Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Christmas Day 2015

On the afternoon of December 24th, we left our house to travel to my parents' house about 3 hours away. Travelling with littles is often not easy, and although the trip isn't too bad, it has gotten long and stressful in the past. However, this time we purposely planned to travel during nap time with hopes that all the kids would sleep in the car, and it worked! We ended up driving straight through with NO stops . . . we aren't able to do that very often!

We got to my parents' house in time to eat dinner and spend Christmas Eve with the family. My Granny Tiger was there visiting for about 10 days, my brother and his family were there, and my sister and her family were there. Since we all live in different states (except for my sister and me), we generally all crash at my parents' house. However, since my grandmother was also visiting that meant that there weren't enough rooms/beds for everyone. We were THRILLED to have my Granny there, so Chris and I didn't mind that we had to get a hotel room. We left the big kids at my parents' house for the night, but took the babies with us. 

On Christmas morning, we rejoined the rest of the family at about 9:30am. I was a little sad to not wake up on Christmas morning with all of my kids, but the Bigs had a great time spending the night with their cousins. After doing some cooking for our big Christmas lunch, we exchanged gifts!

Grampy and Brecklyn

Kaylee and Brooke

Brenson opening his first gift. 

Brianna opening her first gift.

Kaylee and Granny Tiger helped Brooke open her gifts.

Brecklyn remembered what this gift opening business was all about. She dug right in!

I realized after taking just a few photos that my camera battery was almost drained, and I hadn't grabbed our charger. Eeeek! I was disappointed, but my brother gave me his camera to use.

Kaylee, Brooke, Granny Tiger

Brianna, Daddy, and Brecklyn

Aunt Shawna and Brianna

The lighting in my parents' living room is terrible. They have these huge windows and the sun just pours in the top part of the windows (where there are no blinds or window treatments). My nephew, JT, was sitting in the perfect spot for the sun to ruin every photo of him. He wasn't disappointed with this arrangement, haha.

Granny T and Brooke

It gets pretty busy in the living room during gift opening even though we keep our Christmases fairly modest compared to many families.

I just love the mess made by opening gifts! 

Per our request, my parents got my four kids a group gift. We really wanted a small table and chairs for the playhouse, so that's what they got them. Of course, they all had to open it together :-).

Lisa, Chloe Jo, and Russ (who is looking hardcore, ha!)

Dad and Mom <3 p="">

JT, Kaylee, Shawna, and Jeremy in their annual couch photo

Our family on our first Christmas as a family of six. . . Love!

For the past several years, I've taken an "in the wrapping paper" photo of all the cousins, and it typically turns out really cute. However, as I keep adding littles to the mix, the photo gets more difficult to take! Plus, there's always Grampy trying to get in on it, as well!

This was the best I could do . . . I love how Bren is giving a thumbs up!

(clockwise from the top: JT, Brecklyn, Brenson, Kaylee, Chloe Jo, Brianna, Brooke)

My dad is a woodworker (as a hobby) and has a large shop of tools and such. Last year when we were all together for Thanksgiving, he and mom had a little project for the grandkids (birdhouses). This year, they decided to do another project and this time it was little toolboxes. I'm not sure about everyone else, but my kids really enjoy this! After we had a fantastic lunch, they went out to the shop to work on the project.

Brianna working hard.

Bren really has his concentration face on in this photo.

G-Jo and Bren

Poser, haha

Grampy helping Brianna

The babies did not go work in the shop with the others, but Grampy did build them each a toolbox. They already love to tote them around and fill them with stuff :-). 

The shop crew: Brecklyn, Grampy, Kaylee, Brianna, JT, Brenson, G-Jo, Chloe Jo, and Brooke

Once the project was complete, we all had a bit of downtime (naps for my littles), then we spent the evening playing and having fun. Part of us took a really nice evening walk, and we really just had some nice downtime. My brother loves superheros, so he and Brenson (and Brianna) dressed up in their capes and masks :-).

Kaylee loves babies, so she was happy to sit and hold a sleeping Brooke. 

On Saturday (December 26th), we went and had studio family photos taken (I'll do a whole post with those photos), then spent the afternoon and evening spending time together visiting and playing. My sister and her family headed home Saturday afternoon. After church on Sunday, a nice afternoon of rest, and church again, we had a little playtime at Mom and Dad's house before heading to our hotel. One of my kids' favorite things to do with Uncle Jeremy is "Elevator". 

Brenson doing Elevator


Brecklyn (with Brooke begging for a turn again)


Dogpile on Uncle Jeremy!

I haven't mentioned this yet, but the weather was kind of horrible while we were there. It started raining Friday evening, and it didn't stop for 4 days! And, it was COLD. Loading and unloading littles and babies to go back and forth between my parents' house and a hotel in the cold, pouring rain is exhausting. We were OVER it by the time Monday came, and we still had to get the van loaded to go home. Chris mainly loaded the van (and it was pretty packed by the time we got all the gifts in) while we spent a few more hours with family. 

Brooke, G-Jo, Brecklyn

I thought this was cute of all of us matching!
Brooke, Granny T, me, Brecklyn

Finally loaded and ready to go . . . there was just enough room for the Bigs to get in and out on the passenger's side.

Our drive home ended up being super stressful in spots and taking us almost 5 hours. After being on the road for about 45 minutes, we ran into bad weather (sleet, snow, ice, etc). We counted almost a dozen cars and trucks that ran off the road in a 2 miles span. The roads were just so slick! We slowed waaaaay down to be safe, but several vehicles were flying around us . . . and several of those vehicles were ones we saw in the ditch! 

Ice-covered roads

We should have made it home in time for a late lunch, but with the slow down it just wasn't going to happen. We decided to stop at a huge McDonald's that spans over the turnpike and eat there when it was about 1:30pm and we were still an hour from home. It has recently been remodeled, so we wanted to check it out. 

You can't tell, but we're standing in front of a window that overlooks the highway. 

Brianna and Brenson watching the cars drive under us. 

We were so thankful to pull into our driveway safely! Where we live, there was less ice and more snow (although not much, for sure).

It was a great Christmas spent with family! We were so thankful to be able to be with everyone, and equally thankful to be home :-).

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Looks like a fun Christmas with family! Your family is just adorable and I love hearing your stories.