Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Christmas Break (Part 1)

All of Keith's immediate family that is currently living in the USA came for Christmas! That makes all of three (We missed you Paul, Jenae, and family!) Gramma B and Grampa Joe flew in from Orem and Shawn came down from Philadelphia (where he just survived his first semester as a Teach for America teacher! Wahoo!)

Ours was a full apartment but it was oh so happy!

Christmas Eve was crisp and beautiful so we headed out for runs, walks, and rambles in the woods at the lake.
It was fun to have someone take a few pictures to document something that is such a regular part of mine and Charlie's routine. I love exploring the lake and woods as he grows. Here he is appreciating the ubber-softness of moss (with doggies in tow, of course).

That evening we had the traditional Temus (Polish) Christmas Eve dinner of mushroom soup and pirogis. This year I also made a PKU-friendly version of the soup and Charlie seemed to approve.

After Charlie was asleep Santa's Elves got to work. We started a fire in the fireplace, stuffed stockings, and setup Charlie's gift from Gramma and Grampa...

...a car tower! It has been enjoyed by more than just Charlie and Jack!

It was a great day of games, playing, and eating good food with family. A perfect Christmas. I tried my hand at a PKU-friendly version of my Grandma Temus' Christmas Cranberry Bread which we had every year growing up. It is amazingly tasty! My braiding technique needs work and the bread needs tweaking, but I am really excited that Charlie got to enjoy it with us!

Brooke's ornament. The night nurse at the hospital spent hours putting Brooke's handprint on ornaments while she lay in the coma. It is my most treasured tree decoration.
The best part about Christmas really is just being with family and loving family. I feel closer to my family this Christmas than any before it. Brooke has that effect on us.

See those stockings? Yep. I made those. Thank you community Introduction to Sewing class and this pattern.
We played a lot more the rest of the week, and there are more pictures (hehe), but I didn't want Christmas Day to get lost in a big blog post. It was too special for that. I can't express how much I completely love, and am thankful for my family, both Merrill and Temus clans, and the gift of Christ that we celebrate on Christmas. That is the gift that makes us, together, forever, possible.

How very blessed I am.


Whitney Hardie said...

Woah, awesome job on the stockings! And amen to what you said about Brooke's effect on all of us. I know I've held my family closer - what a legacy of love she's left everyone. I just love seeing photos of you and your sweet family. We need to visit each other soon. I miss you, my friend.

Spring said...

Amen to what Whitney said! Great job on the stockings, seriously!! Do they have a no-sew hot glue version? What a wonderful Brooke ornament. love you!

Deb said...

Fabulous stockings! They're so cute! I loved seeing Brooke's ornament and the pictures of you and your wonderful family! Love you!