Sunday, January 16, 2011

Holiday happenings

I decided to do a quick recap of december and all the activities of the month. It was a wonderful holiday season. The best part was spending Christmas with family. We enjoyed the opportunity to together and enjoy the festivites.

I'm sorry the picture is so dark but it's all I have from Lexi's 1st band concert. The 1st of many, I'm sure. She plays the bassoon.

One of our favorite things to do is attend a live nativity/reenactment of the Savior's birth at a local Christian church. You actually walk through the different areas as if you are part of the people journeying to Bethlehem at the time of the Savior's birth. Jordan and Paige in the area where they made crafts.

Lexi got to pet the miniature donkey

Those representing Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.

Taylor turned 19. This a tradition we have to take a picture with the kids holding up the number of fingers/toes to show how old they are. This along with the gifts they receive. Taylor is almost out of appendages to use.

Paige at her band concert. She is in the honor band this year playing percussion.

This is the snow scene at my parent's house. We have had this up throughout the years but the past several it was not taken out because it had outgrown the available space. this past year my parents added on to their family room and this bay window area was built especially with the snow scene in mind. It was fun to have it out and remember the past years.

Our family on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is time for a big party with extended family and friends. There are many traditions we have had through the years and we all look forward to them. Christmas Day is just family and the chaos. This year was a switch to having the festivities in the new family room. It is more accomodating for the amount of people and allowing everyone to be together without sitting on each other.

1st part of the Christmas Eve program. All the kids that have not graduated from high school get to the do Rudolph. This is with the antlers and red noses. Taylor and Jordan were glad they are finally old enough to be a spectator

Another activity is the dice game. We take two dice and put them in pie pans. Everyone sits in a circle and we have a pile of inexpensive wrapped presents in the middle of the circle. We pass the pie pans around, each person rolling the dice. There are several pie pans going around. When you get a double you get to take a present. You can't open it and you have to keep it in front of you. When the presents are gone the timer starts and you can steal from each other. When the timer goes off you get to open the presents. Then the bartering begins. There is candy, gum, $1.00 spot stuff. Don't know how it got started but everyone loves it. It can get kind of wild when the stealing starts.

To wrap up the evening is the nativity reenactment. The kids all get parts and the story of Christ's birth is read from the bible. At appropriate times the characters come in. We also sing the Christmas carols along with the story. It is a time to reflect on the purpose of the season. We are running out of baby Jesus'

This year the kids added another element to the evening. They formed the cousin's choir. All week before Christmas there were rehearsals. There were speaking parts as well as solos. Despite the bickering the kids pulled this together without adult help. It was a beautiful program they dedicated to grandma. She loved to have the kids sing to her when she was in the hospital bed. It was a great way to end the evening.

Christmas morning-the kids with their stockings. We are pretty orchestrated in our celebration. No reckless out of control hoopla here. It's funny because the older cousins get the younger one fully indoctrinated quickly and they know what is suppose to be happening. I guess that is one more indication that my mother trained us all well.

After the stockings we go and check out what Santa brought. The Torbit kids got a couple of games for WII and some accessories. We were very blessed this year but the most gratifying was being together. There were tears shed as we missed my mom, but knew she was with us in spirit.

One of the things my mom picked out for the grandkids before she passed away were these robes and pajama pants. These are 8 of the 9 granddaughters. My 20 year old niece was okay with not having matching jammies, but we got a shot with Papa and the girls.

When we returned to Houston the girls were messing around one day and made their own Lady Gaga inspired outfits out of packing wrap. Pretty good designs.

The celebration we were all waiting for-New Year's Eve fireworks. Here's the ammo (and that wasn't even everything)

Taylor-one of the pyro's. that is a grin of pure excitement. Hard to do for Taylor but he was loving it!!!

Some of the spectators

Welcome 2011

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