Every year we get together and celebrate the holidays. This year Davey volunteered to have it at his place. Thanks Davey! The only family we were missing were Tony, Connie, Alex, Emma, and Livvy. Tony wasn't able to get the time off this year and they had to stay in AZ. We missed them a lot!
Davey's house was great. The kids had fun running up and down the stairs. He had Christmas music going and the Wii to play with.
We like to start our Christmas celebration with breakfast. This year I made the Belgium waffles. We had strawberries and whipped cream, bacon, egg nog and lots of other juices. It was fantastic, as usual. Here are 2 pictures of our breakfast crew!
It looks like everyone is enjoying the meal!
Then we let everyone hang out for a bit while clean-up was done. Here are some pictures of how everyone "hangs out"!
Quick power naps...
Playing with the computer and just people watching....
And watching what everyone else is doing!
Then it was time for the gifts. The kids were SO excited! So many wonderful things were given and received this year. I will not go into detail of what everyone got (there isn't time or space for that) but everyone was happy and enjoyed the giving of gifts and seeing how well they were received!
Ok, I do have to explain these gifts because it will also explain the pictures. Davey bought each of the boys a Nerf rifle this year. They were a lot of fun and shot really far. After all the gifts were opened they spent a long time playing.
Here is a shot of Grandpa playing with the kids. He LOST!
As things settled down a little, the adults (and some kids) were able to settle down to a game of BINGO. I even had some small prizes for them to pick from if they won. It was a lot of fun!
After our extended morning at Davey's we headed up to Russ and Terese's house for our traditional Christmas Eve party. This year we decided against a formal dinner (there are just getting to be too many of us!) and went for "snacky" foods. The kitchen (which is quite large) was lined with LOTS of wonderful food. Every inch was covered and there was anything you could want to eat. Everyone had their fill, and then some!
Once everyone was full and the initial visiting was slowing, we moved to talent time. Cirbie sang "Santa Baby" and did a GREAT job! Abby and Jacob both played a Christmas song on the piano (I have been giving them lessons and they did really well) and then we played a game Carrie had made. It was Christmas Jeopardy. Everyone had a blast shouting out answers.
After the talent and game portion, we did the traditional Christmas story. Peter read the script (which was taken directly from the Bible). The kids all dressed up and acted it out as Peter read. They did a wonderful job. I love the spirit that comes with telling Christ's story and having everyone participate. Ammon and Pyper were Mary and Joseph this year, Storm was baby Jesus, Karly (who isn't in the picture but did participate) was the angel, Jacob and Megan were Sheppard's and Abby and Courtney were the wise"men".
After the story of Christ's birth was told, we sang some Christmas songs (thanks Craig for always playing the piano!). Then it was time to share our Christmas gifts.
Christmas is such a special time of year and I am so thankful for the time we get to spend together. The gifts are nice but it is being able to visit with friends and family that you don't get to see on a regular basis and seeing their smiling faces that makes it all worthwhile. I am thankful for all the wonderful gifts that were shared and for all the hard work that went into making this Christmas Eve so delightful. Merry Christmas!
Christmas morning was pretty quite around our house. Peter and Davey came over and we had a nice quite breakfast and morning.
Later Christmas day Dave & I joined Russ, Terese, Mom & Dad to see Avatar - the great new 3D movie that just came out - Great show!