We dropped Niko off at Paws on the Lake and headed to Columbus to be with Jordan and Hillary, Lily and Robert. This is their lovely home that greeted us!
And this is the block we made that all the grands and some friends received.
There's the perfect Little People Nativity for wee ones.
These are the Mice Marching Band that Jordan requested when I was on the hunt for these sets for my other kids.
We shopped a couple of stores (oh yes, Meijer for sure), had a good dinner. The kids were adorable. They made the holiday. At one point we heard a train whistle and just KNEW Thomas had arrived with a gift and sure enough, outside on the porch was a package for Lily from Thomas....a new pair of Thomas the Tank Engine pajamas.
Lily Loves Thomas...a lot. She would be surprised in the morning to discover a logging train set, all Thomas. BUT I suspect that it was more for Jordan than for his daughter. Here are the 2 guys putting the pieces together.
Jordan's family doesn't do the midnight gift opening that we do, maybe to start their own tradition or maybe because the kids are so little. So we knew we would have a good night of sleep. Actually, Robert and I got the good sleep, having offered Jordan and Hillary a first night of Les Miserables while we tended the house.
Hillary was so sweet, I mean Santa was so smart, and our 'stocking' held one of these. Yes, I always have one in my frig. I happen to love these milk chocolate orange candies altho Marissa and Hank like to tease me at how old the one I have is. They are right..it is VERY old but I keep it there just so they can continue to make fun of me. I eat them and no, I do not share! (like the bag of Hershey Nuggets that Patsy and Johnny gave me for Christmas
...I don't share them either!)
The kids were so reserved in their joy of the gifts. Very quiet but happy.
But once the toys started to be opened, boy were there pieces everywhere!
It was amazing to see how well and how quickly Rob knew how to work the iPad and iPhone...he could skim through the pix so quickly but really enjoyed playing the Garage Band, particularly when he could play it uniterrupted, no help from big sis.
Here is a picture of Rob with his new, huge workshop. The funny moment happened before Lily awoke. This set was under a tablecloth and when no one was paying him attention, Rob walked over and peered underneath the cloth. I got about a 4 second video of it...very sweet! It was one of those adorable moments. Lily thinks it's too big for Baby Rob and was meant for a big girl like her....I wonder if Rob will take ownership before too long!
We took our gifts down as well, except for the maul that I bought for Robert so he could split our logs for the fireplace. You will also notice the shirt. This is the front of the shirts Dawn made for us, reading Hatch Batch.
Now see the back...we must always wear them together...as Twinkies...so they are read correctly!
Thanks, Dawn! You are so creative!
But here he is opening the Ham Radio. Mike Piggot is in our ward, caring for his dying mom and he helped me get the correct radio as well agreeing to help Robert get his license renewed. Mike is really into ham and anything preparedness. And I have felt all along that Robert needed a Ham radio but he always said, nah. But he got a license once, why not take advantage of it. Now that he's closing in on retirement, perhaps he is more interested and will have more time.
Here's the cheeses, or parts of them, being presented on our new cheese board/knives from NHB with 2 new bowls and a serving dish so that when we raclette we will serve in style.
I am so unsure about the story behind this weapon that Candler gave Jordan but I think it has something to killing Zombies. Private jokes don't translate well.
All in all it was a lovely Christmas. We were able to talk with all the kids, appreciating all the lovely gifts they gave us but none more than the love they've showered on us throughout the year. We are grateful that we can get to any of them within 7 hours or less. I would hate it if any lived farther away than that. We are grateful Jocelyn/Steve's home has sold so quickly and they will be able to move into the home they've already bought. Their kids are fun and silly and sweet. Lately Jocelyn has been calling every day and I relish the calls, short or long. Cara is suffering some unusual pains (altho it sounds like me and my planter faciitis and heel spurs) she remains as sweet as ever, but is quite concerned about these pains. Her family is now older and should be able to take good care of her. Dawn and family are amazing. They call often, select sweet gifts for us for all the big and little and no-name holidays. Having Marissa and Hank and boys in Lakewood has been a plus even if we don't see them all that often (I am trying to keep my distance so they don't feel overrun). December has been a horrible month of illnesses for them and they continue to this day passing the germs along. I am not certain when we will celebrate Christmas with them!
I am grateful for the Father's gift of His Son and The Atonement. I am grateful for the knowledge I have and for the things I have yet to learn. I have good family, good friends, a good man.
It IS A Wonderful Life!