Sunday, January 26, 2014

Christmas 2013

So it has taken me a while to upload our holiday pictures, but we DID indeed celebrate Christmas and New Year's with the California Melins and Grandma & Grandpa Melin. It was a very relaxed holiday season. While I missed my family, there is something to be said about staying home and taking it easy (especially in a brand new house). We felt so grateful for the generous gifts and thoughtful activities planned by Jess & Kelli and mom and dad. Uncle Mike Melin came and stayed at our house and we loved having him here. It was fun to have friends and neighbors and missionaries drop by to share treats and good wishes...we felt so happy and loved.
On Christmas Eve we hosted family at our house starting around 2pm. Kelli brought gingerbread house kits from Trader Joe's and everyone teamed up to make the houses while I finished dinner prep. It was so fun to watch everyone work together and see their unique creations (and eat yummy candy!).

Grandma & Heidi

James & Cousin Matthew
Our little village of German Gingerbread Hausen
We ate dinner around 4:30pm. We have a tradition of choosing some kind of international menu and trying something new for Christmas Eve, but this year we chose Kansas City Barbecue in honor of Grandpa & Grandma Melin's mission call to Independence/ Kansas City, Missouri. We had pulled pork and corn on the cob and cole slaw...yum!
After dinner, the kids went down stairs for some wild cousin partying and the adults visited upstairs. Within the hour, the kids came up and invited us to  their "Christmas Program." What we thought was a wild rumpus was actually our kids putting together their own Christmas Pageant, straight out of the New Testament. At first we were giggling at their cuteness, but then I was holding back tears, thinking about how cool it was that THIS was how they chose to spend their cousin time together. I'm pretty sure Jess and Kelli would agree, it was the very best gift we got this year.

Very Sweet kids dressed as Holy Family, angels, shepherds, and sheep gathered around to sing to baby Jesus.
We finally have a place to hang our stockings by the chimney with care!
Just as the kids finished their program, the missionaries knocked on the door and came to share a special
 Christmas video message with us. It was very sweet and helped to calm the kids down. The family headed back out to the ranch after that and we got the kids to bed after watching the MoTab Christmas Special with Tom Brokaw.

stockings first

Niles opening his bike

James with Duck Dynasty pjs

Addie's new suitcase

Heidi with part of our family gift from Jess & Kelli--
a basketball AND a hoop for our awesome new driveway!
We also got a trampoline for summer time, but that pic was blurry.

Heidi was so excited to get an Xbox and Minecraft.
 She has created quite the Minecraft world!

iPod speakers for both girls, and a jolly Uncle Mike!

Rich got Chicken Poop lip balm from his dad.

Niles ready to hit the road

Jess & Kelli brought us this GOLD MINE of a Trader Joe's gift basket!
So many spices and sauces and treats! If it had come with some magical eegee's making machine,
my culinary life would be complete! We enjoyed these treats for several weeks to the point of addiction.
Such a great gift.

Here I am amidst the Christmas debris with my two sweet boys.
A Merry Christmas was had by all!
Unfortunately we have no New Year's pictures, but we all attended our Ward NY party/ Talent Show and most of the kids performed--Addie & Heidi sang and played piano, Summer did a puppet show, Matthew read jokes, and we ate treats and enjoyed some amazing talents from our friends, as well. We headed home around 9pm. James came down with a bit of a tummy bug just as we were leaving for the night, so he and Rich stayed home and had a Men in Black marathon. I fell asleep around 10:30 pm, but Rich stayed up with the big kids to ring in 2014, then we spent New Year's Day out at the ranch sledding and enjoying family time. It was a sweet and mellow way to ring in the new year.


Dear Loved Ones,                                                                                                                         1...