"Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values." ~Thomas S. Monson
So many events this week, it's hard to believe they all took place over 7 days! With no snow in sight, buddies Emma and Cam enjoyed playing outside while the temps stayed fairly mild.
Jane and Michelle ventured with Cam to Breton Village on Wednesday (two days before Christmas!) to brave a free photo opp with Santa. Cam was eager with anticipation and actually survived the (gulp) 90 minute wait we endured. We were witness to many kids who didn't fare as well.
During their chat together, Cam asked Santa where Mrs. Claus was and asked him for a robot, please. Jane explained that his parents were helping out with that present. Cam thanked Santa and was very happy that he was able to see him.
Oma and Opa arrived the next afternoon on Christmas Eve. We met our good friends, the Raisch family, at church for an early service and then enjoyed a most delicious dinner at their home.
With our full bellies, Oma, Cam and Jane then drove around the area and found the most decorated yards for the holiday season.
Upon arrival home, it was time to ready the tray for Santa. The jar is a new addition this year- reindeer food!
Cam had a good night's sleep and awoke the next morning exclaiming Merry Christmas!
We had a leisurely morning of breakfast, taking turns opening gifts, and waiting with anticipation for someone to open a favorite item wrapped. It is so true for our family that giving is often times more rewarding than receiving.
Among Cam's favorites were the personalized suitcase from Oma and Opa and robots from Chris and Jane.
Jane and her mom had a good laugh when they discovered they were both thinking the same thing without even talking to each other about it.
Oma had a personalized cooking apron made for Cam.
Jane ordered aprons personalized with the names Oma and Opa!
It was such a relaxing day and we were so thankful to have Cam's grandparents with us for 4 whole days!
On Dec. 27th, we hosted the Jellema cousin party at our home and greeted 45 people (please note we were still missing quite a few cousin families!).
After our potluck dinner, the kids played and adults chatted.
Each and every year for more than 40 years, Santa has made a personal stop at the Jellema cousin party and this year was no exception. 15 kids gathered around while Santa found two small presents in his big cloth bag for each younger cousin. Cam couldn't believe Santa was in his house!
We have many family members and extended family who celebrated with us and sent such wonderful gifts this Christmas and we thank you all so very much!
By far, though, our most special gift this Christmas is one that Chris built and created for us.
(Being the humble and gracious, giving man that he is, he created an instruction video so others could complete the project.)
This incredible handmade picture frame is now installed on our living room wall where we will see it every day and be reminded of the smiles and love that surround this home.
Upon Cam opening his new travel suitcase roller bag for an April 2016 trip to New Orleans...
"Can I go pack now, please!"
After having a few turns of present unwrapping right in a row, Cam's parents told him that someone else needed to take a turn..
"Ok, Mom, you go first...(short pause)...and I'll go second."
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