Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year's Eve

For NYE, we all did something a different.   I have to face it, my kids are growing up!!!  They weren't with us this year because they had their own plans.  Andrew was invited to his own NYE Party with about 30 other 8th graders, Olivia had a sleepover with a friend, and little Ruthie had her first sleepover with a neighborhood friend.  Clare came with Phil and I to my brother's house to ring in the new year.  Not having all 4 kids with us was so strange and the house was so quiet too.
Almost midnight!!!

Family in Town

With a wedding in town, Phil's aunts, uncles and cousin came over for a visit.  We had such a nice time catching up with everyone. The Muehe's know how to have a good time...played cards, laughed a ton, played games and watched some home movies. 
Aunt Virginia, Aunt Kathy & Uncle Roger with their daughter Erin and Mary
Olivia driving us to go eat. 

It's Been a Long Time

Getting together with friends that live far away make it tough to see one another.  It had been 2 years since I have seen my college roommate and dear friend, Colette.  She happened to be in my hometown to have Christmas with her grandparents, and we set time aside in the evening to get our families together.  We went out for pizza at a local restaurant, then back to their hotel for the kids to swim.  The kids all had fun swimming, then hanging out in their room.  We, parents visited in a more quiet atmosphere, which was the lobby.  Before we knew it, it was close to midnight.  OH, MY Goodness, we had a lot to to visit about!! Maybe we'll have to take a road trip to Michigan to visit them. 

Chistmas with the Nord's

Phil's mom, brother and family came to our home to celebrate Christmas.  We had lot of laughs, lot of good food, and great memories too.  The cousins always have such a fun time playing together.

Just a little rough housing.
I had some activities planned with the little ones.  We made little snowmen out of popsicle sticks, played Winter Bingo, and played Pin the Carrot on the Snowman.

Christmas with Grandma Ann

After Christmas out at the Farm, we head to my mom's. Since we are usually still full from eating our lunch, we only eat snacks or have a bowl of chili for supper.  The kids are pretty excited to open presents since they've had to wait all day.  We no longer exchange gifts with the cousins, so opening presents at Grandma Ann's brings on a bunch of excited children.

Grandma Ann's tree is full of Hallmark ornaments.  The kids are dancing to the musical guitars on her tree.
Grandma Ann looks like she is getting shorter each year with the kids getting taller. 

My brother and I with my mom.  Chris unfortunately had to work Christmas Day.  He drove down from DM to Ottumwa after work and celebrated with us. 
Clare is all about wearing neon yellow.
Calendars for each of their favorite teams.
i-tunes gift card

Christmas at the Farm 2014

My grandma continues to host Christmas lunch at her house.  Bless her heart, she is 93, and wants to have all the family out to celebrate Christmas.  My mom helps out tremendously with the cooking.  We had ham, marinated pork loin, homemade noodles courtesy of Grandma, mashed potatoes, cheesy broccoli rice, bread, corn, relishes and plenty of sweets too.  
Clare brought her new game Clue to play with her cousins.  One of my favorite games to play when I was younger.
Ruth with Aunt Sara
Andrew with his cousins, Kip and Brett.
It seemed strange not to have any snow on the ground when driving to Ottumwa.  The temperature was warm, but not sure if it was a record or not.  It sure didn't feel or look like Christmas with it being in the 50's.  The kids were outside for a couple of hours playing football. 

Olivia with Natalie, my cousin's daughter.
Grandma with her great grandchildren
My cousin Michelle and I with our grandma.

Christmas Morning

The younger girls were so excited for Christmas.  Clare even set her alarm at midnight to go downstairs to see if Santa was really real and left presents.  She is starting to question if Santa is real.  But since the gifts were all ready there, she is still believing in him.  It took about 20 minutes to get the older two kids up and we were ready to celebrate Christmas.
Ready to see what is in the stockings.

Ruth with her 'Amanican' Doll as she first called it.

Clare needed a new basketball.
Santa brought Ruthie an Elsa doll.

Andrew with his new baseball bat.