Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving AND Christmas in Iowa City!!!

Because my cousin is dancing in a Bowl game in Florida right after Christmas and The Bechtels can't get to Iowa until after they leave, this will be the first Christmas in my 33 amazing years that we haven't seen our Houser Family at Christmas time. And while,after spending 2 days with them makes me long for more time with my favorite people, I'm so glad we were able to come together at Thanksgiving and spend just a few minutes spoiling the 4 youngest cousins ( and a few of the older ones too).

The kids were excited...especially when they saw that their bags were as big as they were!
Their cousins, Maddie and Brady gave some of thier old gifts that were exactly what the kids wanted, instead of shopping. They got TONS and TONS of stuff and all 4 kids were really happy to say they got their cousins stuff too. it was so generous and amazing!!!

The kids could have played for days!

We spent Friday night just hanging out. Eating, drinking, telling stories and playing games with some our our family's dearest friends. It was great. I loved getting my teenage cousin, Benjamin out of his dungeon and talking to me, about school and girls and cars and sports. One of my favorite memories of the weekend! I told him I must be his favorite cousin. Don't I look like his favorite cousin?!

Or maybe I'm Becky's favorite? She's married to my cousin Brad but I think of her as my own. She's my food, wine, shopping, talking, texting, dieting, everything cousin and I love her!

There was even some Math tutoring going on with Alinia and Dan. And yes, Mr. Bechtel would where that shirt to school.

Then we found my Auntie Doris' apron purchased in Rome.....enough said...or is it? Who looks better?

The girls! Mara loves having so many wonderful young ladies to look up to. ( where are you, Maddie?)

Brian is wearing a "Brad shirt". Not only because Brad and Becky bought this for Bri a couple of Christmases ago but because when Brad discovered how comfy and versatile and zip sweater could be, he bought as many as he could....he's taking over the world, one zip sweater at a time ( they both do look nice, though)

After a late night Friday night playing games, Saturday was much of the same. The Bechtels went back to Champaign after lunch but the rest of us stayed. The men, minus Dad and Dan, played Monopoly for HOURS!!!While Mara colored dozens of pictures and played with all her cousins and her new toys.

She did some snuggling with Phoenyx.After we decided $13 was too much to pay per person for a 3D movie, we agreed to stay in and rent. We had it narrowed down to Cars 2 and Spy Kids when I found Swiss Family Robinson in Auntie Doris' collection. We all were interested. So Saturday night was spent eating bowl after bowl of popcorn and taking in a Classic Disney movie-TOGETHER! it was great! We all loved it!

I love the Bechtel/Houser Family! I love every second I get to spend with you and I'm so blessed and honored to call you all my family!

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