Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Part II - Tommerdahl Side - December 19-22

This year we hosted Tommerdahl-side Christmas in Apple Valley!  With Paul's brother and fiancee flying in from Colorado (and the airport being right by our house) as well as Paul's sister and husband's (who live in the twin cities) work schedules, we would maximize family time by celebrating in the Twin Cities instead of driving up north to Grandma and Grandpa T's house like we usually do.   Its a good thing everybody gets along so well in Paul's family, as all 12 of us were pretty "close" all weekend in our little living room!!!  It was so great to have everyone together--I absolutely love a full house :).  Each person took a meal or two so no one had to do all of the food, which made time for everyone to relax and enjoy family time--which we really did--lots of laughs, music, playtime, food, games, conversation, etc.  I feel so blessed to have married into such a wonderful family.

After gathering most everyone together on Thursday evening and getting caught up, on Friday we went to the Mall of America for browsing, rides, and lunch.  Grandpa T treated the kids to 3 rides at the indoor amusement park--they were thrilled!

Colton and Grandma on the Carousal (Colton waved each time he came around!)

Summer got to go with Uncle Jordan

Grandma and Colton on the Blue's Clues ride

Summer was big enough to ride all by herself!!

Grandpa took the kids on the Big Rig ride

While I knew Colton would love it, Summer did not stop smiling the whole time!
Other highlights from the weekend included hearing about Madison and Jordan's upcoming wedding and finding out that Paul will be a groomsman and Summer will be a flower girl!  We also got to see Grandpa's brother David and family when they came over to visit one afternoon.  The Tommerdahl game of late has been Settlers of Catan, which we enjoyed a great game of one evening!  Some of us went thrifting at a local thrift store one afternoon.  Most of all, the highlight was just being with everyone, all together, in one spot, and hanging out.  Here are a few pictures I stole from Grandpa T...

The original 4 sibs on the couch--Paul, Sarah, Jordan, and Javonte

Tucker on his little bed

Colton playing cars

Summer got a kid's cook book from Auntie Sarah and we have already enjoyed making her first recipe of choice :)

Summer LOVED the doll playhouse from Grandma and Grandpa T

Colton was pretty excited about the soccer ball/goal and t-ball set from Grandma and Grandpa T and all the things with "wheels" :)  He also loves his Curious George stuffed animal from GeeGee Sandy and he is currently a favorite.

Summer's gift to everyone on both sides of the family this year was home-made (laminated) personalized placemats.  She made a set for our family too, and all of used them for our meals together. :)

Reading with Auntie Sarah and Uncle Ty...(I think silly Uncle Ty was also the culprit for putting a pink bow in Colton's hair?!?) :)

Reading with Grandma and Grandpa

Love this shot of Summer and Grandma reading

Auntie Sarah had fun snapping pictures of the kiddos

And helping them pose... :-)

Paul modeling Summer's new warm-up suit for gymnastics :)

GeeGee Sandy!!!

Family picture after church

With Uncle Jordan and Auntie Madison

The guys

The cute engaged couple

The gals


Gee-Gee Sandy and her great-grandkiddos

Lincoln log stacking competition--winner? Jordan with 11.

Christmas dinner--delicious!

Uncle Ty joined us after work :)
Here are a few videos...

First: Grandpa and Summer Dancing...

Second: Summer on Stage...Summer absolutely loves to have everyone looking at her and being the center of attention (which I have a hard time understanding because I am so the opposite!)  This trait has definitely created some parenting challenges, where we try to redirect her "stealing the show" into her her asking other people questions about themselves--which she is getting a lot better at!  Anyway, dinner one night was a perfect example of her love for this sort of thing, and the family all egg-ed her on....;)...she started by singing a ballad to her Uncle Ty, and then led the table in Christmas carols, hand motions, and other "table fun".  Her desire and ability to capture the attention of a crowd and organize them is I am sure a gift, albeit one we will have to continue to redirect into appropriate manners, timing, etc!! Anyway, she had the whole table practically crying by the end of the evening they were laughing so hard, and people were pulling out their phones to video her.  Here is one of many videos that were taken of Summer one evening...Uncle Ty was a good sport as she sang to him :). 

Each night, part of our tradition with the kids is to sing the song "Skinna-ma-rink" before bedtime prayers.  We all dance around and act silly.  The kids love when other people join in our bedtime tradition, and her is a video of all 12 joining in the fun...(note both kids slept in our room during the weekend to let others have their rooms, so that's why we were in our room...normally it is in one of the kid's rooms!)

I love you all, Tommerdahls and Crabtrees!  What a great time!


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