fighting with one another organizing clean-up and packing for Mom and Dad's (just keeping it real!) - we did our annual Dutch Bro's stop on the way to Mom and Dad's. By the time we reached their house, we were all in good spirits again and ready to embark on Round Two of Christmas. The Schillings arrived about a half hour after we arrived, and soon enough us girls were all gathered in the kitchen. Michele and I were busy helping Mom with the meal while the girls had a fully set-up cart to take orders and fill them for drinks for the table.
I asked John and Michael to pose for a picture and instead they both reached for the others' - uh, "package" (and I don't mean Christmas gift) - and then laughed and high-fived that they were both on the same page of obnoxiousness. (TMI? If so, sorry....that's our family....it may even get worse in this post....)
I'm not sure what this is about...he was getting his groove on, that's for sure.
John did a great job setting up the camera so we could snap one right as we all sat down. A little bit of a tense time to take a shot when we want all the food hot upon being served...but, we pulled off the pic in record speed, and looking back, we all feel it was very much worth it.
Seriously, this family is figuring this group pic thing out! Two shots and we were done!
The dinner was DELICIOUS - not sure if that was ever communicated to the extent it should have been. Instead, we were too busy somewhat laughing, somewhat being mortified at our kids' choice of conversation - it was definitely not a "Hallmark movie" reflection on all-that's-been-good-in-our-lives meal! Towards the end, we entered in to our traditional "Twelve Days of Christmas" rendition. I actually think our singing has gotten better - however, it was Sydney and Mackie that derailed us this time. Halfway through the song, Sydney has stolen half of the sweet potatoes from the bowl set aside behind Mom on a back table and then Mackie decided to physically profess his adoration of our dog as he circled the table with her. (Definitely, the TMI moment revealed here). John opted to change his lyrics of the song to sum up what we were all viewing and none of us could keep a straight face or keep from busting up. Nice.... We are such a classy family. ;) (And next year, I think Sydney will spend the time during the meal back in our vehicle).
Remember that "Minute to Win It" game we played early on in the month? These were the pj's for us girls....very appropriately showing a PRAY FOR SNOW on the shirt. We've done a lot of that, for sure! (And, as I'm writing in hindsight, I can tell you God absolutely said "YES" to that request....we are so thankful!!!).
Natalia's big ticket present item was a new phone. She was SO THRILLED and took this picture of the two of us which is now her contact photo on my phone.
Michele and I weren't able to pull off such sweet effects with our selfie...
A glimpse of the chaos of all of the present exchanging that happens amongst us. Such fun, though.
Ellie likes her little corner to open presents in....she had a buddy to help her too.
These two sit next to each other.
In this pic, the Schilling kids are opening their final presents from us. This year, it was something special. Due to a change-up in the program Tyson Steele Associates were running with their dentists, there were a surplus of brand new Samsung Galaxy Tablets that Tyson decided to unload at less than half of the value. We snatched up three of them to give to the kids - and they were all pretty thrilled...
The final present to Mom and Dad was a miracle in and of itself that it arrived. Despite it being ordered early in the month and even shipped early, it got stuck in transit and was supposed to arrive on December 26th. Ummm, that's not going to work. It was actually one of about four items that were all last-minute, semi-panic orders/arrivals. Some were due to back-order/lack of stock, and two specific items were actually shipped to us, but were stolen off of our doorstep on the day I was in Portland with Christi and Elsie (December 9th). I figured that out the Saturday before Christmas and while it helped me realize I wasn't going crazy in misplacing gifts, it also cost us a "pretty-penny" to replace and of course, was a huge bummer in feeling violated by "bad guys". (I will start the process of trying to report/remedy our losses after we return from Sunriver). Back to this item... we were able to sign-up for a higher level with UPS and actually got it on Christmas Eve after returning from church. That was HUGE!
And, I'd say it was a big deal for Mom and Dad too - as we'd turned the family pic we'd taken in June at the Metolius River into a metal sign. It was actually more metallic and vibrant than we'd expected...which was great considering how long it took to arrive.
Sadly, shortly following this present being opened, Brayden ended up getting nauseous and throwing up. Poor guy. So, we packed up and headed home, leaving the Schillings behind to spend more time with Mom and Dad. Fortunately, Brayden was able to rebound by the next day (but, not before passing on the bug to Michael who ended up incapacitated all of Tuesday in Sunriver due to it....). Not the best way for him to end Christmas day - but, at least he got through the bulk of it feeling fine. =)