We spent most of Christmas day at my parents' house. We arrived a bit later than everyone else so everyone was ready to open gifts right away!
First up are always the stockings...this year mom had a special surprise up her sleeve. She had made all new stockings for everyone! They are super cute. She realized that there are a LOT of "A's" in our family and she had to buy, I think, five or six packs of letters to get enough of that vowel. In an unrelated note, if anyone needs a "Q" or "X" for a monogram, I know the perfect person to ask.
Before we officially began the festivities, Austin read us a letter that he had written to our family. It was very neat and he did not only a great job writing it, but reading it out loud too! What a kid!
This was the first year that we were able to celebrate Christmas in my parents' finished basement! They have a ton of space and no one was crowded!
Later in the day Austin and Jake put these headlamps to good use playing outside in the snow!
After stockings we moved upstairs to open the non-Santa gifts.
Rob was was sporting a massive black eye at this point (I think the result of an accidental head-butt from one of his kids...). I told my sister there was a super cute photo of them...except Rob looked like he was wearing more makeup than her. Maybe she has some mad Photoshop skills that can fix it!
I just love seeing everyone's reactions to gifts. The kids are super excited, but even the adults have a great time with things! But I especially love that no kid walks away sad or jealous; each of them gets truly excited watching one of their cousins open a gift. I think that's neat.
Katelyn's gift from grandma and grandpa was too big to wrap. She opened a box that told her to shut her eyes...
Grandpa rolled out a new bike!
Maddie and Jake each received a Nook. When Mike and I suggested it, we were pretty sure that they just didn't know they would really like one. I think they've gone over well. I know Maddie has already read a full book on hers and is excited to get the free Nook books each Friday!
Mom's always excited no matter what you get her. Gifts are fun!
Dad usually ends up with a posse of "helpers" to open his gifts...
Addison received an Elmo that was about as big as her. It's mouth moves when it talks and it talks when you hug it. Later she gave him a hug and Elmo's mouth was moving against her neck. Someone asked her what he was doing and she said, "Elmo's eating me!"
Mom has mentioned a few times how she really liked the sign I made for our basement. When I called Tracy to tell her what I was getting mom she said, "Well that's good....she was dropping some pretty strong hints to you the other day."
After opening gifts it was a day of food and fun (and more food)! Mom and dad have quite a set-up in their basement. The week before they had purchased a dart board, air hockey table, a Foosball table, and dad had convinced mom that they could also fit in a ping-pong table because it could fold up and be easily stored in their back room.
Mike joked to dad that I would be the first person to put a hole in their wall with the darts. His prediction was true...in fact, I think I put in the first three holes. After the second one, Ellie came up to me and said, "Aunt Kerry...I'm going to tell grandma that you put holes in her wall!" Then I had a brilliant idea and I told her, "Absolutely, Ellie! You should...in fact, go tell her right now!" Ellie did. I'm not dumb...that kind of news is way easier to digest from a cute grandchild than your own 40 year old daughter!!
All the kids played outside or in the basement and the adults could visit or play games or eat. It's always a very fun day and this year was no different!
We did take our silly picture; but first I would like to point out something I have noticed the last few years.
Here is 2011's silly picture. Please notice Rob's outlandish pose.
This is our second silly picture: 2012. Again...Rob outdid himself.
In 2013 Rob went above and beyond with the shiner on his eye.
Actually, Mike's not far behind him in the "I don't do silly pictures" posing. However, Mike broke down at least one year earlier than Rob. I'm convinced the "silliness" floodgates will crack wide open for Rob in 2014. If not...well, we may have to enlist more than one of his kids to head-butt him again to at least make him look a little sillier.