Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013.

Much the same as the last few years, Christmas Eve is bigger for us than Christmas Day.  We love the two days of family, fun, and food! 
My mom goes all out.  We have appetizers, the main course, and a chocolate fountain to finish it all off.  
This is my parent's tree. They have 3 children and 9 grandchildren. We have been really lucky to all be together for the past two holidays.  

In the past, the grand kids have picked names and just exchanged between one cousin.  This year, Tiffany suggested we do a candy exchange instead.  It's much like a white elephant game.  Everyone's names get put in a bowl and then drawn out randomly.  They can steal other's candy or choose an unopened gift. It was a lot of fun to watch and the cousins said they liked that exchange better than the gift exchange.  Great idea Tiff!
The girls ended up with these in the candy exchange.

Directly after my parents house, we headed down to the Christmas Eve party with the Cowles.  We eat and then play the M & M game.  We roll the dice and if you get doubles, you have to run up and try and retrieve as many M & M's as you can with a butter knife off the pan until someone else who has rolled doubles get's to come up and take your place.  It's been a tradition for years.  One year Diane (who is in charge of this game) got fake M & M's and was subsequently put on the naughty list that year. She has since learned it is called  the M & M game for a reason.

After the M & M game, we played Head's up.  It's like reverse charades.  Pretty funny to watch the people trying to get the one person to guess what's on their card.  Here are a few shots of that game.
  Look at Jason's face.  He looks disgusted with Jeff. :)

This one was shaving.
I'm guessing this was Gangnam Style.  If so, way to go Margaret for knowing this one!
Then, the fun doesn't stop for us!  Nope!  We head to the Wood's for gift exchanges as well.  Are these kids spoiled or what?
Merry 'actual' Christmas Day!
See Jason's yawn?  We were up at about 6:30.  I didn't even have to wake up the kids this year.  I'm usually too excited to sleep in but this year, the kids woke us up.  
Santa couldn't forget Sadie.  Ellyse is helping her open her gift.
See the book in the lower right corner?  That is a book given to me by the girls and Jason that recorded their voices reading me the story of the First Christmas.  I bawled throughout!  It was so touching and I will cherish it forever!  I love that I have their voices recorded at this age! 

Jason's take.

Sadie ripped up this bad boy in about 5 minutes. 
The girls playing with their dolls. You can see a little of what Ellyse got in the background.  I spaced getting a picture of Allie's gifts.  I'm pretty sure my mom did though.  I'll have to add that in later.
Once we were all done opening gifts, we headed back to the Wood's for a yummy breakfast.  Diane spoils 
us too!  All I had to bring was the parfaits.  She made a yummy egg casserole and orange pecan french toast.  Brittny brought her family's traditional monkey bread.  Yum!
We hung out for a while until my parents were ready to come back to our house to see what the girls got.  We chatted and had lunch at our place and played with toys. That evening we headed back  to the Wood's again for dinner and games.  Margaret and Ben stopped by and we were lucky that they stayed for dinner and games as well.  We love family time together, especially fun family time.  That is one of our best gifts we received!  Merry Christmas!

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