Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

Our first sign of Christmas's arrival was Aunty Anna's arrival!

We had two days together before Auntie Caroline and Uncle Joe arrived too! 
Despite his grown up appearances, Joe still sleeps like a teenager! We had a little car drama with Caroline's car and she ended up renting one to drive the rest of the way. Our drive was intensely stressful as the roads were solid ice with semis speeding past regardless of the danger. It took us an extra 2 hours to get there, but luckily we did safely. 
Julia was just thrilled to be there and immediately set to work playing with Olaf and her other aunts and uncles. 

since the roads were so bad, we opted to go to church via sled. 
the kids learned about santa lucia traditions. Julia was much impressed with the candles in the hair and even more impressed with the cookies they got to hand out to everyone. 
we spent time painting, cooking, wrapping presents, and playing. Julia slept under the tree with Olaf, a family tradition for the kids young enough to enjoy that sort of thing.  

We went to the train station to meet Auntie Erin and Uncle Christopher!
and built snowpeople with Auntie Caroline
We went sledding out at my Granny's
with Auntie Anna and Loki
the hill was steep! I thought Julia would be scared but she loved it! 

Games were played, and more feasts prepared. 
Caroline's boyfriend Matt sent the family an amazing amazing ham. It was soooooooo delicious! Before....
and after....
Back to church on Christmas eve! The kids sang a song and made snowflakes to send to the new school where the kids of Newtown will begin in January. They are collecting them from all over so that the kids will be welcomed by a winter wonderland. 

at home, we got ready for our new tradition, a White Elephant gift exchange. We each provided a nice, desirable item and had a great time stealing and trading back and forth. It was a great idea! Julia and Olaf were exempt from the stealing, and he got a huge Lego and Julia got a horse from her Auntie Caroline.
Christmas morning! We opened stockings, which we did Secret Santa style, assigning everyone to a stocking. That worked really well! We did the rest of the presents too, and Julia was just thrilled to actually get her hands on them!
we attempted to give chris and erin a "christmas moon" as they walked over to the house, but they didn't look up!!!! too bad, because that is the one and only time I've seen my mom moon someone. 
buffalo horns were received
and many rides on the buffalo followed. 

we took a family photo right before Dave and Julia and I had to take off. We were in a hurry to get home since we will soon have a huge crowd of friends at our house! Fortunately the roads were better than we expected. Unfortunately Julia threw up the whole way home. (it's rumored she consumed an entire whitman's chocolate sampler before we got in the car)
Despite her health, she still wanted to open more presents at home!
and today has been spent playing, cleaning, napping, mourning saying goodbye to family, and anticipating the arrival of friends. 

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