Saturday, December 28, 2013

That was Christmas

I've got a lot of catching up to do, so I think I'll do it mostly in picture form.  I'm in my annual holiday hibernation mode now, so I'm keeping things easy.

I had a birthday.  It was a good one.  I've come to the conclusion that Sunday is the ideal day of the week for a birthday.  I slept in and Dale made crepes for breakfast.  We took the kids to Dale's mom's for their annual cousin cookie-baking extravaganza, then Dale and I went home and watched a movie that I wanted to watch - no compromising on my birthday.  Mike & Darla picked us up later and we went to Prairie 360 (the revolving restaurant) for dinner.  Darla's birthday was the day before, and in an ironic twist, we gave each other the exact same book as a present.  We all enjoyed our meals and the view, then they came over to play cards after.  It was a lot of fun.  On Saturday night Dale invited some friends and family over for birthday pie (he made lemon pie, my favourite).  Teresa was always a big part of my birthday - she usually made the cake and had us over and got me awesome presents.  Her physical absence was very obvious, but it made a big difference that so many friends and family called and emailed and messaged and took me out for lunch.  I sound like I'm seven years old and need lots of birthday attention, but I guess feeling special and loved is awesome at any age. 

On to Christmas.  We've had a busy few days, but it was all good.  We had lots of fun everywhere we went and had a great time hanging out with our families.

On Christmas Eve, we went to our usual candlelight service, then came home and opened a few gifts and played games.

Christmas morning - Santa came through.  Even Neve's doll's stocking was filled despite the very late hour of that addition.

There were no spectacular I-can't-believe-it gifts this year, although the Rainbow Loom came close.  The kids all chipped in and got Dale and I really sweet, thoughtful gifts.  I know Christmas is about more than gifts, but I love seeing the kids' excitement and smiles and it's neat to see them develop their love of giving too.

After the gifts were opened, we headed to Dale's mom's.  Dale's sister and her family from Florida were (and are still) here for Christmas.  They haven't been home for Christmas for a few years, so it was a big treat to have them here.  Chloe is especially thrilled to have her cousin Sarah here.

The next day, we headed to my parents' for more celebrating.

Dan & Jenn gave each of the kids T-shirts with pictures of them when they were babies or toddlers.  They were a big hit; the girls have been wearing theirs ever since.

My dad built a snow/bale fort

Playing fox and hound

Today is our first day at home.  I haven't showered or dressed yet.  The healthiest thing I've eaten so far is the nuts in my hazelnut chocolate bar.  I'm working on a puzzle, a pile of books, and helping Neve with her Friends Lego set.  We were going to go sledding, but there's a blizzard outside with a cold north wind.  If I needed an excuse not to go out, that would be it.

I hope you all had a magical Christmas.  Love you all!


Daniel said...

Great recap of your Christmas season - love all the photos! Especially Spencer's Buddha pose. Your decorations look beautiful - warm and elegant! Nice to see that fox & hound (or goose?) is still being played! And I see that Dad is still getting some wear out of that shirt! :-D

Anonymous said...

I loved so many of these photos!!! Chloe and Dale in the dance game (or whatever they were playing); Bailey laughing with all the cousins; Spencer's very impressive lotus pose; the printed photo of Chloe on her new shirt; the straw bale fort??? WANT!!; Spencer and Chloe hugging - so many to love!!!

And what book did you and Darla give each other? Hilarious!!! Had either of you read it already?

Merry Christmas, Ellen!! Maybe one year we can see each other at this time of year - so start saving to take the family to some hot and exotic place to be determined.


Anonymous said...

Whew...thanks, Darla. I thought I was losing it because I thought it was called fox and goose too. :)

What book(s) did you exchange?

I had to go back to find the lotus pose after 2 commentators mentioned it...I can't believe I didn't notice the first time. :)

Oh man, was Chloe ever super cute as a baby. At first I thought it was a picture of one of Jim and Sabrina's kids...that's a pretty strong family resemblance.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Nice pics Ellen! The kids around the table laughing is my favorite! Sheri-Lee- a lot of people say our kids look like Ellen (when she was cute, and small!)

Anonymous said...

Oh man. I just looked at the pictures on here in large format and snort laughed at the wii picture: Dale -- Mr.Intensity. Neve -- loving life. Chloe -- "What the heck is Dad doing?" :)

Jim, I totally think your girls are absolutely beautiful (and so is your sister for that matter). :)