Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Vander Waal Christmas

We were in Pella with Brad's family from Christmas night through Tuesday, the 28th. Everyone (which includes 19 family members, 1 nephew's girlfriend, 1 niece's boyfriend, and 1 dog) gathered for lunch at the Pizza Ranch on Sunday, the 26th, before heading over to Bob & Marilyn's to open gifts. We always enjoy this time, when Brad's family is all together. We don't see his siblings often enough, and when we do, it's usually only one or two at a time. For all of us to be together is pretty special (and I think Brad's mom would agree with me). :)

The traditional Christmas portrait:
Grandma, Grandpa and their {10} grandchildren.

Ok, so Drew was pretty excited about opening presents. I mean, he's 3 - he should be excited. All the cousins exchange names at Thanksgiving, so here's Drew with his gift from Ali. Just look at the anticipation...

Ok now, zoom in on that expression. Uh, right. He's not at all impressed. As a matter of fact, he's totally disappointed! He actually cried. Yep, tears and everything. "Mama, I don't want this!" as he fell into my arms. What is it he opened? Exactly what I told Aunt Glenda to buy for him - walkie talkies! To Drew's credit, he didn't know what they were, and I think he was anticipating Toy Story or McQueen, like he always is.

And then when Reed opened this??? Oh.dear. I admit - it got bad for a second. But he opened more gifts (things he could identify and things that he wanted) and calmed down. And Aunt Glenda - he now knows how walkie talkies work. And he likes them. :)

After practicing the day before, Reed was a pro at tearing off that paper!

Charlie Coal the Grill from Grandma & Grandpa

See that smile? Sonic did that. And so did Grandma & Grandpa.

And then the rest of the day was filled with techie lessons for Drew from all of his cousins and their cell phones.

It's tradition that some kind of game playing occurs after we open gifts. I can't even tell you what they're playing, though. I was enjoying the quiet in the other room. :)

Reed crashed around 4 that afternoon, with help from cousin Elise...

...and the couch...

...and Grandpa, too.

Drew then got his turn to share with his cousins the advanced gaming technology that is the Leapster.

Alison, Lauren & DJ spent Sunday night with us at Brad's parent's house, and the girls then ended up staying until Tuesday. These next couple days were filled with hanging out with them, playing games, chatting, laughing, telling stories, and playing more games. (The girls even got to babysit for a little while when the four adults ran out to Walmart to check out the after Christmas sales.) With the big age difference between our boys and our nieces and nephews, it always means a lot when the older ones take it upon themselves to get to know the boys better. By the time we left on Tuesday, the boys were pretty good buds with Ali and Lauren.

Our biggest thanks and hugs to Grandma and Grandpa - for everything!

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