Jan 1, 2013

Conway/McDonald Christmas

Per tradition the Conway/McDonald Clan went to the Red Barn to pick out a Christmas tree.  I love this tradition, but I was miserable, and decided to stay wrapped up in blankets instead of brave the cold.  It is a very cute tree farm complete with a train.  Sammers would have loved it, but I opted for him to take a nap because I knew it would be a very late night. 

Can you spot the nose picker?      

Jense enjoying his time with the cousins.  He has been looking forward to going to Washington for months.  He asked almost everyday how many more days until his Washington trip.  
Jense would move back in a heart beat.  
He misses it and all the family there. 

A few craft tables were going as families trickled in.  
Jense made this Mia snowman.  

Ells and Karissa making a Mia ornament.  
Ellie and Karissa are two peas in a pod.  
I am so glad she has someone her age that loves her as much as she loves them. 
It is a really sweet little friendship. 

Antie Beeps brought the Mia ornament craft.  
She is so sweet. 
I love that she had this idea.
I love how much she cares.
I love her.
Thanks Beeps!

I didn't get a good picture until we got back, but this is what the kiddos made.  Everyone got to make a little Mia ornament   This one is Ellie's.  She did two bows... she said one was for Mia and one for her.  Such a cutie idea!

Sammers would not let go of Jensen's leg.  It was entertaining to watch.  
I was parked on a couch the entire night and just got to watch. 
It was nice.

Ells was doing tricks with her baby cousin kaden.  This particular trick is called, "noonie."
It is something we (my fam) have done for years.  

Beeps was also in charge of the program.  She and uncle Tay lit a candle in Mia's honor and it was burning throughout the evening.  Lighting a candle has 100% struck a cord with my kids, and they think we need a Mia candle burning bright at each and every meal.  It's pretty sweet.  We are going to run out of candles fast.  

Part of the program involved her reading aloud submissions for why we love being part of this family.  I didn't get the email about it, but I will "submit" mine now.  

One thing I love about being a part of this family is how big it is.  
It is just neat to be a part of such a big family.  
Everyone is unique and very accepting of each other... I like that too. 
Let's not forget how I love being the youngest (adult girl) in the fam-
That's a fun fact to throw out there every now and again... ok ok all the time. :-)

There is usually a little talent show, but because there are a million (not really) people in the family they decided to break up Christmas and the talent show.  The out of towners were invited to do a little something.  Sammers and Ells did circus trick.  That is all we could pull off.  I should have had Jense sing a song, but he is not a big fan of singing in front of people.  
Just like his daddy!

All of the "kids" had a little huddle.  
I have no idea what was said during said huddle, but I think it was just a little bonding moment between the siblings. I did stand up momentarily to take a picture.

John grew up with some great people.   

I wish I had gotten some better pictures, but once again- I felt awful!  "falafel."

Shane has some moves... 
His dancing was awesome. 

Then all the cousins had a huddle.  
Jense and his cousin buddies- 

- Picking up the Christmas Tree in the train
- John and uncle Tim decided to launch kids... a common pastime.
-Terry dancin' it up.  I told her I wouldn't post this... woopsie.

Every year the kids act out the Nativity Scene.  This year Ells got to be Mary.  She was a sweet little Mary.  Isaac was a star I think.  Cutest little star ever. 

Sammer is a shepard... a pouting shepard... from  Old Navy land. 

This is my very favorite picture of the night.  
See that look in Ellie's eyes?
It is the same look she always looked at Mia with.  
She always wanted her sister to enjoy every minute of anything exciting that was going on. 

This is that same look- and it makes my heart melt.  
Also Joseph played by Jensen with his hand placed on Sammers head- it is just a darling little minute for my kids.  Baby Tiberius was fast asleep the entire time.  The perfect baby to play baby Jesus. 

I don't know how Jense and Ells scored such awesome roles but they were pretty excited to do it.  

Shepards, angels, and wisemen/women.  It was a very sweet little reenactment.
It was neat to have the Landstroms there too- very darling well behaved children with some fabulous dance moves. Turns out, Cheryl is good friends with Paul Cardall... small world. 
If you don't know who Paul Cardall is- just wait for the funeral posts.  
He is amazing.    

Jammies 2012.  
Once again my mother in law sewed a million sets of nightgowns.  
I remember back when Jense was a baby when she started this tradition.  
I was very impressed then and that is when there were only like ten grandkids.
Now she sews her little fingers to the bone. 
This kids love her hand-sewn jammies and look forward to them every year. 
Thanks grandma!

I regret not getting a picture of you with all of them. 
Must have for 2013.

Can you spot Sam? and what he's doing?
This kid is truly a ladies man.

He made the rounds with his older girl cousins, but towards the end of the night it was nothing but Rachel.  I love how a little snuggle quickly turns into his monster besos.
So cute.  

Jense and Levi.  
Such cute cousins. 
I can't get over how small Jense is compared to him.
They are a couple months apart, but Levi is so much taller. 
I think my kids are really slow growers.

The goofs.

Ells with Ava and Karissa- 
Ellie got to spend a few hours with Ava before all of the cousins got there.  
She loves her and wishes she lived closer.
Watching them play and dance made me smile and wish that my other girlie was there dancing with them.  Mia loved to dance! Any music going was all she needed. 

I miss her so much and would pay anything to see her.  

Oh the dancing.  It is not a Christmas party without the dancing. 
Ells did not stop once the music was on.
It made me happy to see her so happy. 
True happiness... she was having the time of her life. 

Going for the cabbage patch.  
I love her 80's moves.  

We really enjoyed our time and it was sad to drive away.  The drive back to Puyallup was so familiar but felt like a load of bricks on my heart.  We had made that drive so many times with our little girl in her car seat behind us.  She is not there, and as we passed all the familiar stores, and houses I just wanted to evaporate into the clouds and see her.  Everything hurts.  It makes me wish we never left... maybe things would be different.  Maybe we would have never gone to Florida.  Maybe we would have caught her rejection and treated it.  We passed the road where her pediatrician and pharmacy were on.  Trips I had made often.  I wonder if the pharmacists that knew us knows... or her pediatrician  Do they know?  Those were the thoughts I was having as we passed 176th.

We drove straight on through to the Pierce's house.  Another place that is strange to set foot inside without my girlie. (next post)

It was really good to see everyone and was better than I thought it would be- despite the obvious. We got a stack of CD's from Elizabeth that we got to enjoy on the way home.  Thank you sister!  I am glad we made the trip and want to say Thank You to all of our Washington family (and california). Thank you for your love! Thank you for your understanding! Thank you for caring about our little family.

Merry Christmas!