Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas with Cousins

This weekend (26th through today), my parents (Jeff & Sue) were able to visit with my nieces (my sister Melissa's girls - Laila & Hannah).  It was such a blessing to have them visit and for the cousins to spend some time together.  This is the first time that Laila and Hannah met Raven, and Julia hadn't seen Laila or Hannah since March.  Considering how much Julia has 'grown up' in the last nine months, I was really looking forward to the girls spending time together as Julia is better able to interact and play with other kids.

We allowed Julia to stay up until they arrived Saturday night, knowing that they wouldn't get to spend much time together beyond yesterday/Sunday.  The girls had a lot of fun bouncing around on the air mattress.  On Sunday, the girls stayed home with Papa and Grammy while Adam and I went to church.  After church, we watched the Packers together and Adam really experienced his nieces at that point... he was Uncle Jungle Gym for a little while and it sure was fun watching them bond together!

After Julia woke up from her nap, we had "Christmas".  The girls received some really cute ornaments (yay, Raven received her first and so-far-only "Baby's First Christmas" ornament -- thanks, Papa & Grammy!).  Julia and I received super CUTE aprons (can't wait to get in the kitchen and cook with her in them!) and Raven received some cute outfits.  Grammy loved her sewing machine and Papa likes his new jeans and books.  The Iowa Santa also brought gifts for Laila and Hannah and very quickly Barbie, Little Pet Shop, and Strawberry Shortcake pieces were strewn around the living room.  :)  Raven and Adam were pooped and took a quick snooze during all of the unwrapping happenings.

Julia made sure that she was involved in whatever the Big Girls were doing, even if that meant simply sitting at the island on the bar stools.  Adam thought it would be fun to teach the girls how to play Candyland, as we thought it would be a game that Julia would enjoy, and even though Adam officially "won", Hannah ended up coming from behind and beating Julia and Laila (much to Laila's disappointment). 

While Papa and Erin were off buying much needed supplies at Wal-Mart after viewing the De Vries lights, Adam whipped out harmonicas and each of the girls played and played on them and were excited to learn that they were allowed to take their harmonicas home with them.  Hopefully they didn't cause bleeding ears on the ride home today, and I'm sure Daddy Paul will be SO excited when he learned that Uncle Adam gave his daughters harmonicas as gifts...!  Sorry!  

They ended the night with more air mattress bouncing and then it was time to shut out the lights and hit the hay.  Laila and Hannah headed home with Papa and Grammy today (minus one little hamster which Auntie Erin promised to find and send on its way) with promises of visits from their cousins Julia and Raven soon.  We hope to make it north to Minnesota in February so that the girls have more time to get to know each other and spend more time together.


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