January 14, 2012

Christmas at Lake Lure

Christmas with the Jollys and Denisons was in Lake Lure again this year. We have stayed in this house the past two years and I love it. It fits us all (which is not easy), is right on the lake and is in a resort with lots to do. Thankfully the weather was very nice this year and we got outside quite a bit. Last year there was snow on the ground and it was freezing, so this was a nice change. We got to stay four nights this year and it was so relaxing. We played games, took naps, read books and ate waaaaay too much!

Our lovely house. I really want to go here in the summer!

Just down the street from the house is a lake beach and play ground as well as a fitness center, indoor pool, putt putt, basketball courts, etc. This is the view. I just love Lake Lure.

Bald Mountain as seen from the lake beach.

I didn't get a picture of all the gifts. The adults exchanged gifts our first night there after the kids went to bed. This is what was left for the kids. They must have been good!

Bahumbug! :)

Becky and Jacob

Kate in her new apron with her kitchen utensils.

B was excited about this "huge" gift!

My little penguin.

The aftermath

The next generation of Jollys...except none of them will have the last name Jolly! That's kind of sad.

Ben and Uncle Steve working on the annual puzzle. I have no patience for puzzles!

Holly's dad, James, came for a visit since it's only 20 minutes from my hometown. Here is Braden and James having some guy time!

James and the babies. Judy would be so jealous! She always hated when the kids gave him more attention than her.

GranJan made these reindeer for the big kids. Here she is showing Kate how to ride. What a great gift!

Kate found a new friend...Uncle Tyler!

I see lots of this in our future! So glad Braden has boy cousins to romp around with!

We loaded up the kids one afternoon and headed to the park down the street.

Braden, Aubrey, Papa and Kate

Jacob the monkey

Captain Aubrey

Decorating cookies

Papa and Jacob


I have to admit I really enjoyed this activity! The looked pretty, but tasted nasty! They were giving away these cookie kits at Kroger a couple days after Christmas so I couldn't say no to free! We had fun and the kids thought they were scrumptious!

My Kate always likes to make herself at home wherever she goes!

Oh my!


Becky sporting her birthday outfit from yours truly!

New Years Eve was about 60 degrees so we went back to the playground.

Steering the ship

Love these two!

No matter how big they get, they all love slides!

Braden and Kate with the grandparents.

Sweet Daddy

New Years Eve left only my family and my parents at the house. Ben and I got a little crazy and played Jenga. haha! I don't think it ever fell, we just ran out of places to remove blocks. It's probably better for our marriage that nobody won!

We were making some frozen drinks and Braden wanted some. We made him frozen lemonade and he was slightly excited! Only GranJan and I lasted until midnight. After years of hosting New Years Eve, I really enjoyed this. Maybe when we have older kids I will want to party again, but for now sleep just sounds better! Plus, if all our friends that used to come to our parties came now we would have like 40 kids under 7! No thanks.

Before we packed up to leave Braden and GranJan got in a game of Memory.

A good indicator that we had a great Christmas: kids knocked out in the back seat! Braden literally slept from driveway to driveway! Kate slept an hour which is about triple her norm for car naps! Success!

We really did have a great Christmas in Nashville, Knoxville and Lake Lure. I'm so glad we are still able to celebrate with both mine and Ben's family. The only thing missing this year was Conway and Sandy and Chris and Nikki. Uncle Conway broke his hip in early December and was still in a rehab center on Christmas. We have been praying for him and are thankful he is at home recovering now. Nikki and Chris were unable to get off work to travel all the way from Maui! Maybe next year we should just go visit them! :)

January 9, 2012

Christmas Day

On Christmas Eve we drove back to Knoxville after the festivities at Connie's house. We left late and lost an hour due to time change so we got home at midnight! Would you believe the kids didn't even sleep on the drive home! They must have been too excited for Christmas. I was so exhausted but had to get everything unpacked, put away (or at least out of living room) and then play Santa. It was so fun! I videoed the kids coming down stairs and seeing their gifts so I don't have any great pictures, but in 30 years I'm sure these pictures will be sufficient.

The living room all set up for Christmas morning.

K was so excited for her stroller and Cabbage Patch kid. Sadly, she would have been just as happy with only that ball!

Braden got this marshmallowy Clone Trooper sucker. We had to stop all gift opening and such so he could eat it right then. I knew I should have gotten Kate one too! Next year I have to be sure to be more even on their stocking stuffers.

I love how Kate is holding the baby by the leg!

Christmas breakfast: Cinnamon rolls, bacon and strawberries.

Ben made us a fire. I think it was the 3rd time ever at this house, but it made the atmosphere nice and cozy.

After breakfast we got ready for church. I liked Christmas being on a Sunday and getting to go to church and worship to Christmas Hymns. What better way to celebrate Christmas! It was a great reminder of why we do celebrate and a nice break from all the gifts and busyness.

The best I could get beneath the tree and it's blurry! Bummer.

This is what happens when you have 4 Christmases in 48 hours combined with lack of sleep and too many gifts for her own good!

Going out to dinner. Several years ago we started getting take out on our way home from Nashville on Christmas Day. Not much is open but we found Smoky Mountain Brewery. We got take out from there for a couple years. Then we started coming home on Christmas Eve and decided we would continue the tradition so we always go eat there for Christmas dinner. It's nice because we don't have family in town and I don't have to try and create a huge feast for our small family.

Our kids have a history of doing horribly at restaurants. However, they did great and I felt like it was their gift to me! :)

Each booth had it's own TV. My sweet husband let us watch A Christmas Story (which he hates) instead of football. I had to document since I'm pretty sure we have never watched it together.

Then we went home and had Jesus a birthday party. I forgot to take a picture of the cake, but it was nothing to write home about. Braden picked the flavors: strawberry cake with chocolate icing. It was a hit!

It was another great Christmas. I am so thankful that Ben has never had to work Christmas Day. That is not common for a nurse. He always works the day after and many other holidays throughout the year so he can be with his family on Christmas.

Coming soon: Christmas with the Jollys :)