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Merry Christmas from our house to yours

December 28, 2014

What a week of celebrations!

We celebrated my Dad’s birthday with lunch and pictures at Atlantic Station. We love you daddy and are so glad you are in Atlanta celebrating the best of occasions!

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All the grandkids (minus Julius).

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Mom of FIVE. (I love the myriad of expressions in this picture.)

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No line to see Santa? Count us in.

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Katie was the only one this year to have been able to claim “gingerbread house” completion. Seems like there just wasn’t time/motivation to pull this together here at home this year. Next year will be much easier, right?! Although I teased her for socializing more at her party than decorating, I am very impressed with the creativity on her back wall.

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Clare and her teachers worked hard the last week of school to finish their projects. I’m so thankful for her teachers and the gift this year of school has been for all of us.

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We had longtime friends over for dinner and a little gift exchange.

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Christmas Eve is celebrated with many traditions.

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We eat appetizers all day.

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We each open one gift, play games and do crafts trying hard to make it a no electronic/technology day.

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Our dear friends surprised us after Christmas Eve Mass/dinner with a visit. We were playing a new game, Cash and Guns (not photographed), when they walked in. Nothing like “shooting” one another when visitors arrive. FUN! I hope to play it again this week.

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All the children are in bed awaiting Santa’s arrival.

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Santa Tracker says he’s almost in Atlanta. Daddy & I better hurry to bed.

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It’s Christmas morning!!! The manger is no longer empty. All the candles are lit.

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Santa has left a gift for everyone.

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Katie – a dancing skirt, leotard, and video.
Michael – a new scooter
Clare – a nutcracker toy prince
Elizabeth – coloring book
Max – pacifier and dangling toy

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Santa pulled off an unexpected surprise this year by adding an extension to the playset and gifting new equipment. What a big surprise – in the rain and all!!! Of course, there’s no arguing about playtime before Mass.

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I so love our Christmas morning Mass. The church is spectacularly beautiful and God inevitably blesses my heart with a few tears of wonder. I so love our visit to the manger and this year my few extra alone minutes to pray. God is so good!! Merry Christmas!!

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Now it’s home for breakfast and presents. Our tradition continues…one present every hour with lots of playtime in between.

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My sister got her own little present – super snuggles with Maxers.

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She gifted our kids fantastic sleds in anticipation of our rare Atlanta snow. Sure hoping this year we get a little at least.

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My parents gifted Michael Spy Glasses. There are mirrors on the inside that allow you to see behind you. Cool! Uncle Nick was quick to partake of such gadgets.

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Much to Nate and the kids’ delight, this Christmas included several new board games. There’s a weekend in January devoted to 24/7 board gaming. Nate hopes to take the kids for at least one day if not two. He’s trying hard to build these opportunities with the kids as it’s great “family” time and good for the brain too. The kids are quickly falling in love with daddy’s favorite pastime.

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Success! I cooked my first turkey. Although it cooked just a tad too long, it was really delicious. Soaked in a brine overnight really did make it juicier. I think we’ll try a few minor revisions next year, but I was happy enough with it for sure. Thanks momma for carving it for me.

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The kids table was full of good cheer.

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Aunt Loly brought my favorite little treat, hand dipped by her and oh so very delectable.

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Happy Birthday Jesus! Today we celebrate faith, family, and you in a special way.

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I’m delighted the girls included you in their dollhouse play.

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Our sweet Max turned three months old Christmas day! Hard to imagine that the time has passed so quickly. He loves his mommy magic happy milk and is generally all smiles. He loves nothing more than to watch all around him and for someone to talk to him directly. It’s not hard to get him to share a light-up-your-face smile.

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Grana Lissa gifted him a new blanket for Christmas.

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Grana & Papa chose the monkey as it has a certain resemblance to our little man. (Ellie loved the restaurant toy as much as any other wrapped toy.)

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