Sunday, December 30, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

Some highlights from our Christmas celebrations ----

On Christmas Eve we gathered at my mom's for a yummy spaghetti dinner. We exchanged gifts and then went to 8:00pm Mass. (We like going to that later, less crowded Mass... but for the second year in a row Ray fell asleep. So I guess we'll need a different plan next year. He's just not able to function at that hour!)

My mom has long wanted to take us all on a family vacation to Disney. Well, this is the year! For Christmas she gave us all fancy "tickets" for our summer vacation. All of us will be spending three days at the Disney parks in Florida and then going on a four day Disney cruise! We can't wait!

Here's mom with the kids and the Disney pajamas she made them for the trip.

Mom also bought the kids new bathing suits for the trip.
The boys loved "modelling" them!

My mom with our boys.
We played a fun "present" game before actually opening the real presents.
Our family before heading to Mass
My sister Reenie with her husband Mike, daughter Ava, and dog Poppy
The best picture EVER of my sister Colleen and her son Carter
We spent all of Christmas day at home! The day actually began quite early when Jon discovered that we had a sick cat. (More on that in the next post.) After cleaning up lots of cat puke... ("Joy to the World!") .... we headed downstairs (at around 7:30). Ray took charge as he had been holding onto Baby Jesus until Christmas morning. He insisted we sing "Joy to the World" as we processed downstair to the manger scene. He placed the baby in the manger and then told us all to stand in line and take turns saying a prayer to Baby Jesus. I was laughing at how much Ray is becoming like me (in my take-charge teacher personna).... and then I started to cry with joy.
Adam immediately stepped up to the manger, knelt down, and prayed "Thank you Jesus for coming and bringing light into the darkness of the world. I love you so much."

 We each took turns saying a little prayer... and then my bestie Susan showed up at the door. She is a Dominican Sister and she loves spending Christmas morning with us. We love having her here too!

We headed into the family room to check out what Santa had brought.

The first discovery was of a little train set that can actually attach to the Christmas tree.
Santa put it on a table and left a note explaining that Daddy would attach the train later. ;)
We had lots of fun taking turns opening gifts.
Notice Jon cleaning up more cat puke in the background. ;(

Gloria chilled out under the tree and took in all the action.
Look who got the biggest gift of all! Daddy!
One of Ray's favorite gifts was an MP3 player loaded with lots of fun music and stories.
Adam got a cool big-boy scooter.

Don't you love this look at Adam's tonsils?!
I mean the look of pure joy!
This blue Puffle was a must have on his list.
Santa had to order it online and pay big bucks for it... apparantly it's a rare one.

Gloria enjoying her new cat bed.
Look what I got!!!!!
I'm still trying to load all my programs, pictures, etc...
but I'm SO glad to finally have a laptop.
Thank you Santa!
And you can see what was in that big blue box for Jon too!
 We all enjoyed just relaxing and playing with our new toys on Christmas Day. In the evening some of my family members came over and we had yummy snacks and appetizers (rather than a formal sit-down dinner).

Ray and Jon (and the rest of us) had a GREAT time playing Just Dance 4!
 We spent Christmas and the few days following it IN OUR PAJAMAS! (Except for Jon who had to go in to work.) We're continuing the celebrations and carols during this great 12 day Season.

Thank you Jesus for coming into our world as a little baby.... for loving us so much and teaching us every year about the abundant generosity of your love. Help us to keep our hearts at the stable, to learn from you, to be with you during these days of darkness. You are our light. We rejoice in your birth! Amen.

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