Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Christmas Eve and Christmas

On Christmas Eve we went to the Orange County Zoo with Alyse, Tanner, their kids, and Grandpa. All the kids had a blast.

Later that day we went to Jason's parent's house for the traditional Thomas Christmas Eve party. Alyse, Tanner, and my Dad came too. We all ate dinner, the kids did the nativity, and then the kids all got to open their new matching jammies.

Getting a picture of all the kids in their pajamas turned out to be really, really hard. As the next couple pictures demonstrate:

We got a good one with all the grandkids and Nana and Papa, though:

My sister Alyse and sister-in-law Shelley (they've been friends since high school):

On Christmas we woke up at Grandpa's house and unwrapped presents. Ellie gave Grandpa a glow-in-the-dark dinosaur puzzle, and they put it together that morning.

After Grandpa's house we went over to the Thomas's house, where we unwrapped more gifts and had a White Elephant gift exchange. We then came back to Grandpa's for lunch and hanging out, and then later in the afternoon we went to my grandma and grandpa's house.

Baby Jane, Grandpa, and Great-Grandpa:

Brynn's Birthday

Okay, I know it's the first week of February, which means I really have to get on it about posting the rest of our pictures from our Christmas vacation to California. I'm going to try and post all of them today.

On the day before Christmas Eve, we had a birthday party for Brynn, Tiffany's youngest daughter. It was a Princess party, and it was so cute. All of the games Tiffany came up with fit into the theme and were just so clever and fun.

Here are (almost - we're missing Everett!) all of the cousins before the party:

When the party started, all of the little girls were given fluffy tutus and some costume jewelry to wear so that they could be princesses. The first game was "tie up the prince like Rapunzel does in Tangled." The little kids were given rolls of toilet paper, and then all of the uncles got wrapped up.

This game was so fun - I'm sad I don't remember exactly how it works (I'll have to ask Tiffany!) but she told them a princess story, and at various points all of the girls had to take a bite out of a "poisoned" apple. Then they "fainted," and one of the handsome princeses (uncles) had to give them a (Hershey's) kiss. It was really cute.

They then played the "magic carpet" game (musical chairs).

The next game was "Kiss the frog on the lips" (like Pin the tail on the donkey, but with lipstick.) Here are Emily and Ellie after their turn:

And finally they had presents and cake. Here is the birthday girl Brynn rocking her fancy sunglasses:

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Smith Christmas Get-togethers

Every year, the Smith extended family gets together for a Christmas party a couple days before Christmas. It used to be at my grandparents' house when I was a kid, but for the last decade or so it's been at my dad's house. It is one of my favorite events of the whole year. Everyone comes over, we all have dinner, the kids do the nativity story (complete in costumes brought by Grandma), the kids do a candy exchange, and the adults do a white elephant gift exchange. It is always so fun and so good to see everybody. Here are some pictures from this year's party.

Baby Jane, Tanner, and Ezra:

Ezra and Ellie as shepherds:

Brooklyn as Mary and baby Jane as baby Jesus:

Nativity in progress:

The next night we got together again - this time to do a family temple trip! It was really cool. My dad does a lot of family history, and has literally hundreds of names we can do temple work for. My cousin Ashley suggested that we should do a family temple trip together, and we all thought it was a good idea. So on Tuesday we all met at the temple and did a session together. Jason's mom watched Ellie, Zelda, Ezra, and Jane for us. Afterwards we went to Farrell's ice cream parlor, where some of the younger cousins joined us. I got to sit next to my Grandma and it was awesome. We want to try and do a family trip every year.

Grandpa and Ezra:

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Playing at Grandpa's House

Over Christmas break we spent lots of time playing at Grandpa's house. Zelda has missed it ever since we came home to North Carolina and tells us on a regular basis "I want to go to Grandpa's house." I feel bad because she's too young to understand that it's a bit harder to get to than just a short drive in the car. (Grandpa, you need to come visit us!)

A couple times while we were there Ellie sat on the stairs, told Zelda to sit next to her, and then ordered us to take their picture. We obliged. :)

Playing with Ezra and his tablet:

And playing in the front yard:

Splashing water on me:

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Christmas Cousin Time

This Christmas vacation we stayed at my dad's house in California. We had lots of fun at his house and with the Smith cousins, but we also got to go to Nana and Papa (Jason's parents') house and spend lots of time with the Thomas side of the family and with all the Thomas cousins. Ellie and Zelda loved being able to see and play with their cousins so much.

Ellie, Zelda, Emily, and James playing in the backyard:

Things got even crazier and more fun when Tiffany (Jason's sister)'s family got into town.

One day we all went to Orange County Zoo. In this picture, back row from left to right: Brynn, Mikayla, Emily, Ellie, and Aubrey. Front row from left to right: Skylar, James, and Zelda.

We got to pet the goats:

 So many little girls:

Fairy bubble play time in Nana and Papa's backyard:

And dinner at the kids' table: