Saturday, December 29, 2012

Celebrating Christmas

 Christmas landing on a Tuesday this year allowed our Christmas celebrations to be spread out over a few days. This makes for more rested children and happier parents!  

Our first celebration was The Arola Christmas. My mother-in-law is one of six children, so it's a big family!  Uncle John and Aunt Kathy hosted it this year in Duluth.  There was a great turnout, including the three babies that were born in the past year.  So fun to see them all together!!
 Here is an attempt at a group photo of the 'little' kids.

The Husband, Mummi Sylvia, William, Audrey, and Nora.

We hosted the Kennedy/Umhauer Christmas celebration at our house on Christmas Eve.  We decorated gingerbread houses, ate great Italian food, and a plethora of desserts.  It was awesome!

Auntie and Grant with the kids, making paper snowflakes to decorate our huge tree.  It was Grant's idea to introduce the kids to this lost art....and they loved it!

Here is some of the gingerbread makers hard at work.  There was a prize for the 'crowd favorite' gingerbread house, so the stakes were high!

Mimi showing the creative side she claims not to have!!

The finished products!  William won the contest, using his power of persuasion.

Auntie and Grant, their house was a very close 2nd.  Look closely and you will see smoke coming out of the chimney, a snowman, and a reindeer pulling a candy cane sleigh.  

Jeremy and the cutest little Santa, Mason!!!

Larry, Ashley, and Barb. These 2 women created a smorgasbord of desserts for us to enjoy!!!  (We are a family of dessert-lovers!!!).

Auntie, Grandma Iris, and yours truly.  Somehow I missed the memo we were supposed to be dressed in Christmas colors!

Some of the cake pops made by Ashley.  They were not only festive and perfect, they were delicious.

The Husband, Nora, and my father.  This is one of my favorites!

Audrey and her favorite Grant.

Nora waiting to open gifts from Mimi and Grandpa Bob.

A rocking chair!  She was so excited!

Audrey and Grandpa waiting their turn to open.

Auntie and William.

 The Husband was pretty excited about one of William's gifts from Mimi!!

 We had a quiet Christmas Day, just us.  
We waited...and waited....and waited....for this little girl to wake up.  William and Audrey were so patient, waiting until 9:30, to open Santa's gifts!

William unloading his stocking.

Audrey and her stocking contents.

 We celebrated the day after Christmas with the Skaudis Family.  
Mummi Alice and Grandpa Jeff.

 Uncle Eddie, Nell, and all the kids.  These 2 look extremely comfortable with 6 kids...I wonder what their future holds?!

We always need a silly-face picture!

 William and Cousin Bradon.

Watching Mummi Alice get her gift...a new recliner!!  She was really excited!

 Santa usually makes a stop at Mummi Alice and Jeff's house.  They have a special connection to the North Pole!  Here is William with Santa.

 Audrey and Santa.

 Nora was thrilled to see Santa, and could not wait for her turn to sit on his lap!

 Alice and Jeff with all their children: Darin, Wade, Marjia, and Eddie.

 I hope your Christmas was as blessed and memorable as ours was.
Best wishes for 2013!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Preparing for Christmas

 I adore the magical time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It's happy and busy and full of meaningful family traditions.  Despite having 2 kids down with pink eye, followed by 2 kids with "the pukes" and one mother with a sinus infection (we have never, ever, ever been that sick) we had fun getting ready......

We decorated Christmas trees.

We saw The Nutcracker and loved it!

These 4 were in the Christmas pageant at church.

William performed in a Christmas program at school...A Beary Merry Christmas!

We went to Bentleyville to see the Christmas lights and Santa.

 The Husband cut the best Christmas tree EVER!

 We decorated Christmas cookies.

All in preparation for a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Quotable Quotes

The kids are so entertaining. Unfortunately, I don't record enough of their thoughts.  Here are a few notable remarks from the past week.

Audrey:  "Mom, you wanna know something....William is working on a BEARD!"

Nora:  "I gonna be A PUPPY when I grow up!"

William:  "Mom, you're the best cook ever.  You should be on the TV with Paula."

Friday, November 30, 2012


I love Thanksgiving!  It's right up there as one of my favorite holidays.  I think because it is all about gathering together with those you love, and sharing a meal.  We love food.  And family.  Thanksgiving was a marathon event this year for us.  We started out celebrating with the Skaudis side, and had a wonderful meal and good wine!

Everyone wants to hold Baby Livia!  She is growing so fast!

Audrey and Mummi Sylvia.

 Nora and Mummi Sylvia.

 The Skaudis men, post-meal recline, listening to John Denver.  

 Next up was dinner with my parents and Grandma Iris.  Mmmm...turkey for lunch and turkey for dinner, without having it leftover.  We drove home through some wicked weather, where my sister and Grant met us.

 Friday was our 3rd and final Thanksgiving meal, prepared by yours truly.  My parents and Grandma Iris came over, and Auntie and Grant.  Here my mother and Grant are enjoying some boozy eggnog! (Is that my mother's reaction to how I mix a drink?!?!?!).

 Grandma Iris and Auntie

 We gather together!

 Oh...the pies!!!

 Nora and Great Grandma Iris, hanging out on the couch together.

 Happy bellies!

 After dinner Friday, we cozied up by a fire.....

 ....and watched silly YouTube videos!

 I had a chance to walk the trails through the woods with Martha.

 These 2 decided to undo some of their Thanksgiving feasts by doing a Jillian Michaels exercise DVD.

A wonderful Thanksgiving was had by all....we can hardly wait for Christmas!