Christmas 2013

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“The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.”
― Dr. Seuss, writing The Cat in the Hat, presumably on any given day...  in Michigan.


Truth be told, t'was beautiful to behold.

But at 2:30 am that night, when the power went out, it was far less enchanting.


The family assembles to enjoy the movie Elf

Quickly becoming a tradition!

Mark and Jeff reminisce our time... before the fire... in which we burn. Dr. Soran


Goofing with the cousins


Sasha build a habitat for some dolls.


Cookie Time!

Anya and Sasha and Lucy get to work

Holly contemplates her strategy before she begins

Anya likes to add some sticky licky to her cookies


Hey girls!....

.... Look over here!

Mark and Angela create their masterpieces

These photos were downloaded from a surveillance drone that buzzed the room for a few minutes.

2 down...   17 to go.

Looking nice.  Cookies are coming together.

Another Christmas miracle.  A sweet delicious miracle.  Well done!


Cousin pile

Silly poses and a photo bomb by Jeff

Confronted, the bomber savagely lashes out at the weaker of the herd.

Night feeding in the wilds of St. Johns.

Our annual offering to the dark woods on Christmas Eve.

Lisa wears "The Bonnet of Weihnachtsmann" to ward off negative energies.

Tis said that a fearsome, yet Jolly, specter enchants these environs.  

It has been known to appear as a white cloud of "ill vapor."  Children appear to be immune though, so Anya was fine.

Seeing the cloud approach, Sasha quickly grabs more alms from the bag.

All clear.  Another successful Christmas Eve.

Let us hope that the Yule Wraiths are sated.

PJ party!

Another Christmas tradition

As demanded by Santa, the children are "swaddled in fibers wove new."

Fashion show!

Is it obvious that these kids watch Project Runway?

Looking good kiddies, now of to bed!


You too Anya!

Before the free-for-all begins


The calm before the storm

Santa has been busy


The room is ready


The stockings are hung, the children are awake and poised for attack.

Then for no good reason, the children are pushed aside and the adults all rush down the stairs.

Finally Grandpa lets them join the fun.

Sasha begins her inventory

Sailor Moon.  Check.

Emily The Strange.  Check.

OMG!  Santa got Anya her own Kindle Fire!

More Emily Strange.  Books and Games.


Lucy gets new dolls


Sylvia gets The Beatles Rock Band game!


Sasha checks out her anime drawing guide and art kit

Anya still Kindling

Sasha on her Emily blanket

Now it's time for presents from Mommy & Daddy

Star Wars books for Sashi.  Kindle Fire for Lucy!


Singing Soft Kitty for Anya

Minecraft Torch for Sasha

Fairy Calendar

A cool poetry book for Anya and a family yacht for Sasha

Minecraft.  They Might Be Giants.

La La Loopsies for all!

More stuff

Sailor Moon purse

Combat boots for Sylvia and Adventure Time for Anya


Anya gets some Emily gear too!


Kindle Kids!

A lull in the gift ripping

Stocking time!

Mark finally got his Disney Princess poster, so that calmed him down a bit.

More stocking stuff

Holly got some goodies too!

Winter has come...  to Mark.  Pet Shops have come...  to Sasha.

Looting the loot

Scarves and Rock N Roll.  Living the life.


May the stockings be ever in your favor.

"A beer and a glass to drink it.  That's all I ask."  ― Mark Fisher

Grandma and Grandpa saved theirs for last!


Dressed up for Rowland Formal Christmas festivities

Angela assembles the Fruit Pizza


Kids all dressed in their fineries

Beatles early draft (rejected):  Lucy in the chair with Dollies


Christmas Girl.  And a Christmas prisoner.


Alan and Maisy have another stupid argument that ends in them ignoring each other.  

Sasha arranges the cookies

The spread

Lisa arranges.  Holly plans her attack.

The elders confer with Tess

Holly longs for a more perfect family


But she's stuck with us.

