Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Parts 2, 3, and 4...seriously.

We really have had 4 Christmas celebrations already...and we're not done! Our first one was here at home, of course. Then we went to Colorado for Aaron's side. Then we came back to Kansas and celebrated with my Dad's side and my Mom's side. Tomorrow we'll head up to Iowa to celebrate with my immediate family! Wow, I'm tired. The pictures (and there's lots of them!) are backward in order b/c I always forget that stupid blogger puts them in backward. That really irritates me. Oh well.

So lastly, but first, here are some pics from Mom's side at Aunt Cara's house...

Anna (3 1/2 yrs.), Hudson peeking in (7 mo.), Kaedyn (4 yrs.), Mia (8 yrs.)

Uncle Terry & Aunt Cara got the 3 great nieces matching sweaters. They are so cute! This is the best picture anybody got. Anna didn't want to go up there (I don't know what Binga bribed her with!), and then Hudson thought he needed to be in on the action! :) Kaedyn was serious about smiling though--what a pose (whose daugher is that?!? haha)!

Bryce was taking pictures with Aunt Dona's camera. It'll be interesting to see what kind of pictures come out--I think he held it backward most of the time! He is such a cutie pie! And does he ever have a sweet tooth! I don't know how many times I caught him at the dessert table trying to grab something!!

Now for my Dad's side, which was at Uncle Alan & Aunt Donna's house this year. There were 45 of us there!!!! That's not even everybody. I think there were 13 missing! But Grandma said that was the most that has ever been at one time, so we set a record! :) Grandpa and Grandma had 6 children (one daughter passed away almost 20 yrs. ago), 17 grandchildren (only 6 of whom are not married), and 14 great grandchildren!!! I wish I'd taken a picture of everyone at the dinner tables. It stretched across the entire length of their basement (it's a big house, too!). It was so much fun to see everybody and to be together. Some of my greatest memories are these times when so many of us are together. It's great. We also had a photographer come out and take pictures. She was amazing! She was so patient to let everyone else snap pictures!! So she took pictures of Gpa & Gma with their kids/spouses, grandkids/spouses, and great-grandkids! What a great memory that will be for all of us to have. We even did a shot of the entire group, but we had to go outside for that one! Also, a little explanation for the 3 people outside my family that read this...we have a "program" every year. The 2nd generation (my dad and siblings) take turns every year being in charge. So they decide what the program will entail. It's usually just singing songs, reading the Christmas story, and each family sharing something--either just what God has been doing in their lives or reading poems/stories, or singing specials. It's awesome.

I don't have a clue who took this picture (judging from the height, I would guess a kid, probaby Anna!), but I think it's pretty neat. That's a real tree, too. That screen to the right side was all the grandkids' gift to Grandpa & Grandma. Ange had the great idea for the gift. We put a picture up of each grandchild/family and then filled the empty spots with Scriptures and notes to them. We also included a group picture of them with all the grandkids and spouses that we quickly printed off (to be replaced with the "real" pic when we get it). They loved it :) All the siblings (Grandpa & Grandma's kids) got them a digital photo frame. That will be fun for them to have, too and add pictures to.

For gifts, we had a grab bag. The men bought tools and the women bought books (great idea Phil--or was it Warene?!). The kids (great-grandkids) exchanged names. Jacob LOVES his big ol' truck :) It has wheels! (He also really likes the books) Anna got a dress up set (Kaedyn got a matching set), so she's had a blast playing with that.

This is about 1/4 of the people there. All grandkids and great-grandkids.

Every year, for as long as I can remember, the men sing "We Three Kings" and the women sing "Silent Night". Philip said he wasn't going to break tradition! :) This year, the great grandkids (with the exception of my daughter and the babies--she's so stubborn!) sang "Away in the Manger". So precious! Good idea Teresa! And the guy on the far left is my amazing cousin Scott (and his adorable go-getter son Daniel!) should really check out his website. (not that all of my cousins aren't amazing!!)

