I started early this year in hopes of getting packages out to Gracie in Florida, Luke, Jenn, Karly, Spence and Noah in Georgia, Daniel, Dalynn, Mika, Ember and Marian in Maryland and James, Elizabeth and Gwenevere in Tacoma in time. We started the ornament tradition with all the grandchildren and so they got either a Christmas angel or a toy soldier cross-stitch.
Lindsay came over to make fudge with Alisha.
Will and Jenni were the first to arrive on Tuesday. Will found my "over Christmas break - to do list" and started in on several projects. He actually finished it off within a short time (much shorter than the time it would have taken me to do it). Thank you, Will!!! That was a fantastic Christmas present.
Preston had left his "blanket" at Granma Great's house on the way over so we found a "Cars throw blanket" and stayed up one night tying off the sides for him. I think he enjoyed playing on it as much as sleeping with it.
Haini and Kristi were the next to arrive on Wednesday. Marley joined me on my bed one afternoon for some quiet time
and Elijah played with the Christmas blocks my friend brought over for me.
At breakfast, Preston ran his car "McQueen" around the edge of his bowl.
I came home from work one day to find two snowmen in the front yard. Haini had been outside with the kids and although Sitani wanted a snow"man", Marley wanted a snow"woman". She actually asked for her snow woman to be far away from Sitani's snowman so "he can't tackle her".
Jenni and Kristi brought stuff to make Gingerbread houses and everyone joined in the fun. Some houses were castles of candy before they were done.
Then Jenni made us a pot of wassle and it was wonderful. We kept it on the stove top so we could enjoy a cup anytime we wanted. Afterwards, Preston found a good book, his Cars blanket and settled into Granma's chair for a while.
Haini did all the snowblowing while Sitani did the shoveling and then they joined the family for a snowman picture.
Mark and Laura came in just in time for Christmas Eve dinner. Mark hadn't been well for a couple of weeks so we were really pleased that they could make the drive from CO. to join us.
The girls all helped in the kitchen
and before too long we were stuffed little piggies. Granpa shared his therapy toys with the grandkids
and Jenni played the piano for us.
Will and Jenni lead us in a wonderful Christmas Family Night where we dressed up and acted out the Nativity Story. After FHE we opened a few presents - pajamas, Christmas books, stocking hangers and ornaments. Nearly the whole mantel was covered with stocking hangers.
Elizabeth had made and sent over the cutest owl ornaments for everyone.
We had family prayer and headed off to bed to wait for Santa to come.
In the morning everyone enjoyed the Santa gifts and before long the phone started ringing. I had it close by waiting for Sister Gracie to call home. This was the first time we would have talked to her since she left on her mission in June. Needless to say, we were pretty excited to hear from her. As soon as I answered the phone and said hi, she said, "Mom, go find Laura." I thought she wanted to talk to Laura first but everyone was telling me to "go find Laura". So, I went and found her at my desk on my computer. I started to hand the phone to her when I noticed - it was Gracie on my computer. Laura and Mark had purchased a Skype Webcam for Dad and I and they were already connected to Gracie's webcam in Florida. She was at her neighbor Diane's house using Diane's phone and camera. So, we not only got to talk to her we got to see her and really visit. It was fantastic. Everyone got a chance to use it and we even took a picture of Gracie on the other end
She took one of us and posted it on her blog, too.
Everyone took their turn to leave for home or other Christmas visits so we ended with a fun pancake breakfast with the Sugu kids before they headed home.
Oh, Christmas Time! Oh, Christmas Time!! How fun it is with Family.
(I know it's not really the way they sing it, but I love it anyway!)