Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Marathon

Are you ready for this. It may take an hour to read this post. Because it's time for our annual Christmas Marathon. Minus the running, of course. Here we go...

Our Christmas began a bit before Christmas when Sarah's immediate family gathered for a formal picture, meal, and brief gift opening at our home.

They love to help tear paper!
Then onto Sarah's extended family that evening. 

The spoons tournament
With more gift opening, the girls were definitely entertained. Speaking of entertainment, Miriam decided to "play" Lion King. She had her great-aunts and great-grandma crawling on the floor pretending to be jungle animals.

The next day we celebrated Mema and Pepa's 70th wedding anniversary. After a much needed nap, meal, and bath, the girls were ready to begin our little family's Christmas celebration. First, the Advent calendar...

Whoa, that bump is for real!
 ...then they opened the "Night Before Christmas" box.

It included a new set of handmade PJs for each of the girls, slippers, a book, hot chocolate, and cookies. They were thrilled and we enjoyed watching them slurp down a warm cup of hot chocolate through a straw.

 The next morning, we opened our gifts from Santa. Each of the girls got bikes!

And a few other toys.

We spent Christmas Eve with Sarah's immediate family and both of her grandmas. Huge meal, Mass, gift opening.

Left, paternal grandma, right, maternal grandma

Sarah and her sister Bridget
 The evening was chaotic, of course. But that's how we operate best.

And Stella was there...made our girls so happy!

Hint: this gift tag is written in Grandpa's handwriting
When we left Sarah's parents, we went on an "adventure." This is Miriam's term for driving aimlessly through new neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights. We woke up on Christmas morning and went directly to Tim's parents for the day.

The best-stuffed stockings are at Nana and Papa's.

This year they included M&M's. The girls had a pre-breakfast appetizer that was a dream come true.

Nana and Aunt Sue
Tim's Aunt Sue was in town from Colorado, so we were all grateful to be able to spend time with her and her husband.

After all this activity, the girls took a break in the afternoon to watch one of their new movies. We hope you all had a Christmas as merry as ours!

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 52

If we're going to celebrate joy this year, we're going out with a bang. Because this week we celebrated 70 years of marriage. A very big deal! And makes us very joyful.

We started with a blessing at Mass in the morning and then lunch at the country club in the afternoon.

Tim's grandparents, Mema and Pepa, were married during World War II in the middle of the night in Indianapolis while Pepa was on leave. Very romantic. And somewhat forbidden because Mema was Lutheran (who converted years later) and Pepa was Catholic. And she wasn't allowed to marry that "papist". But love prevailed. And it continued to prevail for the next 70 years...

...through the raising of three children...

...and seven grand children and their spouses (just one grandchild missing from this picture)...

...and eight (soon to be nine) great-grandchildren (three great-grandkids couldn't be with us).

 And all together, we couldn't be happier to celebrate this very beloved couple.

Of course, the day wouldn't be complete without antics from our girls. Like when Vivian tried to sneak into the bar with Pepa's walker. Was she thinking, If I've got this walker they're going to think I'm old enough for a drink?

Oh and Miriam pulled the fire alarm.

Which the fire department had to respond to and turn off. Despite these Crazies, Tim and Sarah look forward to their own 70th anniversary. And thank Mema and Pepa for their beautiful witness to the vocation of marriage.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 51

It's funny how some people just get along. They meet and instantly KNOW each other. Of course, we've all had those relationships...close friends, love-at-first-sight, the person you don't see very often but can laugh with for hours on those rare occasions. Sarah had two roommates her freshman year of college that were randomly assigned and they had that kind of easy relationship. 

The Husman 210 roommates at Sarah's bachelorette party.
And Daddy...well Daddy has that easiness with just about the whole universe. If only everyone could love people the way Daddy does. It truly is a joyful blessing.

Of course, there are theses three amigas. Our girls can't be any happier than when they get to see cousin Lydia.

But it's so funny to watch it happen with children. Because it's not something we make up or grow into. It just is. For example, since the day she was born (or so it seems) Miriam has just been very comfortable with her Aunt Maria. She loves all her other family members, but adores Aunt Maria. There's no explaining it, especially with a child as reserved as Miriam. It just is.

And after looking through the pictures from this Christmas, we can see another one of those relationships, though it was certainly harder to see. Because Vivian loves everyone. She is close to everyone and enjoys everyone. Nothing really slows her down...just like her Uncle Michael.

Touch the ceiling fan!

Perhaps it is their sameness that draws them to each other. (Let that be a warning to Vivian's parents.) In any case, it just is. And it brings us joy all year round to have these relationships.

Friday, December 14, 2012

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 50

A few things:
  1. This is our 100th post!
  2. We're at week 50 already!
  3. We love getting "real" mail. Why don't we send Christmas cards all year long?
So this week SNOW made us very joyful. And when you see how little snow it takes to get us all excited...well...we really like snow.

As soon as she stepped out the door, Miriam shouted, "I'm standing in SNOW!!!"

Vivian didn't really remember much about snow from last year, so she took a moment to reacquaint herself. Then they both got down to business and ate as much clean snow as they could find.

And even in the winter, they can't stay out of the garden. Before we had our snowsuits on, Miriam was planning on planting. No, sorry, not until spring.

And we brought out our new sled. Mommy pulled them around the yard for awhile. Then they took turns trying to tow each other.

After we built the world's smallest snowman... was time to go inside for a cup of milk and a rest with Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. (Have we talked about this show? It's great and very sweet. On PBS. Half an hour. They both love it. If you or anyone in your home is into young kid TV, we highly recommend it.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mantel Masterpieces

Last week the girls got to make their own gingerbread houses and we went to the Gingerbread Festival in Fort Wayne with a few of Mommy's family members. (As a side note, it is a miracle we got out of there without snitching a single piece of candy off of the creations!) We were in high gear wanting to creating something of our own again, when Mommy saw a Popcorn Snowman project in the Sunday paper. Popcorn was popped, marshmallow glue was concocted, and edible decorations were pilfered from the the Halloween candy stash. 

They had a fabulous, sticky time making their snowmen. Both ate just about as much as they pasted onto the snowman bodies. It is a wonder they sleep at all anymore with the sugar high they are constantly on. These little guys only very vaguely resemble the picture in the paper...but Miriam and Vivian were so proud of their creations that Daddy built a little stand so they wouldn't fall over and now they live on the mantel for all to enjoy.

Vivian's popcorn snowman

Miriam's popcorn snowman

Monday, December 10, 2012

All I want for Christmas...

The girls got to see Santa this weekend. And they were so excited to jump right onto his lap!

Look at these smiles!

But when asked what they said to Santa, Vivian stares at us mutely and Miriam responds, "Thank you." Although they seem to be saying something in the picture below, I guess we'll never know.

Now Miriam's main purpose in life is to find some magic reindeer to take her to the North Pole...

Jolly Old St. Nick

St. Nick visited our house last week on his feast day and brought...

...fruit strips and... 

...a sled!

Vivian forgot Puppy and had to run off to find him.

The girls loved this and will probably love it more in the snow. Daddy gave them a few rides around the house before heading to work. Then they pulled their dolls and stuffed friends. Good job, St. Nick!