As always, we celebrate Christmas—The Marini Edition—the weekend before Christmas. We have been doing this for years and it just works. The kids are super excited to not only hang out, but add in the bonus of presents…and this party just got kicked up a notch.
For the first time, Mike and Stacy brought Grandma Jean down to celebrate with us. Grandma Jean is always a riot and let’s face it…I appreciate a lady who drinks champagne in the afternoon. Along with Mike and Stacy’s dog, Lulu, Grandma Jean brought her dog Lady. I will tell you that I was a bit hesitant about Teddy joining the two of them, but it turned out that the Notorious T-E-D had quite a good time. He became very fond of Lady and for that Lulu was grateful…I’ll leave it at that.
The other thing we did different this year was an adult gift exchange. SO MUCH FUN! We will definitely do this again next year…because we had a blast. I didn’t get pictures of all the gifts, but they were fun. The gifts were: Funnel Cake Maker; an “M” monogrammed soap dispenser and napkins (of course they ended up being picked by the only non-Marini); a set of gloves, hat and scarf; a box full of chips, salsa, margarita mix and glasses; Lowe’s gift card; Lottery tickets; and my favorite---my prize—two bottles of vodka, watermelon and vanilla flavored. I fought Grandma Jean for them and won! Yeah me! I appreciate that she enjoys a glass of champagne in the afternoon, but I just so happen to appreciate a mixed drink myself…so I had little mercy. I teach thirty-two ten year olds people....I need my drinkie!
And yes, there were presents for the kids. Lots of presents.
Here is Ryan opening a police station set.
Matthew checking out the goods... calculating exactly when he will ask Ryan to play with it.
Mikayla getting a very special gift from Nana and Papa.
Mason and Matthew surveying Ryan's loot. My favorite part about this gift was Ryan walking up to me after...so excited....and asked if it was age appropriate for him (his exact words). He has learned this term due to Matthew shooting down almost all of the things Ryan has circled in the Toys R' Us add in the last two months as not being "Age Appropriate" for Ryan. You gotta love older brothers!
Apparently eye catching for all ages....
One of my favorite pictures from the weekend.
Okay...check out these ridiculous cute...I mean cool...pajamas. Auntie Stacy bought these for all the kids and she said she is going to do it every year now. I love it! They loved them and it was so cool to see them in them all weekend. Thanks Auntie Stacy!
Can you tell they are cousins????
Auntie Stacy's gift. :)
Matt's gift from Nana and Papa. Please check out two things....the age (to Ryan's dismay) and the number of pieces (crazy ridiculous)!!!!
Let's make this VERY CLEAR...Mason is a Lego genius. This kid, by himself, put this entire thing together. It took hours of patience and determination and he is a rockstar! Let's just say I am going to need to use his skills soon again in the near future and I will pay hefty for them!
There is no easy way to do this. The bags are not arranged by "do this bag first, and then do this bag next". Nope! Random pieces in random bags. Are you thinking what I am thinking???? Vanilla and Watermelon flavored vodka???? Yep, that's what I was thinking too! So I poured myself a glass and sat and watched a nine year old take this to town.
Matthew did a courtesy check-in every once in a while to check out Mason's progress....
And then headed right back down to the floor to play with Ryan's age appropriate gift.
Auntie Stacy joined Mason too! She also had a mixed drink as well. We're not dumb people...there were 662 PIECES!!!!!
My Lego Rockstar!!!!
Ahh....the end result. Does that look like 662 pieces to you?
A very, VERY grateful cousin.
Merry Christmas Part One. See you in a week!