After a lazy breakfast, after my parents had already left for the airport to pick up my big brother and his family, we headed over to our house for some games and fun.
Once the MI cousins had arrived and had had baths and a bit of down time from their big travel day, we headed over to my parents again to begin our days of togetherness! It was the first time that the MI family had the opportunity to meet the youngest cousin from CA and the first time in 2.5 years that the rest of us had all been in the same room together. It was great.
We had book time, play time, game time, eating time, and all sorts of fun times.
At bedtime, every child hugs every other person before heading to bed. It’s quite a ritual, but oh so good to get those hugs when you only have a few days together.
The little man in red in all these pictures is famous for his hugs.
Big kids and grown-ups play more games after the littles are asleep.
On Christmas Eve Eve, I planned a morning of Minute to Win It games for our family. Being in Kindergarten classroom for the past 4 years has made me slightly braver when it comes to being crazy with small children and has given me lots of ideas of things to try with them. So…my family obliged and played with spirit and gusto!
First we divided into teams. These guys are the Lyncs (our school mascot). They cooperated quickly and easily for their team picture.
The other team was the Eagles (both my nephews belong to schools where the mascot is the Eagles). This team cooperated not quite so much for pictures. I blame this guy:
It was decided we would hold puppets for our team picture. Much drama ensued.
While the Eagles played around, the Lyncs waited patiently…
Finally, our team picture. Growling, cute puppets. My dad! With Claire watching! I cannot stop laughing!
Our first game was “Face the Cookie” – the one where you get the cookie from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands. APPARENTLY, I did not repeat that part of the instructions enough.
This guy is a cheater.
Moving along to Junk in Your Trunk, which, as you can see, is where a kleenex box is tied to your…trunk. Inside the kleenex box are jingle bells…whoever can get the most jingle bells out of the box, by jumping around like crazy, wins this event!
Insider tip: string doesn’t work well. The boxes fell right off. So we ended up wrapping packing tape around their entire waist. Even the wildest jumpers couldn’t shake that down!
Even the little ones loved this game!
This game didn’t have a fancy name, but basically you had to pick up as many mini marshmallows as you could using only a pair of chopsticks. Aunt Jen is the queen of chopsticks, I now know.
The Nutstacker – using a candy cane to stack metal nuts in a tall tower. Ed was all bragging himself up during the game and in the last 10 seconds knocked his tower over and I totally beat him!
Snowball Toss – Tossing large marshmallows into a cup.
I think somebody found a marshmallow that missed the cup…
My parents, trying to outdo each other.
One-handed Red Cup Stack – a hit with all the littles…so much so that their favorite toy for the next two days was the stack of red cups!
And then we switched over to boys vs. girls in the toilet paper snowman competition. Grandma & Grandpa were the models. Toilet paper, construction paper, and tape were the tools.
Everyone’s a winner!
And now the littles want a turn!
I call the First DeJong Family Minute to Win It Competition a great success! I don’t think anyone even wished I hadn’t planned it!
Then I got to have some snuggles and reading time. I love that more than the games, hands down.
Later on that day I introduced the art project…catching a snowflake on my tongue.
And then I heard, “What’s next, Aunt Julie? What are we going to do now?”
The next project would have to wait for Christmas Eve…so…
There was more red cup building,
And we went to visit my uncle who can’t get out anymore.
We sang some carols together.
Away in a Manger was a fun one!
After visiting my aunt & uncle, we went to see the famous house in Lynden with the lights set to music, which was awesome, again.
The evening concluded with work, technology, food, & games!
A good, blessed, and full day for which we give thanks.