Prepare for a monstrously long post. Everyone is asleep. It's 9:15 on a Saturday evening, and I'm not going to bed until I finish writing about Christmas. Maybe by next Wednesday, my posts will be up to date. I hope you won't go blind.
On the morning of December 30th, the Brand crew left for home or other locales. Adam and I frantically straightened and laundered linens. Once the work was done, we took a nap on our futon (which had been our bed since the 24th). When we woke up, we heard a knock on the door. We were thrilled to welcome the Burkett clan. Papa, Nana, and Grandma arrived just in time to rescue Kenly from her nap time confinement.
Kenly is reading Llama Llama Holiday Drama in this picture. We love the Llama Llama books in this house. All of them. We had to wait until New Year's Eve for Aunt Carrie and Uncle Travis to arrive, so Kenly's anticipation kept growing as the present pile grew. She could hardly contain her excitement to see Christmas arrive again so soon. At one point she was literally running laps around the couches.
On New Year's Eve, we went outside to enjoy what was left of the snow before the rains arrived. Nana was never allowed to play in the snow when she was small, so she makes up for lost time whenever she can get her hands on some white stuff. Adam and Nana always have a fierce snowball fight.
Nana nailed Adam with a huge snowball. I'd have to say there was not a clear winner. Both were drenched by the time a truce was called.
I think Grandma looks a little cold in this picture. She kept attacking people with snowballs. She's a sneaky ninja.
Papa and I tried to stay out of the fray by using technology as a shield. I love having the camera as an excuse avoid being pegged in the head with a snowball. Plus, I'm capturing memories forever, right?
I told you she was a snowball ninja. Here she is waiting to bombard some unsuspecting victim.
Look out. She's got an arm on her too.
Papa gave Kenly a few sled rides up and down the driveway.
Adam gave Grandma and Kenly a ride in the sled as well. I think they both had an awesome time.
Nana couldn't let Grandma have all the fun so she took a few rides down the driveway.
I love how Kenly mimics the facial expression of anyone she rides with in a sled. How does she know? She can't see Nana's face.
I don't know what is more comical--Kenly's expression on Nana's wet tush.
I love this picture of my Daddy and my husband. Doesn't Adam look smashing my my ear warmer?
Papa got in on the action my making a snow angel at the very last minute. He had Kenly give him instructions.
Papa helped Kenly warm her cold hands when we finally decided to trade the wet and cold for the warmth of a fire.
So, when Travis and Carrie arrive later that evening, I'm proud to announce that our house sheltered 8 humans and 3 dogs. It was tight and cluttered, but it was loads of fun. For New Year's Eve, everyone but Grandma and Kenly stayed up to ring in the new year. We toasted the new year with sparkling grape juice. I don't know which is worse--champagne or sparkling grape juice. We passed the hours until midnight by playing Wii. Burkett Christmas was officially on New Year's Day. It was like Christmas morning all over again. Mason, Sammie, and Chance all got a few rounds of presents. Chance liked having his cousins around to entertain him.
Papa and Kenly shared a few loving moments before she was allowed to tear into a few of the presents under the tree. Everyone was amazed at how patient she was while waiting to open her surprises.
Kenly even got to enjoy some of one of Grandma's presents.
Uncle Travis and Aunt Carrie got Kenly a grocery cart for Christmas. It is adorably pink with a sturdy wooden frame. Uncle Travis kept trying to get Kenly to ride on the cart frame like a scooter. She's humor him and then turn around to tell him that it was "too dangerous."
While Kenly napped, we spent more time in front of the Wii. It weather was dismal--rainy and cold--so we challenged each other to bowling and boxing. Nothing like spousal abuse in the form of Wii boxing.
Who says video games can't bring a family together? We laughed. We talked trash. We told stories and reminisced. It was true quality time.
Nana really enjoyed the Wii bowling.
Adam and Carrie even went a few rounds. I love Travis in this picture.
Grandma even bowled a few frame in a game of Wii bowling.
We took a break in opening presents to enjoy a few that had already been opened. Everyone got in on the Color Wonder finger paints by Crayola. Kenly loves them. I do too, but I don't like that you can't by refill of the paint. I might have to write Crayola to see if I can't spark some change in the quantity of paint they sell.
Kenly received a Webkins Jr from Aunt Linda and Uncle John, some dear family friends. She has since named her fluffy elephant Azul.
Funny side note. Kenly received a Fisher Price doctor kit from Nana and Papa. As she explored all the instruments included in the kit, she suddenly pulled her pants and underwear down to try and take her temperature with the thermometer included in the kit. I decided right then and there that it is time to start taking her temperature under her arm.
Nana enjoyed playing Santa. Those cute bags contained gift cards that Adam and I can use for a date night. Nothing says 'I love you' like food.
Kenly lusted after this big present all day. After we had our traditional meal of pork, collard green, and black eyed peas, Kenly was allowed to discover its contents.
She received a cleaning kit too. It has proven very helpful. If I need to sweep, she can sweep along side of me without feeling left out.
So, how did we house so many people. Flexibility. Our guests were flexible, forgiving, and fabulous.
On January 2nd everyone went home. We spent the morning at Cracker Barrel indulging in a yummy breakfast that Nana and Papa sponsored. The visit was delightful.
I did it. I finished Christmas. Hallelujah!