I feel like there is so much to get through when it comes to Christmas. So so much. I guess the best place to start is at the beginning. A few weeks before Christmas we drove up to Washington to celebrate with John's side of the family. I must say I was very reluctant to go, but I'm glad I did. Our first day there we went to see our old house (more on this later) and then we visited John's sister. I slept a good while upon arrival because I was sick, and then we made our way to his dad's house on Steilacoom Lake. Every time we drive there I am always caught up in the beauty. It is a very beautiful place to live.
I wasn't feeling that well so I didn't take many pictures, but Ellie really enjoyed making these cookies with Grandma McDonald. Ells is always willing to participate in anything. She has so much energy and wants to be doing something at all times. She immediately set her attention on uncle Joe and figured he was there solely to provide her with someone to talk to. At one point I saw her firing questions at him and following him around and I did not intervene... I just sat in the dining room and let her keep going.
Carol and I spent some time playing with our cameras and put a little heart shaped cutout over the lens. I have seen this done in years past, but never tried it. We tried it. It did not turn out quite like I thought... but the lights did make heart shapes... which was fun.
The Christmas tree in all it's beauty! Again, tried to get a good picture, but was too lazy to change my lens. It was a fun distraction to do camera stuff. She is quite the photographer, and I enjoyed looking at the pictures she has taken lately.
I introduced the Sammy stand off in the last post, and I really can't get enough of it.
He just hides his face... silently.
If he does look up, it is always with a little pout.
I can't even remember what he was sad about but I think it involved having another treat. This little boy and pretty much everything he does is healing to my soul... even the sad minutes of protest. I just love him so much!
Sammers and his grandpa.
One thing I have learned these last few months is that there's no such thing as having too many pictures with grandparents and their grand babies. I take a million pictures, but I only have a few of Mia with her grandparents... it makes me sad.
All of the kiddos loved opening their gifts. The adults did a DVD exchange. The night before the Christmas party we played a game of Rummy. I will always associate that game with Grandma and Grandpa McDonald. They are rummy ninja's.
I always enjoy my time playing cards with them.
Jense is beyond excited about a remote control helicopter.
He loves these, and has flown it literally every single day since we left.
Sammers got a "mote catrole" and was also a huge fan of this gift.
Big hugs for Grandma McDonald for the awesome gift!
Ells playing with her cousin Elizabeth.
They sat at that table for quite awhile.
I am really glad my kids had the time they did with their cousins they love and miss so much!
A few weeks ago we were encouraged to have something that represented Mia at important dates, family nights etc. just so it would feel like she was a part of what was going on. This little Minnie Mouse was at the foot of her bed during Florida. We have chosen this to represent our little Mia. I am not going to obsess about it, but it has been neat for the kids to have something to see that represents her while she's busy being an angel in Heaven.
Thank you for having us!
Christmas part 2, 3, 4, and 5... coming up.