Our normal Christmas Eve tradition is to make a bunch of hors d'oeuvres but his year Ben offered to make his home made taco's. How could we refuse that? They were really good too. Christmas Eve Grandma Shaw showed up and with her arrival we were now out of beds and bedrooms. Neither Grandma nor I could afford to put her up in a hotel room for two weeks so I was going to make a little "apartment" for her in the garage. Lucky for Grandma, Ben felt sorry for her and offered up his bedroom and him and Sharley are sleeping on a blow up mattress on the floor. That was very good of him but I feel bad because we have a lot of late nights around here. The late nights are not a problem for Ben because it is usually with us "boys" that are up late playing "Settlers" but Sharley is in the other room trying to get some sleep while we're all yelling and screaming in the other room. To make it worse she has been sick too.
With Grandma we are now at seventeen people. There is Lisa and myself, Kira, Justin and their two kids. Brandon, Serene and their two kids. Ben and Sharley (and their cat). Alycia and Trevor, Alex and Sarah and then Grandma.
With seventeen people in the house we have a lot of presents under the tree. On Christmas Eve it is a tradition of ours to have a talent show. I think Trevor and Sharley were a little nervous but we all had a lot of fun. To call it a talent show is a bit generous because our "talent" can be just about anything. One year Ben demonstrated how he could get a dozen or so Ritz crackers in his mouth. That was impressive. This year Sarah shared her racing times from cross-country. Alex showed of the hair that he can now grow on his chest. He has a large dark patch on his chest sort of like a birth mark and that is where the hair is growing, Alycia actually played a song that Trevor taught her on the guitar. Trevor did a magic trick where he levitated his body. I'm still trying to figure out how he did that. Ben and Sharley shared matching tatoo's that they've discovered. They have matching ink spots in their skin where at some point in their lives they were stabbed with a pen. Brandon shared his new body, Serene cooked some souffle's, Sydney told us the colors of the lights on the tree, Hayley did a dance (with a lot of help from Brandon), Kira showed off her muscles that she has developed in his shoulders packing around two twenty pound boys. I must admit that it was quite impressive too. Justin showed a video of himself bungee jumping and other extreme sports events. The coolest was where they dropped him 200 feet into a net. Wow. Evan read a book, Landon dressed up as a Sumo wrestler (that was really good) and I shared my element collection. Since I've started at Hi-Z I have access to a lot of chemicals so I decided to start a collection. Some of the elements I've been able to collect are silicon, gadolinium, boron, barium, magnesium, aluminum, carbon, copper, iron, lead, tellurium, indium, germanium, gold, silver, nickel, molybdenum, titanium, and I'm sure there's more but I don't know off the top fo my head. I need to figure out how I'm going to do the very toxic, radioactive or explosive elements. The gases could be tricky too but I can seal those in quartz. On Christmas Eve we also went caroling to some of our neighbours. We've been doing that since the kids were little so it was fun for them to see our grown kids with children of their own.
For Christmas I won't take the time to share everyone's gifts with you but I got some cool stuff. A couple of books, a Star Trek tree ornament (very cool), nuts, candy, socks, a portable gas barbecue, the Star Trek movie, another movie called "Follow Me Boys" which is a very old movie about a scout troop (appropriate for me), tickets for a Gondola ride in the San Diego Bay (that aught to be fun) and I'm not sure what more but there is more. Later in the day of Christmas Day we walked along Christmas Card lane.
Saturday was a special day. We wanted to go to the temple as a family but since Alex and Sarah can't attend the endowment part of the temple sessions we followed the endowment session with baptisms which Alex and Sarah can do. It was pretty special to see every member of my family sitting there in the temple. Sarah figures that should become a new family tradition and I think I tend to agree.
Today is Sunday and we all went to church and showed of my Grand kids to the ward. That was fun. This afternoon we've just sat around playing games, watching movies and eating. I'm not exactly sure what Lisa has planned for the rest of the week but I know tomorrow we're taking the grand kids to the zoo. It has been many years since I've been to the zoo so I'm looking forward to it.
Evan loves Grandma's nativity sets.
Alex gave Sarah a "T" shirt from his fraternity.
Here come the kids on Christmas morning.
Trevor isn't exactly sure about babies but it looks like he's starting to warm up to them.
Alex is ready to go snow boarding.
That is a lot of people for Christmas dinner.
Pretty much every night we play "Settlers of Catan" until the wee hours of the morning. Typically around 2:00. It is going to be tough for Ben now because he needs to drive to Anaheim for work every morning.
--------------------trivia-------------------The fossil record shows that Whales are descended from an animal that looked a lot like a large dog and ran on land.