We had our big family Christmas on Sam's side on Friday and that was really fun, too. The kids got handmade super soft large blankets which they immediately wallowed in. They don't take after me and my love of extremely soft textures or anything.;p They also got some really great jammies. I love jammies and so do the kiddos. I love that they get excited about getting clothes and undies and socks! I pray that never changes!:)
Now, some may know that I love to wrap presents in a...different...sort of way. I have a love/hate relationship with money and gift cards. I love it because the recipient can go get whatever they want and there's no worries about returns and did I get the right thing and all that. I hate it because normally, you put it in a card and it takes less than 2 seconds to open and then you just sit there. Ugh. So, if there is a gift card or money going to someone on my list, I like to make it a little interesting. If its money, I usually fold it into a shirt or bowtie or some other money origami. Previously, I have rolled it in a ball of crepe paper so that it takes quite a long time to get to the center and then as you unroll it at that point the money starts shooting out. That's fun to watch. I have also done a gift card where I went and got lots of used gift cards from Walmart or Sam's or someplace and made little envelopes for them all and put them all in a box so you have to dig through and open bunches of them to get to the real one. :) That's fun to watch, too. :) I've also wrapped a gift card in an envelope which I then wrapped in graduating boxes, occasionally wrapping a box here and there in duct tape. That's one of my favorites. hehe. This year, I had my oldest nephew, Elijah, on my list and he wanted a gift card. Well, I happened to come across the Real Simple web site where they showed how to make a gift card snow globe. That appealed to my love of unusual wrapping techniques. First, because I had fun making it. Second, because with the weight of the water and size of the box, there was no way to tell what was in the present by looking at or holding it. Third, because its just different. Win, win, win! He definitely liked it when he got to it, so that made my day. You can see it in the pics. My mom and granny came to see us bringing their load of Christmas goodies on Saturday. I know I've mentioned before that my mom basically dresses my kids. Between her and the wonderful hand-me downs from aunts/uncles and cousins and other gifts of clothing throughout the year, I don't really buy many clothing items for my kids. We are sooooo VERY blessed! Anyway, my mom bought the kids a ton of clothes as well as a few toys. Ailey got a baby stroller and the boys got a couple of water guns, and a car set doodad along with a dvd for all. My granny brought peanut butter cookies and pear bread. I know the pb cookies were mostly for the kids, but those suckers are downright addictive and I do believe Sam and I ate the majority of them...really need to get my granny's recipe!
So a big, huge thank you to everyone for their gifts of love!
The best part, of course, was getting to spend time with our family. We've really missed them and didn't know until very close to Christmas whether or not we would even be able to make the trip. I wasn't sick the entire time even during the drives! God is so good! We got to go Christmas caroling on Christmas Eve even though it was sprinkling and spitting off and on. Man, I love to do that! We had so many of the people say they were really blessed by that, but we were so blessed to be able to do it. Now, if we could possibly get the snow going and get a sled with a team of horses..... Hey! It could happen. Texas weather is just crazy enough!
Food. Oh, the food! We might have missed Thanksgiving, but I do believe we made up for it with Christmas! We had a really yummy Christmas lunch and then my mom and granny brought leftovers from their lunch with them and it included ham and my aunt Scarlet's broccoli cheese casserole, which is a personal favorite of mine! We were considering making rolls for dinner because we forgot about them for lunch and had run out, but guess what was in with the leftovers? Rolls! I'm tellin' you God will bless and provide in even the seemingly smallest ways! I love that about Him! So, one less thing we needed to worry about. Yay!
I know more stuff happened than I can really remember to write about, but I do have LOTS of pics, so hang on to yer britches, here they come!
Pepaw and Lerloo. I love this pic. Its sooo sweet!
This is little mister Michael.
This is Lauren. She is 3 months younger than Ailey and the only other girl mixed in with all the boys. Fun! We had an impromptu photo session.
After the photo session, off came the dress and I just couldn't help take more pics. She's a whole lot of huggy chubby sweetness and I had to capture it before she grows out of it!
This one made us all laugh. I said, "Girl you've already got cleavage!" Aaahhh! Just kidding, but it was funny! This is one of those pics that an Auntie will save until just the right moment...oh, say at the engagement party or something....? ;p
This is my sweet Boaz. He is the youngest of four brothers and 3 months younger than Braden. Braden adores him! His birthday was back in September and because I was so sick, I couldn't make him a cookie bouquet then. So, I made him one and brought it with me for a VERY late birthday present.
These are all the cousins sans one. Dakota was hangin' with his dad and came later on the weekend, so I didn't get a pic of him.
I love taking multiple pics when we are trying to get them all to pose or smile or what have you because you get to see the real behind the scenes. :)
Elijah, the biggest on the left end of the couch is the oldest. He's gonna be 14 in January. He's already taller than his parents, around 5' 11" or better. He's definitely taking after his grandpa on his mom's side who is 6' 7". His heart is heading that way, too. Very tender and caring and teachable! I really love watching this clan grow up. Each of the kids is amazing in their own way and I love to watch how God is molding them. It blesses me more than I can express!
This picture might be overpowering due to the overwhelming handsomeness involved. :)
There's a handsome bunch, too, especially the biggest kid....hehehe.
Everyone was helping to open everyone's presents. One day all this helpfulness will be channeled.....mmmwwahahahahaha!
This is Zekey's super soft puppy blanket made by Aunt Jenny. I have thought a few times about confiscating it....I'm just sayin'.
I thought this progression was interesting. Out of the bag...
Gettin' a good hold on it....
Right over the head....? Haha!
The previously mentioned snow globe. :)
Luke with a captivated audience. He's seriously a favorite with all the kiddos.
I got Lauren a stroller, too. Thought that was a very good idea and then the girls were able to push their babies around together. That baby was actually her momma's when she was a little girl.
Ailey and her new jammies.
Ailey and her monkey blanket....which I thought was very appropriate given her propensity to climb everything. Aunt Jenny and the boys immediately thought about her upon seen that fabric. :)
Lauren came over to check out Ailey's stash.
Saturday was a lazy day. We brought Bibleman dvds with us and together with the comfy blankets, the kids were lovin' this down time.
I was laughing because at first Michael didn't want to be under the pink blanket, but after a few minutes was okay with it. Later I came in to find that he and Ailey were having a difference of opinion as to who should get to lay on it. :)
The kids all got rainboots, which is a NECESSITY, in this household.
This was just the tip of the clothing iceburg...
Ailey got awoken and took a bit to get sorted before she joined in the fun. A rare Granny pic....but I still got it! She's coming around. Normally, she'll try to block me with her hand. I told her its not about her, its for the kids! :)
Ailey thought the stroller should be for her instead of the baby. Notice the discarded baby at the bottom of the picture.
My mom has been asking me for years to get her a calendar with pics of the kiddos. So, finally this year, I got on Snapfish and put one together. It was made even better that they were having a buy one calendar, get two free sale, so I was able to get one for Sam's mom and my granny! Yahoo!
I also made my mom a necklace, earring and bracelet set, but didn't get a pic of her in it.
Can you guess what these are?
Zekey's putting on a gun show!
Braden really, really liked this car, but alas it has been swallowed up by the toy black hole and has yet to be seen for a while.....
I really don't know what was going on here.
Okay, this was just a mess. We were trying to get one with all of us smiling....let's see how many pics that took....1...
3....Seriously! Mom and Granny, get with the program!
Oh! Lost Granny on that one.
And, good enough.;)