It's not that often that I blog begrudgingly, but I'm actually in the middle of a great book. I forced myself to put it down because I want to have Christmas blogged before I fly home tomorrow, plus I'll need something to read on the plane.
Christmas 2016! While we may be spread out for most of the year, the Wheeler clan gathered in Salt Lake from many distant corners. Ben and Christy drove up from California, Justin, Brianna, and Ruby flew in from Cincinnati, Lance came in from DC, Charles and Susie came down from Logan, and our crew migrated a full mile to see the lights on Temple Square. Sorry about the terrible pic--it's the best I have.
For dinner, we tried out a local Thai place, Sawadee. As testament to the amazing food, we've been back twice since.
The next morning we hosted breakfast at our place before parting ways since our kids had school right up through December 23rd. Annika sure enjoyed giving Ruby a tour of our home. Hopefully Ruby wasn't too traumatized!
Most of the family headed up to Rupert to see Grandma and Grandpa Hansen.
Justin, the photo bomb.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn, Talia, Eli and I held down the fort in Salt Lake. Or more accurately, they held the fort while I lay like a lump on the couch with an absolutely miserable respiratory bug. (Which I subsequently passed on to Jason and possibly Charles. I'm so sorry!) My Christmas memories from here on out are pretty tainted with coughs and achy bones, but I'll do my best.
Hardware Ranch in Hyrum. The entire family bundled up and enjoyed a wagon ride to see the elk.
While northern Utah may be a tad chillier than Phoenix, Brianna, Ruby, and Justin are still all smiles.
With a lens like his, Lance always gets the best photos.
As you can see, there were plenty of elk for the viewing.
Annie's certainly impressed. What a fun day!
Annika is always thrilled to be Grandma Susie's kitchen helper.
Meanwhile, Christy brought some fantastically intricate patterns to make masks with the big kids.
Don't mess with Eli Bunny!.
I think our munchkins may have worn out Uncle Justin. What do you think, Brianna?
Chef Christy's putting the finishing touches on her tasty crisp.
Bon appetit and Feliz Nochebuena!
Brooklyn wrote an elaborate script for our reenactment of the Nativity. I struggled to suppress my horrified giggles when it included a rabbit, a bear, and a disturbing reference to the Hunger Games.
Christmas Day:We awoke Christmas morning to a thick blanket of snow--not that the kids really noticed with such a delightful Christmas tree to enjoy.
Since Christmas fell on a Sunday, our first objective was to get to church. These troopers were up for the challenge.
Back at home, it was time to open presents. Ruby seems pretty excited about this box.
Look, a tutu!
Many thanks to Aunt Christy for making our littlest gals even more adorable.
Forget the ski socks--Annie preferred the lollipop in her stocking.
Of course, she liked this second-hand snake even better, having selected it herself a week prior. The serpent has been dragged all over town ever since, even doubling as a scarf. Annika literally loved the cotton guts right out of him.. Luckily for her, Talia sewed him up. Good thing she didn't bring her snake to me first. My solution might have involved the rubbish bin.
That looks like some major fun, Eli Jameson!
Even better, Daddy Jason shared his new Star Wars Millennium Falcon.
Continuing the Star Wars craze.
Perhaps best of all, Santa splurged on season ski rentals for our munchkins. The extended ski rental from Utah Ski 'n Golf will last all the way until they outgrow Junior sizes. (Just for the record, I haven't gotten there yet.) Yay for the gift that keeps on giving!
Despite all the new toys, Annie Mae was quite content playing Hungry, Hungry Hippo.
Before we knew it, it was time for our finger foods dinner. Delicious!
Thank you so much, Charles and Susie, for hosting such a delightful Christmas. Santa's elves were so generous, the food was unparalleled, but the best part was being with family.
Now back to my book... ;)