To continue on with Christmas Day, as I know everyone has been holding their breath....
We wrapped up our fun Christmas morning at Mom and Dad's, then headed to Granny's house for lunch and time with Dad's side of the family. Christmas Eve at Nanny's and Christmas Day at Granny's have been happening since before I was born. Having both sides of the family living close to each other is terrific. It's slightly tighter in Granny's house now than it was when I was a kid. (Between all of us cousins we have added six spouses and 13 great grandkids and counting.) Granny's house busts at the seams now when we all get together there. Just like at Nanny's the day before, a yummy lunch preceded gift opening for young and old. In-betweens get diddly squat, a mutually agreed upon arrangement that suits us all.
Amelia and Abi.
Elizabeth and Kendel.
My cousin Brooke, just days away from having their second kid. They didn't find out what they were having, and were expecting it be a girl since all the grandkids on that side of the family were girls (six, with a seventh on the way). Imagine their surprise when it turned out to be a boy! Little Colton was born about two weeks after this picture was taken.
Deannea and Bailey.
My cousin Adam, who is in the Air Force. He and Jessica (who I failed to get a picture of) live in Valdosta. He and Aunt Angela lost my Uncle John in the fall. It's hard to go through the first holiday season without a dad and husband. He is missed by us all.
Brooke and McKenley, who is sitting on her brother...probably won't be the last time that happens.
Rebecca spent her first Christmas with the Adams family.
Gary had a good message for us all to hear on Christmas.
Somehow family announcements always fall to Uncle Danny.
An axe? A shovel? A giant plunger?
Brooke and Ben.
He wasted no time, getting right to the customization of the marshmallow shooter gun.
Aunt Lynn and Camilla. I didn't get any pictures of Camilla's parents, Ashley and Michael, or her sister Caroline. Ashley is expecting girl # 3 in April.
Sneaking thirds or fourths at the dessert table.
Me and Lisa. Lisa and I. Us, we. Whichever.
When I happened upon this scene I couldn't decide if Uncle Doug had attacked the kids with tickles or if they had attacked him and he was just defending himself.
Jesse finally conquered this puzzle a few days later, I heard.
Looks like I again missed picture of lots of folks including Granny, Aunt Reda, my folks, my husband, Ashley and Michael, Sarah, Cody, and a few others. Who hired this sorry photographer anyway?
We went back to Mom and Dad's house with Jonathan and Lisa and enjoyed a dinner of Christmas dinner leftovers. The next morning we got up and had Christmas all over again! We took turns opening presents, and even made the smallest people take turns, so instead of the flying gift paper mad house it has been in the past, we could see what everyone got. It never hurts to start teaching delayed gratifications principles early anyway!
"Listen to this Skillet song, Grandmommy, it's awesome!"
Too much eggnog for breakfast. Or maybe he just finds his wife to be boring company.
A doll house from Grandmom and Grandad!
Okay, I'm beginning to think maybe I'm not such a sorry photographer after all. I KNOW I took pictures of my brother and my kids (he was assembling a pink motor home) and my brother and his own kids. Now they are MIA. This missing picture phenomenon has happened before. Maybe the people who make the Christmas lights and the people who make digital cameras are in cahoots. It's a conspiracy to cause confusion and frustration everywhere.
I keep wondering who put all this silver in my brother's hair? (I think he does too.) As he says though, "Better to turn grey than turn loose!"
You know a meal is satisfying when it ends up all over your face.
James figured out a way to get the hotdogs to roast themselves.
And out comes the marshmallow shooter. Since Jonathan and my dad both play horns, there was some small competition afoot to see who had the most powerful lungs and could launch a marshmallow over the fence and into the neighbor's yard.
Dad had also bought those really yummy butter cookies shaped like trees and wreaths and bells with green and red sugar on top. I love those things. Amelia had a little trouble getting into them with giant gloves on. Elizabeth kept asking for the "skirt cookies." I finally figured out she like the ones shaped like bells.
Dad came up with his own version of a Christmas s'more. A marshmallow, a wreath cookie, marshmallow, wreath cookie, marshmallow.
I didn't find it terribly tempting myself.
Not to be outdone by the other hot air blasters, James was also able to launch a marshmallow over the fence.
We had a fun time together, and as always, the time was too short. Jonathan and Lisa had to head back to Marietta that afternoon, since Lisa had an ultrasound and doctor's appointment the next morning. We stayed one more night then headed back to the mountains the next day.
Once we were home we launched back into school for the rest of the week. Mean old mommy is relentless. They will thank me come June. We did take Friday off so Maggie and Ruth could spend the night since they had the week off.
The day before New Years' Eve was the destruction and consumption of the gingerbread house. You'd think the way they go to town on stale candy that we never let them have any.
I pried off piece after piece with a butter knife so they could break their teeth on it. I'm a great mom, no?
Mmm, plasticky Twizzlers!
The buzzards picked it clean.
We went to Rebecca's for New Years' Eve and had an awesome dinner with friends, followed by some Apples to Apples. On to another year. Welcome, 2012!
This concludes the Himstedt Family chronicles for the year 2011. I can't express how blessed we are. Recently I was reading in Psalms, and came across a verse I had dated March 2008. Four years later it's still true of my life. Psalm 16:5-6, "Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance."