Christmas Morning

The kids excitedly wait on the stairs to come down.  Tommy was also very excited to get up.  The teenager had not made an appearance yet.  

Santa brought Matt an ITunes gift card, Stevie new rollerblades, Chelsea a baton, and Marky a Skylanders set.  The kids were very happy.  

Marky was so excited to get the Skylanders.

Stevie made a Star Wars Lego ship kit for Marky.  It had pictures and instructions.  

 The tag was the "best."

Marky's reaction on opening the gift.  

Marky got Matt a big box of popcorn.  Matt was very excited about this gift.  

 Matt was also excited about Marky's Batman gift.  Matt would have loved this when he was little.  

My parents came up for the morning for breakfast and Tommy found himself a nice lap to sit on.  


Steve carving the ham.  

The boys in the garage enjoying some R&R after a big Christmas dinner.  

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December Extras

Here are some odds and ends as I try to catch up.
Chelsea making cookies again.  We were making cookies for Santa Claus.   So nice that she is old enough to take over some of the holiday baking.  

On Christmas Eve, Matt made the traditional clam chowder.  Grandpa couldn't make it.  He did a fantastic job!!!  He made this before he left to go sing at church. 
 Kids catching a picture of me as I spent a lot time on the computer ordering gifts.
Kindergartners winter concert.  It was the cutest.  Sadly though,  in the two concerts there were no Christmas songs. 

Even without Christmas songs, Kindergarten is my favorite concert with the songs "Little Toy Train," "Chocolate," "The World is a Rainbow," and "Celebrate."

Marky at the Fairmont Hotel in front of the largest gingerbread house.
Kate and Marky at the church Christmas party. 

Steven volunteering his time working at the Christmas party. 
Chelsea brought along Madison and Laynie. 

Chelsea and Mo at school,  celebrating Mo's birthday in November. 
Kate spent the night and this is what I saw when I opened the door in the morning. 
Matt as Winnie the Pooh at the Christmas parade. 

Marky writing out his numbers 1-100 for fun on the whiteboards. 
Mr. E called Marky a "Tolstoy."  Marky loves to write and wrote many sentences about "Gordo Gorilla."

Stevie running into Calvin at the grocery store.
Marky's Sharing Day. 

Random picture of me with Donald Duck.  He was a childhood favorite of mine.  The rest of the family happened to be on rides at the moment when Donald Duck walked up to me for a picture. 
Just another cute picture of Chelsea and Kimberly. 
Dog Sitting with Tommie.
All of our expressions.  We were all posed through the entire ride waiting to have our picture taken. 
 2011 Christmas Eve family picture.    Just found it. 
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Barcelona: Anniversary Celebration

Steve and I have had the opportunity to travel quite a bit the past year.  We have enjoyed trips to Paris, Dubai, and most recently to Barcelona. 

An opportunity came up to tag along with Steve to Barcelona in September. 
This is my new favorite city. 

We arrived in the morning and rallied to begin our of the city. 
Our first stop was La Sagrada Familia

I walked in and had to sit down for a few moments to take in the beauty. 

The camera can not capture the beauty of this place. 

We were just in awe of Gaudi's masterpieces.  This stop inspired me to spend the rest of the week exploring all of Gaudi's works. 

After visiting La Sagrada Familia, we began to walk around the City without a map. 

Enjoyed the locals playing bocci ball on a Sunday afternoon. 
We ended up walking around the entire city and didn't realize it until we got home
and looked at a map.

 Enjoying paella in a local restaurant. 
We were so exhausted.  Couldn't wait to get to sleep. 
 Gardens and Palace across the street from our hotel. 

Spent a day exploring Parc Guell.
 I was memorized by Gaudi's attention to detail. 

He was amusing at times. 

Steve and I went to La Predera.  Again, I could not even begin to absorb all the details.  Gaudi is a Genius!!

My favorite Gaudi architecture is Palau Guell.  I spent hours in the house.   The exterior of the house seems so unassuming (besides the iron gates), I had no idea the inside was so spectacular. 
To experience all of Gaudi's intricate engineering and artistry and then walk up and see these chimneys made me laugh. 
All the tourist information seem to downplay Palau Guell compared to the other Gaudi sites.  This by far was my favorite building of Gaudi.  It seemed to really capture his creative genius. 
The Market was beautiful!  Could not get over the beautiful assortment of produce, meats, eggs, juices, and all things food. 


The Cathedral is magnificent.  How incredible it would be to attend church on Sunday in one of these buildings. 
Enjoyed learning about Saint Eulalia who is entombed in the cathedral's crypt.
While we were there, Catalonia celebrated their Independence Day. 
All around the city everyone was coming to the center of the city dressed like this. 
The entire city shut down, so I spent my day here and ordered in. 
My feet were so sore.  It was such a nice respite.
Loved visiting the Museum of National Art of Catulunya.
We spent our anniversary at a Tapas Bar
and walking the streets of Barcelona listening to the street musicians.

Steve had meetings my last night in Barcelona.  I went to La Pepita recommended by the hotel staff.  Enjoyed a glass of Sangria with the locals.

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