On December 26th, we celebrated Christmas with my family.
My mom and Lawrence.
Lawrence is always enjoying the magazines we have in the house. He and Abram have similar interests within science. I thought this picture was an appropriate one for him.
Matthew and Joel
Joel's wearing the sweater we gave him for Christmas.
He's having a great discussion with Rachel about seeing hippos in the zoo and how they are going to scare them!
We tried a new tradition with my family this year. We decided to adapt Yankee Swap. We wanted a theme that all ages could work with; the theme became books and music. Everyone chose something from either category. The tradition of giving out numbers and being able to trade stayed the same as a traditional Yankee Swap. It was a lot of fun. Everyone laughed at their gifts, hid ones they wanted to keep, tried to reject those they didn't want to receive in a swap. The hardest part was thinking about what might a 8 year old like and someone whose in their fifties. I think we were successful.
Here, Rachel is protecting the book she opened.
Here, Lawrence has opened survival guide which he immediately exchanged for a math theory book Abram put into the swap knowing that either he or Lawrence would like to read it . Tobin opened the math theory book first, but willingly gave it up for the funny survival guide book.
I cannot remember which book Carmen opened here, but I do know she quickly swapped it!
Two years ago, Noah hand sewed a little creature for Rachel. This Christmas, Rachel chose to recreate one for him. She gave her guy green eyes to match her own. Noah is holding both up. It was a wonderful surprise.
I love this photo for two reasons. First Rachel looks a bit evil with flames emanating from her head. But mainly because you can see how much fun she and Noah are having together. We don't get to see all of my brothers together much during the year (even though they all live in NE).
Carmen created a special gift for Joel. She enjoys creating things with fun foam and hot glue. She made two snowmen sledding together to represent Joel and herself.
Now for some fun pictures taken after our gift swap.
I love my mom. She is always great at being funny with my kids. Abram had the camera at the time and took this picture. (I was asked to remove this picture from the blog, but it's here for the memory book.)
Rachel asked me to take a picture of this night. This is her representation of the night. Silly cards, a bear that gave her a gift card to shop with and a gift she got from the Yankee Swap.
Here's Tobin posing with his new Johny Cupcake t-shirt.
I had to include this photo Abram took. It is amazing to me that I am much, much smaller than my brother Joel. I should have been wearing my 3" heels for this picture!
It was a wonderful night.