At Grandma and Grandpa's house, all the grandkids woke us up at about 7 am, eager to go upstairs to see what Santa might have left. They were under strict instructions to not go upstairs to peek until everyone was up and ready. Pictured below is Calvin, Oliver, and Hailey. The anticipation is killing them, as they wait for all the parents to get their cameras, camcorders, and restroom breaks.
Michael (below) is still half way asleep and doesn't see the need to hurry up.
Deb is holding Aly back and she's so excited, she can hardly wait.
Here's (part of ) where Santa deposited Debbie's family's surprises.
Santa dropped off our family's goodies on this loveseat in Grandma and Grandpa's living room. It's amazing how he knows we're not in Texas this year.
Lindsey poses for the exciting news that she just got a new video iPod Nano. Lucky girl!
Christopher is really excited about getting a brand new Wii game system from good old Santa Claus.
Santa left a note for each kid, telling them about their gifts and giving them a little review about how nice or naughty they had been this year. What a guy. He even told Christopher how handsome he looks with his new glasses.
Obviously, Santa wanted Christopher to know he needs to share the Wii, as he gave Lindsey an extra controller to use with it. He thinks of everything.
Here's Brenda's family's stash of goodies that Santa left for them. Everyone was excited.
Michael is enjoying his little bear rug and shows us the proper way to snuggle with it. He looks more happy now, although still sleepy.
Uncle Kelly is checking out Michael's (or Aly's perhaps?) new kiddie guitar. Notice the punching bag? That was left for Courtney, who wanted something to take out her aggressions on.
Uncle Mike (below) is probably kicking back with his hearing aids turned down low so he doesn't have to listen to all the noise.
Is there food involved? If so, Jade is smiling about it.
On to the presents from everyone (besides St. Nick). Christopher is modeling his new jacket from Grandma and Grandpa. It fits just right and will be handy for all of the upcoming playing in the snow. He only brought a denim jacket with him from Texas. Good thing!
We watched the kids open presents downstairs by the Charlie Brown tree (a branch cut off from the huge tree upstairs). They opened everything so quickly. I managed to write down the things they received to be able to remember it, but the other families weren't as lucky, with four kids apiece, opening things simultaneously. Brenda (below) is such a cute mommy.
Cousins Aly and Hailey are loving all their new dress-up clothes.
Both Kasey and Lindsey felt like they should be opening their presents upstairs with the grown-ups instead of with all the little cousins. Notice the humongous tree that they are standing in front of? I have never quite understood this tradition, but Kelly's family always goes up to the mountains to chop down a tree that fills up the entire living room, and there's really not much room left to sit, stand or walk. The room is all tree, basically. It does have a nice evergreen scent. I'm positive they don't understand a lot of my choices either, so I guess we're even.
Here's Joel (below) thanking Brenda for his shiny new snowboard.
Hannah Montana even stopped by for a while on Christmas day. Isn't she glamorous?
After all the gifts were opened, we ate some of my mother-in-law's famous, delicious smothered burritoes, a staple here. Everyone played with their new toys and the kids spent some time outside on the lake ice skating and sledding down the hill next to Grandma and Grandpa's house.
Lindsey and Christopher love their new winter jackets and had a blast playing in the snow.
Grandpa and Grandma spent a long time clearing snow from the lake for a make-shift ice skating rink. Here's Grandma pulling one of the kids around for a ride.
Christopher was pulling Hailey around for a bit, but she was getting cold and cranky, and wanted to head back in the house.
It was a nice, cold wintry day, that had stopped snowing for a little while.
Here's a view from the lake of Kelly's parents' home. Kelly's parents bought this home when he was about the same age as Christopher, where he grew up water skiing in the summers and ice skating on the lake in the winters. Plenty of others have invaded their home for the festivities, too, over the years. The kids always enjoy spending time with their grandparents here.
The floating dock built by my father-in-law (below) is frozen into the lake and makes a useful ice skate changing station. Calvin was having a ball and was eager to pose for me.
Kelly and me, as snug as a bug in a rug.
Christopher helped push the snow around for a (very brief) moment.
Dee and Marlene, the hosts/Kelly's parents, posing with chilly noses. They spend a lot of time out on the lake and are awesome water skiers, ice skaters, and snow skiers.
Lindsey is having a great time so far!
Courtney gliding along like an Eskimo.
Kasey taking a break.
Brenda is rugged. I don't know of any physical therapists who aren't. Do you?
Lindsey and Kasey are having a wonderful time together. Don't they look cute in their matching new coats?
Grandpa's turn to pull someone around for a while.
Oliver has this sweet little cheesy grin down. What a little ham.
Check out the mountains in the background. What a postcard view.
Fun for the whole family!
Lindsey snuggling up with her dad.
Christopher needs a new passenger. Want a ride?
This hill was slid down many, many times by the kids. I took a video of it that I'll post later.
Climbing back up was a lot more tough, but great exercise!
We're running out of daylight.
The neighbors came out toward the end of the day and started clearing a large area for a huge rink to skate on the next day, then got this water pump and flooded it to make the ice smooth. Dee spent a long time helping them, hoping our gang could join the hockey festivities too.