Sunday, January 04, 2009

Family Reunion/Christmas Part II

Christmas Eve we met in the gym for a nice dinner. It was rather a rushed affair, though, because our church service began at 6, and dinner was at 5. Kristen's musical group was in charge of the service and quite a few of us went over to the candlelit sanctuary.

After the service, we went back to the gym, gathered around the tree, and everyone opened a gift from Mom/Grandma/Great Grandma. She had such fun shopping with her daughter for everyone. It was a surprise to me - I thought only the children were receiving gifts.

Each of the ladies received a lovely heart-shaped necklace. Each of the guys received this:

Great Aunt C then got up and surprised all of the kids - she and Great Uncle R gave each and every great grand a gift card for Build-a-Bear Workshop. Wow, were they excited!

Christmas Day was interesting - we went to my folks' for dinner with my side of the family. The company all went to my SIL's and spent the day - I'm not sure what they did for dinner, to tell you the truth.

It was a big day for the twins - they sat up together on their own for the first time and played with one of their new toys.

Katie was crawling into Emma's car seat - they have developed incredibly in the last month - no physical therapy needed for tight hip muscles!

The niece who stayed with us asked me the first day they were here if I was going to make my "famous" cinnamon rolls while she was here. I tried to figure out how that could work out. Sema had been asking if I was going to make them, too, because that's a family tradition on my side - we have brunch and then a late Christmas dinner. Kristen also wanted some. Bottom line - I decided to do it, and then ended up inviting everyone over for rolls and coffee/tea/hot chocolate at 9:00 on the 26th. I wish I had some pictures, but I was too busy hostessing. I know - call me crazy! DC did!

Right after this event, we all headed out to Build-a-Bear for quite an adventure. It seems as though half the town had received gift cards for Christmas! And they were short one person, who had called in "sick." The line went throughout the entire store, then another line at the check-out. All of the parents and grandparents were there with our 11 kiddoes, so we made quite an impact!

Each child gets to pick out the shell of a animal (far more than just bears!) -- then they blow in the filling --

The children help by stepping on the pedal that operates the blower.

The next step is to put a heart inside your new friend.

Care Bear helped one of the twins get hers filled.

The next steps are picking out an outfit, naming them, registering them on the computer, and paying for them. We chose to skip the registering part because there were just too many of us and it took too long. That night after dinner we took pictures of the whole gang.

That evening we had to clean the gym and kitchen and leave them "as we found them." The twins patiently waited, serving as the holding place for all of Care Bear's and Feisty's "bears" - they each had one or two from previous birthday gifts.

One of the most fun things was watching everyone's interaction with the twins. Kristen enjoyed some relaxation as Kate and Emma were passed around.

Kristen has a great new post that will warm your heart. Please go over and check it out if you have been following her life, and if you have access to her private blog. If you don't, but would like to, please let me know and I'll ask her to invite you. She misses her old friends who haven't had a chance to join in. THANKS, TOOTS, FOR MY NEW LOOK!!

Coming soon: Anniversary Adventure


Kristen said...

Oh, I had to laugh quite a bit as I saw how many people played "pass the babies". They sure were the star attraction! And them being the ones to be in charge of all the build a bears. Too cute! It was a real fun time!

Tammy said...

I really enjoyed reading about the rest of your family time and seeing all the wonderful pictures! I can just imagine that the twins were the star attractions of the gathering...
And how fun for all the young ones to receive Build a Bear gift cards!
My hubby and oldest daughter gave my youngest a Build a Bear gift card along with an extra outfit and it was a huge hit, too! :)

Sorry to hear that DC has been so sick! I sure hope he is on the mend by now!

Jungle Mom said...

OH my! The twins have grown so much during my absence from your blog!

Becky said...

I love the gift of the Build a Bear gift card. Not only do they have a wonderful new friend, but great memories of doing it all together.

You had such a wonderful time with everyone. I am so glad that all worked out so very well. It was fun to read about. And to see all the pictures.

Izzy 'N Emmy said...

