On Christmas day, after the kids enjoyed their Santa surprises and watching the snow, we drove up to my grandmother's house for the Compound Christmas. We ate my family's traditional Christmas dinner - finger foods - and opened gifts again. Grandmother gave us a $25 gift certificate to Ricatoni's (which we used the very next night!) and she also gave me a Hobby Lobby gift card which I have already spent as well. My grandaddy made Mary Ella a wooden doll bed and it was one of our favorite gifts.
My mom and her 2 younger sisters with their Vera Bradley bags from my Grandmother.
My beautiful cousins, Annsley and Courtney
This year my grandmother had the idea of hosting a "penny auction." Everyone brought auction items to put up for sale - the items ranged anywhere from home made goodies to gently used household items. I brought some butter toffee and some old Fossil wallets that were still in great condition. There were probably 50+ items to bid on. My grandparents gave everyone 100 pennies in a ziplock bag and everyone got a paper plate with a name on it. (When you wanted an item, you'd hold up your plate and we'd call out your fake "auction" name and your bid.)
My grandaddy and I took turns being the auctioneer and we had the best time laughing our butts off and bidding on items we wanted. I walked away with a cute coffee thermos, a brand new cutting board, some chocolate covered pretzels, home made cheese straws, a glass clown figurine for Sam's room, and a few other small things. It was so much fun and I think we'll probably do it every year from now on. Even the kids had fun!
Just a quick funny story: My grandaddy bought my grandmother a laptop this year and she loved it. After she opened it my mom and her sisters all gave my grandaddy a present - it was a steno notepad (like the kind you write in), and they had cut out vinyl letters for the outer cover and it said, "Ike's Ipad" and had an apple logo on it. (If you know my grandaddy, this is hilarious. He's a farmer, and he likes things very "simple." No cell phone or anything. Doesn't even know how to use his TV remote and couldn't care less! He likes things the old fashioned way, just plain and simple. We always joke with him about "texting us" and getting on his "blog.") Anyway, he was telling everyone, "Hey! Look! I got me a Apple Ipad!" and he'd flip through all the blank pages and say, "Well would ya look at all these blogs! Look! Here's some twitters! And my facebox!" Haha! We were laughing SO hard. I wish I had a video of him.
By the end of the night, this little elf was tuckered out!
Anyway, the next morning Mom cooked a big brunch - breakfast casserole, tomato grits, orange rolls, and fruit - and we had Christmas with our family. This year was special because my sister is engaged to Chris Campbell and he was there with us to open gifts. (They are getting married in May.) This year since there were 6 of us big kids - me, Chad, Adam, Ashley, Betsy and Chris - we decided we'd draw names. Betsy got my name and bought me an awesome shirt at Target, and Ashley got Chad's name and she and Buzz bought him a dry fit Alabama polo shirt which he loved. Mary Ella and Sam racked up on gifts too! Toys, outfits, kitchen stuff (more Melissa & Doug toys - we love that stuff!), and lots of movies for the cold days ahead. Sam got a Fisher Price "tool bench" that I know he will love. And Betsy and Chris bought him a Bama shirt that says "Tiny Tackler." It's so cute. My parents were so generous and gave us a $100 gift card to Best Buy. They also bought Chad some shirts and some new scrubs, and they bought me Photoshop Elements! I'm so excited to learn how to use it.
My dad's parents came over that afternoon and we had round 4 of present opening. We all got new Alabama t-shirts and a few little things and Sam and Mary Ella got Alabama sweatsuits and toys. It was a really great day and I enjoyed spending time with everybody. The kids were exhausted by that afternoon and they took naps.
That night, my soon-to-be brother in law Chris brought his XBox Kinect over to the house and we decided we'd play a few games. We started off with bowling, and then moved on to soccer, ping pong and finally track and field. After everyone left Chad and I decided we'd go through every single game and try to beat the high score. Big. Mistake. I have NEVER been so sore in my ENTIRE life. I could barely move the next day. If you've never played Kinect, you need to at least give it a try. It's similar to the Wii except there is no hassle of having a controller to hold in your hands. You just move, and it does whatever you do. But do NOT try to become the high scorer in every.single.game in one night. Because you will regret it the next morning. And the next week.
Speaking of my soon-to-be-brother Chris, he earned bonus points this Christmas because he bought my sister this...
Her name is Gertie, and she's a 6-week old Boston terrier; the cutest little puppy in the world! I was so proud to learn that I was finally an aunt on my side of the family.
And then... my REAL brother dropped the bomb on me... that I was REALLY going to be an aunt! YAYYY! He and my sis-in-law are PREGNANT!!! I am sooooo excited. You should have seen me when they told us the news. Well, I'm sure Ashley will post the video soon and I'll just go ahead and warn you, I was a wee bit excited. Just a wee bit.
My sister in law is BEAUTIFUL so I know they'll make a beautiful little baby. See?
Oh wait, she was a little sick in that picture. Here's a better one...
That's a better one. Much better.
Well, that's it for the Christmas wrap up. We ended up staying at my parents' for almost a week then came back and today have been relaxing, reorganizing, de-cluttering, cleaning, and getting ready for a new year! Yay! Resolutions and a 7-month Sambo post to come!