We spent the rest of our winter break in Iowa for my family’s Christmas. With all the kiddos, it was just a bit more chaotic than the S Family Christmas. But wonderful all the same. We call ourselves the Circus. Spend a couple minutes in that
house big top and you’ll understand…
One of the million things I love about my family are our traditions. Some are newer than others, but I have a feeling they’ll stick around for a while. 😉 Here are just a handful of my favorites.
For the past…I don’t know, 4?…years we play BINGO. My parents run the game and arrange the prizes. We have women and men prizes and girl and boy prizes. Every time you get BINGO, you get to pick a prize, get a new card and keep playing until all the prizes are gone. My favorite part is when my dad calls out, “O-67” and the kids all echo, “O-67.” Gets me every time.
2. FAMILY PHOTOS
This was our 2nd Annual Circus photo. Since the kids grow so fast, it is nice to be able to capture our family at its current state. I got my new DSLR in November 2010, so I’d been able to set up a tripod and use the remote to take the picture. It works out alright and I’m learning how to use my camera, so hopefully the pictures will get better each year, too. That being said, the older the kids get, the easier it is…so that should be in my favor in years to come, as well. I’m sure we’ll get a few more at the wedding, too.
|Back row: Jack, Shane, Alex, Emily, Keith
Middle row: Angela, Dave, Alison
Front row: Madeline, Nicholas, Henry, Connie, Cale, Blake
I also took a family picture for my sister’s family. They are fun to photograph, so I’m hoping I can get together with them again soon and do a full photoshoot outside! It’s good practice for me.
|Alison, Keith, Cale, Blake|
This is a tradition that Alex and I started three years ago. I was going to University of Colorado at the time so I gave the kids CU t-shirts. They loved them and the CU shirts still make appearances to this day. Since they liked them so much, we decided to keep it going. The next year, I was at Mississippi State University, so guess what shirts they got? This year wasn’t really a tough decision. The Air Force has been a MAY-JAH part of our lives this past year and since their uncle-to-be is in the Air Force, it seems only appropriate. The pictures below are from the photoshoot I did while they were playing outside in their T-SHIRTS. In DECEMBER. In IOWA. Crazy.
|Cale (7) and Blake (10)|
|Madeline and Henry (9)|
|Jack (17 months)|
2nd annual JUMP! picture. I took this picture last year and just for the fun of it, did it again this year. I am so glad I did. Check out how much they have grown in the past year – look how long their legs are! Hopefully, next year we can get Jack in the picture.
|2010 (Blake, Henry, Madeline, Cale, Nick)|
|2011 (Nick, Henry, Cale, Madeline, Blake)|
5. KERMIT THE FROG FOOTIE PJS
A new tradition started by my sister Angie when she gave these [awful] things to me for Christmas last year. I regifted them to my dad this year. The best part was, I had completely forgotten what was in the gift as he was unwrapping it. I am known to give things away when people are opening a gift if I know what the gift is so it was a huge shock to everyone, including me. The rule is: if you receive them, you HAVE to wear them.
|He ran downstairs going, “Look what I got! Look what I got!”|
He was a good sport about it and the kids thought it was the funniest thing in the world. I didn’t want to hog the humiliation of having to wear them last year, that’s why I gave them to him…to share the glory of it. Think green!!
I don’t really have pictures for her reaction after this moment because I had to put the camera down. She figured out what was on the t-shirt and cracked up, but it didn’t stop there. We had another surprise for her.
The whole thing couldn’t have worked out any better. She picked up the t-shirt and held it up in front of her (covering her face) to look at it. As she was doing this, we all frantically removed our sweaters (it was huh-larious how we scrambled around to get sweatshirts off as quickly as possible). When she put the shirt down to look at us, she discovered that WE WERE ALL WEARING THE SHIRT!
This is her reaction to the sight of the lot of us.
|We lost Grandpa’s shirt, so since Jack was snoozing, he “wore” Jack’s. We also didn’t realize until later that poor Grandma got hidden in the back of this picture, but she had a shirt on, too!|
|Jack still participated.|
|She is such a good sport. The best part is…she still loves us all!|
|Dave, Connie, Emily, Alex, Sondra, Dennis|