Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Again!

In the past, we've called it Big Christmas, this annual gathering of my parents and siblings and their spouses and children and grandchildren and whoever else we can get together.  But since sometimes our Little Christmas (our celebration on Christmas Day in which we invite friends to join us for Christmas dinner) ends up having as many people as our Big Christmas, maybe I should find new names.

Well, I'm not going to think about that for too long, because I still have two more blog posts I want to finish today before 2015 begins!  So onward we go, with glimpses into the wonderful big-family Christmas celebration we had together two days ago.

A special guest this year was Aunt Helen, one of my dad's sisters, who was visiting from Chicago.  She showed the boys some fun word games on the computer...
 ...and they taught her how to play Spot-It.
 You'll see throughout these pictures that Moriah was often with my brother David.  It was cute to see how she sought him out.  :)
 I think the cousins were playing Spot-It here, while they waited for dinner to be ready.

 We had 15 around our table...
 ...and later, our number grew to 16 when my sister Donna came by after work.
 Shav and Moriah practiced their parallel backward dives.  ;-)

 My dad helped Tobin put a puzzle together...
 ...and he talked to Isaac and Elizabeth, two of his grandchildren.
 Aunt Helen and my brother got caught up on each other's lives by showing each other pictures online.
 And an epic game of Risk started.  :)

 There was time to relax and sit around and talk...
 ...or chew on bones, if you happened to be a four-legged member of the family...  :)
 ...or snuggle...  :)

 ...or play dolls with Aunt Lori...

...or make paper airplanes with Uncle David (he and Lori gave my kids a fantastic book about how to make various designs of paper airplanes, and my boys have been busy trying out the different ones for the past two days; it's been great!...they also gave us a kit to make our own bouncy balls, but we haven't ventured into that project yet).  :)

 At one point, I peeked into the living room and saw this sweet scene.  I wasn't able to get a great picture of it, but even a poor picture reminds me of the joy of seeing my mother and my daughter together.  :)
 Willow found a comfortable(?) spot under the desk for a nap.
 The Risk game continued.

 My sister and Tobin got their picture taken together.  :)
Elizabeth, Shav, and Isaac threw paper airplanes at each other.  :)

 We ate Oreo Ice Cream Dessert, and the Risk game still went on...
 ...until finally my nephew Jacob won!  Hail, the world-conqueror!  :)
 It's a tradition in our family that whoever wins the game, when one of these long-lasting board games is played, gets to sign and date the board.  If you look closely, you can see Jacob's lasting mark there beside New Guinea (sorry for the blurry photo!).
 Of course we had to attempt a group photo!
Then the goodbyes began.  This picture of Donna and Moriah...
 ...reminded me of this one of those two, taken when Moriah was one day old.  So sweet.  :)
 Big David and Little David posed for pictures...

 ...and then other little children clamored for a turn to have a picture taken with Uncle David!  :)

When final hugs were given and final farewells were said, everyone, but the seven of us, headed out the door, leaving behind that bittersweet feeling that lingers in the air in a house that was so full of bodies and noise and excitement and laughter and is suddenly bereft of them.  There's a let-down, you know?

But thank God for the gift of memories, and for relatives we love so much, and for photographs, and for blog posts that help us remember what our second Christmas celebration of 2014 looked like.

And now, before January 1 comes knocking, I'm bound and determined to finish the post I began about our first Christmas celebration this year!  :)


Anonymous said...

Great pictures, Davene. Wonderful time. Aunt Helen

Anonymous said...

What a fun visit!! I was looking through the pictures in this post thing "Big" David and "little" David look so similar! Glad you guys had such a wonderful Christmas!!