Monday, December 19, 2011

A Family Christmas. .Take One

Well, this past weekend we officially started our Christmas get togethers. .with my family. We had a very short visit on Thanksgiving. .so we were excited to have a longer weekend to hang out. We always have a good time!
This was the cutest photo of the weekend. .Grant and my sister. And the first photo was our annual attempt to get 13 kids to look and smile at the same time. .you can see we failed once again. .unless someone else did better than I did. Oh well. The weather was gorgeous. .but did we make it outside to get a complete family photo. .NO. .they voted to wait until the snow was flying or when the temps were 10 below 0 like they were last year when my mom I-N-S-I-S-T-E-D that we go O-U-T-S-I-D-E! But I'm not bitter or anything :-)
The gift exchange was postponed until right after lunch so my brother could watch Pittsburg State University win the playoffs. Every time someone asked what time we were opening presents, they got the standard answer. ."Call Uncle Brendan and ask him!!" The kids opened gifts first. .and then we sent them elsewhere (like to the table to try out their new stuff). .
. .And the big kids congregated in a little bit of peace!
A peace only interrupted by little girls making sure everyone sported super soft, glossy lips. .
. .and by little girls stealing pieces of other people's bubble wrap.
My only living grandparent joined us for the day. .and we helped her try out her new winter scene puzzle. I apparently got my love of puzzles from her. .and had planned to break one out at our house this week for everyone to work on during the quieter evenings!
Auntie Mel LOVES little kid projects. .and she saw an idea to make snowmen pretzels the day before she left.
So, she accumulated the ingredients. .and the kids. .and, with the help of her sis in law Tina. .who graciously photographed the opportunity. .
. .and Grandma and Aunt Kristi. .they proceeded to have a GREAT time!
Everyone got their own pretzel rod freshly dipped in white almond bark by yours truly. .
And a handful of M&M baking bits for buttons, mini chocolate chips for eyes. .and their choice of a DOT candy (cause Walmart in Wichita DOESN'T even CARRY gumdrops. .ever. .let alone the only season where they are essential to gingerbread houses and snowman hats alike!!) and a gummy lifesaver to make the hats.
Teegan worked until he figured out that people were spilling lots of candies on the floor. .Yes. .we were doing it in the living room. .with carpet. .
that's what my mom said too!!
Even 18 month old Ryder helped out. .for a bit!! I'm sure that you have noticed that we used an ABSOLUTE cleanliness policy. .NO licking of the fingers took place. .I'm sure they were just itching their lips. .All of them!
When we finished creating our snowmen, we took fruit by the foot roll ups and made little scarves!!
Most of them turned out cute. .and the kids had a ball!! When we ran out of hat pieces because the big kids were sneaky and heisted some of them. .we just put on buttons and eyes. .and more chocolate. Everyone took home a bag of snowmen and other various creatures and creations crafted from pretzel pieces, white chocolate, and leftover candies.
Aunt Kristi made sure the carpets were cleaned up before Grandma had a heart attack. .
No vacuums needed here :-) This was Aunt Tina's best shot of the night :-) BUSTED!
While we created. .the rest of the family enjoyed sipping and visiting!
And Papa did what Papa does best!
Some enjoyed a movie on Grandma's bed. .
. .while others enjoyed a rousing game of QUARTERS. .now my children know how to play poker. .and how to play quarters!! And there is some speculation that Tristan has been practicing the game. .I choose to think that he is just naturally gifted!

6 more nights. .Hope you're all on the "nice" list!!


  1. So good to see a family all together. We had 3 separate family gatherings ourselves but all within driving distance this weekend. And, we worked around the battery dying on my car. One jump start to get it back home and then she wouldn't go anymore. My WH put in a new one this morning while it was still warm and dry. Blizzard like now. 6 more nights? He's on the good list for changing my battery! Merry Christmas.

  2. Jigsaw puzzles, M&M's, and Bubble Wrap---a perfect day!
    Have a very Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year, Melanie!

  3. Looks like a great day! Love the picture and Grant and your sister! Cute! I don't think my boys would get that close to MY sister! HAHA

  4. Wow! what a house full! I love the lip gloss ides. What a great idea. Girl after my own heart! Never take photos without lip gloss.
    Looks like a good time.

  5. Love your post!! It was such a great weekend!!! I'm definitely on the nice list. I don't know about all of the others in my household.... :)


  6. Great post Mel! It is fun to look back at our fun weekend in pictures. And yes, Nick is still sure Tristan is more than just "naturally gifted." Ha Ha! He has been telling all the farm buddies about the "unbelievable" shots he made. In his words "he has never seen anything like that happen before." It was a great weekend and we are so glad we got to spend time with everyone. Hope to see you soon!


  7. Oh, I really love the snowmen pretzels! They are so adorable! Those will be great memories for the kids. I can't believe your WalMart doesn't carry gum drops. I totally made gum drop garland for my tree this year out of gum drops purchased at our local WalMart. There was even an option...they came in two sizes. These weren't even in the seasonal stuff...they were in the regular candy aisle where those smaller clear cellophane bags hang with other candies like circus peanuts and other candies. Geeze, you really need to come to my Walmart! LOL!

  8. That all looked like a lot of fun! Those snowmen things are too cute - we may just have to try that. :) LOL on the "busted" photo!