Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas with the Ketchum's (and Willett's)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We heard of so many people that were sick and were fortunate enough that no one in our own household got sick. The bad news is that my Dad was sick and unable to be with the family and my brother Jeff and sister-in-law Lisa were both home sick all day as well. Being sick on Christmas stinks!
We had a very nice time this year. We were thrilled to have both of the girls with us and have the opportunity to celebrate together, on Christmas day, rather than celebrating in November. We went to Uncle Ken and Aunt Xenia's on Christmas Eve. It was a very quiet (except for the girls playing with the dogs) and mellow Christmas. My Dad couldn't make it, so we met Valerie in Ventura and she hopped in with us for the rest of the drive so that she didn't have to drive all by herself. Aunt Kelli and Jon were too sick to join us as well and Uncle Steve was home taking care of them. Kate was with her boyfriend's family and Liana was with her boyfriend's family and Jason was working until around 7:00 so it was just us and Grandma and Valerie and Uncle Ken, Aunt Xenia and Jenessa. Jason joined us when he got off of work. He got a new job at American Eagle in the mall so he had to work, but he got off relatively early and was able to eat dinner with us. Aunt Xenia made a delicious ham. Well to be completely honest, Costco made a delicious ham but Aunt Xenia heated it up really, really well :). We brought green bean casserole and Valerie made the world's most delicious potato salad and brought rolls and we had a spinach salad as well. We all fit around the table and Grandma was even up for joining us at the table, so she sat and visited with us and it was so nice to have her there. Sometimes she isn't up for the trip to the table so she just eats in the living room, but she was determined to eat with the family. We really missed my Dad and everyone else that couldn't be there, but the plus side of a small crowd is that everyone really gets a chance to visit.
The girls had a blast playing with the dogs. Uncle Ken and Aunt Xenia have the sweetest dogs who don't mind being badgered incessantly by sweet little girls. I got a chance to have a really nice conversation with Grandma, which I always appreciate so very much and Jay and Uncle Ken were off chatting about everything under the sun. It was just a really wonderful time of family and lots of love, which to me, second only to celebrating Jesus' birthday is the most wonderful thing about Christmas.

Kendall was actually helping in the kitchen. This is earth-shattering. She is a huge helper, but has absolutely zero interest in anything related to cooking.

Jay and Grandma snuggling on the couch. Grandma finally used the blanket we got her last year for the first time. She was saving it. For what I asked her? She said she didn't want to soil it. She's so cute.

Valerie and Jenessa

This is Flint. He's VERY cute and very wise and very understanding.

I had the best seat in the house

Valerie had to open all the presents to her and my Dad without him :(

Uncle Ken telling stories again and Flint wants in on the action

The girls got $50 Target gift cards from Uncle Ken, Aunt Xenia and Grandma and they were beyond excited!

Sorry, I forgot to take the red eyes out and am feeling lazy right now

Poor Jason got a nasty cut on his forehead. You would not believe it, but this metal shelf at work actually jumped off of the wall and cut his head. I don't think they are going to be friends after this.

Christmas day was a nice, mellow day at home. We got in at around 1:30 from Uncle Ken and Aunt Xenia's and then Jay Santa came and we had cards to sign and didn't get to bed until after 2:00. so we all slept in until around 9:30. We got up and opened our stockings and then opened presents next to the fireplace and then I made bacon and egg burritos for Jay and Nicole and I and waffles for Kendall (she doesn't like eggs). We all loved our gifts. The girls got clothes and new purses and wallets and lots of movies and music and some jewelry and gift cards galore. Jay got a new video game and some movies and cologne and a cool K-State football workout shirt. Dad and Valerie got us a new movie and a new boom box, yea! We have two boom boxes and both of the CD players broke so we were listening to CD's on the DVD player. The Ludingtons sent us a really cute picture frame and a yummy candle and the Bunns sent us a family portrait in a pretty frame that I can't wait to put up once we get the Christmas decorations put away. Yours truly got some cologne and a really pretty sweater and a digital photo frame (which is already loaded with 565 of my favorite photos) and some earrings and lots of cute little stamping goodies in my stocking. It's not about the gifts at all, but we did enjoy getting some new toys. After breakfast we showered and then visited with the Ludingtons and Bunns in VA on the webcam. That was so fun! I felt bad for poor little TJ though, he was sick and you could tell because he just kind of sat there and stared at us. We also got lots of loving phone calls from family. Even though we couldn't see everyone, at least we got to talk on the phone with them. After our visits, we watched, "It's a Wonderful Life" and had some homemade spaghetti and turkey Italian sausage and garlic bread, as is the traditional Christmas dinner, is it not?

All in all we had a wonderful Christmas. We missed lots of loved ones, but made the most of what we do have and we are blessed beyond measure.

The girls made cards for their Daddy

Kendall's new sweatshirt

Nicole's new Tinkerbell purse

As is a tradition in the Ketchum household, Jay and I have a tacky ornament contest every year. This year he got me this light-up Christmas ornament. It's motorized and has a scrolling marquee. You can change the saying but it's not as high tech as it looks. There is a template with each saying on it and you have to swap it out to change the saying. I don't know where he comes up with these things.

I got him his very own High School Musical ornament. And yes, it has a picture of Zac Efron on it. He's so dreamy!

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