Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Post Christmas Celebrations

* Prepare yourselves for a very long, picture laden post :)...or just skip it if you would prefer :)

Olsen Family Christmas Party

Both of our family Christmas parties this year were held in places other than the traditional homes.
With Grandma O. still in rehab after her fall in October, we decided to take the party to her.
It worked out great :)

Food and gifts and family...that's what these parties are all about :)

After Christmas with the Bryans

 "Favorite things" with the girls!
From foot scrub to drinking straws, coconut oil to candy, handy kitchen tools to soap, we loved sharing our favorite things of 2013.

 Ben's cousins were so good to play with him.  Duck Duck Goose of course, was a fave!

Ben literally spent hours each day down on the carpet with the trains and tracks.  He was so content whether he had friends or not.

A huge hit and highlight of this year's gathering was sledding behind a 4 wheeler.
Uncle Mike is always good at entertaining the kids.  They got such a kick out of this activity.

Matt loved it even though he looks scared to death in this picture :)

 The first couple of times Josh kept saying, "I'm gonna die!  I'm gonna die!"
but then I think he became more comfortable with it.

Then it was the adults' turn.
I had no intention of going out but then Jenny invited me.  I scrounged in the mudroom for some winter apparel since I had not brought any with me this trip.  I came up with quite a fantastic and bright outfit :)

 It was an absolute blast!

We almost lost Lyndi in the canal...

 Andy enjoyed it as well :)

 Rosy cheeks after sledding

 Ben and Austin
(I love Austin's face!)

 Cassidy, Lauren and Abby before church on Sunday.

Tom was so patient and kind with Ben.  He let him fly his remote control helicopter.  Ben couldn't get enough of it.

We did several puzzles over the few days that we were there.

We even did puzzle races one afternoon.

The girls worked on one together while Andy, Wendy, Nancy and I each did our own 100 piece Eric Dowdle puzzle.  I don't want to brag or anything, but I did win both times :)

It's always a party at the Bryan's place...and we always have a great time!

Christmas Day Festivities 2013

 Christmas Morning!

 Ben wouldn't get in the traditional picture in front of the tree.

We use laundry baskets to corral and designate each kids' gifts.

Blurry...but so happy with his vintage Sesame Street set.

"Yes!  Roller Blades!"  is what Abby is saying here :)

Grandma Nancy made a special Elmo teepee for Ben.

Andy, very thoughtfully, gave me a sweet little necklace to remember our little one that we lost.
It's Alexandrite...one of the birthstones for June.  It appears purple indoors and turns greenish in the sunlight.  It's beautiful and perfect!

 Christmas breakfast of breads, muffins and hot chocolate.
I made a pear syrup to go with our gingerbread and whipped cream.

Grandpa Kidd and Ben

Mom and Grandma Kidd with the little quilt Mom made for her.

Andy's Christmas nap.

Loves from Ben!

We had a very merry Christmas and hope you did too!