The day after Christmas we all headed to Mass and managed to get a complete Weisse Family picture.
The Taber tradition of recent years is to do our big holiday meal on Boxing Day because we like to remember our Welsh heritage, but mostly because we are too busy on Christmas Day and we love any excuse to keep the celebration going. This year we had it at my house for the first time. Everyone helped make side dishes and we made a ham and Pete deep fried a turkey.
And of course the boys had their annual game of Feudal. I may have spoken of it before, but it is a giant version of an old game my dad used to have that is sort like chess and risk rolled into one all night man party. The boys are obsessed and very competative about it. Pete's brother Al and his friends come and this year when Al was in Ireland he made a wish at the Blarney Castle that he would win Feudal this year (Zach, Pudge, Danny, and Ian are the reigning champs). Here they are setting it up on opposite sides of the sheet (which takes at least an hour in itself).
Dinner was delicious and we did our traditional crowns, but this year they were homemade.
There were some intense games of Farkle going on inside, but nothing as intense as this:
Zach came into bed when the sun was coming up and apparently they didn't have a winner due to some rule technicality. They are crazy.
I forgot to put this one chronologically because I had to scan it in.
We obviously met Santa before Christmas.
Jimmy attempted to throw a fit in line, but it was pretty easy to threaten him with Santa watching since he really was watching. Jimmy was star struck and shy, but he managed to ask for his "Big Buzz Lightyear that talks." Gus was wide awake and happy as can be. The picture was over-priced, but at least it was cute and no one was crying.
Is there anything better than that feeling of waking up on Christmas morning?
At first Jimmy was really excited and wanted to run down the hall. Then he got a little bit shy and needed me to go out with him. There were a lot of people watching after all. His "Big Buzz Lightyear that talks" was waiting for him, but he was also very surprised to find other presents. He was holding out hope that he had been good enough to get the one thing he asked for; he must have thought an often naughty boy such as himself wouldn't be getting much else. Little did he know that was just the beginning of it.
Here is what Jimmy and Gus woke up to this year.
(Yeah, Santa doesn't wrap presents around here)
Next year, Zach is going to ask Santa to let toys come already out of the difficult to open packaging.
Good Old Woody came out of Jimmy's room to meet his new best friend/rival.
Then Jimmy noticed a tricycle from Nano and Nana hiding behind the easel. It was pretty funny because he was on his way to give Zach his stocking and stopped very confused by what he had just found. When he realized it was something else for him, he got really excited and drove it around the house for awhile. The stocking never made it over to Dad.
Gus got this swing from Nano and Nana and spent most of the morning in it.
Jimmy wanted to get painting as soon as possible on his easel.
Then after breakfast some people took naps and others headed outside to practice riding.
These next two are nice action shots of Baabee tripping over Jimmy.
Some of the Weisse Aunties.
(Note: Natalie's awesome sweater)
Me with Dad,, Danny, and Erin.
Me and my boys.
Zach gave Jimmy his old Lego Castle. It is the reason he stayed up very late on Christmas Eve. It actually became a Boxing Day Present since there was just too much going on Christmas Day and we wanted him to have time to actually sit and play with it when he first opened it. Jimmy really couldn't believe that he was still getting something else.
This Safari set is what I picked out for Jimmy. I couldn't resist Playmobiles on sale at Costco!
When Jimmy opened it he said, "Mom, it's your favorite!"... I guess I had been telling him how cool I thought it was when we were at Costco. I may or may not have been trying to brain wash him. I foresee lots of future Christmases for Jimmy and Gus where Dad gets them Legos and Mom gets them Playmobile. We sort of have a constant war over which is better. Of course, it is Playmobile.
Gus and his loot.
What cute, happy (and sleepy) boys!
We went over to Emily's House on Christmas night to see the cousins and McMahons.
It was a very Merry Christmas and I wouldn't change a second of it.
So yeah, it is February I am just getting to Christmas. Deal with it. There is lots to cover.
On Christmas Eve, Nana made a roast and we had a little family dinner before Mass.
Then we headed to St. Thomas for the 7:00 Mass. It was nice except that Father Chris gave the same sermon as last year word for word.... and it wasn't funny last year even though he seems to think it is. Could he really not think of anything new to say, is he that lazy, or did he just think it was so good that he wanted anyone who missed it to get a chance to hear him reference Clark Griswald and Christmas Carols by Wham? The nativity scene was the same as always, but somehow that is okay and this was not. Am I a bad person to complain about this?
Anyway, we got a family photo of the Weisses that were there.
The Kerstings were there, too.
And the good little babies were asleep by the end.
And while this photo is a little blurry, it really helps sum up how excited Jimmy and surely all the other kids in the whole place were when Mass was over.
And then it was time for "The Night Before Christmas" and going to sleep on the air mattress in Mom and Dad's room so we could make more room for our guests. Of course, he took extremely long to fall asleep and even snuck out into the living room, which he never does. Good thing all the present wrapping was out of sight.
Then Zach and I stayed up way too late getting everything ready for the Big Day!
Growing up in the Arcadia neighborhood in Phoenix meant that we would often drive by a certain house that had its own train track going around the rather large property. There was also an amazing tree house visible from the road and surely many other amazing things hidden further back. Well, thank to our dearest Mary McMahon, My sister Emily and I (oh and our kids too) finally got to experience it first hand. Talk about living out your childhood fantasies. It was no let down.
The house was originally a stage coach stop over a hundred years ago. So the house itself holds so much history. Only some of the original structure is left, but it is still very cool. The train, however, kind of overshadows the history lesson. Mimi's friends that own in the house were kind enough to get the train going and give us all a few rides. It has its own little train stop and water tower and tunnel.
The kids thought it was the coolest thing ever. Jack did actually state that this was the coolest house ever and that he wanted to live there (and we never even had to go inside).
And well, Jimmy sure loves trains so he was in heaven.
He was probably most excited that this train had a "FaFaFa."
That is the name he made up for the front grill on a train that looks like this:
Aunts Cathy and Nat were also fortunate enough that they arrived in Phoenix early enough to tag along.
... and Gus loved it too, of course.
There were even engineer hats for the kids,
And for the last ride the kids all climbed in the little red caboose.
And Mimi (because she is the best Mimi ever!) managed to squeeze in with them all.
They love her so much!!! I can't really blame them.
Even if she didn't take them to do awesome stuff like this, she would still be the best ever.
But the coolness didn't end there. Their pool had a rock water slide, a waterfall, a cave and a jacuzzi built into the rocks. Jack wants to come back in the summer. Finn was ready to jump in right then.
And here is the tree house I was talking about. THREE STORIES!!!
Small children definitely need to be supervised, but it is undeniably cool.
And Gus got some Mimi love while everyone else climbed up.
Thanks to Mimi and her friends!
Now if I can just get Jimmy to stop asking when we get to go back.