Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

We didn't have big plans for New Years Eve. At the last minute we started throwing out ideas with Eric and Rach of what we could do with the kids. We tried the bowling route but it was pretty booked up and expensive. Plan B was meeting at a local brewery and then dinner at our house after.
The brewery had some fun bar games, a food truck, and a live band!
We played battle ship and ate tater tots with the sassy crew!
I'm not sure who ever won the battleship challenge.
Following the games were a bucket of fresh donut holes!!
The grown ups were more focused on the brews.
Full of sugar the sassy crew was fired up.
We let them loose on the "dance floor" in front of the band. It was quite the show.
The whole bar got into it.
Thank goodness the band had a sense of humor and went with it.

Never ending moves from Gemma and Gwyn. So much hip thrusting!!!
We came back to our house after to BBQ some tri-tip and have more drinks and good food. The kids got their treat with sparkling cider. We all watched the ball drop in New York. That is also the official new year for all those with small children.
We gave a big shout out to 2018 before going to bed!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Day

The little excited ones woke bright and early Christmas morning. It wasn't too terribly early, about 6:30 am. They went to check under the tree and the stockings. Luckily everything seemed to be in order and Santa had come! We all got up and as the sun was coming up we crept out to start opening stockings and gifts. 
Gemma got a new jewelry organizer with some new clip on earrings, a necklace and some gift cards to Claire's and Ulta beauty.
Lily got a giant art set with a wooden case and easel from Santa! It also came with a book on learning to sketch.
Winston must have made the nice list by a small miracle and he got some new balls, squirrels and a hedgehog! Dog heaven!
Grampy-Clause  may have done his shopping on Christmas Eve and got beautiful floral baskets for Carole and myself.
Lily got the giant lego hospital set she wanted from Mom and Dad. Take note she also got new eye shields which she promptly wore all morning on her forehead.
Alex got a magic set from Lily and Gemma, I expect lots of talent show performances ahead!
Santa brought Gemma real high heal shoes! We know Santa is the real deal because Alex and I would not have given her real high heel shoes! Now all we hear all over the house is the clip clop of high heel shoes all day. Apparently they go with everything.
There was a special gift for Lily and Gemma from Mom and Dad. Mickey ear headbands and a note that we're going to Disneyworld for spring break!
Then the carnage left behind after all the gifts were opened. Yes we cuddle by the fire, on the TV.
Time to get started on the huge lego set. We could say goodbye to Lily for the next three hours.
More important it was time for the mom gifts. A nice spiked cup of coffee in a new holiday mug.
The table was all set for a yummy Christmas breakfast. We had our chocolate chip coffee cake aka Jesus birthday cake which the girls like to sing happy birthday to Jesus and blow out the candles. We balanced it out with eggs and potato bake and some fruit.
Then we needed to try out all our new gifts. Gemma wore her new LOL flip shirt for the next three days straight. We did her nails with her fancy nail kit. Alex tried out his mini drone in the house hitting everything in sight.
Gemma was pretty excited about our upcoming trip to Florida!!
Then a few hours later Goppy came over to visit. Gemma gave a her a quick make-over with her new make up set. Then Lily had completed her lego set and it was ready to play.
She also got some really great kitty gear for her ongoing status as crazy cat lady.
It was a pretty great Christmas over all. Alex and Carole slaved away in the kitchen all afternoon and make an amazing supper of prime rib, yorkshire pudding and all the fixings. We all went to bed happy!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve

We had a nice quiet relaxing morning on Christmas Eve. Everyone was home from work since it fell on a Sunday this year which was really nice. We got a few last minute things ready for Christmas day and recovered from our party the night before.  Then our family went to church at Ascension Lutheran at 3pm. It was nice to get all dolled up in our Christmas dresses. The church was decorated beautifully,
Once we got home from church we tried to take a few nice pictures in front of the tree.  Winston has to be bribed to sit and pose but he is always looking around for treats.
We tried using the timer for a group shop but the dog insisted on looking at the treat giver not the camera. Maybe we should have propped up the bacon treat on top of the camera. That might have ended in disaster.
We got a nice shot in the end with Winston off stage.
We had a nice quiet dinner together and then relaxed on the couch with some bedtime stories. We always have to read the night before Christmas.
Then Lily read us the Grinch who stole Christmas.
The girls were ever so eager to go to bed for once.
Winston was ready for an early night too. He knew he needed to save his energy waiting up for Santa.
One last pose in front of the tree before it is stuffed with gifts.
Of course they left a plate of cookies and milk for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, and a special note for the big guy too.
Lily had a really hard time falling asleep and kept coming out saying she couldn't fall asleep. We tried all kinds of techniques to fall asleep and after about 9:30pm she must have finally fallen asleep so Santa could come. Alex and I stayed up watching the Holiday but couldn't stay up waiting for the big guy either. Winston did bark a bit in the night so he must have sensed the reindeer were near.
It looks like we must have made the "nice" list!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Eve-Eve Party

We usually have a Christmas Eve get together after church at our house. We all go to church then come home with family and have lots of fun appetizers and good drinks letting the kids run around until it's time to get ready for Santa to come. This year our Oregon cousins were in town until the 23rd so we decided to bump our party up one day and have an Eve Eve party!
Also because the party is always in full swing and loud and crazy we never get photos of the party. We set up a "photo booth" a couple years ago and it was a fun way to get pictures of our family at the party.
We tried to up our game this year by purchasing a little holiday photo kit and hanging it in the living room with out camera set up on the tripod.
Once the party got in full swing the sun had gone down and was starting to make goofy lighting and shadows but you get the idea. Granny and Grampy are here this year for the holidays and got forced into the fun. This is definitely not how it is done in England but as long as everyone's glasses are kept topped up it doesn't really matter!

The kids were much more willing participants. 
Meagan was the brave one with the wild and crazy crew, Reese, Gemma, Meags, and of course Conall putting the moves on his cousin Gwyn.

Our Oregon peeps were so much fun! We wish we could be with them more often!
Little cousins Ben and Gwyn and Rach and Eric are always party animals.

We finally pulled the drapes closed to get better lighting in the background. Papa and Nini had so much fun.
Even Goppy, Judy and Penny got in on the action.
Then there was Goppy with all her grandkids.
One last pic with Meagan, CJ, Pete and Penny before the party went wild and the great photo booth collapse occurred.
Well, you know it was a successful party because we crashed the photo booth and there was not a drop of jingle juice left.
We did a little gift exchange with the cousins.
This was a good rehearsal for the big day ahead.
Gwyn and Conall each got a barrel of monkeys which is really pretty telling of their personalities.
The party didn't shut down until almost 11PM which is really saying something with all the little kids involved. We sure know how to have a good time!! Lucky we all had the next day to recover before Christmas.