Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas en masse

We spent Friday and Saturday at my grandma's house with my dad's side of the family. He has 7 brothers and sisters, so there are plenty of cousins to play with.

What we do best, eat and drink!

Here are some of the little ones, hiding in a
closet. One of them got a spy kit as a present, so
they were putting the flashlight to good use!

What's better than playing with someone else's new toys?

One of our longstanding family traditions is to pass around a bottle
of peppermint Schnapps while opening presents. Let the fun begin!

Here's Dad, partaking in the goodness of Christmas!

Uncle John and me, enjoying an uncrowded couch - unheard of!

Me and Nat Nat

Sara and Lauren

There's less than 8 months between the youngest of the 22 grandchildren and the
oldest of the 7 great grandchildren. Here's all 7 of the greats, plus the 2 youngest grands.

Adding Grandma to the mix. See what I mean about the couch?

Owen and his Noni

Louie, Lauren, Owen, and Charlie playing video games.

Less than 15 minutes after we left!

Here's a house my cousin Ronnie told us to drive by. I've
never seen anything like it, the picture doesn't do it justice.

Christmas afternoon

We spent Christmas afternoon over at my parents' house with my mom's side of the family.  We brought our new Wii over and spent the rest of the day playing with it.  And eating appetizers.  And cooking prime rib, ham, and a ton of side dishes.  Which we ate.  Along with opening presents.  And eating.  What can I say, we're Italian! 

The kids got harmonicas in their stockings from my parents.

Getting ready to open presents.

Owen's face when Auntie handed him his new Spiderman blanket.

Lauren opening the new kitty from Auntie.

Lauren taking pictures of her kitty with her camera.

Uncle Rico, Auntie, my mom, Aunt Debbie

Christmas morning

We had my parents and my brother and sister-in-law over for Christmas breakfast.  Here's a recap of our morning.

The first thing the kids wanted to do when they work up on Christmas morning was to see if Santa and the reindeer ate the cookies, milk, and carrots they left out for them.  Sure enough, there was nothing but crumbs left.  Well, along with a thank you note from Santa!

Owen was so excited about this talking Home Depot workbench
that it took him awhile to even realize it was full of tools!

Lauren made us a super cute snowmen plaque at preschool.  
The snowmen were done with her fingerprints!

Lauren, Noni, Papa, and the big cheeseball Owen

And I can't believe we didn't get any pictures of this, but Mom and Dad surprised us all with Wii's!  Adam and I and Chad and Talia were so excited.  They also got the kids a vtech gaming console, so we can stick them in the toy room to play their educational video games while Adam and I have bowling tournaments with the Wii!

Christmas Eve

Say cheese!

We usually let the kids open one present on Christmas Eve, something to hold them over until the next morning.  This year it was their very own cameras, since they both love to use mine.  They were a complete hit, they both were so excited.  Lauren is an expert photographer already, and Owen's not far behind.   I'll have to post some of their pictures later for you all to see.  

The easy road

This is how my brother and sister-in-law keep their new puppy busy while they get things done around the house:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Do you believe?

Yesterday, for the third year in a row, we rode on the Santa train, the Polar Express.  This year we had a group at least 30 strong.  We went out to dinner afterwards at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  We were quite the sight, all of us in our pajamas mingling with people who, by the way they were dressed, I'm sure had just come from the Nutcracker ballet.  And to end the evening, we drove around town and visited a few highly decorated streets.

Here are the kids with their tickets to the North Pole.

Lauren was a few seats down from us, having a great time with her friends.

Here they are, best buds, Kove and Lauren.

Here's Owen receiving his sleigh bell from Santa.

Sadly, the best picture of the four of us!

Sister and brother climbing the crates in front of the train station.

Kove and Lauren enjoying a tunnel of Christmas lights.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Do you see what I'm telling you?

Lauren and I were laying on the couch chatting the other day and she noticed our scented diffuser on the mantel.  She asked it she could play with it and I told her that if she got the oil in her eyes it would burn and she might never see again.  I proceeded to tell her that some people were born not being able to see.  She asked "Never ever?"  And when I told her no, never ever, she incredulously asked "Even on Wednesday's and Saturday's??"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

So you think you can dance

Owen loves this remote control Caterpillar skip loader Adam got him a couple months ago.  For some reason that I find odd it has a button that plays a song.  I guess, you know, for when you're hard at work on that construction site and feel the need to bust a move.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Good enough to eat

We decorated out first ever gingerbread house tonight.  I took the advice of a girlfriend of mine and put the house together a couple days ago, so all the kids had to do tonight was put on a pound of candy.  We had so much fun, I think we'll make it a yearly project.  But with four designers, there were a few disagreements, so maybe next year we'll go for separate cabins instead of one big house!

Here's Daddy, piping the roof with fresh icing.

They couldn't wait to get started.

Daddy putting some icicles on the roof.

So intrigued.

Mama got in on the decorating action, too.

Lauren was being so meticulous about this front window.

We even added a gingerbread family.

Take cover

I bought Lauren an umbrella over the summer, and now that the rain is finally here, she's been asking for it.  I couldn't find where I had stashed it, but luckily Noni had bought her one, too, so I picked up that one today.  By the time we got home from school the rain had stopped, unfortunately.  I told her if she was very careful she could play with it in the house, since she was giddy with anticipation.  When I came back to the living room after laying Owen down for his nap this is what I found.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's tradition

We went to our annual Christmas brunch today with a group of my friends from high school and our families.  I think this is at least our 11th year, maybe longer.  We were there for over five hours, so I guess that means we were all having a great time!

Sammie was so excited about the chocolate fountain.

Laura had plenty of playdough to keep the kids busy for hours!

Everyone opening presents, enjoying a nice warm fire on a COLD rainy day.

Owen and Daddy playing with the new race track and cars.

Michelle, Amber, Laura, and me

As of 1 October 2007