We didn't think we would have all of the kids home for Christmas this year, but a week or two before Christmas Michelle and Jordan called and said they were coming!
Look at us all. All adults.
January 29th is the next big event in the family.
A baby. A baby girl. Baby girl Bledsoe!
What better time to take family pictures than after church when we look our best-est.
Brad & Kelly with Charlie.
Brad and Charlie came to an understanding soon after they met. Charlie is now a superb behaving obedient dog for Brad.
These two newlyweds were the only ones up for mistletoe pictures. We didn't have to ask them twice to pose.
Ok, we kissed under the mistletoe too!
Kelly has a little home based business. It's called Lash Love and she makes gals feel pretty.
Neal found a few friends to have their lashes done over the holidays.
Last summer we started a fun family activity of making pizzas together. I make the dough, everybody lets me know what kind of toppings they want, we put them all together and create our dinner. This is our second time doing this so it has now become a tradition when we are together.
This year I doubled the pizza dough recipe, divided it into 6 balls and that way everyone had a 1/2 pizza to create and eat. We added a salad and root beer (great idea Dixie) and the dinner was spectacular!
Hey there Dixie!
Ok, so Brad, the grownup that he is had a good idea of letting Neal open a couple of gifts before Christmas. Remote control helicopters. This was pretty much the only thing on Neal's list aside from work wear. Sorry Brad for the helicopter in front of your face, but if I remember correctly you and Neal gave me a hard time about taking pictures. I didn't have a lot to choose from.
Yep, we opened this up early too. More days to play = more fun.
Christmas Eve dinner. I had decided months ago that we would have the traditional turkey dinner. Took the turkey out of the freezer on Saturday afternoon to unthaw in the fridge. Done.
Brad, Kelly and Clark were the first ones to arrive that evening and we got talking about the meals that were planned and guess what? The boys wanted chalupas, not turkey. Chalupas for our nice dinner. Fine with me so I had Mark take the turkey from the fridge and put it back in the freezer. Done.
Michelle, Jordan and Laurel arrived home about 2 hours later and we got talking about the meals for the week and you would have thought the house had burned down. Chalupas for Christmas Eve dinner?! Whoa whoa whoa! We compromised. Turkey for our nice meal and chalupas the day after. Mark then put the turkey back in the fridge to thaw.
This was Kelly's very first white Christmas being the California girl that she is. Sad to say it didn't snow while the kids were home though. The wind blew. Not good because when the wind blows the snow blows away.
Another first for Kelly was carolling. She was SO excited to get all dressed up which I totally understand. Cute hats, cute boots and cute scarves make carolling fun.
We loved visiting some special people in the area.
Love this picture.
This is Mark holding his moms hand. She loves when Mark comes to visit because he rubs her feet.
This is a great picture of Joyce. You don't see a smile like this very often. Thanks Clark for asking grandma to smile real big.
We met up to carol with cousins at the Chinook where Joyce lives. Laurel and Katie Jo hadn't seen other for almost two years.
Look at these characters. Uncle Kelly and Neal.
They both can walk, but I guess these little vehicles were just more than they could stand.
After carolling we came back home and had Chocolate Haupia (coconut) pie.
Charlie was such a good little house guest. Rio had a really hard time with Charlie being able to walk all over the house. She usually stays put outside or she is in our back entry, but seeing Charlie have so much freedom Rio decided she needed wanted it too.
She got it.
I was the first one up Christmas morning. We usually have to tell Neal that 6:00 is too early, but man oh man, this year I had to wake them all up. I decided to take some pictures while I was all alone.
My mother knit all of our stockings and they are all different. Mine is an "original" because it was knit back in the 60's and is made of wool.
If you go back to the helicopter picture you can see some of them hanging from the mantle. It would be great if I could carry on the tradition, but sadly I never learned to knit like this.
Home Depot gift certificate inside. This was a favorite gift amongst the boys.
These nativities are from far and wide. The one on the right was given to our family from Mark's mom and dad from the their trip to Israel years ago. The little one in front is from Nicaragua. This was the only one I found in the one market place we visited when we picked up Brad from his mission. The one with Mary and Joseph and the baby is from Israel too. Clark brought that back home after he finished his semester abroad at the Jerusalem Center. The last one is from Argentina. I love my little collection.
All the kids have to wait on the stairs until we are ready. Ready for? I don't know, just ready.
Michelle would have been happy with all baby clothes for Christmas this year.
This little gift is really huge in it's own way. Clark loves toothpicks. Ask anybody. The kids decided to buy a gift for the sibling just above them which means Brad and Kelly had Clark's name. Kelly googled "gifts for hipsters" and this was one of the ideas, an elk horn took pick holder key chain.
Perfect gift for the man who has all things cool.
This is a meal that will never change. The Hatch cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.
Classic cinnamon rolls with the classic Rudolph tableware. Perfection. Oh, you need to have the Patti Page Christmas album playing, " I Want To Go Skating With Willy".
The girls and I hit the "boxing day" sale at Extra Foods (a very mini Walmart-ish store). Woo Hoo!!!
Oh yah, we got up, got ready and were out the door before 8am!
The sales were not that great, but it was an adventure. Ok, maybe not an adventure, but it was fun and we made a memory.
Kelly bought her stash of Canadian chocolate bars which is always a good thing. We decided to go to The Bargain Shop on main street to see what we could find there. We were there 10 minutes before the store opened and because we live in a small town the owner let us in! The deal there was buy one piece of clothing and get the 2nd one FREE! Kelly found a pair of wedges on sale for $12 and found another pair as well. Two pair of shoes for 12 bucks. Definitely worth getting up for.
The day after Christmas Lou Lou's family came over for chalupas and games. Actually, come to think of it, all we did was play games, eat and hang out the whole time the kids were home.
The kids got together and bought us Settlers of Catan for Christmas. I had played it only once before. Clark has played it a number of times with the Monson cousins and it was a big hit this year. Last year Brad bought us Sequence, another fun game.
This is a fun card game called, Lucky Unders.
It's fast moving so a lot of people can have a chance to play.
We enjoyed havingSean's girlfriend, Andrea with us.
I'm not sure if we have ever taken a picture of the cousins together before.
L to R
Clark (30), Brad (28), Sean (26), Laurel (25), Kelly (24), Michelle (23), Caleb (21), Seth (19) and Neal (18). These guys are half siblings. Different dads of course, but with identical twin moms I think the kids are half siblings.
Yah, crazy picture is right. I went upstairs to change clothes and when I downloaded these photos a few days later this was on my camera. They gave me a really hard time for wanting to change and I told them it would take me 30 seconds. So it took me 50 seconds. Sorry?
The Saturday following Christmas Lou Lou's family came out our way to go cross country skiing in Waterton. Michelle and I didn't go, but decided to do a few things at home and then meet them all afterwards. We had just ordered our hot chocolate and shared meal at the lodge when not 10 minutes later they all walked in the door. What?
Ticket to Ride is a family favorite game as well. Look at Jordan's fingers. He is even showing peace during a family game (which is very very important) and he doesn't even realize it.
And here is Rio making himself at home.
Christmas is over and he is back in the back entry.