Wow, you had an amazing adventure at Build A Bear! I love the photos of everyone together!

YAY for the twins sitting up! THey are going to be on the move in no time!

I am so glad you had a wonderful Holiday! Thanks for sharing all your stories and oh, I love cinnamon rolls too!! If you have a moment in the coming days, I'd love the recipe. I've been thinking about making some of my own.


Robin in New Jersey said...

Hey Dawn,

What a wonderful holiday you had. The twins are really grwoing!

I'd love to read Kristen's blog if she'll have me. I used to read hers before she went private.

Happy New year!

Robin said...

Oh my Dawn! I've just caught up with your posts and you have worn me out! But you have such a happy sound to your voice and I just know what a wonderful holiday you had.
I love the Build-A-Bear idea - I'll have to tuck that one away for a couple years from now!
Your twinnies are so cute and I love how everyone adored them!
What a blessing family is!
You get some rest now!

Penless Thoughts said...

Great, fun pictures, as always!! Seems like a lot of people got pj's for Christmas this year. I know I bought both granddaughters pj's and I received 2 pair myself. So nice, warm, & cuddly.

PEA said...

Wow, look at all the kids! lol They all look so happy with their stuffed animals...we have a Build A Bear that recently opened and it's quite the popular place:-)

And look at the twins sitting up by themselves!!! How wonderful that they would do so on Christmas Day:-) It's no wonder they were so popular with all the guests, they're just darling!!!

I'm so glad to hear that Kevin and Sema are both safely in Mombassa. They certainly had quite the adventure to get there but prayers have been answered and they're now there together:-)

I always love seeing all your pictures, you have such a beautiful family and how blessed you all were to be able to be together for the holidays!! xoxo

Nadine said...

The new blog look is great. Boy you had some good times over the holidays and surrounded by all those beautiful children. They looked like they had a blast building their own bears.

Those twins are getting so big.

Hootin' Anni said...

Hi Dawn!!!

I must say I had to do a 'double take' on the photo of the gal in purple holding the baby....[your daughter maybe?]....she SO LOOKS like Kirsten Dunst!!!!!!

Love all the photos. Each and every ONE of them. It's great to watch the growth of your twin grandchildren...their striped outfits are adorable.

Happy Tuesday.

Maine Mom said...

Hey, we have the same blog look now!

What fun gift surprises on Christmas Eve. I love the pajama bottoms!

That is great that the twins are sitting up now and doing so well in their development. I love their matching striped outfits! That's nice that they got passed around so much and gave Kristen a break.

The cinnamon roll get together sounds fun and so yummy!

Nancy said...

I love your new look and the new photo of you and DC... you look so happily married!

The twins are really growing and it's so much fun catching up with all of the goings on in your life!

I can't wait to go over to Kristens.


Sammy said...

I love the photo of the twins sitting up in their matching outfits! So cute!

Build-a-bear looks like fun. All the kids were obviously thrilled with their creations.

Mary said...


What a wonderful post with so many delightful photos. I would love to experience Build-a-Bear but my grandsons are way too old for that. Maybe I can take Griffyn and Tarryn sometime. It would be nice when Tarryn is a little older so he can choose his own.

It looks like everyone had a great time. This is the stuff of which memories are made.

I enjoyed my visit. I am going now to check out Kristen's blog.


Linda said...

You really had a rich, full Christmas Dawn. You did so much to make wonderful memories for your family.
Those little ones are truly amazing. I can't help but think "miracle" every time I look at their pictures and see the progress they are making.
I think that is a perfect word for you this year!!

nancygrayce said...

What a day and what fun! You're blessed to be able to have both you children home at Christmas!

A Hint of Home said...

It looks like you had such fun with family and friends.
The twins are so cute and fun to see them sitting up. The other girls are adorable too.
I know they loved building their bears.

Sharon Lynne said...

What wonderful photos. The twins will look at them one day, and feel so loved!

Sharon Lynne said...

P.S. Have Kristin send me an invite. I'm blocked.