Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gasp! A Real Post?!?

Yes, many of these photos are nearly a month old, but I thought you might like to take a look at what our crazy-busy Christmas looked like this year! And I managed to only add a couple of photos from each celebration - so this won't take you a whole day to look through, only an hour or two. Just kidding. I think.
To start off, one of our local malls installs a huge electronic train set every Christmas season, and it is always a highlight to check it out. It seems like they add more and more each year, including Thomas the train and some of his buddies.
They also have a free Santa who comes in at certain times of the week - it doesn't cost a thing to visit him, take your own picture, and they have a digital camera there should you have forgotten your own that they will email you a copy. Who knew that there is a mall out there that actually embodies the true Christmas spirit - give not take!
We spent a week at my parents house just before Christmas, which included many Christmas celebrations. Our first, other than getting to see my brother and sister-in-law (from Virginia), was family Christmas for my dad's side of the family. I couldn't decide on just one or two photos for this one because there were so many people there we hadn't seen in so long! First, the photo of Kevin is because of that beautiful butterfly stitch on his face: he attacked my dog, and she defended herself. I just had to include it! Also, we were thrilled to see Tyler (top right), who is 18 and just joined the Army and who we haven't seen in several years (I didn't even recognize him!), my Grandma D, who broke out of rehab where she was recovering from knee replacement surgery, and my Aunt Carol, who was hospitalized not too long ago for having fluid around her heart - very scary situation! Looking back, it was so much fun spending the evening with all these people.
Our next Christmas party was with my mom's side of the family. These are all the younger generation of 2nd cousins who were at the party. We were actually missing 5 others, and the oldest 6 didn't want to sit with the "little kids" on the floor. They also didn't get presents!
By far one of my favorite times of this party was torturing my cousin, Austin, with the singing doll his little sister got. He hated the song it played, so it was great fun to turn it on nearby him and watch him squirm.
While we were at my parents' house over that week, we carved out some time to go spend with my Grandma D, who was still at rehab recovering. She got the boys some Christmas gifts that they opened while we were there, and Grandma D got her gift from us.
Since we weren't going to be with my parents, brother, or sister-in-law for Christmas, we had our own Christmas celebration. I tried sticking a red bow on Lexi and giving her as a "gift" to Kevin and Rachel, but they didn't go for it. Lexi wasn't too happy about me trying to give her away either.
Grayson loved the hat that Kevin and Rachel got for him, and he still wears it every time he goes out of the house.
A cute picture with our Aunti and Uncle we don't get to see nearly enough!
The boys had so much fun playing with Uncle Kevin the week we were with him. For how shy Grayson was with him a couple of weeks before that, he certainly warmed up after spending so much time together.
Christmas Eve, we got together with Jeremy's family to celebrate Christmas. Jeremy's sisters, brother-in-law, and mom went together and got this awesome train table for the boys. Needless to say, it was a big hit!
We also got to meet Jonathan and Lauren's new puppy, Tallahassee. Here he's sitting on his new couch, a Christmas present from Kalena and Karen. Isn't he cute!?
Christmas morning the boys had fun opening gifts together and apart, seeing family who came for breakfast, and just relaxing.
Aunti Kalena even got involved in a very frustrating game of "The Duck Game," which I had to bow out of because I couldn't handle some one's refusal to play by the rules. Thankfully, Kalena is a better sport than I am!
One of my favorite things about Christmas at Jeremy's mom's house is that when we were opening up our stockings, we found some of the clues Jeremy's dad had used when they were kids. Jeremy's mom and dad always made a game out of figuring out whose gifts were whose, and where they were. It was usually a day long process to open gifts at Christmas, even sometimes going into the next day. Jeremy and his sister had fun looking back at the old clues and seeing their dad's handwriting again.
Last, the boys got these suckers in their stockings this year. Do you know who they are? If you are at all familiar with Mater or the Cars movie, you should have recognized them right away.
As you can see, we had a great Christmas this year, filled with tons of family and celebrations, part of the best part of Christmas for me. But truthfully, even better than family and parties, remembering the true meaning of Christmas, and having my kids know that Christmas is just a celebration of Jesus' birthday, that He came to earth as a baby who would eventually grow into the man that would take away the sins of this world, was what really made Christmas special this year.


Rick said...

Really enjoyed the pic and all the memories that we had a part of. We were talking about the Christmas Play at our Christmas celebration. That was a great way to remember the real meaning of Christmas.

Love, Dad

Jenney said...

You are ALWAYS trying to give that dog away!!!!
Looks like fun, very very very sad my kiddos weren't in that cousins picture. Maybe next year.

Kim M said...

What a great post! Love, love, love it!!! The picture of Grayson in his new hat has to be one of the best pictures of him = ADORABLE!!! What a special time for Jeremy and his sisters with the clues from Ron. Thanks for the post, I find myself going back to look quite often.