Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Christmas

I wanted to wait for our Christmas with my side of the family before I posted my Christmas posting which was yesterday.  I have to say, it was a great Christmas.  Christmas Eve we have Todd's side of the family over at our house.  Here we always have Connie's oyster stew (Todd's Mom) and her chili.  We also have deli meat, turkey, roast beef, and ham for sandwiches and a wide variety of cheese.  This year I made little smokies because sandwiches are a hit or miss with Taj.  Of course we have the trays of sweets as well.  Typically I make a few dips which we have with crackers, only I completely forgot about them this year.  I feel with everything going on in my life right now, if the dip was the only thing I forgot, well I am doing well then.  I love Christmas Eve at our house.  We have a large enough house were we are able to have everyone inside and plenty of room.  Some eat in the Kitchen, some in the small Living Room and the remainder downstairs in our main Living Room.  I loved the feeling of the main Living Room, we had the fire going and with all of the Christmas decorations it was perfect. 
 We took Taj's booster chair off the chair in the Kitchen to create another seat for a big person
 He did not mind because he was able to eat on his Planes table. 

After dinner it was time for more chatting and laughter.  I wish my side of the family lived closer too because I think it would be awesome to have all of us under one roof to celebrate Christmas.  Matthew missed dinner time because he was working and had to do inventory and payroll.  I wish I would have been on my toes and picked up Hannah but they did make it prior to everyone leaving.   Towards the end of our evening it was gift exchange time.  We all gathered in our main living room.
 Todd's sister's youngest two children are sitting in front of the fire place.  The guy closest to a small image of his sister is her boyfriend.  I am glad Michelle has found someone who is treating her good. 
 Sitting on the love seat is Joshua, then Kera and Emily.  Behind Emily is Michelle's oldest Lyndsey.
 Next to me on the couch was Jim, Connie's boyfriend and Connie is standing behind Joshua.
 On the chair and ottoman on the other side of Todd (who was next to me) is Todd's sister Michelle.  Next to her in the plaid is her boyfriend and her oldest son, Andrew, is behind her.

I wish I was on top of my game (Once again one of many little moments during the holiday season.) and took a picture of Todd with her gift she opened.  We all went together and bought her a Nook, a Nook cover and screen protector.  She was hinting big time to Michelle how she LOVES Todd's Nook.  She was near tears when she realized what her gift was.  It makes me happy to see her so surprised.  She is a great person and I could not have been so lucky to have such a great Mother-In-Law.  After everyone left it was just the kids, their girlfriends, and time to open our gifts.  Remember all those gift under the tree?  Yeah it took awhile to open.  We take turns, the youngest starts and opens one gift, then the second youngest all the way to the oldest, then we start over again with the next present for the youngest until all the gifts are opened.  Here are a few pictures I took during this part of Christmas Eve.

 Taj giving some kisses to his Mama.
 Kera opening her gift from Taj.  Taj just loves looking at pictures of him.
 Taj with his new stocking from Nana and Papa.

 I loved his facial expressions.  I wished I had my other camera which does a better job of recording. 
Every time he opened a gift it was:
"Oh My Goodness. It's funny!" or 
"Oh My Goodness.  It's adorable!"
 Noah with his new art studio kit.
 Abbey, Ethan's girlfriend opening a gift from him.
 Ethan opening his set of silverware.  The kid is a Junior in High School and
he asked for necessities for when he moves out.
 Joshua with his rice cooker which was number two on his Christmas wish list.
Number one he received as well, a new toaster.
Next to him with the bows is Matthew.  I love listening to the kids having a good time.
 Hannah opening her Outback Bowl T-shirt.
Everyone but Noah, Ethan, and I received this gift, only Todd's was a sweatshirt. 
I know what several people will be wearing come New Year's Day.  Go HAWKS!!!
 Matthew opening one of many movies.
 Emily opening her painting.  I think this girl thanked me, 
maybe four times and hugged me just as much.
She absolutely loved it and loved it more when she realized I painted it.
She even sent me a picture by text message after she hung it on her wall
Thanking me again and telling me how much she loves it.  *fist pump!  SCORE!*

 Yes, he is kissing Slinky Dog.  

Kera loved her painting too.  I think Joshua liked his picture but he did not show his excitement as much as the girls did.  

Christmas Eve, Joshua spent the night with us.  He played video games with his brothers Ethan and Noah.  Matthew and Hannah went to Ohio to spend Christmas and her birthday with her side of the family.  Her birthday is one day after mine.  Christmas Day was low key and I enjoyed it immensely as well.  The boys and I watched Elf and Despicable Me 2 while we played a couple of games.  It was an enjoyable time with the boys. 

I also fixed a ham dinner with my mashed potatoes which everyone loves, green beans and dinner rolls.  The girls and Taj came over for dinner time.  (Todd had to work on Christmas.)

Saturday we drove to Des Moines to have Christmas with my side of the family.  My sister Lisa and her son and his family did not make it.  Miranda was in a beautiful mood and it was so wonderful seeing her interacting and smiling.  She was talking to us as well and loving so much.  Mom's boyfriend and his son and girlfriend was there.  It is kind of weird seeing my Dad and my Mom's boyfriend being friends.  I like that they are.  He is not really a boyfriend boyfriend but more of a male companion.  My Dad was in a lot of pain, and I spoke about it with my Sunday's Song post, but it was great seeing him enjoy the boys and all of the grandchildren who were there.  My Dad has a special bond with Miranda.  I love watching him interact with her.  For our lunch my Mom made homemade lasagna, garlic bread, a salad, and she made brownies.  It was a very nice time.  After dinner, the kids opened their gifts.  Alright my Mom and Dad did too.

 I got the girls bracelet kits.
 Below is a picture of me taking a picture of my Dad taking a picture of me.
I took it while he was focusing.  My sister, Katie was shocked because I sat there 
and smiled at him.  She told him he should feel privilege because I do not let people 
take my picture.  I told her I even smiled nicely for him and she just laughed.
{She is right.  I try to avoid the camera.}
 Miranda trying to sit up.
 Below is a picture of my Dad with my boys, Noah, Ethan, and Joshua.  Matthew was there in spirit.

My Mom with the boys. 
 My sister Amy with her son, Carlos, and my Dad.
 My sister Katie and her daughters, Miranda (she is holding) Lexy and Kaylee.
 My Dad and all the grandchildren who were there.  
The oldest three are not present.
My nephew Carlos, is standing on the couch.  
He hates being the shortest grandson.
The only thing that would have made it perfect would have been Matthew, Fred, Julie, and Lisa being there.  It was a Merry Christmas.



  1. You did an amazing job documenting your Christmas festivities. I did not for a couple of reasons…

    It's amazing almost everyone was able to make it! That's *great*.


  2. Looks like everyone had fun! Happy memories and great photos!


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