Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Merry Christmas!

We had a great trip to Ohio to celebrate Christmas! 

For the first time in years, our whole family gathered to celebrate Christmas with Granddaddy and Grandma Judy! When they started wintering in Florida, we stopped getting together. This year, we all juggled crazy schedules and gathered for appetizers and caroling now that they are back in Ohio full-time. We even managed to get everyone in a picture:
 All of the great grandchildren were adorable:
 And we grandkids had way too much fun remembering Christmases past:
 We even put M&Ms in holiday cupcake wrappers, just like Grandma used to do for us at the kids' table.

As has become our tradition, Nana waited to do any of her decorating until the kids could help! This year, Aunt Shannon even arranged for us all to have matching ugly Christmas sweater pajamas to wear while doing it! I loved staying all cozy all day and watching the kids enjoy just being. Nana and Issa spent a lot of time arranging snowmen:
 And even Buddy got an ugly Christmas sweater:
 My goodness I love these two:
 In addition to the holiday festivities, the kids and Nana built an entire Lego village:
 We did eventually put on real clothes, and the tree was a true team effort:
 Per usual, I can't be trusted with capturing pictures; I forgot to take one of the finished tree!

There were cozy fires with Smores:
 And of course Santa made his appearance:
 For Christmas day, Brad and Mom fulfilled a decades long challenge: they made turducken. It has been a running joke that they were going to do it, and this year they did! We spent much of Christmas Eve Day making the three stuffings that go inside, deboning all the birds, and roasting the peppers. After the kids were snuggled in bed, they went to work:
 Here are all the layers assembled before he was tied shut:
 And then the magic happened:

 By all accounts it was delicious! I loved listening to the two of them dissect the process and the results at lunch.

We had a couple of days in Napoleon after Christmas, and it was lovely to just be:
 And roast chestnuts:
And sneak in one more visit to Granddaddy's. He loved seeing the bows Santa brought for the kids, and the kids are already practicing to be able to show him their skills next time we are up!

We ended our trip with a few days in Tiffin. Daddy thankfully captured some pictures, including a trip to see Tyler the Huge's big work truck while we were in Napoleon and Grandma Pat's birthday celebration.

Every year, it seems we have a list of fun Christmas things we are going to do in Ohio, and every year it remains untouched. We fill the days with baking and crafting and just playing. In so many ways, I think that is better. It truly is lovely to just be together, and I wouldn't trade that time for anything.

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