Thursday, December 24, 2009

Four Christmases

Home Sweet Home
After a whirlwind weekend of traveling the state, we are home and happy for Christmas day! :)
Bader-Stain Christmas
We started our weekend with Billy's family and because we had several more stops to make, I spent the day making sweets and a few dishes for the meal.
The night before we left I had an "AHA!" know, where the lightbulb literally goes off in your head. I was dreading making Christmas candy {enough to supply FOUR Christmas parties!}, and then I thought of a way to make my life easier.
When making the peanut butter sandwiches dipped in chocolate, use my Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator to apply the peanut butter to the crackers!!

ha...why had I never thought of this before? Thank you Lord for that wonderful idea, for it truly made things run smoother, quicker, and cleaner!

This is how I spent my front of Nana's stove. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it to get it all made and be DONE!

Aunt Bridget and Uncle Danny shared some great Sean's going to be a BIG brother!!
That brings our toll up to NINE cousins on Billy's side. :) What a wonderful Christmas surprise.
While I was busy in the kitchen, someone {no idea who} took over for me as "photographer"...thank you! :) I LOVE pictures.
"Who touched my iPhone?"

Talk about a rare moment...three boys sitting still! :)

Me and my little king

Time for "peasants"!

Waiting patiently...

Before we made a mess of the house with wrapping paper and bows, we decided to take a picture of all the grandkids. This is what four cameras flashing at once does to seven kids aged six and under...

Out of all of those, these are the "good enough" ones... :)

NOW it's present time...first, presents from Pawpaw and Nana...

Isn't this too cute?? And he has a red Carhartt zip hoodie to match.

This year we let the kids each draw a name and then buy or make one gift for their cousin. Raegen received a Crayola Color Wonder set from Annelise {I think??}.

And Raegen's mommy Raegen made Alyssa a tutu and princess crown outfit.

Alyssa is THE definition of "girly girl" and she loved it...can you tell?
The adults also drew names and bought $30 gifts. I drew Amber's name and found a fancy smancy purse at Kohl's {of course!} that I LOVED and hoped she would too. I waited for it to go on sale and then used my 20% off coupon...I love a good buy!

And because Billy missed the tradition of playing "Dirty Santa", he decided it would be a great idea to take $5 gifts to exchange. So, he gave me the job of finding TWENTY-THREE $5 gifts!! ha. It was a fun challenge and I think I was able to find some nice things for $5...most of them were found at Kohl's on sale!
What a sport...
Billy modeling his $5 gift, a silver metallic giraffe print scarf.

"What is going on??"

Uh-oh! Ever the fierce competitor, Robby took the chance to steal Billy's beloved scarf!

What will Aunt Amber receive??
All this gift opening makes Brody a tired baby!

I think the $5 Dirty Santa was a hoot with Billy's family...there were a lot of laughs and even more steals!! We realize playing this game and even exchanging gifts has nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas and celebrating Christ's birth, but I do believe God enjoys seeing his children have a good time.
What a day!

We had planned to stay the evening, but there was "no room at the inn" so we drove on home. It worked out great because we were much more comfortable in our own beds and it gave me a little extra time in the morning to finish my dishes for the Richardson Family Christmas.
Richardson Christmas

Mom bought these decorated pine cones from a lady at her church.

Each of the girls got to pick one to take home.

They were all so pretty, it was hard to pick, but this is the one I chose:

Because I thought we would be traveling from Billy's parents home to my parents, I had to brainstorm a few "cold/travels easily" foods. My sister gave me the idea to make a vegetable crudite tray.

It was a great hit with the kids!
And so were these!! :)

Izzy was decked to the nines...her outfit was soooo cute!! It's hard to see, but her name was also embroidered above Santa's cap. So precious!

Mimi and Izzy

Let's eat!

I want some of that!

The grown-up table...

and the kids!

Raegen is not present because he immediately went down for a nap when we arrived. He had had enough traveling already and it was making him super grouchy and sensitive. His daddy and I thought it best he get some rest! Food can wait! :)

My dad takes the best pictures...really...I don't know how he does it, but he always manages to have the same expression in EVERY picture...

It's a true mystery!

Maybe that's where Raegen gets it! ha! Had to include this picture although it's not a great one of the little king. This is his gift from Aunt Stacy. She made him some adorable John Deere pajamas, complete with tractor applique on the top, AND a sketch book for the car. So thoughtful!

We each gave mom and dad a framed 8x10 of our families...

I sense someone being a little bossy... ???

I can't find the pic of mom opening Stacy's framed fam, but she gave one too! :)

With my family we agreed to play Dirty Santa {for the first time ever!!} with $25 gift Wal-Mart cards allowed!! :) Billy and I didn't see the fun in exchanging/stealing one $25 gift card for another, so we also brought along our $5 gifts to my family!

Henry Bug thought it was a great game! :)

And despite the outcome, there were tons of laughs too!

I don't think we won them over, but it's one of those games you have to play without feeling bad to take something from someone else. I asked dad if he had fun and he said he wished he hadn't taken the mag light from Kristen! :( Poor guy! And I doubt she really wanted the mag light in the first place!! fact, Justin stole the silver scarf from mom and I doubt it was for himself. haha.
I had to share these gifts Stacy made for Izzy...

I just love these pillowcase dresses because Izzy can wear them as tops with leggings next year when she's outgrown them as versatile!

This was our attempt at a family picture...

Stacy has a Canon Rebel EOS that can take TEN automatic pictures in one setting. It is AWESOME. My Nikon D60 will take ONE timed picture at a time or I can use my remote to take multiple shots. I have to admit, there are many advantages to having a camera that will take 10 at one time. It's great to not have someone behind the camera because the kids focus on the flash of the camera and their eyes stay fixed...not all around the room looking at everyone waving and trying to get them to smile! :)

These are a few of my faves...

Sunday School Progressive Dinner
When we left mom and dad's, we headed home, dropped Raegen off with a sitter, and headed straight to our Christmas party with our Sunday School class. We were late, but still made it just in time for dinner...most of you that know Billy would probably say, "that doesn't surprise me!"

We had a great evening of food, fellowship, and fun.

Dessert my favorite stop...of course!!

We played "four on the couch"...have you ever played that? It's a lot of fun, but hard to remember all the info needed to win the game.
Church Christmas Program

These are a few of Raegen's buddies from church. He LOVES the little guy on the right and generally calls his brother by the same name! Poor guy. :)

S-A-T-R...any relation to L-E-O-N, I wonder?

Raegen saying his lines...
"We have that happy story,
It's told to me and you,
It's right here in the Bible,
In St. Luke, Chapter TWO!"

Maybe I'll figure out how to put the video up of him saying his lines...we'll see...

Grandaddy and Mimi got to come see him in the Christmas program too. I was so surprised he was able to not only memorize his four lines, but recite them too! Not sure how many people understood what he said, but he said it nonetheless! :)
And this concludes our weekend of "Four Christmases"!

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