Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Collin Christmas

This year, we got to spend Christmas at the farm with my family. We left Spruce Grove around 4:30 Friday afternoon (Dec 23rd) and after a lovely dinner with a friend in Airdrie, we rolled in to the farm around 12:45am Christmas Eve. Those hours worked well for our littlest traveler, as she was only awake for half of them, and then fell asleep for the rest of the drive, which made it a lot easier on us. :o) Hopey was so excited to be going to the farm that she stayed awake talking until 11 pm or so. :o) When we would stop for gas or at a traffic light she would pipe up with some comment like, "We are not at the farm yet. Now we will go to the farm. ... This is not the farm, now we will drive to Granny's house." :o) 
Enjoying some lap time with Papa and the cool wooden blocks they have at the farm. :o)
Helping Granny make dessert for Christmas Day.
Helping Auntie Chloe get scrambled eggs ready on Christmas morning. Hope was sooooo happy to be allowed to help. :o)
Christmas morning started out with Joy opening her birthday gift from Granny and Papa...
...And open it she did. It was a lovely short handled silver spoon with her name on it. My sisters and I had ones like it growing up, so it was a very special gift indeed.
The good ole red felt stockings and a few new ones lined up and ready for demolition. :o)
Some of Mum's pretty decorations.
It was close to 11:00 before we started gift opening, but Hopey knew just what to do with her stocking, and got at it as the rest of us were wandering into the living room.
Joy wasn't to be left behind for a moment! I tell ya - the mini oranges, goldfish, raisins, and pretzels in their stockings could have kept them busy and happy all day long!!! :o)
Trying to get a picture of them together, but one or the other was always wiggling out of their chair...
Classic Dad. 
Hopey was enchanted by the grand piano, and kept crawling up and playing it and asking us to sing. Pardon our off key voices in the video. :o) She thought each letter on the piano "KAWAI" was for a different song, so when we would finish, she would point to the next letter, say "now sing this one" and start playing.
Luke opening a mystery gift from me. I had his name, and I did get him "real gifts" but I also really needed my kitchen knives sharpened, and he does the best job of sharpening knives, so I packaged them up, wrapped them up, wrote "To: Erin, Love: Luke" on it, and put them under the tree with a note for the gift to be opened by the giver, not the receiver. :o) I tell ya - those babies are sharp! The red peppers I cut the other day just laid flat on the cutting board like a bunch of dead fish - no extra chopping or clearing away necessary. Thanks, Bro!
Sorry Chloe - you can get me later, but the expression on your face just said it all! Ahh... this one has a funny story too. Josh had Chloe's name, and he got her (well, you know... he/me... it's all the same when you're married...) a cranberry sweater she had wanted from Reitmans. Chloe and I had been shopping together in the summer, and I saw her look at a sweater on the wall and comment "Boy - I know what I'm coming back for when it goes on clearance,"  or something to that effect. Now, I thought the sweater was perfect for her too, but I didn't think she'd actually get it for herself. So... I got it.... on clearance, and I even picked the right size. However, what should I see laying on the kitchen counter Christmas morning prior to gift opening but the sweater. In the size I'd bought - but with no tags! Ahhh - she had got it for herself, but alas, that was minutes before gift opening, so I couldn't even take it out from under the tree. So, we had to settle for a good laugh, and I sent her the receipt later so she could take it back and get something else. Thankfully, she liked the pottery bowls for her kitchen that was the other part of her gift, and not something she already owned! :o)
Books for the history buff.
All decked out with new hat and scarf from Chloe and hand-knit mittens from Lydia. They go quite well with his coat, wouldn't you say?
Luke got Lydia a beautiful silver wrist watch with a rectangular face - exactly what she likes!
The Doodle-Bug discovering a little rolling pin in her stocking.
Ok, so I suggested it, but Luke plopped her in there with all the wrapping paper. :o)
Helping the girls open gifts from Great-Grandma Collin.
New, big, plush, soft Teddy BEARS!
And they liked them very much!
Trying on her new hat.
Joy didn't make it all the way through gift opening before she melted down for a much needed nap. Hopey stayed up till the gifts were opened and then zonked out for a much needed nap herself later in the afternoon. She was still sleeping when company arrived for supper, and I wanted to just let her be, as she's happiest when she wakes up on her own. I fed Joy her dinner early, and then got the girls changed after Hope woke up from her nap. Then we turned on one of their new Music Machine DVD's for them to watch while the adults had supper in the kitchen with the Hochsteins. (Dad's sister's family) This is how Joy likes to be - up close and eating something.
And Hopey enjoyed the movie from the couch. :o) It worked good for her, as she can take a long time to eat and can be overwhelmed when there's lots of people at the table, so we just fed her after. :o)
Mum's cookin. Yum, yum.
And creative table decorations this year too. :o)
After supper, cousin Justin thought he'd try and befriend the Joy-Belle. She wasn't so sure about that...
...until he let her play with his phone, and even "called her" on it.
They were sure friends now! :o) 
The dancing Doodle-Bug joined the adults for games in the living room after Joy was in bed.
Michayla and her shadow. (haha, haha, haha. Sorry, bad pun, and bad flash shadow, but I thought the hat looked awesome on her, so I took the picture.)
Another classic pose of Dad. We were playing catch phrase, and one team wore hats to distinguish them from the other team.
Oh my word - is that them or what??
And yet another expression of betrayal! LOVE IT!
Okay. That's more like it, you two cools dudes with the long legs!
A couch full of cousins + Aunite, watching an act of Telephone Charades.
Some of you may have seen this on the internet. It's typically been presented by 12 people dressed up as monks, but creative Chloe figured out a way for just six people to do it!  (They had put it together for the Christmas program at church.) Here's a A/V snippet of it, in which you may hear Hope complaining that the music is "too yyy-oud" and Luke telling her "too bad." :o) LOL! 
And here they go....
As only Chloe can do it...
Love her flare! :o) (see the piece flying away in the background?)
Luke was a little concerned about the fan...
They had to double up some syllables to make it work, so they taped them on their back and twirled around as needed.
The FINALE. :o)

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