Merry Christmas! And I'm only 4 1/2 months late sending those greetings so I'm getting closer to being caught up! :)
Many of my childhood Christmas memories are of spending the holiday with my Carlson relatives in Wisconsin. Certainly many of my best Christmas memories are there! :) Even as an adult we have continued to go with Mom and Dad so there are very few Christmas' in my life that I haven't spent some part of the holiday season in Wisconsin. It has been a while, however, (over 10 years) since I've actually been there for Christmas Day. I was feeling a bit nostalgic for a big family, White Christmas so we decided to celebrate our 2012 Christmas in Wisconsin with the Carlson clan. I don't know that we'll have another opportunity to do that again, but I'm so glad we enjoyed another Carlson Christmas!
Here's a 4 generation picture of Great Grandma Carlson, Grammy, Me and Jackson (2 1/2 yrs old), Reagan (5 1/2 years old) and Kennedy (4 years old).
The kids tend to open presents slowly so we've learned it's wise to open gifts from Grammy & Grand-Dad, Mommy & Daddy, and Santa at different times or we're likely to spend all of Christmas Day and then some trying to get thru everything. We also decided to open Grammy and Grand-Dad gifts a little early this year so the kids would have some fun new toys to play with at Great-Grandma's house. I couldn't believe how well all three of them posed for me in front of the tree before opening gifts! :)
Missy K with Caroline's parlor and dining room table and chairs. What an amazing and beautiful gift from Grammy and Grand-Dad for the girls!
Jackson received a new Thomas Track and Bridge from "Misty Island Rescue" along with some new trains.
The Sunday before Christmas over 50 members of the immediate Carlson family got together to celebrate at Aunt Pat and Uncle Randy's house. Here are some of the great-grandchildren working on various art and craft activities.
Meanwhile the big kids were busy watching football and playing pool
I couldn't believe the kids posed nicely again for me Christmas Eve morning in front of the tree! I may get them trained yet! lol :)
Aunt Arla and Uncle Scott gave the kids their presents the afternoon of Christmas Eve and as always were way too generous!
Lance moved back to Wisconsin last fall and so the kids had a great time playing with him throughout the week. Here they were having a fabulous time riding on his back as he did pushups. Uncle Scott did this too, I just didn't manage to get a good picture. I can't begin to imagine accomplishing this! Very impressive Lance and Uncle Scott!
Reagan received the American Girl Doll Yorkie, Sugar, for Christmas and Aunt Arla received a real Yorkie, Lucy, for Christmas. All three kids fell in love with Lucy. We all did and who could blame us as Lucy is truly one of the cutest and sweetest dogs I have ever seen!
On Christmas Eve we mixed up reindeer food and sprinkled it out in the yard for Santa's reindeer before heading to church. The reindeer deserve a treat at least as much as Santa for all the work they do! Great Grandma hadn't heard of doing this before and found the exercise entertaining. :)
In case you were wondering, reindeer food is made of oats and glitter. The glitter is to help the reindeer fly of course! :)
Spreading the reindeer food in the snow
Someone must have gotten their holidays crossed! While we were outside spreading the reindeer food we noticed this big black bunny over by the barns. Hope he made it back for Easter!
Aunt Arla helped us make some special cookies just for Santa
Aunt Arla even brought a special mug to place the cookies underneath the milk especially for Santa.
The girls were very excited about their stockings Christmas morning
Jackson enjoyed opening some of his gifts and he really enjoyed riding his new Mater
Santa brought Daddy an 8,000 piece puzzle he's been wanting. My understanding is it was pretty difficult to find and Santa had to go all the way to New Zealand to pick it up!
Reagan and me playing Sequence
Grand-Dad and Jackson taking a Christmas nap
Grammy and Great-Grandma
Christmas day was so nice! My kids were the only great-grandchildren around, but Great-Grandma was able to spend the day with 4 of her 5 kids. :)
A picture of the Carlson crew that made it to Great-Grandma's house for Christmas Day festivities.
Sorry these pictures are a bit mixed up, I'm just doing my best to get the highlights of the last 9 months up here and I'm about half way there! Woo hoo! Hope you all had very merry Christmas' and were as blessed as us to share this joyous season with wonderful family!