Soon enough, family members started rolling in to celebrate! Tucker & Taylor were so excited to see their cousin Carter, that on the first day he got here, I let Tucker skip school so we could spend the afternoon with him at papa's house playing. (It happened to be the Monday after the Newtown shootings, and when I called in to tell them Tucker wouldn't be coming to school, the secretary gave be the third degree to make sure I wasn't pulling him out because I didn't feel he was safe at the school. I assured her that I was totally fine, and that he just wanted to spend some time with his cousin who just got into town.)
We made some Christmas treats when he got here, that we enjoyed the whole week...
Then cousins Cassidy & Keyton got into town. Cassidy is shown here, being Cassidy, and refusing to smile or even look at the camera for me:
We had Christmas with my dad on Christmas Eve. Jason & Kayla decided last minute to come, we totally weren't expecting them, since they had just spent 3 months here. But they couldn't resist a family get together, especially at Christmas, so we got even more time with Kenzie. :) woo-hoo! They had just found out that they will be moving to Texas, so I think the thought of not being able to come home too often made them take advantage of this Christmas when they actually could, and we were so glad!
All the cousins:
Then the festivities began! Taylor was so much fun to watch this year. She got SO excited about everything. If you know her well enough, you know that she flaps her arms like she is going to take flight and bounces up and down when she gets excited, and she was doing that all day long!
I love love love watching my kids open gifts. They are both so animated and get so excited; it is so much fun to watch!
Here she is hugging her new doggy from Papa...It was so funny!
Tuckers favorite of the day was a new set of legos:
Parents are so had to buy for. All of our parents are at the stage in their lives where if they need or want anything, they just get it themselves. So we had to get creative this year with my dad. My dad has this set of plastic Mcdonalds cups from the 90's that feature the 'dream team' in basketball. 1992 or 1993, I believe.They are cheap and plastic and from McDonalds. But for some reason, my dad loves them. I think it's because he has the whole set and we've had them since I was growing up in the house. Somehow over the course of the last few years, some of them have made their way to our house, or have been lost and we always get blamed. Or I should say, Ben always gets blamed. So Ben went to e-bay and found a whole new set of the plastic McDonald cups and that is what my dad got this year. You can tell he was pretty excited about it! :)
The whole Fam Dam...
Papa with the grandkids. I don't have the time or energy right now to edit this picture to make it better. Also, my photoshop is messed up right now, so my editing abilities are non existent right now. So, this is what you get:
After a wonderful dinner and delicious desserts, the kids got to open their stockings, and get ready for Christmas day.
They all knew that it was actually Christmas eve, and that the presents they had gotten that day were from Papa and not Santa, and they knew that Santa was starting his real deliveries; we had checked Santa tracker periodically throughout the day. So they were thrilled when Santa actually came to Papa's house to visit them while he was out and about on his deliveries! It was so cool!
It was just a quick visit, they each got a little gift and then they hugged him good-bye:
And, of course, the biggest child of them all had to get on his lap:
It was a great day with the family and I am so glad that we could all make it to be together! Thanks Papa for all that you do!