It is hard to believe that we just had Christmas. This year has been so overwhelming in so many ways. With the separation and pending divorce I had many life changes in 2013. This was my first Christmas and Thanksgiving without having a spouse. I tried to make the changes as less painful as possible for the kids and grandkids. Hopefully they enjoyed themselves despite knowing that someone was definitely missing from the table.
I decided this year to make new traditions for the Christmas experience at my home with the family. Everyone seemed to have a great time and we all made new memories together as we enter this new shape of family that we have now. We didn’t celebrate our Christmas on Wednesday but instead we did it on Thursday due to Samantha and Ben living so far away and not being able to get here until late Wednesday night.
Thursday morning we opened presents and Caleb was very happy to have a Triomino game to take to his own house. I have a game here and we have spent many hours playing this together. It has really helped him to learn to add while having fun. This is one of mine and Samantha’s favorite games. She has one for her home as well.
Samantha had requested that Isaiah receive something musical and educational. I chose this musical instrument assortment and he loved it.
After most of the people had left on Thursday I was serenaded by Samantha, Caleb and Isaiah as they marched through the home singing Christmas Carols and playing these instruments. Isaiah was very good at playing the triangle.
After we had our dinner we returned to the table and had 2 activities that I quite enjoyed. I provided everyone with everything that they needed to make snowmen from socks. We spent 90 minutes making these snowmen and I have to say that my quiet mild mannered son-in-law surprised us all. The man who has spent over 6 years as the youth minister stole all of the carrot noses from the table and hid them. I spent at least 10 minutes trying to find who had taken them. He says that he is now repentant but I don’t believe that he is. At least not yet. He needs to fear his mother-in-law. bwahahaha Expect a later blog post. hahah
We divided everyone into three teams. I even had prizes for the team that made the best snowman. Let me tell you these guys were very competitive (hence, Ben stealing the noses).
This is Stephen, Kristin and Caleb’s team.
My Mom’s team included she, my step-father Bill and brother-in-law David. They did not take sympathy on the youngins. They gave it their all.
Samanth’a team included she, her nose stealing husband, Ben and of course Isaiah. Here she is using the hot glue gun. She didn’t even get burned. Those who know her know that was a miracle. She is a little bit accident prone but we all rally around to help her as much as we can. haha
Here are the three snowmen that they created. Donna and I were the judges and we chose Stephen’s team as the winner of this activity. They made the snowman in the middle. Stephen even sneaked outside while we were making them and got a twig to use as arms. Ben of course said that they should lose points for using contraband items in their snowmen but I had to remind him that he needed to lose points for stealing the noses. haha
For our next activity I provided the following items for them to create their own gingerbread houses: one package of graham crackers, a roll of lifesavers, a small bowl of hard candies and a baggie with premade vanilla frosting. They had to create a story to go along with the house too.
We gave them a 30 minute time limit to make their houses and unfortunately five minutes before the timer went off my Mom’s house collapsed. They still told the best story to go with their house. The big bad wolf blew it down. hahaha
Stephen’s team built Santa’s RV that he was to use for a well earned weeks vacation after building toys all year and making children’s dreams come true.
Samantha’s team built a cute little house that had been built by the Gingerbread Foundation to help Little Timmy get his much needed medical procedures that his insurance no longer covers. His family were living in their car and now Little Timmy can get well and he has a nice warm roof over his head. The square in the front is a check from the Gingerbread Foundation to Little Timmy’s family.
I have to warn you that the next picture is a little on the gross side but I really have to share. Samantha always brings her very large dog with her when she comes to visit. Katie is always wonderful and we love for her to visit. Max loves her and follows her everywhere. It is so funny to watch his short little legs following after her long legs. She is counter-top height and can easily steal anything within her reach.
After a day of the entire family sitting around the table munching on cookies that my Mom and Donna made and brought for Christmas I noticed that Max was patiently sitting in the floor waiting for something to fall on the floor. He was going to be very helpful in keeping the kitchen floor clean. Just check out the drool that he was producing. I also noticed how gray his face is getting. My sweet Max is getting old on me. But he is never going to be too old to help keep the floor clean.
So this was my first Christmas as an almost single woman. It wasn’t too bad if I do have to say so myself. We made new memories and the children had a great time. Family is what it is all about. 🙂