Family Christmas Weekend

The weekend before Christmas we got together with my mom’s side of the family for our annual “Vicini Christmas”. This get together has been going on as long as I can remember, really – my Mom hosted it for years on Christmas eve .

We especially look forward to the weekend because it is another opportunity to for the kids to get together with all their McCarrens cousins. Sam, Julia and Sophia are all within 9 months of age, so it is especially fun to see them grow up together, and to see their how there personalities mesh (and don’t) with each other. Maddie trails after them all, but seems to be especially drawn to Julia’s quiet nature.

Its not an easy task to get everyone sitting down and smiling at the camera – at the same time.

Especially Max – here he is!

The kids opened their presents to each other and (in the case of Sophia, Julia and Max, who stay in St. Louis for Christmas Eve), from Mimi and Papa. It was utter chaos, and I think Papa could have used a pair of earplugs, but it was fun to watch.

Anything relating to Fancy Nancy is a huge hit with Maddie, and Sam loves his tractors. (As does Max! They each received a set of tractors & farm equipment, and were busy with them the rest of the day.) Sophia and Julia looked beautiful in their fairy princess tutus and wings, although Sophia didn’t keep hers on long enough for me to get a picture of her!

(Bob did. I guess I’ll need to steal it off of their blog…)

And as always, Mimi’s nativity provides hours of activity for everyone. So many animals to arrange, and the baby Jesus for Maddie to sing to…

A few more pictures that just struck me:

Pretty, sweet Julia

Max, with his ever-present blankie.

A tired Sophia has a quiet moment with her daddy and Junie B. Jones

And a not-so-quiet moment as Maddie enjoys Sophia’s new microphone! (which is not needed by either of them in reality)

I think this is the closest Max got to me all weekend. If he wasn’t with Bob, Pete seemed to be an acceptable substitute, but that was it.

And the tshirt pretty much sums it up:

Later that day, we went to my cousin’s house for a potluck dinner with much of the extended family on my Mom’s side. Its great to be able to actually sit and visit with family we don’t always get to see – while the kids ran around with each other. Kudos go Katie and Joey for herding sheep all night (and Joey, for taking all the abuse they dished out. I think by the time we left, he was missing one shoe and one sock.)

Its a wonderful way to begin our Christmas holiday!

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