I hosted a dinner for the Relief Society. It turned into quite the ordeal, since our power was out for most of the day. I farmed out the honey baked ham to a good friend who even offered her home if necessary. Luckily the electricity came on just in time to make the au gratins, garlic beans and rolls and warm up the house before the guests arrived. I was so stressed that I completely forgot to take a picture of the event, but here's one of Ainsley showing off the artwork that I took down in the cleaning process.
We invited Ralph, Judy and Jake over for dinner, and got one more use out of the fancy table setting.
It was our ward party. We had a dinner this year, with a simple, sweet and spiritual program—the nativity, and carols, performed by the primary kids.
A parent demonstration in Ainsley's ballet class—I forgot my camera. I took a few with my phone, but this one, by my friend Christianne, was my favorite. Ainsley, Duffy and Lulu:
Ralph and Judy gave us their front-row tickets to Annie, and I took the three youngest. We loved it!
Ellie's ballet class performance:
Joey's band performance at school. He and two of his friends played a song as a trio, since they're "the best musicians in the band."
We got a phone call in the early afternoon suggesting that we try to pull off a cousins photo to give my parents for Christmas. Here's how it turned out. Not bad for almost zero planning, 14 kids and an amateur photographer (me).
The school program.
We had what is usually our Christmas morning breakfast (ebleskivers)on Christmas Eve morning, since we knew we'd be scrambling to open presents and get to church. Yum.
And went to the Backman family party in the afternoon. Here's the traditional nativity re-enactment. Ellie was excited to finally play Mary.
The kids opened their new jammies and slippers, but I forgot to take a photo of them after they'd changed into them.
I can't really pick just one photo from Christmas day, but I tried to narrow it down from the 155 + video that I took.
We always start with stockings, and the girls were so excited about the wands that they found in theirs.
Robbie was totally surprised by his new electronic drum kit. It was hidden under a huge plastic cover, and he guessed that it was a desk.
Joey and Ainsley both got iPod shuffles, so I think we own every color now. :)
Joey's big present was a Kindle. He loves being the first in the family to have an e-reader. He also got a new puffy coat, as requested.
Ellie got a new sewing machine and accessories, plus sewing lessons. She was very happy.
She also loves her microphone.
We managed a photo with the timer on the camera before going to church at 11:00. It was a nice meeting. I love the focus on the Savior that comes when Christmas is on Sunday.
Ralph, Judy and Jake joined us for church and for lunch we had breakfast casserole, muffins, fruit, and the orange rolls left over from breakfast.
The kids opened their presents from Grandpa and Grandma. My mom and dad stopped by too, but didn't stay long enough for a photo...
Aww, aren't they sweet?
Ainsley, aka Ginny, showing off her mad magic skills.
The fun continued, with the Riley family party. Since Cara hasn't been good enough to post for me, like Melissa did, here are a few photos:
We had brunch:
Ellie and Ainsley with cute Logan:
All of my siblings and their families were there, as well as my Grandma Clayton and Bus, Jan and Kaitlyn.
Joey was Mr. Cool, wearing his hat all day.
Robbie was fully engaged, like any good teenager.
And my parents loved the photo.
Grandma Clayton's party was that evening. She loves being surrounded by her great-grandkids!
We felt lucky to have our friends the Hydes come by for an afternoon during their trip here from Hong Kong. Wish they still lived here, but at least we see them every summer.
We finally took Robbie out for the steak dinner we promised for getting a 4.0 his first semester in junior high. After a great meal we went to see Sherlock Holmes.
New Year's Eve was laid back...I think we watched a movie.
Whew. I'm not sure how zero desire to blog translates into the longest post ever, but there it is. Finally.