We started our Christmas weekend with the visit of our good friends, Rick and Linda, from Chicago.  They loved on Anneliese and headed on their way to Ann Arbor where Linda’s parents live.  We talked, laughed, and ate lots of bacon.  Love visits from them!
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The day before Christmas Eve, we went to church and then took a much-needed nap (getting a baby girl ready for church is a task for everyone!!).  Upon waking Joel and I embarked on a new journey: caramel corn.  But not just any caramel corn; chocolate-toffee caramel corn, from this site.

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It was the first time I had made caramel corn!  It’s fun and fairly easy and… makes lots of pans messy!
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Baby girl slept beautifully and we watched her cute self scoochin’ around.Christmastime (10 of 37)

We joined the masses at Wal-Mart for some last-minute items… the sprinkles were a Joel-idea.  They made it look awesome!  He sprinkled them on before heading out to play video games with some friends.  Video games sounds so trite… I should specify… Call of Duty Black Ops 2…

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On Christmas Eve we finished up a few more batches…Christmastime (13 of 37)

This sweet little one woke several times to get a cup of Christmas cheer, grace us with cuteness, and continue to baffle Baxter with her existence.  Christmastime (15 of 37)

Pulling pans of this deliciousness out of the oven!  Christmas Eve is fun in PJ’s with no makeup and my honey.  Christmastime (16 of 37)

Joel was the chocolate-adding master.  Christmastime (19 of 37)


We looked out to see…. SNOW!!!  I had no idea that the snow was going to fall, but it did!  The first “real” snow I think (we had had a dusting before but it was in the night).  These were huge clumps of fluffy snow floating down from the sky.  It was glorious.  When Anneliese woke from her nap I couldn’t wait to show her!!!  I bundled that little Tookus and convinced Daddy to take our photo outside. She got her first snowflake on the forehead!!

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But let’s look closer… it looks like her first reaction is SUSPICION!!  She breaks out the “baby-Joel-scowl” in moments like these 🙂

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We headed over to our cousins’ house for yummy food, present opening, and some back-alley bridge.  It was a blast!  Anneliese even got a little hat which she was also unsure of 🙂 (by the way… wearing pajamas out is her favorite thing!)

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On Christmas Day: Yummy breakfasts all around!  On the couch, we read the Christmas story in the different Gospels and made a list together of what we love and appreciate as gifts from God.  Then we opened presents… so sweet to be remembered by our family with fun gifts!  Soon we scuttled off to the Prestons’ home for a Christmas meal with people from our church family.  It was so sweet!  Little Miss Thang cuddled up on daddy and fell asleep with all the partying around her.
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There were many of us gathered around the table.  We introduced ourselves (not all of us knew each other), and at one point each shared where we were born.  They ranged from Detroit and Coldwater to  Sioux-Ste. Marie, Ontario, Oklahoma, Northern Ireland, Bogota Colombia, and of course, Virginia!    How cool that all these people with experiences all over the country and the world were here around this farmhouse table in Quincy, Michigan. Christmastime (28 of 37)

The Prestons are dairy farmers… Christmastime (30 of 37)
Real men drink coffee and hold sleeping babies.

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Real women dole out carrot cake, figgy pudding, pecan pie and ice cream!Christmastime (35 of 37)

Our little doll baby in her Christmas dress from her Grandma Kleven!Christmastime (37 of 37)

You can tell she’s a little interested in eating, not posing.Christmastime (39 of 37)

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And then, let’s be real here.  Every time the little lady gets into the car she melts down and screams until she’s red and puffy.  Not the best way to make an introduction to a party, but she has decided the car seat is a terrible thing.   I snapped this photo after I had brought her into the house after our 25 minute drive home of her screaming and us trying to chat over it (we’re getting better about not being on edge while listening to her cry in her carseat… it’s not easy!).  I am sorry, sweet girl, for prolonging the torture one more moment than necessary… one day you will see that the car seat is what brings us to fun places! 

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After a few good afternoon naps, the grand finale of little girl’s first Christmas was snuggling on the couch with her papa.

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Sometimes we feel fussy.  And daddy will try everything to make it better… Christmastime (9 of 8)

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And finally, nodding off while being patted on the back.

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Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!





2 thoughts on “Christmas!

    • These photos melted my heart and gave me warm fuzzies. So nice to see some highlights from your Christmas celebrations. We love you, and enjoyed our Christmas Skype. 🙂 Happy New Year! Love, Wendy and Family

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