I had so much fun this year watching the kids open their gifts - I've officially grown up now, I guess. :) I did get some pretty amazing gifts, though - season 2 of Sanctuary, a gorgeous star necklace (love my star jewelery!), a stack of crochet magazines, and this very special gift from my sister, Elizabeth.
Any guesses? My grandmother saw it wrapped up and guessed toiletry case, but it's even more special that that!
It's a crochet hook case! I've been needing one sooo badly... I had a little plastic one that I've outgrown with my many hooks, and I was actually looking for one on Etsy last week, but couldn't find one in a style or print I liked. I love this one!
Now on to the gifts I GAVE! I've wanted to blog about these for a long time but couldn't!
I found some African Red Rooibus tea - Anna feels called to the mission field in Tanzania and loves all things African. After the chaos of gift-giving had died down somewhat, we brewed a big pot to try. The verdict is that this tea is not for everyone - it has an earthy, slightly astringenty taste to it with a lot of different flavor notes. I personally love it (and luckily so does Anna!). I'll probably run to the store to pick myself up a box this week.
I also got her a "scenes from Africa" calendar and a charm bracelet with African charms (lions, giraffes, hippoes, etc), and something for her treehouse -
A fan and a light! It was pretty hot out in the woods this year, even for Anna. :) This fan runs on two AA batteries and attaches via carabiner OR magnetic plate. I'm looking forward to seeing her use it!
I spend almost as much time picking our Christmas cards for everybody as I do gifts. I love finding everybody the perfect card that expresses just what I want to say!
So when I found this card for Anna, I knew it had to come home with me. :)
I knew I wanted to get Mom a firepit this year, but after doing some research, I declared it out of my price range. Lo and behold, on Black Friday they had this one on a terrific sale and I ended up paying a fraction of the original price.
Since Mom just got a gazebo this year, I'm pretty sure it's gonna get put to a lot of use! Right now it's holding a bunch of tealights in the living room. :)
My father is impossible to shop for. As a family, we got him a GPS this year, but I wanted something personal, too. We were standing outside last month at AnnMarie Gardens and I noticed that his hat had holes in it! He defended his fashion choice saying that it was the only thing that kept his ears warm. I bought some wool yarn and modified a pattern to make an extra-long cabled cap (so that he could fold more of it over around his ears). He put it on Christmas morning and immediately said, "OOH, this is WARM!" :) Anna promptly declared he couldn't wear it until he threw out the holey one. :)
I got Maggie several seasons of The Pretender, and the last season of Gilligan's Island, and this mug. :) She loves her bees! Last year we found her a bee pendant, and for her birthday last year I found her a bee wallet.
We have never been much of a gaming family - we had a family rule after getting our very first gaming platform, a Wii, that all games that came into the house had to be primary movement-based (i.e. no crashing on the couch with a controller). However, since Ruth's asthma has confined her to the house so much this last year, we decided to break the rule a bit and get her some games that she could enjoy when she couldn't be outdoors.
I have to say, it kills me a little to see everyone looking so "glazed" lol! Give me my Wii Fit anyday!
After spending a lovely time at home, we headed over to Chris's house for our celebration with my mom's family.
We have babies in the family this year! Little Kat enjoyed cuddling with Granddad! AND she arrived wearing the cap and bootie set I made her - made my day! Isn't she the cutest little Christmas elf here?
Abigail was far too busy playing with her Christmas presents to care that we were here much, lol. She got barbies for Christmas and spent lots of time dressing and undressing them, and playing with their hair. :)
Isn't she adorable?!?! :) Of course I may be a little biased.
Leslie, Kat's mommy, and Cecelia, grandma to little Zoe, got down on the floor so the two cousins could get to know one another better. :)
Zoe seemed to like the cap and bootie set I made her for Christmas... Isn't she adorable?
We had a lovely Boxing Day today... The snow started yesterday afternoon and was still going strong this morning. I think we got about five inches, though the last time I went out was several hours before it stopped for good. No way were we going out in that! :) So I got my Christmas wish - a Boxing Day spent at home with the family. We had a totally great time playing together all day, in the snow, with new board/card games, watching television, and just hanging out. Anna got out her sewing implements and cut out a new quilt, and I pulled out a hook and some yarn and my new crochet mags. Very cozy. :)
It's back to work for me tomorrow - I'm glad! I missed my baby! :) And I know we'll have so much fun playing with all her new toys tomorrow. The only thing I'm a little stressed about it getting there in the snow. Two friends of mine have had accidents in the last few weeks, and my best friend was sharing with me today how they began to go to church only to turn around and go back home (they have snow, too!). Hopefully the roads will be pretty cleared and all will be well!