Christmas 2013 – Time with Family

I expect it goes without saying that a big reason we packed up and headed to Wisconsin for Christmas was to spend time with family. With all of our extended family living hours away, we don’t get to see anyone as much as we would like, so we take what time we can get, and we all enjoyed the time we had πŸ™‚

There was time to read…

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…and time to make art.

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The girls also got to play outside in the snow with my mom and Matt and my brother David while the rest of us were in Green Bay, and they were delighted.

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I of course love seeing my girls enjoy themselves any time, but it was especially heart-warming to see that CaiQun had so much fun in the snow, since last year she’d loved looking at it through the window but had been pretty frightened of actually being in it. What a difference almost-a-year makes πŸ™‚

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The girls and I and my dad made cut-out Christmas cookies – our family’s big Christmas tradition πŸ™‚

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And later in the week we frosted them. Both of my girls continue to be completely enamored with Danny’s girlfriend Sharon, who was willing to help Miranda frost cookies while I teamed up with Madeleine CaiQun.

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We also got to see a lot of our extended family while we were in Wisconsin! I, unfortunately, didn’t take many pictures while we were at the party. One of my favorite parts of the evening, though, was that my Uncle Tom brought some old slides he had that had been passed down from my grandparents (here’s a photo of one of the slides of the two of them).

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I’ve been reading a series of novels lately whose main characters are young Catholic couples in the 1940s and 1950s – around the same time my grandparents would have been young adults – and that’s made me wonder more about what their lives were really like. I wish I’d had more time to know them as an adult. My grandmother passed away when I was 11 and my grandfather when I was in my early twenties, but reflecting on what I know of their lives now, I think they must have been remarkable people. For one thing, they had five children in six years – whew! And they were people of strong convictions and character – my Uncle Tom tells a story of going to Mass in the years after Vatican II, and the parish had a newer, younger and more liberal priest, who came down from the pulpit and was addressing the congregation more informally, and people started to stand up and object, and my grandfather stood up to say that he supported the priest.Β It’s nice to get opportunities like this to see photos and hear stories from my dad and his siblings about their lives and their parents’ lives.

Our celebrations on Christmas morning were also a success πŸ™‚

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The girls received some stickers from my dad and ran around sticking them on everyone and everything through the entire gift-opening process πŸ™‚

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One present of which both girls were quite jealous was the bathrobe that Sharon got for Danny, so a couple days after Christmas, some of us were at the mall, and Sharon bought these bathrobes for the girls, which they love. CaiQun still asks me regularly if she can wear her bathrobe over her clothes for the day.

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And even as our visit wound down, there was more time for reading and playing.

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Miranda even made up her own game – with my mom’s assistance – in which she would “feed the fish” by spooning water from a tupperware container in one side of the sink over to the drain on the other side of the sink (the fish were presumably in the drain). She was obsessed with it for days and thrilled that my mom would let her do it for half an hour (or more) at a time! I think that’s what grandmas are for πŸ™‚

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Overall, it was a great trip filled with great time with family πŸ™‚

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