Wednesday, January 1, 2020

What a Merry Christmas, It Was!

We are the flexible family!
Since most of the party lives with us
we arrange our schedule as much as possible 
for the big kids.
They have their own family and 
the other side of the family, 
to figure out the holiday schedule.

Somehow, it all miraculously works out!
(Thank you Jesus!)
It was such a blessing to have 
4 of our 5 big kiddos 
celebrating with us on Christmas!

My assembly line for our Christmas cards!

My mailmen!
They walked 2 blocks in the blustery cold,
to our mailbox!

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat 
nor gloom of night 
stays these couriers from the swift completion 
of their appointed rounds" 

Our bakers...

 and cooks!

The number of outstanding helpers 
that I have, amazes me!
I am so thankful for that!

This year we may have made tooooooo
many sweets!

Unfortunately, one of us is having a hard time 
staying away from the sweets...

Sheepishly she says, "The diet starts tomorrow!"

This year, the schedule was totally different! 
We had all our baking done and gifts wrapped
on Christmas Eve morning we...
went to the movie Jumanji
in our ugly Christmas sweaters!

Then we immediately got dressed for church!
We had 3 servers and 4 in the children's choir!

 Church was beyond wonderful,
as always!

Once home it was picture time
in our Christmas clothes!

Since the kids are older, 
we did't get new holiday outfits for them.
 We wore what they already had
 and it worked out, just fine!
(I had purchased enough in the past!)

(except maybe me... I did get a new red shawl/poncho)
Mr. and Mrs. Claus!
I love Santa!

That evening we made the food 
for Christmas Day
and put out all of the gifts!

It was such an enjoyable day!
Peaceful, meaningful and we were all ready
to celebrate with the rest of the family!

On Christmas morning we
opened just the kids 
living at home gifts!

Each kiddos got 2 gifts!

They are all getting older,
so the only toys/games were really for 
the boys and younger two girls.

We picked names from a hat and 
went in that order for opening gifts!

They were very patient and enjoyed their moment!

After our present opening fun, the others arrived!

We had a delicious brunch
and then the 

Mary asked for an American Girl doll for Christmas!
It was her first one and 
we were overjoyed to give it to her!

They was lots of lounging
and conversations!

The younger boys set up a cribbage and chess tournament!
The kids at home had a pool tournament!
Winners announced soon!

We were beyond excited 
that our family in Colorado 
traveled to join us for Christmas day!

We haven't been able 
to travel since August 
to see any of our Grands...
So Thanksgiving with one family
and Christmas with this family
was a blessing beyond belief!

She is absolutely precious!

I think she likes her sparkle play doh 
and cookie making set!

We may have received
specific instruction not to give
Frozen 2 things...
but I don't remember?

We did know, 
 that she LOVES
everything Frozen 2!
So of course...
we didn't have a choice!

Our job is to give our grandchildren
what they really really want!
So we can have 

I remember when we were young parents...
The grandparents would come to our house 
with so many gifts, 
most of them being large pieces of colorful plastic... 
Our 5 kiddos LOVED everything
they got...
we were not as thrilled and thinking
where are we going to put this?

I guess parents are made to be sensible
and grandparents are made to be fun...
(at least we are trying)!

I am thankful to have photos...
so I can feel the joy 
just looking at them!

All kids grow up too fast...
God made grandchildren!

By the look on Johnny's face...
the cribbage game is taking a turn for the worse.

Wife vs Husband...
It was a close match but Billy came out on top!
He learned his cribbage skills from Kelly.
I guess she is a really good teacher!

Mark seems quite happy with his cards!

As our kids at home get older they
are really enjoying the big sibs in a different way.
No more wrestling and crawling all over them,
instead great conversation and belly laughs!

 Such a blessing seeing 
our precious granddaughter 
playing with her Aunts and Uncle!

Then we gathered for grown up gift opening!

We gave our big kids soap 
made by a homeschooling entrepreneur friend of ours!
Made from their own goats milk 
You may see her products in our local stores 
and I am sure she will take orders over the internet!
Thank you Rapha Farms!

Maple syrup from the trees behind our home!
Our neighbors make maple syrup!
Plus gift cards and a book!

Hubby and I were blessed with a family canvas,
books, gift certificates,
a beautiful angel made by an adorable 3 yr old,
photos of our granddaughters,
an ornament for a tiny little one yr old hand,
an invite for appetizers at one of our bigs home
and dinner out together!
It couldn't have been better!

The kids gave them water bottles 
signed by their new BFF, 
Robert Covington from the

 Abby I vs Madeline M

     The final winners were (drum roll)...
Cribbage- Billy,
second place goes to Kelly!
Chess- Ben,
second place goes to Sam!
Kids Pool- Sam,
second place goes to Anna!

First placers won a gift card to a coffee shop!

Auntie Barbie joined us!

Love getting as many "together" photos as possible!

Big family pics 

Looks like the Aunties and Uncle 
are enjoying El's sparkle play doh!

 This sweet one, just woke up from her nap!

It's Junie's turn for present opening!

Just opening the package is a highlight for little one!

She is cherished by all of us!

Yay! A bright color something or other!
Junie loves cows!
So, of course we had to get her
a blowup cow that she can ride!
The picture on the box thrilled her!
It will be blown up once they get back home!

She LOVES having stories read to her!

Thank you Cheryl for your thoughtfulness over the Holidays!
The kids love the glow in the dark ping-pong set!

Love this new canvas of us 
with our kiddos that live at home!

We missed this sweet family
at Christmas time but
are thankful we had them for

A treasured canvas of hubby and I!
Thank you Kathryn Lee Photography!

Christmas Blessings from our home to yours!