Our first Christmas celebration was the weekend before Christmas when we traveled to Indiana to visit Matt's parents and family. We rented a van to travel in since as a full family of six, we don't fit in either of our cars. The 8-ish hour drive went as smoothly as could be expected; each big kid was in charge of a little kid and they were huge helps! The boys rode in the way back and the girls rode in the captain's chairs in the middle. We really only had one meltdown from Thomas when he started getting hungry. Since we took breaks when we stopped to feed him, we didn't arrive in Indiana til well past dinner time. And when we did, we were quick to put jammies on the littles so we could hang out for just a few minutes before they went to bed.
Lala and Poppa had their tree up and lit and it was FULL of wrapped packages! There was an unwrapped gift - an ELMO! - that was just waiting to be found. It did not take Katie Wynn very long at all to spot him and she, of course, wanted to have him right away. Luckily for her, her Lala said she could go ahead and have him. Grandmothers were made for spoiling, after all. (I resized these pictures too small. Oopsie!)
Like the two babies, Anna also had one-piece pajamas to wear! I can't imagine why Wyatt didn't want to get in on that, too.
Matt and I put the kids to bed before leaving for the night. When we arrived back later the next morning, I was shown these pictures of my innocent little girl drinking out of a fancy little wine glass!
It reminded me of a very similar picture of her from last year when she just played with the glass. This year, Lala let her actually drink her apple juice out of it. Anything goes at Lala and Poppa's house!
I think Lala and Poppa may have each gotten some quality time with my babies that morning before the big kids woke up. I'm afraid they might've been up and ready to go pretty bright and early!
After baths and getting everyone dressed, we hung around and waited for Matt's sister, Jill, and her family to arrive. Wyatt and Anna were determined to get Thomas mobile!
While waiting for Katie Wynn's hair to dry, I pulled it back to see if it was long enough for a ponytail again. Pretty close! What do you think - let it grow back out or bob it off again? I can't decide.
Jill was excited to get her hands on Thomas as soon as she arrived. This was their first time getting to meet our newest addition. They all seemed to love him and he loved them back!
The kids were all eager to open presents, so everyone gathered in the living room so we could get after them. The boys played Santa and passed out the gifts and then it was a free for all on opening them up. We made quick work of trashing Lala's living room! (Special thanks to her for taking pictures; I stole most of these from her.)
I opened the coolest gift ever from Jill. It may have to have a post of its own one day...
Katie Wynn was much more into opening gifts this year. Every gift that she opened, though, had to be completely opened so that she could play with it immediately. I had to constantly remind her that there were more gifts to open.
Do you think I'll ever get a decent picture with both of my kids at the same time? Before they're young adults?
The next day we had plans that we were really excited about...getting to visit with Granddaddy! Granddaddy is Matt's maternal grandfather and, at 92.5 years old, is a new reader to the blog. (Hi, Granddaddy!!!) I was excited to visit with him since I hadn't seen him since last Christmas, plus this was his first time to get to meet Thomas. He also hadn't seen Katie Wynn since last year and she has changed a whole lot since then!
Pat and her sister, Cindy, had reserved a parlor room at his retirement community for the afternoon so that we would have plenty of space for all of us. The rest of the family had plans to get together back at the retirement community on Christmas day, so we were super grateful that they also got together the weekend before so we could see as many family members as possible. When we arrived, Katie Wynn was sound asleep in the car so I stayed back with her to let her get a few extra minutes of rest. Matt took Thomas and the big kids on in and, from the looks of the pictures, Thomas and Granddaddy seemed to hit it right off!
It took Katie Wynn a few minutes to warm up to everyone after she woke up. The thing that got her going was her Elmo book of stickers. She passed them out to everyone there, but the real winner was Granddaddy - he got probably 12 - 15 stickers himself! Even Elmo ones, and those are her favorite.
We grouped together the great grandchildren that were present (two were missing) for a picture with the Christmas tree and Granddaddy.
After the pictures, Katie Wynn ran and got her Elmo coloring book and gave it to Granddaddy so they could color together. She was enamored with him! Aren't these pictures the sweetest thing ever?
Miss Sassypants also did a little bit of posing on one of the couches before we had to leave.
We beat Lala and Poppa back to their house that afternoon and, in a spur of the moment idea, asked the kids if they'd all sit together for a quick picture. I knew I was pushing my luck as they grumbled into place so I promised I'd be really quick. Ad that's when Matt and I witnessed a true Christmas miracle...four smiles from four kids all at the same time!
That was out last night in Indiana but Lala still had one more surprise for Katie Wynn...she knitted her some socks! Katie Wynn was appropriately excited and immediately put them on. They are so cute!
When you have brand new socks, the best way to really test them out is to put your shoes on too.
And then a good little girl takes off her shoes and asks for a Bible to read. Yes, a Bible. I'm not kidding. I wish I could take credit for her wanting to read the Bible becaues we read stories out of it every night, but the truth is that I don't even know how she knows what a Bible is...
So that was our Christmas celebration in Indiana. It started with my daughter drinking out of a wine glass and ended with her reading the Bible. :)
We had a great time; I just hate that it was such a quick trip! It was the perfect kickoff for all our Christmas events. Now we just have to figure out when we're gonna get to see Lala and Poppa again!