In Pictures -- But Not Quite Wordless...
(Look out: Tons and Tons of Pictures Just Ahead!)
Above: Cathy's "Randy-esque" mashed potato sculpture on Christmas Story night, December 23rd. We served mashed potatoes, red cabbage, and meatloaf-beatloaf for dinner, courtesy of chef Dan, then, before the movie, we all took a Christmas Story quiz that Dan made up for us. The girls made fudge for us to dig into at the Fu-u-udge sequence, and we corrected our quizzes as we went. Some of us did extraordinarily well, considering it was quite the challenging quiz, but Paul was the proud winner and recipient of a major award: a football. A couple kicker question that almost nobody but Paul got:
* When Ralphie's mom is telling her husband about the fight Ralphie got into, she changes the subject by saying, "so, Green Bay is playing the_______ this week..." what football team did she say?
a) Oakland Raiders; b) Detroit Lions; c) New York Giants; d) Chicago Bears
* In how many years had Ralphie's mother not had a hot meal for herself?
a) 4; b) 20; c) 12; d) 15
(Do you know the answers?)
The snow that fell the day before Christmas. Check out this snow outfit Flowery skirt over grey snow boots (no leggins); bathrobe over short-sleeve blouse under winter coat. No gloves. Works for Anna.
Making goodies. This concoction of Kevin's -- aka: Woody's -- turned out scrumptious: vanilla almond bark that wouldn't properly melt, mixed with "crisp rice," wrapped around a cherry. Yumm!
Chocolate-covered pretzels are a mainstay. Michelle was the pretzel queen this year. (Anna was helping.)
The little boys exploring in the Christmas Eve snow.
Nicole talking William into taking a nap. I think Nicole fell asleep... but I'm not sure about William.
Jon, as ever, serenading us on the piano.
Pac-man was the computer game of choice this Christmas break. Here's Paul probably playing to determine which kitchen chore he had to take on after a meal. Turns out Pac-man is a good delegator of chores.
Our Lord's Birthday
Our chapel decked out for Midnight Mass. So beautiful.
The altar close up. Can you see the Baby Jesus above the tabernacle?
The Creche at Midnight Mass.
Our Creche at home. Gabriel and Theresa checking to see that Baby Jesus made it into the manger.
Yep. See? There He is.
Our mantel on Christmas morning.
The stockings on the table before all the children tore into them. You can also see some advanced preparations for waffles: spray whip topping.
A few of the presents scattered around the Nativity set -- and one or two of the trees.
Dan starting on the waffles.
Michelle and Jon... Arriving home at around 2:30 a.m.after Midnight Mass does not make for chipper early-morning risers the next day...
We call this one the ghost of Christmas Present. (This is Kevvy. I don't know how he can sleep with his head under the covers like that!)
Paul and Nicole admiring Gabe's new monkey -- a baby brother for his favorite stuffed monkey, Lester.
More stocking loot.
Everyone's a little more awake when the coffee, cocoa and waffles are passed around.
This is the "right way" to make Christmas morning waffles, Kevvy says: homemade round waffle on the bottom, covered in syrup and topped with hot blueberries, cherries and apples, then decorated liberally with whipped topping.
Jon thinks his is more creative: a Pepsi-cola waffle
We got to share our Christmas with Kevvy's girl (and our adopted family-member), Alena. (Hasn't she got the most beautiful smile? And doesn't Kevvy look like a successful fisherman?)
And, now, here's Michelle with Jon... Jon who is always either in goofy or in half-blink mode when a camera is in sight. We always have to take a series of pictures of this boy in the hopes of getting one good one. Such a handsome boy, but sheesh! Look at the trouble we have to go through!
Shot Number 3. (Number 2 couldn't even make the cut to get on -- and neither did Shot Number 4...)
Shot Number 5. Turned out OK, but still a little goofy.
Cathy with Dominic who is almost always goofy, as well.
Finally. A nice, normal, smiling photo. Our newlyweds, Paul and Nicole.
Theresa, still looking sleepy, next to Anna, cradling Mrs. Butterworth.
Shot Number 1: trying to get Jon to pose with Gabriel (and monkey).
Shot Number 2
Shot Number 3.
Our car in the ditch, from the before-Christmas snow storm. I think the minivan got stuck two or three times, Dan's Rav IV got stuck once, our 15-passenger van got stuck once or twice, and one of the aunt's got stuck once... Then
Grandma and Grandpa's drove in with their rental car on Christmas day, and of course they got stuck on the hill.
The car-rescuing team hard at work.
After the boys got Grandma and Grandma's car out the second time, the plow driver came and we've been driving on hard-pack ever since. No slide-offs since the Feast of St. Stephen. But, we haven't gotten into the mud-stage yet. Just wait...
The Davis twins: Kevvy (20) and Dominic (16). I figure it's ok to get them matching clothes since they don't generally live in the same state. Dominic is going back to school in Nebraska after the new year.
One of the big hit Christmas gifts: A boy and his bike.
William liked these silly things, thus: A boy and his dinosaurs.
And, a stealth photo I took of what turned out to be one of the big hits of Christmas -- Gracias, Grandma and Grandpa! You've gotta love a game that Daddy sneaks away to play. And one that nine-year-old Cathy can womp everybody at. She has the high score on the wii for bowling (220) and routinely beats her biggest brothers at tennis and boxing. I resisted getting what felt like another high-tech computer waste-of-time, but I'm catching onto the beauty of this game. A lot of exercise going on in our tiny living room these days.
Moving on to New Year's Eve tomorrow already, can you believe it? I'll take some pictures of our festivities and traditions, and I have some pictures I'd like to share of a little mini-trip Dan and I took on Monday to celebrate Dan's birthday. I have a lot of catching up to do, visiting my good blog friends, and I'd like to work on some changes I'll be making in the time I spend on the internet. I'll detail that when I get a chance to get on again -- maybe this weekend. In the meantime, Blessings to All! And Happy, Happy New Year!