Bright and early December 23rd we headed down to Anaheim to stay with Annie, Freddy, Emmie, Molly, and Hattie. Colby was staying with them as well. Bonus! We got there at lunch time and Annie had made a bacon-potato soup with a pasta salad. The soup was a huge hit with all the boys. I really liked the salad. It was so nice to see the Grand's - all of them. Being with my family really brings joy into my heart.
We played all day with the cousins, went to a church service, and had an appetizer night for Christmas Eve. We also opened the gifts we had for each other. As for Church - it was standing room only, which nobody was really happy about, but that is the nature of Church on Christmas Eve, Vander and Emmie entertained each other and enjoyed themselves (Vander was adamantly against going and cried about it earlier in the day, but I couldn't let him out of it after he threw a tantrum), Oliven was pretty pouty throughout, but it was Jesus' birthday, not theirs so we did what Jesus wanted for his party. There was really no good story or message, which is always my favorite part of the service so I was a little bummed, but I know they did the parts that the Catholic Church feels is the most important.
|Don't forget to look at the dollhouse in the background!|
We all mingled and enjoyed each other's company. At around 3pm we had Christmas dinner - prime rib - I love prime rib. After a lovely dinner and dessert of cherries in the snow it was time for the white elephant gift exchange. Vander was stoked that I ended up with a basketball hoop for behind the door as my white elephant gift.
Next, it was time to let the kids open their gifts from everyone. It was really cool to hear the boys say, "oh my gosh, this is just what I wanted. How did they know?" Karen got everyone a dreidle as well with candy in it and everyone enjoyed that. Though, they never did teach Karen how to play and they forgot to sing her some Christmas carols. During the day we made sure that everyone filled out a favorite's sheet for the favorite's book the boys are making. It's "Our Favorite People's Favorite Things." Overall a very fun day.
The evening, after the kids went to bed brought even more fun. We played beer pong, which I have actually never played before, and King's Cup. Even Justin played King's Cup - he just drank water on his turns instead of beer. Heidi, Anthony, Freddy, Annie, Justin and I had a really good time and again went to bed way too late.
We went to Deb's house on the 27th. Justin went out to lunch with Walter - all you can eat sushi. Walter is having some tough stuff go on in his life right now and Justin wants to be there for him. The rest of us stayed at Deb's and played Oliven's new game from Santa, Tokaido, twice and had some grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. We had some really good quality time with the Pint's. I am so glad we got a chance to see Deb and Heather together. It really was a delight.
We headed back to Anaheim around 4 and got stuck in some traffic. Oliven started feeling sick so we bought him some medicine. We met up with the Grand family at a pizza place to play some airhockey and eat pizza. After Oliven spilled his water twice and Emmie spilled hers we decided to cut our losses and head back. The kids were all tired. We watched a little tv - Top Chef and Martha and Snoops cooking show (Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog). It was oddly entertaining. We all headed off to bed.
In the morning I got up early to help Oliven get some medicine and got a chance to just chat with Freddy for a while. I got a good chance to talk with Colb on the trip because we took a walk each day for exercise. It was really nice. Around 9am we had cleaned everything up that we could and packed our stuff. We drove up to L.A. to have brunch with Jon. We went to a place called, "More Than Waffles". Everyone really enjoyed their food. Nutella banana waffle for Justin and Jon, chocolate peanut butter waffle for Vander, and breakfast special for Oliven. My crepe was super salty, so I sent it back for a waffle with nuts. Not great, but everyone else raved about their food. It was a fun morning spent with Jon. Then, back home we went. We stopped at the Outlets in Gilroy to get some New Balance Tennis shoes for Oliven and me. We grabbed some groceries at Trader Joes in Morgan Hill, then ordered Chinese Food from Golden House and ate it by the light of the menorah for the 5th night of Hanukkah