Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas with Christina's Family

After our brief stint in Arizona, we went to visit Christina's family in New York. There was a lot of fun to be had. At one gathering just of family members, we had 11 children three years old and under, all together in one house! We had such a busy time that we really didn't take as many pictures as we should have, but we were lucky to spend time with family from the area, as well as family who came in from Virginia and California.

Christina's sister, Melissa, and her husband Jeff and baby girl Calynn were sweet and generous enough to host everyone. We stayed with them and had a great time, and so did everyone else who got to come over and spend time. Here they are with Steve. Melissa is holding our niece, Kate, who at nine months old is the same size as Clara and Elena! Jeff holds their daughter, Calynn, just three months old.

At one gathering, we got a shot of three out of the four sisters in Christina's family, with each of their children (all girls!). Yes, this really was the best shot of the lot that we got, but for Christina's sisters photos of the event you can click on Laura's site or Melissa's site.
One of just the little girls - again, this is as good as it got:
Aunt Laura had a great way of interacting with the girls. She introduced them to one of her girls' favorite foods - puffs. They are a special treat, as we don't give them to the girls on our own. You can see how much they love them, and how much their auntie loved sharing them.

It's hard to share with so many cousins the same age, but here Elena and Clara were sharing one of the favorite toys of the day with their cousin, Suki.

Christina's mom, who the girls have named Ahna Ahna, has worn Christmas pins since she was a little girl. One of Christina's favorite things about Christmas was seeing what pins her mom would wear, helping her pick them out, and eventually getting to wear some herself. Here, Elena shows some great interest in this tradition.
Aunt Laura counsels the girsl by the stairs - she might be working her baby magic to get them to stop trying to climb the stairs, but if she did, it wasn't 100% successful. We were lucky enough to end the trip with only one slight fall down one of the stairs, but it was definitely an uphill battle!

Steve and Clara share a quiet moment together in the midst of some hustle and bustle of a family gathering. They are engaging in our family coffee tradition - the girls squeal with delight as we grind coffee, then when we have a cup that is decently cooled they take pretend "sips" from the mug.

These pictures really don't capture the frenzied fun of those family-filled first days in New York, but it really was something!

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