On Christmas Eve, we went out to our ranch for our annual celebration at the log cabin. My mom's family has celebrated Christmas Eve out there since long before I was born, and I think it's my favorite holiday tradition. There is something so exciting and special about going out there for Christmas Eve. Even now, I remember the excitement I felt going out there on Christmas Eve--it felt almost magical from beginning (playing with cousins) to middle (opening presents, taking a hay ride), to the end (riding home, looking at Christmas lights, and looking for Santa's sleigh the whole way). It's even more fun now that I have kids and can watch them running around with their cousins the way that I used to. We usually have beautiful weather and spend a lot of time outside, playing football, soccer, or baseball, and walking around the ranch. Unfortunately, it was cold and raining this year and we had to spend most of the day inside, but it really was still a wonderful day. Charlie had so much fun--I think this was a perfect celebration for him.
Charlie was racing around all day and I could not get a picture of him standing still. This blurry action shot is probably the best depiction of him that day. :)
Pausing for a quick smile...
I LOVE little Charlotte. She is the youngest (aside from Evie), but you would never guess it. She is a tough little one, and totally holds her own with the big kids!
Jackson and Charlie. See why Charlie loves this guy?
Missed my siblings this year, but so good to see my cousins!
Jane Ann loves babies and was just thrilled with Evie. And Evie loved all the extra snuggles she got! [JA got a new doll, Baby Alive, for Christmas. I had never seen anything like this Baby Alive before--she even poops! I tried to get JA to change Evie's diapers as well, but she didn't fall for it... :)]
Evie loved Christmas Eve--she got cuddled all day!
I couldn't believe how much little Samuel had grown up!
Sweet posing girls...
Elec sent Julia markers for Christmas and they were a huge hit. Perfect rainy day entertainment!
This was my favorite picture. Note the caption: "Me as a bird with Santa Claus." Jackson is so random!
Precious Baby Katie.
Evie relaxing with Ali.
Christmas Evie. :)
Despite the nasty weather, we decided to continue our annual tradition of an early-evening hayride. I was so glad we didn't let the rain stop us--it was so much fun riding around the ranch, even with the wet, cold weather. Charlie loved being a part of this tradition, and got into the caroling. He even started requesting songs, but didn't quite get that we were trying to stick with a "Christmas" theme. Luckily, my cousins are good sports and took a break from Christmas carols to sing a rousing rendition of "Wheels on the Bus" for Charlie. :)
We got home from the cabin pretty late, but baths were essential after all the mud and dirt (and hay!) we collected during the day.