Jeremy’s brother’s family and his sister’s husband all flew in on Christmas day. So, after church, I took over brocolli cheese soup, blueberry muffins, veggies, and cookies. It was good to see everyone and meet Miles for the first time. We just hung out for the remainder of the day. The cousins had fun getting to know each other again. Madison and Theo drove cars over ticklish Ellie who asked for them to do it again and again! Miles was fun and smiley. It was relaxing. It was especially nice as we left that night, that we only had to drive for about 2 minutes to get home from his mom’s instead of 20 minutes!
The next morning around 9am, we gathered for Christmas brunch – egg casserole, baked oatmeal, and cinnamon rolls. It was delicious. We had Christams afterwards. The cousins give each other gifts each year. Madison received extra Lego blocks to create with, and Ellie got a Lambie to cuddle with. Jen made a memory game that had pictures of things that would remind the girls of Papa Yoh – safety first, Rudy Ruritan, fair tickets, etc. It was really neat, and as they get older, they will appreciate the meaning of this more. The girls received Paper Doll blankets from Gloria. They are small quilts with a girl appliqued on it. Then there are velcro pieces to attach different clothes to. It is a unique idea. They also got sketchbooks, colored pencils, and how-to-draw books with simple steps. These have been a hit! They drew the pictures at the Bricker Christmas, later the next day, and during the breaks at a wrestling match. It is so neat to see how they can create animals out of these simple pictures.
We came home and built Legos for about 2 hours before we needed to leave for the Bricker Christmas. I had prepped the food I was taking that morning so that I could actually build Legos with the girls. I had put them off the previous day because I was getting food ready, so I wanted to be able to answer questions they had been asking while I was cooking. They had both done an amazing job following directions. Madison pretty much completed her entire set by herself. Ellie had made it with few mistakes about halfway through her set; impressive because it is for older kids.
We headed to lunch at Marianne and David’s house. It is always so inviting there, and Marianne works hard to make it ready for everyone’s arrival. It is a labor of love each holiday. There is a cousin exchange here among Jeremy’s cousins, and the adults exchange gifts as well. It is fun to see what gifts show up – some quirky, some intentionally silly, and some spot-on for the person. As is tradition, the girls (or great-grandkids) pass out the gifts. There is also a lot of laughter, talking, and memories made here. It is good for the girls to be a part of this bigger family environment. They don’t get to see extended family on my side of the family – not because we don’t get along (we do!), but because of the distance we live from all of them.
We spent most of this past week between our house and Gloria’s. It is good to soak up as much family time as possible, and since Jeremy’s siblings live out of state, we take what we can get. I am thankful for the effort both famillies make to come as frequently as they can. It is quite a trip for both of them. On Thursday, Gloria hosted a pizza party and “Aunt Jane’s BINGO night”. There were about 30 people there eating, talking, and playing an untraditional BINGO with decks of cards and a slew of interesting gifts/prizes to choose from. It was a good night. Theo and the girls enjoyed shuffleboard and running up and down the room.
I think this may be it for this year, unless I manage to post about Madison’s birthday tomorrow night. Until then…