My family likes to have Christmas - a lot. It can last as long as a week sometimes.
This year was very special. EVERYONE was home! All the brothers. All the kids. I love my family. We are a large, loud, goofy, funny family - and we're not afraid to make fools out of ourselves, much to our own amusement.
First, we dress appropriately. Then we try on each others' hockey helmets.
Then we get out the paintballs and shoot each other. If you happen to hit an angst-filled teen and he attacks you, you get to put him on the ground and sit on him.
This works especially well if you're a cop and have been trained to do this.
We are a large bunch and it very rarely happens that we're ALL together, so we celebrated with..... a family picture!!!!
First, put an old tractor in the middle of a patch of deer feed.
Yes... I think the wig thing is genetic...
Try to round up everyone and fit them on or around the tractor.
Good luck getting everyone to look at the camera at the same time. We're too busy joking and being outrageous to look towards the photographer, who is spending more time doubled over laughing than pushing camera buttons.
Strike the pose - VOGUE!
Looking good, Jerry!
After we think we have a picture with most people looking in the right direction, we adjourn to the backyard for sword-swallowing and fire-breathing.
Yes - it's a real, solid sword. Not plastic, not collapseable. John Strong, who was visiting us along with his wife Candy and Paris (from Thanksgiving), proceeded to stick it down his gullet and had Walker pull it out for him. (Unfortunately, my batteries were starting to fade and my camera didn't recycle fast enough to actually get a picture of the sword coming back out of him.)
First he ate a little fire to "warm up".
No one wanted to get TOO close, so we all hung on the back porch to watch. In the head-on shot, I did feel a bit of heat as he spat fire towards me... Z-boy is very nervous about fire, but he thought this was COOL!
Moving right along... Dinner! Mom made garbanzo bean soup and cuban sandwiches, which were devoured in record time. It was wonderful!!!!
There were 15 people to serve, so there were two tables in different parts of the house. It was also a birthday celebration - Jerry got a radio controlled four-wheeler and a massage from Z-boy! Happy birthday, Jerry!
During the cleanup, we had serious discussions about how tall we might get based on shoe size.
Then it was time for presents!!!! I actually got presents for everyone, which NEVER happens since I am usually poor. We always agree not to get presents for the grown-up (or at least legal-aged) people, but I told them all not to gripe about it since chances were that they would never get a present from me again (I plan to be poor again next year).
Z-boy unwrapped "Bionicle Heros" video game from Uncle John and the cousins. I have a feeling that this will be "the best present ever" this year. When we got home, Z-boy immediately put it in the player and played until 10:30 last night. And this morning, he got up and played until I pried it out of his hands to go run an errand.
And here's a picture of Andy - because we never see him and because I can. And no, he did not bring his black thong, his swim fins OR his sombrero...
Christmas continues tonight at the in-law's. I don't think there will be any firebreathing - unless it's political in nature....