Friday, December 31, 2010

A White Christmas!

This is what we woke up to see!

It was a White Christmas!

This was the very first white Christmas that we have ever had. My neighbor said that the last time it snowed here on Christmas Day (like this, a snow that actually covered the ground) was in 1962! That's before I was born, by the way.

Here are the children waiting for us to let them come downstairs. It is 6:00 AM. We always ask them to NOT try to come down before 6:00.

They see the SNOW!

Looking at the snow

Still looking at the snow

Look at how excited they all are--SNOW!

Since it was still dark, the children waited to go outside to play in the snow. They went on in the den to see the one gift that Santa brought each of them. While they played I prepared breakfast. The homemade cinnamon rolls turned out delicious, and we also enjoyed a sausage and egg breakfast casserole and mocha punch.

We spent a leisurely day of opening gifts from each other, one at a time. I tried to stay on top of cleaning the wrapping paper. The children would open a gift, play for a little while, go outside to play in the snow, open another gift, and so on, all throughout the day. I reheated Hot Chicken Dip for lunch (and we still drank mocha punch), and we spent the afternoon playing games and playing with our new gifts.

Later, I grilled steaks for supper. Jimmy's dad came down for a quick visit, and stayed for supper too.

Leah and Olivia opening presents and crocheting

Sam checking out the snow

pretty, pretty snow

Clay pointing out rabbit tracks....the larger tracks are his BARE FEET tracks. My children do own shoes!

Julie and Leah in the snow--I guess Leah's feet got cold

Clay worked very hard during the month of December making hand made gifts for his older sisters. He and Jimmy made "medal holders" for the girls to hang their race medals on. Clay did most of the work himself, and they turned out beautifully. Unknown to him, Jimmy also made an additional medal holder and he gave it to Clay for Christmas. Surprise!

Clay with his sisters and the medal holders he made for them

Clay also made a special gift for me--an apron holder! I mentioned to Jimmy that I would like some hooks to hang my aprons on, and he helped Clay make me a pretty apron holder. Its' perfect!

Clay, Me, and the apron holder

Clay with Jimmy and the medal holder that Jimmy made for Clay

A cute running t shirt that Olivia got

more present opening fun

Sam, still looking at the snow

Sam and his new puzzle

The snow took a few days to melt, because we had such cold temperatures. These pictures were take the day after Christmas.

our barn

our snowman

Leah (without shoes or coat) and the snowman

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Eve

As soon as Jimmy got home from work on Christmas Eve morning (he had been on call....he worked for over 24 hours straight with no sleep), we loaded up the van and travelled to Granmomma's and Pop's house. Jimmy's sister Jenny and her family--husband Jeff, and children Will, Seth, and Gracie and Jimmy's brother Russ and his wife Megan joined us for a fun day of food and fellowship.

Tired Jimmy relaxing with Sam

The daughter and daughters-in-law prepared a lunch of baked ham, hot chicken dip, ranch potatoes, BLT dip (from a Farm Wife mix), green salad, broccoli salad, and various desserts.

While we were waiting to eat lunch, cousins Stacee and Season with her husband Ryan dropped by.
Sisters--Stacee and Season
(I ran the St. Jude Half Marathon with Stacee)

Ryan and Season & Megan and Russ

Before and after lunch we all just visited one another. The younger children were anxious to open presents, but since Christmas Eve is also Granmomma's birthday, we first sing Happy Birthday to her and give her a birthday present before we move to the Christmas Gift Exchange Extravaganza!

Olivia, crocheting

Jeff, enjoying his coffee

Jenny and Me--hanging out in the kitchen

Will and his special friend Elle

Julie and Pop

Gracie and Clay
Jenny made that cute little shirt that Gracie has on--it is Crystal from Frosty the Snowman Returns

Sweet Siblings! Jenny and Russ

The Birthday Girl with all of her children was time to pass out the presents.
We all enjoy buying, wrapping, and giving presents to each other. I think that Jenny, Megan, and I enjoy this the most. We all shop year round, looking for bargains as well as special things that we know each other would like. All three of us also love pretty wrapping paper and ribbon!

Leah and Sam in the mountain of presents!

Anxiously awaiting.....

Seth waiting too!

Gracie and Leah in their matching shirts from Aunt Megan

At the end of a fun day we headed home. The kids opened their Christmas Eve pajamas, watched How to Train a Dragon, and then they all went to bed. (Not me...I stayed up till 1:00 AM getting everything ready!)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Johnson Christmas Party

Each year a few days before Christmas Day, Jimmy and I host a gathering for all of his family--his parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and cousins (plus all of their spouses and children). We had a smaller crowd than usual this year, but it was still loads of fun! Each family brought an appetizer or dessert, and I provided Subway sandwich trays, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, coke and sweet tea.

I covered my kitchen table with white newsprint and placed markers in paper cups. The children as well as the adults enjoyed drawing Christmas pictures and writing messages. The children also gathered in the schoolroom and completed various crafts, played with blocks, legos, and entertained one another on the piano.

The men and women tended to hang out separately. The men in the kitchen and den, and the women in the dining room. Much laughter was heard throughout the house, and we had a super time!

Here are some pictures from the night.