Just a few pictures from our Christmas. We spent a week at my parents' house in South Carolina in chilly and generally gray weather. But it was great to have so much family there for the holiday. My grandmother endured the 8 hour drive with the munchkins in the minivan so she could be with us and my brother and sister-in-law spent the weekend as well. That also meant one Christmas Eve dinner (our traditional lasagna), one Christmas Day dinner (rib roast cooked on the rotisserie of Dad's grill), and one more with the full crew (smoked turkey and trimmings). There were 2 pies baked that week, 4 kinds of cookies, and 1 from-the-freezer pumpkin cheesecake Mom baked beforehand. We played Speed Scrabble (my family could not compete with the Fleming side at all! We stink!), watched movies ranging from silly (Elf!) to intellectual (Expelled), and put together the wackiest puzzle ever. It was called "Proverbidioms" and depicted literal illustrations of common idioms like "so hungry I could eat a horse." The conversation around the puzzle putting-together was PG13 as we searched for weird characters or called out "I think this one goes to the saggy boob chick". Then, once it was together, we took the list of idioms from the back of the box and tried to find them all. (Saggy boob chick was both "flat as a board" and "knockers.")
The big presents were a Disney Princess bike for the princess (she went around the house finding clues that led her to the room where we hid her bike--and she read the clues herself too!) and a train table for the little guy. We only brought the trains and some track pieces to SC so there was another surprise waiting for B the morning after we returned home--a huge table with mountains, bridges, and a train station. Neither one moved more than 6 inches from it the first day. We also received our share of noise makers. R has an "electric guitar" (also pink with Disney Princesses) and B got an electronic drum pad.
The kids were completely into the season this year--from lights to carols to reading the Christmas story just about every night. A week before Christmas we walked along Crane's Roost at night to see the lights and the light and music show at the fountain (pretty impressive for Altamonte Springs) then came home for a fire, roasted marshmallows, and singing. Nice to have a quiet time together in the midst of the hullabaloo.