Tag Archive | South Carolina

Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas (belatedly) to you and yours! As usual I am behind on my reporting but I am making a real try to catch up… just you watch, November will spontaneously pop up one of these days! And then you will be in the know again!

Anyway… Christmas Day for the Reinsch-Johnson clan. It was a different one from our previous ones here in Minnesota. First off because we really did not have extended family beyond Nana and Baba here for the day or eve. In the previous years Christmas Eve was our time with Ken’s Uncle Moose, Aunt Colleen and their two kids. But this has been a rough year for Moose (Paul) and while he is on the mend they were really not able to come over for the traditional Ukrainian meal of potato soup and perogies. It was probably for the best as this December has been one of illness for the family. So many yucky colds! But thank goodness we were assured that he is better and home again.IMAG0894

Of course we DID enjoy our meal… and the company was wonderful as was.IMAG0903

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That evening we did put out our cookies and milk for Santa. In our new pj’s.IMAG0914

Echo and Ken spread Reindeer Food out on the lawn since we went to bed without a speck of snow to be seen really.IMAG0918

Christmas Day was just the household and it was wonderful. We did not manage to Skype with Gammie as she was having issues on her end but we did text back and forth and take some pictures of the openings.102_0204

102_0206Amazingly enough with two countries and multiple states we did not have any duplicate gifts this year! Each and every one was well received and I can honestly say I have not seen the kids happier.102_0207

102_0211102_0212We had calls with both sets of grandparents… Alberta and South Carolina. As well as a lovely chat with My brother James and his wife Holly… well mostly Holly. Even a peek in on Cousin Jimmie.102_0215

102_0214Dinner was a delicious turkey and trimmings thanks to the hard work of Nana and Baba. But for the most part after the excitement of the great toy opening it was a nice, quiet and relaxed day.102_0219

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Enjoy the overflow!!IMAG0947

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Christmas Continues…

December 26-27

The day AFTER Christmas is very different here in the USA. In Canada it was Boxing Day and for the most part a day off… here in Minnesota we got mail and a lot of people went back to work. It was time for our family to play with their gifts and the adults to take a break. One last day before we ease back into the every day and the “get things done” mentality.

Boxing Day in their South Carolina pj’s

Ken and I ducked out that night to do a little post Christmas shopping. Target wasn’t busy and a lot of the shelves were bare but we had a few awesome finds… first off, Trinity’s Christmas list was completed in the shape of a lovely Holiday Cabbage Patch Doll… Jaelyn Bella (I had to laugh, that is my friend’s Bree’s handle as Echo’s first name was BREE).

A girl and her dolly

And then, while perusing the baby section we came across a miss shelved and reduced Nano bug set… talk about a GREAT find, for Mr. Emanuel!

A very happy boy

I got a second to photograph the package I got in my exchange with my Christian Cross Stitch egroup. I am so in love with the little beaded ornament kit… and well… everything!

So much fun stuff!

The day after the day AFTER Christmas had us facing the idea of school on a minor level again… but we also had our big outing to spend the Christmas money. Well… the kids did. For 2 days running I was thwarted with the hunt for the Kindle Fire case. BUT on the other hand the kids managed to purchase a variety of things, Skylanders, Legos… a potty… a little stressful with 5 kids still buzzing from Christmas but they did well.

It is hard to bring the kids down a bit excitement wise when there is still Christmas trickling in. We have plans for a dinner, packages on their way and of course the very visible reminders of Christmas here in the house. Oh and of course, New Years. Though we do not do anything with the kids really that night. I plan on printing off some simple worksheets for them to do.

Hard at work on her Hello Kitty DS game, in Hello Kitty pj’s of course

A Very Merry Johnson Christmas

We have not spent a Christmas in Minnesota since we were first married so this was a long time in coming and a day of HUGE excitement, even for Ken! We started our morning at the reasonable time of 8 am with Echo having to be WOKEN UP! Of course, she had not had much of a nap on Christmas Eve so it was not a huge surprise.

Sneak attack on the Santa gift – a rocking… MOOSE!

Luckily the Christmas pj’s managed to make it through the night unscathed so we had our cuties all dressed up and ready to start the presents.

With their stockings

The morning was set aside for our Canadian Christmas items… Of course Santa delivered with the wish lists. The biggest item of excitement ended up being (not surprisingly) the ps3 game Skylanders Giants. The boys had been talking about this game since the summer when we spent  that month or so with the Bleau family. It was a favourite of Logan’s. Santa’s presents were too big for the stockings (like Echo’s rocking moose or Trinity’s special toy trunk) so Santa let ME use the stockings.

