Brian, Naomi and the kiddos arrived later on and we had some good time catching up before heading to bed for the evening. The next day was so nice - we got to sleep in (those of us without kids anyway!) and I loved coming out of my room there in my PJ's with no agenda for the day, well besides cuddling with sweet little Lark!
We took that time to open our gifts together and I loved watching our nephew JJ open his - the excitement of a two year old! He is obsessed with jammies and garbage trucks, so his joy in opening those gifts was so fun to watch. I got an awesome wok to cook in, a pretty sweater, necklace, a reflective running jacket among other things - spoiled again! So after we cleaned up our paper mess, Tyge, his dad Denny, brother Brian, JJ ,and I got our outdoor gear on and took the four wheelers down the road a bit to a park to play. We must have been quite the sight with Brian, JJ, and Denny on one four wheeler and Tyge, Keely, and me on the other! Keely was a good rider and looooved sniffing the air as we drove. We all played at the park and I loved pushing JJ on the swings as he said "I'm having so much fun!" over and over again - sweet boy! It was unusually nice out for late December so we took advantage and stayed outside awhile.
A very funny video Brian took of JJ swinging and us adults spinning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44a0UaQKXWM
When we got back we showered up and headed to Christmas Eve service at his parents church, followed by the traditional meal of ham, veggie pizza, potato salad and a million cookies at his grandpa and grandma's. We had a nice time chatting with his family there and stuffing our faces, which seemed to be the theme of the weekend for me. :)
Sunday morning we got up for Christmas Day service then had a quick break at home to snap some pictures.
We then headed to his aunt and uncle's across the lake for the family Christmas gathering. We had apps and drinks in the early afternoon and a full meal later on - I ate for 5 hours straight! I had some nice conversations with his cousins and family, we took more family photos, and we enjoyed playing a spinner game to hand out the gift certificates everyone bought to share.
JJ won a chocolate bar!
Spinner game in front of Ray & Suzanne's beautiful Christmas tree
The girls in their Christmas dresses (Lark and Adalyn - Tyge's cousin's little one)
Once home, we all put comfies on and watched the movie "The Grace Card" - a neat story about the grace and love of Jesus. After the movie we had a "family meeting" where we reviewed our goals from last year and set new ones for 2012 - it was great to connect that way and learn how we can support things that are important to each other in the upcoming year.
Monday morning we slept in again and the ladies hung out a but while the men had four wheeler races on the lake. Brian, Naomi, and the kids left early afternoon so Tyge and his folks and I went to Hibbing to see a movie. We saw War Horse, which I recommend - very good film! After that we met his aunt Jill and cousins Timmy and Travis to have a birthday dinner for Jill. Stuffed once again, we headed home and hung out for the rest of the night.
Tuesday was an awesome day starting with once again, sleeping in and breakfast, then we changed into outdoor gear to get ready for our hike! Tyge and his family leases 300 acres of deer hunting land that I've never been to, so we all (Keely included) piled into the Yukon and drove out there. We parked and walked around for a few hours - Keely had a ball! It was so neat to see the land he fondly talks about, and I so enjoyed walking around in the cool weather surrounded by beautiful scenery. Tyge got some great photos:
I'm having the best time, Mom!
Wolf tracks - HUGE ones!
Joen and me
(The bulge on my front is Keely's water bottle in my coat pocket, not the 25 cookies I ate - though it could partially be that...)
Pretty frozen stream
My regal hunter girl
Keely found a stick!
When we got back we cooked my yummy stuffed squashes for dinner and watched two more movies. I seriously wore the same red and white bottoms and red fleece sweatshirt every morning and night for 6 days straight - haha! We woke up Wednesday morning and had a delicious brunch ala Denny, worked from our laptops a bit, and packed up to head home.
Because this summer was so atypical with all they had going on, Tyge and I hadn't been up North since the 4th of July (together anyway, he had been for hunting). I really enjoyed the extended time we were able to spend there with his parents, brother and sister, and niece and nephew. Lots of laughs, plenty of QT, good food, too many cookies, mornings to sleep in, and evenings to count our blessings, of which there were many! Despite the tough year 2011 was for a few reasons (namely cancer and miscarriage) we all came out the other side more grateful, closer to Jesus, and closer to each other I believe.
Do we have to leave Mom? I love it at the lake!Anyway, we're back at home now and have the rest of the week off. I'll work from home a bit, and have plenty to do before our NYE party on Saturday! Taking Christmas down (so sad!), cleaning the house, shopping for everything, end of year eye and dentist appointments, Notre Dame Bowl Game, dinner with another couple, then party time - lots to do in the next few days!
I'll be back to post in 2012 about our party - see you next year!