Let's just say that the combination of not getting enough sleep and playing hard with all of her cousins wore Anna out. Big time! I don't know what Dad's excuse was! ;) And of course, since it was like 5pm when she fell asleep, she was up until 1:30am!!!!!

Both of my kids love to play the piano (makes my heart happy!). And neither one of them has ever pounded...even Jacob! This is at Grandma's house...I think this is the same piano she tried to teach my Dad on (he kept hiding the books until she finally gave up...right Dad?).

He's growing too fast! :(

Playing with balloons at Uncle Alan's house...kept the little ones busy for a long time!

Here we have my cousin's baby Addison (in the rocking chair), my niece Kaedyn next to her, my same cousin's oldest Parker (in the green shirt), my niece Mia (in the brown shirt), Anna in the pink sweatshirt, and my nephew Bryce in the gray shirt. (again for the 3 people beside family that read this thing!)
Now for the 2nd celebration in Colorado. My camera got left in the van, so I don't have as many pictures as I wish I did :( But here are a couple. I already blogged about the first day/night we spent out there. (FYI-Jacob didn't sleep any better the rest of the trip!) We went to the Christmas eve service with Grandma then had YUMMY brisket for supper. The next night we had all of my mother-in-law's side over (all that were home anyway) for the traditional Christmas day soup supper. There were 24, I believe! Delicious food (especially the cookies Grandma made!!) and fun conversations. I think there were only 4 kids this time. And my kids fell asleep right before or right after supper! :( But they both woke up in time for everyone to get to see them a little.

Our first day out there, Jacob chipped his tooth!!!!! You can see it in this picture (might have to click on it?). He was standing in Aaron's lap while we were sitting at their glass-top table in the sunroom. Aaron was watching Anna & was just holding him aroung his legs. For some reason, he fell forward and since Aaron was looking to the side, didn't see him falling. Jacob didn't catch himself and knocked his head (and evidently tooth!) right on the edge of the table. Luckily it's a round table, so the edge wasn't sharp!

We found Great Grandma's wagon in the basement! They had a lot of fun playing. He was content to just sit in there and play with the cars (or reach down and play with the wheels...shocking I know!)

He also really liked being pulled, but Anna got tired of that pretty quickly!

She decided to play peek-a-boo in the closet instead!

Every year for the past few years, Aaron folks have gotten me a grouping of the Willow Tree nativity set. (I love Willow Tree). Since we don't have a fireplace/mantle, I put it up in this little display case thing. It fits great...until now! I got the final grouping this year, so when I opened it I told Aaron it was great, but now I have to have a mantle to put it on next year! haha ;) The top one is the Christmas angel...I think a student gave that one to me--it doesn't come with the Nativity set. I have a nice little collection going (other than the Nativity)...4 or 5 pieces I think. They're very interesting pieces, the way they're made (from wood).

My kids LOVE the Dora games we got Anna. Jacob just thinks they're movies and is surprisingly good about not touching the buttons while Anna plays. They sat on our bed and played/watched for at least 30 min. one day. Anna is really good at them. She's also starting to use the Spanish she's picked up from Dora! The other day she said "be careful" in Spanish (I won't attempt the spelling!) when I almost stepped on something. Then today she said "where is it" in Spanish when she was looking for something! Crazy.

Okay, I'm done. And if you've read this! That was a really long post and probably pretty boring. Oh well!! :) It was so much fun seeing so much family!


Beth Wheatcroft said...

Wow what a busy Christmas you've had! I'm so jealous of all the family time you've had. My side of the family hasn't had a big family get together at christmas since I was in high school but all of my christmas memories growing up are of all of us at my grandparents' house. I will hopefully get some blogging done here in the next couple of days. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by it since it's been so long and I have so many pictures but I'll get it done! Anyway, I loved reading about all your adventures. Hope you guys get some rest!

Anonymous said...

Yup, and I remember where I hid them too.

Jennifer said...

And what would "them" be Binga??? :D