December has been extremely busy for us. We started the month by celebrating Emma's 9th birthday. It is so hard to believe that she is nine. She is growing up way too fast and turning into a beautiful, loving, young lady. We are so proud of her. She is a great big sister and is so excited to have Keliah joining our family. I don't think a day goes by that she doesn't talk about her.
This year Emma celebrated her birthday at DeBrand's Chocolatier. DeBrand's is an internationally known company and is famous for their wonderful chocolate. We are so lucky to have them right here in our city. Anyway, Emma invited all the girls in her class for a tour of how their chocolate is made complete with samples. Once the tour was over, instead of cake, the girls were able to pick something from their candy counter while Emma opened her gifts. All the girls had a great time and were nice and sugared up by the time their parents came to pick them up.
The next day we got together with Matt's family to make kiekels. This is some sort of Swedish doughnut made out of potato dough. We make these and Christmas cookies every year. It is tradition to eat kiekels Christmas morning. Jaxon and Drew had alot of fun helping with the cooking and decorating. They even proved they were definitely a part of our family by liking the kiekels (I along with most of the others married into the family do not like them, however, all the kids do).
Drew got a little "sprinkle happy."
The weekend after that, Matt's cousin got married and Drew and Gabe were the ring barrers. They were absolutely adorable in their little tuxes and did a fantastic job.
The wedding was absolutely beautiful and the bride was even more beautiful. Instead of giving favors away to their guests, they had carriage rides that took their guests through town to see the Christmas lights. They even had Santa arrive as a special treat for the kids. As you can see, he was a huge hit. Drew was completely amazed. From the moment he walked through the door, Drew followed him around and just stared. It was so cute.
Finally Christmas came and all the kids were ready and as excited as ever. Christmas Eve we spent with my mom, sister, her husband, and my niece. This year they all decided to stay over night so they were also here for Christmas morning which made for and exciting time opening gifts. Actually, it was alot of fun despite the fact that our living room looked like a toy store exploded in it. All the kids were more than happy with their gifts from Santa and other family members. Later in the day we went to Matt's parent's for Christmas where we had a wonderful lunch and the kids opened more gifts.
Jaxon was so excited to get his very own iPod. He has been asking for one but we have been telling him he wasn't going to get it. I really don't think he expected it.
This was Emma's big gift this year. I am usually not one for stuffed animals, but as soon as I saw this Old English Sheep Dog, I knew this was "the" gift for her. Ever since we had to give Sadie away, Emma has been the one to really take it the hardest. There are days when she will just start crying and when you ask her what is wrong, she says she misses Sadie. As the other kids were busy opening their gifts, she laid on the dog for the longest time and even shed a few tears. It was definitely enough to break my heart.
One of the things Blake asked for was a blender he could use to make smoothies in. He was pretty excited when he opened this. He has made quite a few smoothies for everyone and they are really good.
One of my projects this year was to make matching aprons for Matt's mom and Emma. Those two have a special bond and love doing everything together including baking. So, I quickly whipped up these two aprons and I think they were a hit.
This train set has been a part of Matt's familes for a few generations. It is so cool to see them play with this year after year.
As for Drew, he is doing really well. He has bounced back from his surgery very quickly. He was released from the hospital on Tuesday morning and was in quite a bit of pain. He took his pain medicine through Tuesday evening, night and one dose on Wednesday morning and has had nothing since. He has about a 4-5 inch incision across his abdomen and it doesn't seem to phase him at all. Honestly, I was kind of looking forward to a little "down time," but Drew surprised us all with how quickly he recovered. He continues to do well and will go back for his post op check in a couple of weeks.
So, as 2010 draws to an end, we have so much to be thankful for and are blessed beyond measure. Although we hit a few hurdles along the way, the end result is that we are all happy, healthy, and together. We look forward to 2011 for many reasons, and cannot wait to see what the next year will bring us.
Happy New Year from our family to yours.