Ripping into the presents

The hats I made each of the kids went over well as did the little Pato inspired bird I crocheted. (Picture to follow later)

Echo’s hat (Sorry, a later in the evening picture… in her pj’s from Grandma and Grandpa Reinsch)

Add to that the lovely handmade creations from my sister Kat (South Carolina) and the pj’s from my dad and step mom and we were well outfitted.

Emanuel in his Angry Birds hat made by Aunty Kat

There were also the toys from Uncle Wayne, the items mailed to us from Gammie AND the toys from James, Holly and Jimmie. It was Echo’s year to have the “some assembly required” toys. Although when all was said and done her little nursery center from her Aunty Holly and Uncle James and Jimmie was a total hit! As was her brand new Cabbage Patch baby. In fact, Trinity says that since she did NOT  get a dolly for Christmas she is going to use HER Christmas money to purchase a Cabbage Patch kid all her own.

Opening her Assembly Required gift

With baby

Trinity ended up with her tea pot, cups and saucer set, fruit AND hat and was pleased with all! Echo LOVED her bunny… so I am feeling a bit accomplished with people LIKING my handmade gifts still.

Bunny love

We also gave Ken’s parents two strings of traditionally coloured lights to put on their tree… you know, the red, blue, yellow and green ones?

Traditional colours… like the big bulb ones we used to put on the outside of houses

After all the excitement of the “Canadian Christmas” it was time for breakfast – sausagestrata and then tidying up because the cousins were on their way!

Sausagestrata

Eating breakfast

Of course we had to put Skylanders in and let the boys play and truly explore the presents we received that morning.

Starting up the game

For the first time in YEARS I got my present ON Christmas… my very own Kindle Fire! It is so much lighter than the iPad but still has a lot of the tablet capabilities. So while I still need the iPad for a few things like the Apple IM I now have my own reader. I need to take some of my Christmas money and get myself a cover right away and then see about connecting to the library and start borrowing some books! Perhaps later in the year I can create a bit of a book budget???

KINDLE FIRE!

Of course I had to dress the girls up. And have the boys in matching shirts.

PRESENTS!!

Now on to the afternoon and presents from Nana and Baba… talk about MOUNTAINS! Santa was ALSO present in the form of amazing bags with each kid’s name on it. 7 kids with piles of presents wrapped and waiting… can you imagine the high energy? Seriously it was CRAZY!

A room full of joy

Paper EVERYWHERE

There were so many wonderful gifts, Hello Kitty, a wall car set, a Little People Princess Castle with all the people for Echo. Although it was slow going with Echo… she would open a present and then want it ALL the way open before starting on the next.

Gotta examine the puzzles

 

Opening their gift from Joe and his family

There was candy and fun little quick items like glow bracelets mixed in with Legos and other wonderful items. Trinity was over the moon with ANOTHER Hello Kitty outfit. In fact, add to that the headband I purchased online from Facebook and she was head to toe in it once she took off her party dress.

Hello Kitty from head to toe

After all the presents were opened and carnage of paper cleared it was a rush to get into every toy they could! I think everyone was rather pleased with what they received and very thankful. Soon after the paper clean up was done it was time to welcome the rest of the family coming for dinner – Johnson side! Jim, Judy, Robbie and Jessica. They came bearing MORE gifts… and pie!

Visiting

 

 

Showing off the new toys in the basement

We HAD TO open these new presents BEFORE supper, though at that point Miss Echo was already asleep for a much needed nap. The theme for the boys – remote controls… helicopters for the twins and a monster truck for Emanuel. Talk about wild excitement.

Present time… AGAIN

 

 

Remote control for the win

Trinity got Hello Kitty themed blocks (now she has two sets and is absolutely over the moon at having so many) and automatically collected her Aunty Faith AND Aunt Judy to help assemble.

Working together

 

After the presents were opened and paper away AGAIN it was time for supper… HAM! The tables looked beautiful yet again and we all ate until we were beyond full.

Supper time (Echo was sleeping/napping)… Gavin is in the red

 

 

This time, TWO tables full

There was an assortment of deserts including our candy cane cake, this time… as CAKE!

Deserts

Echo had her present time AFTER her nap (which was much needed)…

Post nap present

All in all everyone was pretty pleased. Though when asked Trinity stated that she got everything BUT a Cabbage Patch Doll (as I mentioned previously). Which is why we saved our Christmas money until AFTER Christmas… but that is a story for the next entry. 

On the phone with Grandma in Canada