We have had two gorgeous winter days here-snow and sunshine-and since they're at the end of vacation, they are that much sweeter.  Yesterday Aidan and I went sledding.  First in our yard, then at my mother's house.  We were soaked and happy by the time we finished!
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After we dried off, I took his room apart.  I do mean that literally.  I took the top bunk off the lower bunk, moved all of the furniture, etc.  He didn't like the lack of head room with the bunks on top of one another, and we have to set the room up for Eva to join him eventually anyway.  They will not always share a room, but they will for the first couple of years.  Aidan was so cute; he said that her pillows should be up near his pillows so that they can talk to one another.  He even strung up this communication device to make things easier for them:
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This bedroom was shared by our first two kids until they were about 9 and 10 years old, so it is rather fitting that our last two kids should also share it :-)
 
 
So we're all done now-all four trees.  It was so great to see Aidan this year, excited and knowing what was coming.  He was singing carols, pestering me about "how long before..." whatever the next time marker was, and generally loving the season.
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So here is how our Christmas goes.  Christmas Eve-candlelight service followed by food and a tree with our big kids and their kids.  Christmas morning-home with our younger kids.  Christmas afternoon-joining my enormous family.  Day after Christmas-food and a tree with G's family.  Here are some pictures of our preparations and celebrations (the first half):
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Aidan, above, standing on a chair to reach the top.  Eventually he will be tall enough not to need the chair, whereas I will just get shorter and never reach the top!  Below is the tree, ready for the grandchildren to come.
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The "big" gifts for the three grandsons were a "whirly wheel" at left for RB; a John Deere wheelbarrow for his brother MB, and a Melissa and Doug folding barn for BB.  All four grandchildren got a "Going to Grandma's House" bag with books, pjs, toys (diapers for CB).  Below, I managed to capture them all in just two shots.
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There is always that one gift, right?  Well, this is it for me this year.  This is the gift that I will tell my kids and grandkids about because not only am I thrilled to finally have a cutting board, but also, I'm thrilled because my son in-law cut down a tree and then used his chainsaw to create this for me!  He is so special to us.  He spent weeks helping my husband go through all of the insides of Aidan's big gift, bought from a market in Texas that specializes in outdoor riding gear, both new and used.  A special guy and a special gift.

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It took 1-1/2 hours to drive there and ten minutes, tops, for the three of us to get printed, but hopefully we'll have an approval over the Christmas break so I can take all of our documents to the state for authentication.  Our state is super efficient-that's usually a one hour visit-so if we can get the approval in time, we could have these things on their way to the higher authorities that need to validate before the New Year.

 
 
This weekend we had our monthly family breakfast and it was our turn to host.  Here are some shots of the kids:
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The youngest member of the family; pretty in pink!

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The boys-GB and the young man who lived with us for a while during high school.  Looking "hood" with their caps and little basketballs.

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LB, excited to be an aunt again

Saturday afternoon the Cub Scout Pack went caroling at the Veterans Home
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Trying to decipher the lyrics

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Now he has got it!

 
 
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