Sunday, January 29, 2012


Christmas was on a Sunday this year, so we didn't open our gifts until we all went to Sacrament Meeting at 10am. It was all three Grandview wards combined with a choir from all three wards. John sang in the choir. It was nice to go to church first on Christmas morning and be reminded through word and song about the true meaning of Christmas.

This is how it looked before we opened our presents.

Holly handing out gifts.
Note the interestingly wrapped present beside Heather - it was very hard to wrap.

Brian helping Holly hand out the gifts.

John waiting for the opening of presents to commence.

Heather and Brian checking out their new 2012 calendar.

Holly looking at her new calendar.
This is a new tradition (started last year) that we are having fun creating.

John opening one of his gifts.

Brian with his new "cruise" shirt.

Holly looking happy and cute as usual.

Holly with her new soft and warm blanket from Heather and Brian.

Heather opening one of her many storage container presents.
Brian and Heather are finishing their basement and she wanted storage containers to organize their new kitchen cabinets. Naturally, I wrapped them in as many presents as possible so it would look more exciting. I am sure Brian was thrilled to get all these containers.

Heather looking cute in her new Christmas pajamas and bow.

So glad Brian is willing to put up with all our strange traditions!
He is really fitting into the family nicely.

Brian and Heather opening some gifts.

Holly all decked out in this years ribbons and bows.

John showing off the toaster he really wanted for Christmas.
He must have been a good boy!

Opening Santa gifts - a new chair and bookcase.

Holly opening one of her Santa gifts - a new soup pan so she can make all her yummy recipes. She also got a camera to take on the cruise.

John surprised me this year with a really fun and well thought out gift. He gave me a Belle doll with an invitation and tickets to see BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at the Capitol theatre in March. I am so blessed to have such a thoughtful husband and look forward to spending this wonderful evening together. We also were fortunate to get WICKED tickets and will be going as a family in August.

After opening gifts, it is tradition to go to Grandma Wellington's house for some lunch and goodies. We open more gifts there from Grandma and get to see our Wellington side of the family. Unfortunately, Brad's family lives too far away to come and we miss seeing them! I forgot to take the camera with us this Christmas so I have no pictures to post of this fun tradition. (I will try to remember to take it next year) We feel fortunate that between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we are able to see many of our extended family members who mean so much to us. We only wish it could be everyone! WE LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Christmas Eve 2011

Once again our house was filled with some of our extended family members. This tradition started at my house when Barbara had gotten divorced and she still had several of her kids living at home and while Barry's kids were still at home. Of course my girls were still at home also. It was hard to always take Christmas to Idaho and join in the festivities at my parents house so we thought it would be fun to get together here. Sandra's family always go to the Cannon's home for Christmas Eve, David is in San Diego and Betsy and Keith are in Idaho so they were usually with my parents. It has really evolved over the years as all of our children have left our homes and are on their own, yet many of them still love to come back with their children for this tradition. Needless to say, we are quite cramped in my living room and my windows always fog over from all the body heat inside my house, but we still fit everyone that wants to come. I love that everyone brings good food to share and we spend the evening enjoying each other's company. This year Barry's sister, Pennie and her children, came to celebrate with us. We always eat, sometimes play the dice game, Barry reads a Christmas story to the kids, and John reads the Christmas story from the Bible with some carols added (played by Holly). The younger kids love to pull all the toys out in the basement and play down there until we call them up for the stories and games. I am so glad that they are getting to know some of their cousins better.

John is looking excited to get this party started!

Having fun!!

Dustin, Annie, and Amy

(Prince) John and Courtney

Nathan, Nicholas, Kyle, and Baylee

Holly and Heather listening intently.
Brett brought his fiance, Ashley to the party so we could all meet her.

After everyone left, we got the house put back together and got ready for Santa to come. It was so fun to have Heather, Brian, and Holly stay overnight and spend Christmas morning with us. John and I truly feel blessed to have such wonderful children and are grateful for any time that we can all be together!

The house is finally quiet and Santa has come!

Looks like Santa was good to us this year

My Reflective Self:
I often find myself wishing for one more big Warner Family Christmas Eve with every member of the family together (like we did in Idaho - ham balls and all). While that may not be a feasible wish, as my parents, grandparents, Mary Jane, and Lindsay have passed away, and all my brothers' and sisters' families have grown larger and are spread all over the country, I am grateful for those childhood memories of being all together celebrating the birth of our Savior. I am grateful for an extended family that I love so much and I enjoy spending time with all of them. I love special occasions that brings us all together! I hope you all had a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!