I wrote briefly about Christmas “inside at the cabin” and now I will share with you (more specifically, my Mom and sister who have been checking the site multiple times a day waiting for these photos) “Outside at the Cabin”
Outside at the Cabin.
For some reason this photo reminds me of Will Farrel as Buddy in “ELF” when he is walking like big foot.
Snow is fun no matter what you are doing but snow becomes extra fun when you have a 4Wheeler, a rope and a sled.
The sled is fun but it becomes dangerously fun when you swap the sled for a snow tube.
Elise didn’t do any jumps but she would have rode in the tube all day long if the boys hadn’t made her take turns.
While one kid rode behind the 4Wheeler the other two helped Nama build Olaf.
This kid knows how to work the camera.
And here he is with the completed Olaf the Snowman
My mom, who hasn’t seen Frozen, loved that the kids wanted to name the snowman Olaf because she had a Great Uncle Olaf. Yeah, that is how Norwegian we are.
There were hours and hours of fun. I didn’t get photos of my Mom trying to drive the 4Wheeler up a hill with thigh deep snow because I was too busy pushing the 4Wheeler up the hill. I should have take more video but I think the photos do a pretty good job showing the joy the kids and Papa and Nama feel while playing in the snow at the cabin.
Like all things there must be an end, for us we played until the sun set and then it was time to go inside for hot chocolate.
The kids got two full days outside at the cabin and that alone was worth the 10 hour drive. All the Christmas at the Cabin photos can be found here.
We drove from the Shannons to the Clutes on Christmas day and stayed at the Cabin until the 29th. It wasn’t the longest Christmas break, but we had to beat a snow storm so we headed home a day earlier than planned.
Even though we only had 3 full days at the Cabin we packed those days full. Instead of breaking down the photos into days I am just going to break them into two posts “inside” and “outside” photos.
Inside at the Cabin.
Elise’s favorite Christmas present this year was not the gift I bought on Amazon and rush shipped to our house in order for her to be able to open it at our family Christmas. Nope, her favorite gift was handmade from her Great Grandma Moo. Great Grandma made Elise and her dolls matching flannel night gowns and she loved them! Nama knit the matching slippers, hat and scarf. (More photos and another post on the pjs soon)
My parents indulged Michael’s love of video games and played with him whenever it was too cold to be outside.
Probably the most anticipated gift for everyone to watch being opened was the keyboard Nama and Papa gave to Patrick. We all knew that he would love it and we have been talking about this moment for months. My mom, sister and I all thought we would see Patrick’s signature happy dance when he ripped the paper off the box. That didn’t happen. There was no happy dance. When he tore the paper off the biggest gift under the tree you could almost hear the comedic “whomp whomp whomp” He couldn’t have cared less. The next day my mom set up the keyboard and that is when he fell in love. Here he is sharing a proud moment repeating back to my mom “Middle C is the most important key”
There was hot chocolate.
and more video games. (it was cold!)
There was coloring (with her dolls of course)
And even some bongo playing.
There was lots of music, endless yummy food and a warm fire blazing. Christmas at the cabin doesn’t get much better… unless it is warm enough to play outside!
Tim snapped this photo of me rolling out cookie dough for the kids at the Shannons. My two favorite things about the Shannons are that our kids have cousins close to their age to play with.
And secondly, but really, is probably my absolute favorite…. there are 7 of us “grown up kids” that all love to play board games. When the kids go to sleep I get to play with my siblings-in-law.
I was able to use my Christmas gifts from Tim (I posted about it here) to attempt to get a photo of all the Shannons together. The tripod was awesome and the remote worked great but the lighting was tough so I am going on the record now – TIM I want a flash for my camera. Please someone remind him of this come December 🙂
Here is a photo of the whole clan. It was the only one that had everyone looking in the same direction and every head was visible.
Here is the original Shannon bunch before Carmen and I came into the mix and shook things up a bit and added a dash of chaos. (Notice how my built-in flash lights everything up but also washes people out and make glares on glasses)
And here are a few of my favorite candids.
Oh, and not for nothing, the next picture is of Steve and today is his Birthday.
Waiting for your turn to open your presents in a family of 14 is really really hard.
This one is a close runner-up. Some day these two will gang up on the three big boys and take over the family.
One of my favorite things that Tim does with our children is story time every night before bed.
It is a favorite, because by the time that Tim comes home I am done. I have reached my limit of mommyhood for the day and I need a break. Tim comes home every day excited to see the kids and the kids are pumped to see him. I don’t know how he is able to leave work at work (even when he is on call 24/7) but he does and it is the best gift he can give to our kids. No matter how rough a day he had at work he walks through the door with a smile on his face. I love him for that.
Story time is an extension of that. The kids take turns choosing books. They don’t always like what the other has chosen, but they love Daddy reading to them so much that in the end it doesn’t matter if it is a Princess book with simple story line, a Lego Super Hero book that is more comic book than story, or a reference book from the school library about weather.
Over Christmas Tim and I took turns reading at story time. The photos below were taken on one of his nights of reading at the Shannon house. The kids had behaved surprisingly well, so I didn’t flee from them the minute it was bed time, this time I stuck around with the goal of capturing this special time between Tim and the kids. The lighting was rough so I didn’t get the perfect photo I hoped for but I am still happy I intruded on story time and got the photos I did.
I hope the kids cherish the memory of Tim reading to them for many many years.
a couple more photos here