in charge of the mashed potatoes and in this picture, was expertly handling the biscuits.
Following the meal (in which we did an encore performance of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" with each person taking a part), we assembled for the family portrait. John had to use the wide-angle lens, so the folks on the ends look a little distorted.
FINALLY, (as far as the kids were concerned), we changed back into comfy clothes, disbursed the presents, and began opening. I love this expression of Nati with her new robe.
Despite the smirk, Traig was quite pleased with both his Beaver hat and the Duck Hunter game. I'm pleased I can take credit for both.
Dad's grinning about some sort of new tool.....
Mikayla found herself in her own little present-fort - a perfect place to sneak a cookie or two.
In case you remember from year's past, everyone takes the same exact places when we open presents. This is John's.......and every year, it is the pride of Michael and John to find a way to hide one present so that they always open last.
Seated next to John was Brayden, evidently pleased with this present.
Mikayla's helping me model two of my favorite presents. Have I mentioned lately that the Ducks are Rose Bowl bound?
Can't say the same for the Beavers. Their performance in Las Vegas was very deja vu-like of our performance in Boise. (Minus the Blount incident, of course).
Not to be left out, Ellie, was quite pleased with her Chixos.
The game John is holding in his hands has been, by far, the biggest hit in terms of Christmas toys. It's been the source of a lot of smack talk and a lot of woops, hollers, and oh-crud's. Basically, it's an off course racing game, playable for up to 4 players per unit, but even as I type this, an effort is being made to sync the Schillings new PS3 unit with ours. I really stunk at this game in the beginning, making it clear to everyone that I have dibs on 12th place (out of 12 racers in the game). However, just now, while playing against John, I won! I don't think I'll ever take Traig though, and boy does he let me and everyone else know that.....(though John is capable of taking him down a notch when necessary).
And, finally, the source of the title of this post. I was most excited for Christmas morning for just this reason. Around October, the group of us were able to put together a book for Mom and Dad filled with pictures and captions that encapsulate who each of the five grandkids are this year (along with a little interview we did with each of them). We titled it "Bragging Rights" and it also included a couple of sweet quotes and a little dedication.
Mom and Dad did not disappoint - and how thankful I am that John was able to capture the moments with his camera. I'm not sure if Mom will be so appreciative of the one where she's holding back tears, but then again, if John had aimed the camera at me at that moment, you would have seen the same expression.
Following all of the gift opening, comes the annual, "let's do a fashion show and try all this stuff on". John got Michele and I matching sweatshirts - those are keepers. =)
At the top of Brayden's Christmas request list was an acoustic guitar. John is hoping that Brayden and himself can take lessons from our buddy, Dave (as in Dave the Wave....).
And, speaking of instruments, how sweet it was to have Mom sit down and play the piano with Mikayla. Nati was also enjoying the experience.
The final picture taken of the day was of Traig and Mikayla doing a duet of "Jingle Bells" with their respective instruments that they both began this year. Traig is doing an exceptional job in band with his alto saxophone.
I know it sounds rather cliche, but truly, it was one of my favorite Christmases. And, I felt like, thanks to a tremendous start to the day, I was able to absorb every moment......