Sunday, December 30, 2012


Ah, Christmas morning.... is there anything more fun than waking up to presents and surprises?

The children opened their stockings and gifts from Santa first.

Josie got a dollhouse and Henry received a new lacrosse stick.

Georgia got a giraffe:

Lily got a white furby and Avery got a new pancreas.

...wait - what?  Oh.  Diabetes humor.  I get it.

After we opened Santa's gifts, we got down to business and opened the rest of the family presents.

Henry's gift had a letter inside:

It told him to go down to the basement and to get his fingers warmed up.

Henry got a pin-ball game and after he fought off the adults in the house, he got to play a few games on his own.

Then we pulled him away so we could go back upstairs and finish the presents.

There were more treasures to unwrap:

When there are 14 people, present opening can seem very, very long!

At the end of the morning, we were all pretty worn out.

Fast forward 8 hours later, it was time for Christmas dinner.

We opened our crackers and put on our crowns:

We dined on traditional lasagna (which was almost ruined since I forgot to take the plastic wrap off the top before putting the pan in the oven). Whoops!  Luckily for all of us hungry people, I realized my mistake early enough to avert total disaster.

Christmas was on Tuesday this year and our family stayed until Thursday.  We had such a great time hosting and enjoying every one's company.... but a few minutes after the last people left our house on Thursday morning, I said good-bye to one important part of Christmas:  The tree.

Oh My Gosh - that darn tree was TORTURE this year.  I don't know if it was because we had a much bigger tree than usual or if we inadvertently got a different type of tree than we have before ... or if the tree farm sprayed our tree with some offensive chemical, but I have NEVER had such allergies to a Christmas tree before.  Henry and I were suffering the entire two weeks the tree was up and that was with the allergy medicine, shots (on Henry's part) and an air-purifier going 24 hours a day.  

My eyes, sinus' and nose were begging me to drag that tree out of the house and that's exactly what I did.

Normally we would wait until after New Year's to take down the tree, but I couldn't wait another minute.  

And once Gordy had removed the tree, I realized that we didn't wait a minute too soon.  Check out the mess the tree left in it's wake:

The ornaments are boxed up and living in our attic once again.  The decorations have been removed and our house is back to normal.  I miss all the hustle and bustle but it's been nice to breathe through my nose again.

How was everyone else's holiday?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

Christmas Eve was a very merry night.

We started - as we always do - with family portraits.  We do the family photos first because how else do you get your children to smile for pictures if you do not bribe them with pigs in blankets and sparkling cider?

We did our photo and then Elizabeth, Sean and Owen did theirs.

Owen is not allowed to eat Pigs in Blankets or Sparkling Cider, so that is why he is not smiling.

I also took a photo of my three children by themselves.  This is the official photo:

But this is how most of the the others turned out:

The Grandparents posed with the Grandkids:

And the Great Aunt posed with the Great Nieces and Nephews:

It is so lovely to put an "S" on the end of the Nephew part!

The Southerns posed in their finery as well:

.... and then we got down to business:

Appetizers and Alcohol.  I was planning on serving Blood Orange Martinis, but there were no Blood Oranges or Blood Orange Juice to be found.  We did Sour Apple Martinis instead.

My mother made Christmas Eve dinner, so I was able to focus on appetizers.

I made a spicy peanut dip and the aforementioned Pigs In Blankets.  

And while everyone ate, I took photos...

And Henry fine-tuned his photo-bombing skills:

The children also took time to bother their new uncle:

Two thirds of the Sisters Grimm posed for a photo:

and then we headed into the dining room for dinner.

Well, the adults headed into the dining room.

The children at a table in the hall:

Close enough... but not too close.

We played Pass The Baby for the entire holiday and did our best to amuse Owen:

It was so much fun having a baby to cuddle.  Owen has the best smiles and chatters non-stop to anyone who will listen.

We did have one surprise:

We ordered a wedding cake for Elizabeth and Sean.

It was gorgeous and I'm told it tasted wonderful, too.  Sigh.

(want to read more of my complaints about being lactose intolerant?  Visit my other blog by clicking here.)

Happy Wedding, Elizabeth & Sean!


We are all thrilled and happy and my children love saying that their uncles are John, Jon & Sean.  

After dinner, we gathered in the living room to open presents.

The kids got pillow cases with photos of Elizabeth & Sean's pets:

And rudolph noses, in case they were called upon to help Santa later that evening:

but the present that made our family laugh the most was Georgia's gift to Gordy.

A little back-story is needed - Georgia plays soccer on a club team and her coach always wears a pair of 3/4-length addidas pants.  Rain, shine, cold, warm... it doesn't matter.  It's always a good day to wear those 3/4-length pants.  

So Georgia (okay, it was me) decided that what was good enough for the coach, was good enough for Gordy.  

Gordy was obviously very pleased.

He modelled them that evening, but for some strange reason, hasn't put them back on since.

Hmmm.  :)

Georgia also got a funny flute shirt:

And Josie got a rainbow mohawk.

Twas the year of the funny headgear and the humorous gift.

We ended Christmas Eve a little later than usual and the children made it up to bed before Santa arrived.  

Christmas Part Two coming soon!

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