The living room before the onslaught
The kids grudgingly agree to a photo before they come downstairs
MC got a ukulele
Thomas got two animal encyclopedias and loves them both!
Ellie got her own ripstick since she often uses Steven's more than he does!
I love this moment of excitement
A big kit of clay crafts
SJ picked out an Aggie mug for Daddy
MC reading Katie's new Shining Light book to her, a lovely story of all the apparitions of Mary.
They dig in to the Legos
Katie got a little baby doll
My parents arrived around lunchtime, and we had a nice afternoon with them. We will do our gift exchange when my brother's family arrives this week.
My mom collects Nutcrackers and got this beautiful one from my aunt.
Tortilla soup has been the meal of the season; we've served it for two sets of guests, and at two different parties. We had the leftovers for lunch on Christmas Day!
Steven Joseph got a real bow and arrow, which is being enjoyed by children and adults alike!
The afternoon was spent in intense baking mode, as the girls and I baked cookies for the inaugural cookie contest with Steven's family that evening. I saw a friend post about these "Silver Bells" on Facebook and they looked right up my alley! I didn't win or even get votes aside from my own, but they are definitely a new favorite for me!
After some resting, visiting, and baking, we headed across town for the B family Christmas! This was one of those years where we got takeout instead of cooking and had some yummy Italian food from Buca de Beppo.
MC wore my old reindeer sweatshirt, i.e. her "ugly Christmas sweater!"
Something interesting was being discussed here!
Katie Grace is not sure about all these people.
Trying to climb up on Mommy all evening!
She only wanted me or Ellie most of the time!
We had to discuss the whole "fishy business"
There is this running gag gift of a rubber fish that makes his appearance at holidays and has been in the family about 20 years!
This year he had a big fish join him with this giant inflatable in the front yard! We all got a text with a video of this guy and ran outside to see what it was. Too funny. Now they've made a scrapbook for the fish and there is always an adventure and mystery going on about him. I'm not sure how the giant Billy Bass will be a part of it too!
Always time for sports and TV
Soon it was time for the most exciting part of the evening, the kids' gifts. Grampatti made it a game and the kids had clues and keys and had to find which duffle bag was theirs.
Grampatti always outdoes herself with unique gifts for each of the kids. They all got 3-4 items in their bags plus a gift card!
After things settled down, it was time for some chess.
And time to watch some Jimmy Fallon lip sync battles and a movie!
We all enjoyed meeting the newest family member, Scout the blue heeler puppy which joined the family of Steven's sister Paige and her husband Winn and four boys. That will be one loved dog!
We arrived home after midnight and have spent this weekend catching up on rest! It's been a very fun holiday and we look forward to even more fun with family and friends in the days to come as we celebrate Christmas with my family, New Year's and Epiphany with friends, followed by Mary Clare's 13th Birthday! Merry Christmas to all! As I shared on Facebook, as Catholics this joyful season of Christmas has just begun.