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!|
|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|