December: Holly's 50th Birthday, Star Wars & Christmas


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Holly's 50th Birthday! (part 1)

Fancy brunch at Citrus Cafe

Then back home for a few presents

A card from Aunt Mary includes Sasha's Steampunk sleeping mask that she left in Seattle.

Card from the kids

And one from Alan

Professor Cupcake also wishes Holly a happy 50th!

A card from mom & dad

 

and a hand blender!  The kids got mommy replacement headphones and earbuds for the ones that they steal from her at various times throughout the year.

 

Happy Birthday Mommy!


We had a few Christmas parties at work

This one had great catered snacks!


Sasha and Alan geared up for the first show premier of Star Wars: Rogue One

It was the coldest day of the year so far and we were not prepared to wait outside, but they eventually let us in after about 30 minutes in the Hoth-like cold.


A holiday potluck at work

Lots of yummy food!


Anya decided to build the Christmas tree this year.  Here she reviews the blueprints.

Then assembles all but the top of the tree.

Sasha joins in (after the hard work is done) to add decorations.  The kids did it all themselves this year!

Professor sits by her Charlie Brown tree.  Sasha shows off the gingerbread house she made at a sleepover.


Driving up to Michigan for the holiday.  Snow is encountered.

Anya loves the snow.  Battle of the "Michigan Pops" Creme Soda edition


The weather report said we would lose the snow over the next day or so, so Anya and Lucy take advantage while the can.

Snow Video 1

The snow wasn't packing on this day, so they hand to shovel it into piles to play with

Snow Video 2

The next day it got more packable an the snowmen were born

Anya made this little chibi snowman

House of Snow

Snow Video 3


Performing our dark ritual

the night feeding of the creatures of the night

To ward off the evil of the holiday season

And to play on parking lot snow piles

Christmas Cookie Crew

Cutters poised

Christmas Even PJs.  Twin Unicorns!

Decorating the cookies.

Great care and effort is employed under Mark's stern and forbidding supervision

final decor applied and Anya toasts a job well done


Stockings are hung from the banister with care...

...while entreaties to St. Nick are placed everywhere.

Christmas morning arrives

With the typical piles of riches

Each identified with a custom balloon

The Pile awaits.  Looks like this man of the Nightswatch may have dozed off during Santa's incursion.

Dawn brings the children

Quickly finding their stashes

Ukulelin Lucy and Scootin Anya

Sasha sports her saddled shoes, Holly hugs an elephant.

A new infusion of old tinker toys!

 

Grandpa appreciates Anya's classic toys

 

A super stoked Sasha officially receives the first phone of her own

 

Anya and her elephant find new slippers

As we near the end of our family binge of Star Trek Next Generation, Anya gets a Locutus figure and Sasha a Lt. Barclay!

More openings 

A cupcake and a CD from Anya to Sasha 

A Totoro shirt from Sasha to Anya.  Sylvia got a fully furnished new bedroom, like she won the showcase Showdown on The Price is Right!

Anya chills everybody out with her meditation bowl 

 

Dad get's the entire Far Side comic collection (I want that!) 

Anya puzzles over her puzzle bubble. 

a lull in the frenzy

 

Grandpa finds a big one still unopened 

A fancy new winter coat! 

Locutus is impressed, and wants to assimilate the coat for himself. 

Snacks in the stocking are discovered. 

Playing with the gifts 

Pick up sticks! 


Later in the day.  Christmas 2 begins. 

The food begins rolling out 

The next wave of presents begin to flood across the room 

We hug each other one last time and eat a bit to gather our strength before the present opening commences

Lucy sings a sweet serenade while we gorge

By tradition, we all wait until Angela takes first choice of all the good stuff.

Smiles everyone!

Everyone gathers and is ready for the presents (except Holly who catches some zzzzzz's)

Anya is crowned, and the opening begins

Sasha finally gets the long awaited 3rd edition of her Madoka Magica manga

Sylvia and Anna get something too small to see in the photos

Sweaters and shelves!

Angela opens her Glass Footed Trifle Dessert Bowl

Alan get's a cool Deadpool Sweatshirt!

Holly gets a chocolate orange

Mark get's a coat just like Dad!  Now they can be twinsies!

Jeff gets cool Kerbal Space Program swag!

Grandpa gets a book so he can finally learn about Michigan!

 

Anya was drawn by some type of force to this gift and Alan likes Pez.

A Wubble and an insiders Les MIs shirt

Present for Maddie from Sasha & Anya

 

Holly and several others get a similar shaped box.

 

Steps will be counted!

 

Mark gets something big from the Wisemans

A giant beer growler.  Now he can carry a flagon of ale anywhere he goes!

 

The Kerbals continue for Jeff

 

Anya also gets a Wubble

 

And a shirt to go with her crown!

 

Sasha gets a Hamilton shirt

Earrings for Tess

Anya gets a box of Tsum Tsum gear

Lots more presents

 

Jeff with the whole Kerbal giftset!

Grandpa gets a cagefull of seashells

A Star Wars book and pics of the cousins

Alan get's a computer dot to talk to

Anya gets Miserable(s)

More presents for Tess

Anya somehow finds humor in the proceedings

Lucy gets a smart watch and Holly gets a mug

Anya's very own sewing kit and a nautical blanket for Sasha's weird nautical obsession

Lastly Dad opens his Bob Newhart CD collection.


The Extreme Theater features extreme comfort and a extremely huge screen


Breakfast in Grandma & Grandpa's room with Aunt Mary!


Anya mixes herself a cocktail

All the goodies of Christmas 3

The Family Wiseman

Everyone still likes to carry around Anya

Christmas 3 also features Holly's 50th Birthday!

And a spread of amazing Cajun food!

All the Christmas girls

The gentlemen of Christmas

Everybody checking their phones to see if there is someone somewhere is having more fun

Enjoying the Cajun Christmas

 

Cousin pile

Grandpa keeps an eye on Tess and Joe

Mark, ever concerned with Global Warming

 

Nolyn and his friend who I remember ate a lot of toasted bread for dinner

 

Holly gets a lapful of birthday presents

First an old-timey Apple peeler

And then a bunch of MSU gear!

And then Jeff stole it all and took a little nappy

Happy Birthday time Video!

All gathered to sing to the birthday girl

Luckily Sasha had her phone to capture the event!

Lucy towers over Aunt Mary

And with this forced perspective, Mark is the same size as everyone else.


 

Sasha can't wait until she get's home.  She must scoot!

Scooter Video 1

Her favorite trick

Scooter Video 2

Scooter Video 3


At the final gathering of the season

One last chance to eat all the Christmas foods

And of course the entire family, from 12-75, enjoy the fellowship of Cards Against Humanity

One more pic before innocence is lost

And then the debauchery begins.


Stopping at Grandma & Grandpa Wiseman's house on the last night in Michigan.  Grandma get's a kitty apron!

Grandpa gets a book about never growing up

 

A superman birthday card

And his very own drone!  (and a birthday cake!)

Blowing out the candles

Breakfast before we hit the road

 

Bye bye Grandma & Grandpa!


A crazy chance encounter with the Boll family on the Pennsylvania Turnpike!

Happy New Year Video!


Back in Virginia...

Anya sets up a house for her "Bobby" sock dolls.

Another great Christmas in the history books!

 

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