Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Holidays

For the first time in three years the family was all together again for Christmas. Everybody was able to come home this year. Jared arrived on the 18th. Erin, Justin & Bennett arrived on the 20th. And Brett actually arrived on the 21st, even though he was supposed to arrive on the 20th too.

We had so much fun being together and getting to know Bennett.
It took a little while for him to warm up to us,
but then he was great.
Erin and Justin were even able to go away for the night
to celebrate their anniversary and he was just fine.

Everyone, including my mother-in-law
Helen, came over for dinner on Christmas Eve.
As you can see by Bennett's face,
we had chocolate mousse for dessert.

After dinner we all got out our musical instruments and played Christmas carols. It was a blast. Many of us hadn't played in awhile, so it was an adventure. We had a great time. And this time Lauren could play any song in the book. Amazing what three years can do for your skill level.

Here's a four generation photo. Erin, Bennett, Helen, and Glen.

Here's a picture of Erin, Bennett and Justin with Helen.

And here's a picture of all of us together. Wow!

These are all pictures from Christmas morning.
Here's Michelle showing us her loot.

Here's Bennett playing with what he wished were his toy.
He LOVED Glen's air compressor.
He loved the dials and knobs and was really cute playing with it.
Never mind that if Glen had turned it on
he would have been afraid of it.

Erin with the things she got from our family here.
She, Justin and Bennett had had their own
Christmas at home before flying out here.

Justin with his stuff.

Glen with Bennett.
I think Glen's best present was getting to spend time with Bennett!

Our college Freshman with his stuff.
Notice that it's all mission related.
White shirt and tie, dark suit,
new dress socks and black dress shoes.
Hair clippers from Erin and Justin
so he can cut his own hair.
OK, not too much that's fun,
but all stuff that a missionary needs.

You'll have to look closely at the picture to see Lauren's Santa gift. She has been wanting to go to Utah for a long time. She has even been saving her money, but the price of plane tickets just kept going up. What she didn't know was that she was getting a plane ticket to Utah during Regents testing week. She's holding the glass Southwest airplane ornament and the note explaining all that that she found on the tree. But not before looking all around the living room and wondering if Santa had forgotten her. She later told me that she wondered if the fact that she hadn't really had a specific thing that she wanted from Santa meant that she'd gotten nothing. But once she realized that she was going to Utah,
I think she was the happiest of all.

Brett with his loot.
One of which was an electric blanket
that he was really excited to use up in
freezing Rexburg, ID where he's going to school.

Bennett's dressed in an outfit that he got from us. What a cutie!

Somehow a tradition has developed in our family. Each Christmas season we get a puzzle. I think it started one year when we went to a Christmas party where there was a White Elephant exchange and we got a Christmas puzzle. Anyway for the last seven or eight years (maybe more) we've worked on a puzzle. They're at least 500 pieces, and we prefer the ones that are 1,000 pieces. It sits on the kitchen table (I know, a little inconvenient) until we finish it. And here we are with it done. I'd just gotten home from the gym and there was a flurry of activity as all the last pieces were quickly being put in. And then, in a flash it was done.

I'd purchased poppers (the kind from England) for New Year's Eve,
but couldn't fine them. So on Sunday when everyone was
gathered around for dinner we popped them.
Then all had little trinkets in them along with
the "cute" tissue paper crowns we all had.
Confetti went everywhere and it was a little loud, but fun.
I think made Brett a little nostalgic for England.

Everyone at the dinner table.

Erin with Bennett.
We tried to get him to wear a crown too, but he wouldn't.

Lauren and Erin.

Glen and Michelle!


Justin and Brett!

It was so fun to have everyone at home for Christmas.
And we know that it won't happen for at least another two years
because Jared will be on a mission (we hope)
for Christmas 2011 and 2012.
So look out Christmas 2013. Hopefully we'll do it all again!