Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Day After Christmas

It's the day after Christmas and we're feeling the effects of all the fun activities that have taken place over the past several days. Wow, so many fun things to do and what a joy to spend time with family and friends. Last Friday we celebrated the birthday of our friends little girl turning three. Simon & Rachael Picazo invited us to Sweetwater Sound, where Simon works, for the celebration of Kesed's 3rd birthday. She was a cutie pie and all smiles. What a cool place to work...the employees have access to a huge area full of games the whole family can enjoy. Caedmon's favorite was the huge sports interactive screen where you could play soccer, football, golf & basketball. Kaiya's favorite was the mini golf and race car driving. I tried helping her drive, but she was determined to do it herself...and what a crazy & reckless driver she was! The kids had a blast!Saturday morning was spent making final preparations for the family gatherings in the next couple of days. I also did the laundry since Monday is my usual day, so it was nice to have that done. We decided to take our family to a movie that evening. We saw Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium at a local dollar theatre. Three bucks for the whole family...can't get much better than that! Caedmon loved it and this has been the first time that Kaiya has been able to sit through a whole movie. After the movie we enjoyed supper at Pizza Hut, then home again and off to bed...we had to be at church early the next morning to practice singing with a choir for special music on Sunday.

We had a wonderful service on Sunday morning and the choir ensemble went well. We sang "One King" along with "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". The choir consisted of all husbands & wives. During the worship time this video clip was played.
I love it when God uses ordinary people to spread a huge message and touch many lives...reminds me of an ordinary woman named Mary and an ordinary man named Joseph.

Sunday after church, we traveled to Jonesville, Michigan to have a Christmas meal with my Aunt & Uncle and cousins. Aunt Lorraine cooked up a huge delicious meal and we had the traditional gift exchange that we've had since I was a little girl. It was fun to see them all again and to meet baby Kendra for the first time. From there we traveled to Middlebury and spent the night at Kevin's parents house. Jason & Joyce were there from Alabama with their two kids, Owen & Helen. Monday, Christmas Eve, was spent celebrating with Kevin's whole family. It's not very often that we are all together...there are seven grandchildren age four and under, so you can imagine all the energy that filled the house that day. It was loud, lots of diapers and there were toys, wrapping paper & foam peanuts scattered everywhere (thanks to Curt :) ), but what a joy to watch the cousins all interacting & playing together...that was the highlight for me. Caedmon & Easton wearing two chocolate mustaches
A pajama bath - Owen, Karis & Kaiya
The kids exchanged gifts after a brunch then the adults played "Catch Phrase" while most of the children napped. That evening after supper, Grandpa read the Christmas Story while the kids brought gifts to baby Jesus played by baby Lincoln. Caedmon started nodding off at the supper table and wasn't able to stay awake for the Christmas Story. My mother-in-law, Ruby, did a fabulous job planning everything and making it a very special time. Thanks Mom! Joyce dressed her kids in these shirts...

I saw them on them and didn't even think about what they actually were trying to tell us...they're expecting #3!

After hugs & goodbyes, we drove home. Caedmon sat out cookies & milk for Santa...and Daddy finished wrapping the last couple of gifts while Mommy put her feet up.

Our family tradition for the past two years has been to have our family Christmas on Christmas morning. Whenever everyone wakes up, we make a big breakfast then open presents after breakfast. This year we had banana pancakes, bacon, orange slices & orange juice. I think Caedmon ate half the bacon and Kaiya ate half the oranges. Before eating, we lit the last candle of our advent ring and sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.
Stockings came next. I love taking our time and letting each person open their gift while everyone watches patiently to see what that person gets.

Caedmon got a port set, town set & emergency set to go along with his train & road tracks he has gotten the past couple of years. Daddy also found a remote control firetruck at a garage sale this past summer for a couple bucks that he gave to Caedmon.
Kaiya unwrapped a set of pots & pans & a pretend play kitchen oven. Lately she has been mommy's little helper in the kitchen and loves to pull up a stool during dish washing. This was the perfect gift for her this year.

That evening we went to my parents to celebrate with them and my sister's family was there as well.

Stoll Family Traditions:

Appetizers before supper including sparkling apple punch

Mom serves Prime Rib for supper

Family Pictures
Exchange Gifts
Bingo - Mom & Dad buy cool prizes including several gift cards to places like Target, Starbucks, McDonald's & Burger King's hard to believe Christmas has come and gone already. So much goes into preparing for this special Holiday. What better event could we put so much time & energy into than the Savior's Birthday! Happy Birthday Jesus!


heather said...

Wow Thanks for the recap of all the fun Christmas activities. You did a great job of showing all the fun. And wow! What a fun way to announce a new baby! COOl JOYCE! Looks like a great weekend. I liked the girls matching skirts on the Stoll Christmas picture. So cute!

krista said...

I feel like I should go back and reread it because I may have missed something! I really enjoyed finding out about the rest of your weekend.

Guatmama said...

Sounds like the Bontragers had a wonderful Christmas. You had great ideas on incorporating the reason for the season, Jesus. Thanks for sharing feel like I was there!