Sunday, February 10, 2013

Catching Up - Christmas

 I apologize for the lack of blog activity - I had this post prepared a while back, but technical difficulties prevented it...So just pretend Christmas just got over :) We are - our Christmas tree is still up! We were gone for almost 3 weeks in December - but the week before we left was a whirlwind of baking (like these Mocha Sandwich Cookies), events (one almost every night), and packing.
 Since we were going to be so busy, we had our family Christmas early.
 Esther had fun with every one's gifts!
 This was a gift someone from church gave the girls. Esther ran off with the gift and left Anna with the box :)
The church did a great job with the Christmas program on December 9th. The children acted out the story and the adult choir sang several songs. Esther didn't participate, but she learned to sing "Away in the Manger"....

 Then we headed to my parents for a couple weeks. It's a 2 day drive, so to pass the time we listened to "A Christmas Carol" dramatized - if you define the true spirit of Christmas as being love, joy, and peace, well then I agree with them that Christmas should be all year round :) A couple traveling traditions we have are buying cheese in WI to eat with crackers, and a Culvers milkshake! Also, we got Esther the first Patch the Pirate set - we were wondering if she would be too young for them, but no, we listened to several hours of "Sing Along with Patch the Pirate" on the way home...but overall, the girls did the best traveling this trip that they ever have, so we're very grateful for that!
 My Mom did a Christmas brunch instead of a dinner. Yum! Esther sat on the piano bench like a big girl :)
 Then we opened gifts...
 Anna with her new dolly...
 Aaron with his new rubber boots...
 Jeriah the Cowboy
 We also got together at my Mom's sister's home. Esther thought baby Landon was "cute".
 Anna with her new bank that Grandpa O. made.
 The ladies talking in the kitchen -
 Dad took the children for a sled ride. This was really Esther and Anna's first experience with snow.
 Aaron and Esther :)

Now the bad news, I lost my camera over Christmas :( so I have no pictures from the rest of our time in MN, but I'll share some of the highlights:
- Aaron got to speak at my parent's church
- The big K. get together was Sunday afternoon. Our White Elephant gift exchange has to be one of the most fun anywhere!
- Instead of a big meal (because it was a Sunday) we talked Grandma into having M&K pizza. Definitely a highlight :)
- To offset the non-traditional food, they brought out some lutefisk. I tried a bite just to say I'd done it (and you never know, maybe the 1/8 Swedish blood would come out I would like it...). Slimy and fishy, but like Aaron says, a little tarter sauce would probably fix it just fine! Or maybe we'll just be done with it...
-Aaron was gone for a couple days, so I stayed up late reading "The Lost Pearle".
-The girls were sick the last few days, so that was sad.
-My family has a tradition of deep frying once a year around the holidays, so we had egg rolls one day.
-Mathias was playing with a remote control car and Esther was laughing hysterically over it :)
Then we got home on a Saturday night, were at church all day Sunday, opened our stockings on Monday morning and left for Gatlinburg for Christmas with the S. family. As you can imagine, with a quick unpack/pack like that, I forgot several items to bring, but everything was ok. We stopped and picked up our mail on the way out and had so much fun opening Christmas cards - Thank you everyone that sent one :)
 Aaron's family rented a place called "Castle on the Green" - it was a big house and it was kind of fun to all be in the same place. I don't have pictures of them, but each bedroom was decorated in honor of a different monarch from various times and countries.
 It had been a while since we'd seen some of Aaron's family and there were 2 new cousins to meet.
 My favorite room was the dining room - there was room for all 20 something of us at this table.
 Everyone brought some food, so there was a lot of food! We ate, played games (Monopoly, 5 Second Rule, Last Chance, Pit, Christmas trivia...), took family pictures, watched Mary Poppins, and hung out.
 Instead of going out for people's birthdays, we celebrated every one's birthday at once :) We went to a Japanese Hibachi place - it was pretty entertaining - and delicious!
 Aaron and I also ran off one morning and did a little bit of hiking...
Oh, and this picture is out of order, but here's Amos and the boys checking out a gift...That's all for now, but I'll try to do a little more catching up later.

2 comments:

Where the Green Grass Grows said...

Looks like you all had a great Christmas!! Great pictures and so sad you lost your camera:( Have a great week! God bless!
Jennifer

All in a Day said...

I can just "see" Esther laughing hysterically over the remote-control vehicle. We've had plenty of that over the years! :)