Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Day Continued

Ever since I saw this card, I can't but help of thinking of it when I hear "Christmas Cheer"

Christmas Afternoon
All five of us made a quick visit to see Grandmom and deliver her gifts from "Santa" before she went over to celebrate with Uncle Steve, before Derek and I took off for NJ and before Mom, Steve & Davey went over to Aunt Gini and Uncle Tom's for Christmas night
 Then we went down one floor to deliver Grandma's present and stocking
 I think Davey was loading our gifts for Uncle Steve into the car for Grandmom and Mom was behind the camera for this one

Christmas Night
We traveled during Christmas afternoon and actually made great time getting up to New Jersey for Christmas dinner/night with Derek's family.  We loved spending a while playing with the kids with new santa gifts before opening up our gifts and then dinner/drinks with everyone.  We brought up some Christmas Cheer for Derek's family to taste.
This trio had a Christmas night sleepover and it was a great memory - Kallyn woke up smiling and said she had the best sleepover ever!
Love watching these two kids play together - on the right they are coloring Kallyn's Olaf doll that we brought up - I think we only watched frozen twice and all kid's can sing the words - we were so impressed with how loud Ainsley can go.  We tucked Kallyn into her "sleepover bed" then finished the night watching the Grinch

Christmas Visit in Sparta
In addition to Christmas night, we spent the day after visiting Derek's family as well, coming home the following morning.  Uncle Derek entertaining the younger two nieces and nephews in the kitchen for a decent bit of time with a lot of laughs thanks to a cup
 The youngest of the nieces and nephews, Jacob, took a big liking to Derek and these two were buddies on this trip 
 Playtime starting as early as 8am! By noon we were ready for naps, which we took in later in the day, but not before grabbing sandwiches from one of our two favorite places, Augies Deli.
 We had a great time outside watching the girls play with their new bike/barbie car
Everyone set out for the Turtle Neck Zoo which they had lit up with Christmas Lights and you could view the animals at night. The whole gang after Zoo Lights
 Sotherden Girls before heading back to the house for pizza and relaxing 
My pretty little princess and his princess, Gracie
 Just before everyone headed off to bed 

 Perks of traveling during the holidays - getting in a quick "Hi and Bye" visit with your bestie and second family.  We had enough time for Sam and Carly to FINALLY try some Christmas Cheer

Buxton Family Christmas Dinner
Every year we all gather together for a family Christmas dinner a couple days after Christmas - sometimes it's a nice dinner out, sometimes it's at somebody's house, some times its formal, sometimes it's casual and this year, Derek and I hosted since we missed Christmas night and it was our first year married!  Conveniently Penn State's Bowl game fell on the night of the party, so we took the casual route this year!

What is a football night/Christmas Party without a bunch of appetizers 
Dinner which had to be covered and held for a while due to the intensity of the game
Of course I caught Davey at the food table
We had about half the family in town and all had such a great time (the Christmas dinner is always a good time, even though some or all of us are usually together together Christmas night too).  Drinks were flowing, food was plentiful, everyone was enjoying themselves and the game was perfect.  It was so much fun, we barely took time for any pictures!  But my heart was so happy seeing a full house!
Apparently, it was ladies night at the bar, at one point Steve and I were talking and looked over to see this...
 Queen Dot Bee very much enjoying herself and watching the craziness from a distance 
 Penn State made a huge comeback, tied up the game, and everyone dropped the chatting and gathered around the basement TV in the hopes of a dramatic victory
 I mean, what could be better?! Everyone together and so into it - we are a sports family
31-30 overtime victory in their first bowl game since the sanctions - such an exciting ending and so great for those seniors that stuck around during everything.  Oh and my favorite player, Ficken, kicked the winning point. Wahoo.
 The party was able to resume after the overtime win - the fart machine was also out and I don't think Nick will ever come over again unless we have it in our possession  


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Santa Came! Christmas Morning

We slept in a bit and kicked things off around 9:00 on Christmas morning.  Every year Mom and I do matching pajamas, sometimes the boys coordinate a little bit, sometimes not, but this year we finally found the most perfect set and Macy's had the same pajamas in the men's section as they did the women's! Finally after years of looking!

We are 29, 29 and 26 and still act like kids on Christmas morning
Christmas Morning is a big production in the SothHenBux house - we take our time on the presents, enjoy, relax, take drink/snack breaks - and spend the entire morning under the tree.
 The first little bit is always about Nash, always 

Next up is always stockings!  I blogged about our stocking traditions yesterday and it takes a little while opening them because they are usually filled to the brim, with an overflow bag, but it's a very special part of our day and a very special tradition and very meaningful

Both Mom and I have our cameras sitting out under the tree making it easy to get tons of photos because they are close by for anyone to grab
 Nash loves Christmas

 Ever since we were little the first gifts Davey and I opened were from each other.. this year Derek joined in and those were the first gifts opened for all three of us.. Davey did good this year, Can't go wrong with his girls Tory and Kate and the GCB kills me - Mom, a couple of the girls and I were probably the only people that watched this show when it was on and somehow I saw it was available on Amazon (probably won't be around for long) and passed the note along to Davey
After the "traditional first present" it's just an array of present opening and casually passes from person to person in no order or reason,  but we do all love watching as well as opening 
 Davey got a bunch of prints for his house including new ones of all our past dogs and this beautiful one of our model Nash
Last week, I blogged about Nash smelling out a gift that was hidden at mine and Derek's house: here
The item he found was a K-9 cannon we put in with one of Steve's gifts for him and Nash to play with - it was one of the hits of Christmas, all the boys went out in the yard to play while Mom and I finished brunch.. Photos below.. but Nash wouldn't stop staring at it all morning! (Literally the photo on the right is of him staring at it, we moved it to the floor for him to look at)
I tried to get one action and one posed shot of everyone.  Mom loves Lilly, Kate and Tory too.
I've been waiting forever for the time to come that I'd need my own Spode set :)
 Derek took his job of being in charge of the trash very seriously 
 I always make sure that I save my last present until everyone else is done so I can "open the last gift" - this year, Derek tried to steal that honor from me and we compromised and did the last gift together.  You can see me watching very closely that he is actually opening his gift at the same time as me
 and in true form - Derek was being Derek in the photo below
So, Steve and his friends are always doing funny things, etc. and they've been known to use a fart machine a time or two (they got some real kickes out of one on their recent trip to Arizona) and one of them sent him a new one for Christmas which he happened to accidentally open when Derek was the only one in the room and the rest of us were on snack/drink breaks.  
I saw Steve near my pile of gifts and quickly scurry away as I was on my way back into the family room and he said he was just "checking to make sure a gift was under there." Derek and I weren't going to be home for the big Family dinner on Christmas night and we wanted to get a glass of cheer in with some of the family on Christmas Day so we did under the tree - I had asked Steve to take our photo with the cheer (this photo was taken after the hysterical laughing from everyone stopped) and set him up perfectly - the fart machine went off just as I was smiling (and from growing up with these around from Steve and his friends, I instantly knew what it was) but everyone was already in hysterics, including me.. it took a few minutes to get back to normal - great Christmas Tree memory
I mean, talk about capturing the moment - thankfully I took my camera back to capture everyone's faces
Mom and I put the finishing touches on brunch (which was very simple since everything can be made the day before)...
Recipe for the Coffee Cake and Casserole here from last year's breakfast
 …While the boys all enjoyed Nash's new toy and yes, it was aimed at me and hit me more than once.
 Where would we be without a few matching presents?!?

The rest of Christmas Day/Weekend and our Family Christmas Dinner up tomorrow to end out the festivities