January 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm Leave a comment

This post will come to you in two parts…that is, I’m anticipating that it’ll be really long, so I’m going to make it into 2 posts instead of one.  This first one will be recapping the Christmas season, and the one to follow will be New Year’s celebration.

Our Christmas got started with a trip to Springfield, IL on the weekend of the 13th to celebrate with Justin’s side of the family.  That side has recently grown when his brother got married.  I now have a new sister-in-law, Jen and a new nephew, Logan.  Also we found out last week that their family will be growing again with a new baby in about 8 months or so (congrats guys)!


Here is a shot of the gifts before we all tore into them…as you can see, Malcolm just can’t stay out of the shot when I’m trying to take pictures, but of course when I’m trying to take pictures of him, he turns his head, or shuts his eyes or walks away!


And it just wouldn’t be Christmas without the obligatory foot shot…we even got Malcolm in on this one!


Jen, Josh and Logan preparing to open gifts.  They got me a Border’s gift card (awesome!) and we got them a scrapbook of their wedding pictures, thanks to Creative Memories!


Malcolm really enjoyed his new chew toy from GrandmaT…Logan had a great time playing with Mal…wore the poor little guy out (Malcolm, not Logan).  When we got home from the weekend, Malcolm didn’t move for 2 days except to eat and go potty…



Everyone was very happy with all their new stuff, as you can see above!  Justin got the “head to tails” cookbook (great, now I have to EAT that stuff!) and Logan got a lot of fun new toys, including this gi-normous Bionicle and some Star Wars Transformers that he and I had a great time playing with all weekend.  I got a new iron for sewing, gift cards to my favorite places and a lot of other great stuff.


That night the Thornburgh contingent came over for dinner and a few more gifts.  In this picture you can see cousin Kathleen, Grandma Thornburgh and Uncle Paul.  Our good friends Sally & Larry and their 3 little ones also came over to eat and be merry.  There was lots of good food and good conversation.  It’s great to go to Springfield and spend time with the Thornburgh clan!

We headed back that Monday to go back to the real world for a few days.  ON the 20th my friend Abbey and I went to Dave & Busters to eat and play games.  It was a great time and we each built up over 1,000 tickets!  We decided to hold on to them and save up for a good prize instead of getting lots of little crappy ones.  Our favorite game: by far it was the “Flaming Fingers”…I know, it sounds really bad.  Basically it’s a touch screen game and you have to make it through the maze before time runs out.  We must have played that game at least 30 times each.  It’s only about 2 tokens to play, and even if you don’t get through the whole maze you get 20 or more tickets each time.  I made it through once and 140 tickets!  Here’s a shot of Abbey making her way through the Flaming Finger maze (notice the cup full of overflowing tickets, that’s Abbey’s):


I had fun decorating my house for Christmas this year.  Got the decorations up early even – first Saturday of December!  Much improved from last year when I didn’t get stuff up until 2 or 3 days before with left for Christmas travels!  Here’s a few shots of our tree and mantle this year:



We left for our Minnesota trip to visit my family for Christmas early on Christmas Eve.  I was nervous we wouldn’t make it out, because we’d been having bad weather the past few days, the airports were cancelling flights, etc…but we made it out and only got slowed up for a bit of traffic in Wisconsin Dells.  That traffic however was due to 5 cars that were off the road in about a 1 mile strech, including a semi that was flipped completly on it’s side!  I really hope everyone was okay – the only person I didn’t see was the semi driver, everyone else was still in their cars, so it must have just happened before we passed it.

We made it to my parents house in the mid-afternoon.  Mom had the tree set up and all the gifts under it (except of course the ones from Santa – he didn’t come until that night, sillys).


Mom and my sister Robbin went to Christmas eve service at my home church that afternoon, and then Justin, Robbin and I went to the candle light service that night, as is tradition for me.

The next moring we all got up to open presents and stockings!  My sister, brother-in-law and 2 nieces traveled up from Postville,  IA to open with us.  Malcolm and Shadow especially enjoyed opening their gifts:



Malcolm gave Shadow a pig snout (which she devoured in about 2 minutes) and we gave Malcolm a squeaky plushie bear.  Of course, he tore a hole in it by the end of the weekend, but it’s an easy stich up job to fix it.

There were lot of other great gifts given and recieved by all.  I got a large sewing basket, gingher sewing scissors, and neat water pitcher and other great stuff.  Here’s some pics of what others got:


My parents gave my niece Nicole are really awesome turntable.  You can also see she’s wearing the skirt I made her, which you can read all about here.


The camping Salt & Pepper Justin got from my sister Shannon and brother-in-law John.  They said they thought it was a lot bigger when they ordered it online!


Mom got a really pretty necklace from my mother-in-law, and some bath stuff.  Dad got Pease’s chocolates and Peanut Brittle.  You can see how much my mom liked the necklace in this picture!


Justin and I got my niece Hannah this big Magna-Doodle, which we all played with!


And my mom REALLY surprised my dad with a new chainsaw!  I wish I could have got a shot of the look on his face when he got that – complete shock – which we NEVER see on my dad at Christmas.  He can always guess what we’re getting him.  See got him go0d this year!

After our present opening, my mom’s whole side came over for dinner to my parent’s house (actually, we weren’t quite done opening yet when my grandparents got there).


Here you can see some of the Larson clan: sister Robbin, Uncle Bruce, Dad, Nicole, Mom, Grandma, and Uncle Dave.


Robbin spent some time teaching Hannah how to do somersaults.  She really enjoyed that!  “Again, again!”


And grandpa enjoyed some of the finer things in life with a glass of wine.  Actually, I think all together we had about 3 bottles of wine at my parents house and at least 2 more at my grandparent’s house!  But with 20+ people, I guess you got through a lot of wine…

After dinner, we headed into my grandparents house for the annual mass chaos of trying to coordinate the opening of gifts.  This year we tried to do whoever opens gets to pick the next person to open.  That worked for a while, but as usual it ended in just a mass of tearing paper and oohs, ahhs and thanks.  Gma and Gpa again made out like bandits with their mounds of gifts.


This is at my grandparents house.  Niece Nicole, cousin Emma, Dad, Mom, Grandma, sister Robbin, cousin Randy.

We spent the rest of the day chatting, eating too many cookies and enjoying being together for Christmas.  Everyone started trickling out, but my family and my Uncle John and Aunt Deb stayed for a while and we watched Wall-E that Justin and I had given Deb for a gift.  It’s a great movie and I highly recommend it for all!  We went home that night and had hot dogs for dinner (mmm!) and then watched the Hulk that I got from my sister Robbin.

The rest of the weekend was very nice, just relaxing and not having to do anything!  It was great.  We headed home that Sunday and prepared for the next round of holiday cheer…but you’ll have to wait for the next post about all that!

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Go Al Go! Go – Fight – Win! New Years…

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