Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Arrives a Month Early

Saturday was our last day together and we didn't let a moment slip us by without good times.
Since we were all together, we decided to have a mini-Christmas in the morning.  We had gifts for all of the kids.  For the adults, we draw names and some of them got to participate too.
The kids anxiously and patiently waited, but they kept their eyes toward the stack of gifts.
Hailey sat extra close to the gifts, just in case.
Finally, it was time to hand out gifts.
As the host of the house, Oliver handed out gifts with a little help from Aunt Stephanie.
As you would expect, he loved it!
Finally, it was time to tear into the gifts.

All of the kids got new bath towels from Aunt Lindsey and Uncle Jeff.
They are very soft and cozy and our kids love them!
All of the boys got matchbox cars from Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Brian.
If you're a boy (and some girls), you can't have enough match box cars.
Kellan was thrilled that his towel was his favorite color of "lellow".
Lauren even got a birthday gift that was picked out special the day before by Aunt Carrie and Aunt Lindsey.
I took this photo and didn't realize what she was opening.  I missed the big unveiling, so she replayed it later.
Kellan checking out his loot from Nana and Papa.
Oliver got a great new Under Armour football shirt from Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Brian.
Hey wait!
I missed Lauren opening her birthday gift.
She was so excited that she offered to open it again.
For her birthday, coordinating American Girl Denver shirts for her and her doll as well as matching pants.
Oliver got a new towel in his favorite color, silver.
They didn't have light silver, only charcoal, which is kind of like dark silver, right?
That's what we say it is, anyway.
Kellan showing his Mommy his super cool new Ralph Lauren shirt from Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Brian.
Lauren and Kaden still going for gifts.
New bracelet making kit and drawing kit from Aunt Carrie and Uncle Keith.
Hailey was having fun with her new stuff and the bags that it came in.
Keith and Carrie drew Stephanie's name and we were SO excited for her to open it.
There are real live photos, not posed (like I made Lauren do).

SO Excited!!

Ok, so this one is posed, but she's still SO excited!
We were so glad to get her exactly what she wanted; a bag that looked like a hand bag but was big enough for diapers and wipes.  I suspect she'll be carrying this bag for years to come, long after the diapers and wipes are needed.
Papa enjoyed looking a new car with William.
Hailey quickly talked her Daddy into reading a new book.
Nana was excited to get a new sweater to keep her warm and cozy from Stephanie and Brian.

Stephanie not only loved her new bag, but also the tag that came on the package.  She loved it so much that she put it on her coffee cup.
Oliver and Lauren quickly went to work making new rubber band bracelets with Lauren's new loom.
Kaden was excited to start drawing.
Oliver looks a tad concerned that the Lion on his book may jump out and roar at him.

Sometime later, Carrie opened her gifts from Lindsey and Jeff.
Just what was on the wish list; new work out clothes, a hat and gloves.
Thanks to EVERYONE for making this Saturday morning feel a little bit like a Christmas celebration together.
Thank you for all of the great gifts and for taking this holiday weekend from Thanksgiving straight into Christmas.

After cleaning up, I saw this super cute moment.
Oliver clearly loves his Uncle Brian.

That afternoon, Jeff and Lindsey were meeting friends for lunch.  When the family heard that they were all meeting at Woody's Pizza in Golden, the whole family decided to crash the party.
We had two tables full of Hamiltons and a few brave friends of Jeff and Lindsey.
Kellan was head of our table and it suited him well.
The other Hamilton table with our other son.
Yes, he wanted to sit with his cousins and didn't have any concern that he was on the other side of the room as his parents.  He's growing up SO fast!
The big cousins:
Oliver, Kaden and Lauren.
Before we know it, they will all be at a kids table and we'll all be at an adults table.  That time will be here before we know it.
Aunt Lindsey was super excited to have a bottle root beer.
While Jeff and Lindsey visited with friends, Keith and I enjoyed some time with our nephews Isaac and William.
Remember the first night when they just starred at us?
Well... they have warmed up like buttery biscuits that were melting at our every move.
"Me next, Aunt Carrie"
He would request a photo and then smile.  Of course I obliged.  I will do pretty much anything for him when he says "Aunt Carrie".  It melts my heart.
"Hey William, lets take a photo together."
"Ok, Aunt Carrie."
The silly guy intentionally closed his eyes in every photo.  What a nut!!
Showing tongues like Daisy their Dog.

Aren't they adorable!
Their parents may never leave them at our end of the table again.  They may still be breaking bad habits.
Such a handsome boy, Isaac.
William still loving tight eye cheeses.
We had such a great time with these boys at our end of the table.  I'm so glad that we got to spend this time with them.

Then, it was time to take a stroll up Clear Creek to go to Lyons Park.  It was in the 60's and a great day to be outside.

The kids LOVED playing on the playground for 1.5 hours.
Lauren and Kaden loving the Colorado sunshine.
The Big Kids:
Oliver, Lauren and Kaden.
Ahh.... Aunt Stephanie giving Oliver the tickle monster through the play structure.

Handsome boys, all around.
Yes, they are all wearing coordinating sweaters.  See what happens when the Mommy's all go shopping together?
William (above) and Isaac (below) loving the slide.
Mr Kellan in his Bronco colors sweater.

Mr Ham Fam, himself.
I know it's hard to tell with his brothers around, but this is Keith (not Jeff or Brian).
Yes, it's easy to mistake them for each other if you're not careful.
Three of the little kids got in the swings for a ride, courtesy of Uncle Keith / Daddy.
William, Hailey, Kellan
Hey, where did the swing pusher go?
The big kids pause for a quick photo.
Kaden, Oliver and Lauren.


Kellan was having fun putting people in jail.  It was mostly his Daddy and occasionally Isaac.  Then, he decided that his birthday mate and cousin William should go into jail.
William sitting in jail.  Like you probably guessed, it didn't last long.  This may be the longest that William sat still the entire time we were at the park.
With the boys and Lauren running all over the play structure, I found Brian burying his daughter in playground sand.  What fun!
(Ok, really, I thought about how dirty it was, but I also remember loving that when I was a kid)
Kellan witnessed the fun too and decided to help.
Swing, Buddy, Swing!
After a great time at pizza and the park, it was time to call it a day and head home.  We walked back along clear creek and then I had a fantastic vision of the kids lining up on this bridge for a photo.  I love photos on bridges.  What I didn't envision is that the photo op would never work.

Apparently, when there are geese on the frozen creek to look at, a runway of a bridge, railings that kids might fit through and no naps; cute line up photos aren't meant to be.
However, many great out takes are a sure thing.
Hey, it was nearly a flawless weekend.  This girl is allowed to have one not-so-great idea.

What a fantastic day we had!!  It was an excellent way to wrap up a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend that we took right into celebrating Christmas.
Thank you to all of the Hamiltons for traveling to our home in Golden so that we could all be together for Thanksgiving.
Thank you to additional Hamiltons and Beebe families for joining us for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was absolutely special to have you join us, and we are SO glad that you did.
Thank you to Mother Nature for delivering unparalleled weather.  We really couldn't have asked for better weather for traveling and playing outside.  Especially since she delivered record cold sub zero temperatures and snow the following week.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
Now.... time to carol our way to Christmas!!
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