2009 was truly a grand homecoming and a celebration of family. We had the extra-special blessing of welcoming our new son into our household. We also were fortunate to have my parents visit and spend the holidays with us. It was a chaotic time but also a joyful time. It will be a christmas that all of us will never forget. This all happening just a few short weeks after we got back with our son and our trip to China.
My parents arrived just in time for my birthday. It was really nice to have them arrive in time for our festivities. I had a home made cake and lasagna that Julie made. They were excellent. It was just great to be home with the family. You can see pictures in last day of the Gabe Travel Journal (as that was the last week of my journaling activity). You can also see pictures when we met my Aunt Mary Joe, Uncle Dennis and Cousin Corey on that page.
Eve started with a good old-fashioned Minnesota snow storm. I was very thankful to have had my snow blower fixed before I left! The kids were so excited and I am sure time really went slow for them. I remember when I was a kid and thinking to myself - my mom has to be slowing things down on purpose! We went to the Children's service at the church I grew up at which is only a little ways away. This was the first attempt to bring Gabriel to church since we got home. Lets just say, I spent most of the time in the hallways while the rest of the family enjoyed the service. After church, we went home and enjoyed the a never-ending supply of appetizers. It was a lot of fun, but the kids were really getting revved up so we went to the living room to open presents. It was like a postcard, the tree was beautiful, it was snowing outside and all the family was there. We of course bought to much, I guess we will worry about where to stick all the new junk after the new year. Oh well. Julie and I did cut back a little on each other, but had a lot of fun wrapping up our gifts from China and re-giving them. My favorite was the "gift" from Your Friends at South China Air to Julie. It was a travel kit, that she insisted on collecting and keeping. Of course the kids would not go to bed, too excited.
Santa came and brought the kids some really fun toys. The hit was the Handy Manny workbench. The kids really got a kick out of that one. Everyone had some special treats in their socks. Later that evening we had some of Julie's relatives over for a fun and very casual evening. Family came over that was local and in town. The official Family Christmas is scheduled for January. This will allow most of the kids to come home from the various locations so we all can be together. At the end of the night we celebrated Madeleine's 5th birthday. I will cover those details on a separate page..
Julie's family Christmas 2009 was actually held in 2010. It is the only way we could have everyone participate for a variety of reasons. It gets harder as the children get older and more far-flung. I will update this post once this event occurs. We were blessed that Great Grandma Agnes was able to attend for a double celebration. Follow this link to see pictures of Julie's Family Christmas.