Food eaten.  Lets get down to business.


Night vision gear and Nerf weaponry for all.

Monster High dolls

More Monster High and a Whiteboard to log grievances

Minecraft poster

A big box full of Ninja gear.


Nerf Bow and Arrow.  Let the Hunger Games Begin!

Anya slays Jeff just to test her new ninja gear.  Are we all so disposable Anya?


Lisa gets something.  A sock maybe?


Mark gets a heartfelt gift from Alan

A T-Shirt, once accepted, denotes unbreakable lifetime binding membership in the Rush Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies.

Jeff enjoys his lady.  Holly gets coffee!  Hurray!


Lisa gets her favorite book from Anya's collection.

Jeff gets some cool Spidey figures from Alan

Then the long overdue proposal, including the Pretty Woman ring box trick!

The happy bride

Quickly consummated as per the new Michigan Gay marriage laws.

Previous marriage void.  "Dig my new arc reactor ring baby!  My man knows what I like!"


Holly gets a cool new book and Angela has a place to stash her sewing gear.  Instead of leaving needles and tatting shuttles all over the house.


Victory is not in the cards for Tess.  


You look guilty Sasha.  What have you done?


Mark & Angela surprised the whole family with a new baby just 2 days after Christmas!

Once again the kids gather around a tree festooned an surrounded by more gifts than on any of the days prior. 


Will the presents ever end?  We hope not!

This year Christmas 3 celebrated the tastes and customs of Spain.

Our meal started with Tapas


Lisa and Alan create the first course.  Holly comforts Anya with assurances that she doesn't have to eat any of the gross Spanish food.


Lucy is more adventurous.

The presents continue to amass

Soon Sasha is swallowed up by the surge


Tapas time

The children read their prepared statements.  (Enlightening us as to the strange and foreign land of Spain.)


Anya starts the presenting

A giant La La Loopsie!

Sasha goes from Monster High game to Microscope

Anya loves her Loopsie

Alert.  Alert.  Robot backpack.

Anya poses with her loot.  Lucy gets some help from Grandma & Grandpa setting up her car and camper.

Sasha peruses the weaponized virus slides that came with her microscope.  Hey, where did the Ebola sample go? 

These Winks brought Anya to the brink me thinks

Creepers and Troopers makes Sasha a happy girl.

Presents open, the kids resume their texting and tweeting and blurging and zooping and nerping and blop-stobbing.


Meanwhile in the kitchen the Paella Princesses stir away.

Back in the living room Dance Party

The traditional Spanish dance in celebration of the coming paella.  I assume.


Plates are heaped and the feast resumes.

After 3 days, someone finally noticed this box out in a snow bank next to the porch.  Just in time, she only lost 3 toes to frostbite.


Elder Christmas.  Even the elders get presents?  It's a Spanish Festivus Miracle.


Tess is the most comfortable cousin to pile and relax upon after a big meal.


The snow and ice and cold finally let up for a few hours so the kids could get in some play time.


Anya builds her army

Sasha makes a friend

Heading over to the other side of the yard

Snowball fight!

Now what?

The snow people summon Uncle Jeff with their unholy telekinetic powers to bring forth sleds.

Let there be sleds!

Riding down Mt. Rowland

Anya tries some tricky backward sliding.  Anna goes face first.

Sasha teeters recklessly over the precipice


Anya slides with gusto

Sasha demonstrates the seldom seen Reverse Balasana (Childs Pose)


Anya claims victory over nothing.  (Probably due to snow madness.)

The Last Supper

Anya looks happy with her noodles.  Look at her technique in the second picture.  Mark, of course, is outraged by her crude table manners.


A final hug with Tess.

Goodbye morning at the Rowlands.


Farewell to the Fishers and their Tree of Plenty

Cousin Cuddling

Anya bids farewell to Maisy.

Hugs for Grandma & Grandpa

Good bye Michigan.  See you next Year!


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