Thursday, 18 January 2018

Full House for the Holidays

This year we had a Full House for the Holidays. Our daughter and her family flew in from Boulder arriving late in the day December 23rd for a two-week visit. Our son and his dog drove from Guelph the same day staying through to January 1st. Our son had school the first week of January, but managed to get back to London for another couple days before our daughter and her family had to leave January 7th.

It has been five years since our daughter last joined us for Christmas. We planned to include all our favourite Christmas traditions for this new generation of grandchildren to enjoy.

I put a lot of effort into decorating and gift wrapping to make Christmas special for the kids. Our new tree did not have a pointy top to hold our Christmas angel, so I improvised adding a teddy as a tree topper instead. 
Christmas Eve we all headed over to my parents for their Open House a much loved annual party for family and friends. Our grandson loves to dress 'fancy', so borrowed a tie for the occasion ... good choice.
Before the party, we drove by this house in Oakridge. Nothing better than a good dose of 'over-the-top' decorations at Christmas. 
My cousin from Ottawa managed to make it to the party Christmas Eve. She spent a bit of time acting as a reindeer carrying our grandson around the table picking up treats ... such fun.
After all the festivities, our grandson lost a tooth Christmas Eve. He was upset he bled on his new Christmas pj's, but happy to find money tucked under his pillow the next morning.
Christmas morning did not disappoint. The kids were excited to open their gifts then spend the rest of the day happily playing with their new things. 

After gifts, my husband and I got busy preparing dinner. My husband was in charge of the turkey and ham while I made most of the side dishes. My daughter volunteered to do mashed potatoes and my mum-in-law brought dessert. Feeding fifteen for dinner is easier when everybody helps.
Guests arrived with more gifts for the kids ... so lucky.
We needed two tables to fit all fifteen of us for our Christmas feast.
After dinner, we posed for a group shot. Our daughter took the photos using a tripod and timer. It's tough getting everybody to look normal for photos. I think she did a great job.
Our niece and her husband announced they are expecting a baby. My guess is they're having a boy. Either way, I'm looking forward to welcoming another little one into the family.

With Christmas over, we spent the rest of the week relaxing and hanging out at home with the kids. I used up the rest of my vacation for the year only working one day between Christmas and New Years and two days the following week. 
With extreme cold weather, it was difficult to get outside much. The kids entertained themselves with indoor activities. Our grandson was happy to dress up in his new suit (purchased after Christmas). We didn't really have a special occasion so the kids put on their finery to 'dance' and play indoors. I think it's amazing that our grandson likes to dress up, especially as I'm totally into all things comfortable and casual.
By the end of the week, we planned a shopping trip just my mom, my daughter and me. My daughter needed a hair cut plus we needed to get winter boots for our grandson. He doesn't wear boots in Boulder, but shoes were definitely not warm enough for winter here.

I always enjoy getting out with my Mom and daughter. We took the baby with us. He was no problem. I love that it's so easy to get him to smile.
On the first Saturday after Christmas, we took the kids skating at Storybook Gardens. We were excited to try out their new skates and helmets and introduce them to a popular Canadian winter activity ... outdoor skating. Skating was fun despite the cold weather which turned into a proper blizzard with whiteouts by the time we headed for home.
While it was snowy and blowy outside, there were plenty of fun things to do back at the house.
I walked the Sifton Bog a couple of times ... once in deep snow with my son and his dog then again with my husband and the dog all the way to the Sifton Bog pond which had totally frozen over. Somebody had taken a shovel and cleared the ice. If only we had taken our skates.
Another day, our grandchildren enjoyed exploring my Mom's extensive costume jewelry collection.
They always enjoy visits with GG and Other GG.
We braved the cold on New Year's Day to ski around the golf course once.

While I was busy at work, the kids visited their great grandparents.
 
 
Our daughter took them skating at Storybook Gardens one more time.
They also joined my parents for dinner one more time. Our granddaughter was excited to see my Uncle Bill again. She loved chatting and listening to his stories ... so cute.
 
I showed our grandson how to play Yahtzee. He seemed to have fun, but really his favourite game was Monopoly ... a game I refused to play. I really don't get the appeal. 
With such cold weather, we had a thick coating of frost on our windows.
Our son said his final goodbyes and headed for home the night before they packed to leave. He was wise to leave a little early thus avoiding the travel day stress complicated by influenza b making the rounds. 

Our house was a crazy chaotic holiday house full of noise, fun and stuff ... lots of stuff everywhere for two weeks while our kids were home. It was unfortunate our time together ended with almost everybody getting sick. Influenza b was not fun ... fevers, body aches and coughing for days. 

I rarely get sick, but was home for three days doing nothing but lay on the sofa. My husband was sick this past weekend ... he spent three days on the sofa as well. 

I am looking forward to feeling energetic again soon. In the meantime, I am happy to have finally sorted through our photos. I love writing these posts capturing highlights from our time together ... truly a treasure.


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