On December 27th he packed up and drove to Preston to visit the Bennett side of the family. We always keep busy and enjoy our time there.
Lately, Ellie has spent a lot of time wanting to wear hats, or putting toys or other random things on her head or ours and saying "hat!". She enjoyed wearing Grandpa's hat off and on while we were there, and it always served as just the right accessory to complete any outfit.
She enjoyed time with the "doggies" while Grandma tried to keep her from getting knocked down.
And she absolutely LOVED spending time with these two. Her and Amanda were so cute playing together and chasing each other all over. Amanda would crawl around under a blanket and Ellie would just laugh and laugh at her!
Other highlights: All of the women doing puzzles together, getting to see even more family, a dinner with the Fields and Darringtons who were Steve's buddies from Moscow, and many more good times!
Then on New Years Eve, we got together to have the Bennett side's gift exchange and traditional meat night. Steve always cooks steaks for us all one night while we're down around Christmas or New Years and then we break a pinata, watch a movie, and exchange gifts - all tradition. Steve also got to add setting off fireworks this year thanks to my Uncle Brian who gave us some fireworks he'd forgotten he had. Thanks!
Ellie slept through the first gift exchange, but we got some really wonderful gifts. Then, after dinner, it was Ellie's personal holiday as she got spoiled all over again.
After dinner and Ellie's gifts, we set off fireworks. Ellie was no fan of the noise, so Grandpa brought her back to the house so we could enjoy the show. She played for a while, and when we got back, we all headed into the garage for the pinata. Funny thing is, Ellie saw the panda pinata and was fine - till it started moving. And then, as you can see, she was no longer fine.
We kept taking her inside, calming her down, and trying again, but this kept happening, so after a couple of tries we called it.
No worries though, because when it was all over, Ellie got to enjoy the spoils of a well packed pinata with a few gifts just for her! Here she is happily squirreling away fruit snacks.
And, after all the festivities, Ellie enjoyed another round of playing with Cousin Bridget. Bridget was amazing with Ellie and played games with her all throughout the night. Thanks for being great Bridget!
That night Ellie decided she'd had too much fun and was up till 3:15 in the morning. Not fun. But, as a whole, our Christmas break was amazing! We got totally spoiled, had a lot of fun, and could not ask for better family. Thanks everyone!