Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christmas Eve

My mom's Christmas decorations are so magical every year.  She has such a talent for making things beautiful.  I had to post a few pictures of her fabulous dining room table centerpiece, it was magnificent.  This is where we had our Christmas Eve dinner, it created the perfect atmosphere for our holiday celebrations.

 In the hall way just outside of our dining room my mom created a magical woodland forest.  She thought all the grand kids would find it enchanting, which they definitely did.  Whenever any of them came to visit through out the Christmas season they would go take a little peek at all the cute little critters my mom had hidden amidst the pine.  I thought it was a cute and unique idea.

 My dad collects owls of all different shapes, sizes and materials.  It collection had definitely reached the triple digit numbers, his office is one HUGE parliament of owls.  The owl collection was what gave my mom the inspiration for her woodland forest, thus it was filled with numerous owls.

After dinner the Burton boys put on a delightful concert, they are so talented.  Andrew, John and Ben played some pieces on the piano.  Then John played a couple of songs on his clarinet, he just started lessons this fall, he can already play so well!  Andrew plays the bass, too bad that is such a hard instrument to take places it would have been fun to hear him play.

Every time the Burton's come to visit Bethy puts on a culture day and teaches all the kids about different places around the world and their different cultures.  It is usually centered around somewhere she had traveled to in that year, she had done a Japanese day, a Cambodia day and on Christmas eve she did a Swiss day and taught all the kids about the country she and Reece had been living in for the past 4.5 months. 

 We learned where Switzerland is on the globe, the kids had a hard time finding it it's so small!
She talked to them about the herds of sheep and cows that have bells around their necks and played a video she took of some cows so they could hear how pretty it sounds when they graze.

We learned about St. Bernards and why they are often seen with a small barrel around their neck

 Then we learned about L'Escalade, a very popular festival in Geneva that takes place in the beginning of December.  Long story short Escalade celebrates a very unique victory, when troops were coming to take over a castle one of the cooks saw them coming and poured boiling hot stew over the castle walls making the soliders retreat.  The kids really liked that story.

 Varying degrees of attentiveness from the kids, Will is my favorite in this picture, he is totally eating up the every word of the story.  After the kids had been told the story we reenacted it in my parent's stairwell.  Karin and her boys were the evil soldiers coming to storm the castle.
Evie and Nora were the cooks that were waiting for the right moment to pour their boiling hot stew onto the attacking soldiers.
The kids loved this part of the evening, we ended up reenacting the event several times.  Then bethy gave us all chocolate cauldrons which had little marzipan vegetables inside, apparently these are all over Geneva during the festival, I thought they were adorable.  Very "harry potteresque." 

Then it was time for the grandkids to open their one Christmas eve present, they were so excited!  Nora and Will had spent a majority of the day working on a family portrait which they presented to their parents as their Christmas eve present.  I love how they are such good friends!
Grammie also got a fun surprise Christmas eve gift.  Karin and gathered up all the kids and had them draw a nativity scene on a table clothe, it was so precious I had to include some close ups of some of the details.

Jens had taken some pretty cute pictures of the kids while they were making their wonderful masterpiece so I thought I would include some images of the process.

Will's Christmas eve present was an Animalia book, those books are INCREDIBLE and magical and awesome.

 Puzzles always play a large part in Johns family holidays, we just have a puzzling family ... bahahaha pun intended.  So Mike and I had been working on this puzzle basically all day, it was so hard.

 Come night time, when we had all changed into our Christmas PJs, we still hadn't finished. So after all the kiddos had gone to bed, finishing the puzzle became the family's number one priority.  I am proud to report that we did finally finish that beast and it was oh so satisfying!
                                                      Time to go to sleep so santa can come!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That's all really, just wow! In a really good, holy amazing family, house, everything awesome