New Year's Eve

On to the last of the adventures from Cal and in typical fashion, photos and short blurbs about our activities, the people in said photos, etc.  New Year's Eve we met the Strand family at Grandpa Royce and Grandma Lavonne's.  Royce and Lavonne instantly adopted us all when Ron and Mema were married many years ago.  They have been prayer warriors on our behalf and huge supporters of our family from day one.  It had been a few years since we've been able to spend time with them and as always they lovingly welcomed us and our last minute visit.  We caught up, hugged kiddos, ate lunch and Lavonne's famous chocolate cake.  Our time with them was so sweet. 
Thing 2 and Gracie reading and making up stories.

 The Things with Royce and Lavonne.

The Strand kiddos with Royce and Lavonne.
After being fueled by lunch we were all in need of some sunshine so we ran over to the park and played and ran and wrestled and jumped off the swings.  Then they did it all again.  The littles pulling their big cousins all over that playground. 

Thing 1 and Colin building in the sand.

Thing 2 and Gracie, love those smiles.
Thing 3 and Emme, no jumping off the swing here. 

The biggest kid of them all, Uncle Aaron.  Those lines in the sand you see were drawn by him.  Immediately after drawing said lines he challenged Thing 4 to a jumping contest.  Or maybe the other way around.  Whatever it was, we were all entertained. 

Thing 4 being launched by Uncle Aaron, I see a pattern here. 
We couldn't bare to say goodbye just yet to the Strands, so we invited them for biscuits and gravy New Years day.   This way we only had to say "see you tomorrow".  From there it was home to prep for family Bunco night at Poppi and Nani's house.  Poppi and Thing 4 made their famous white chocolate pretzel bark, we ate snacks gathered in the kitchen and then decided on dinner, sushi of course, we set the tables for the big game, instructions were given to the kiddos and the fun began, and it didn't stop until midnight.  Yes, we all made it to watch the ball drop, give our kisses, be the first ones to wish Nani a happy birthday and pop the poppers!  Yeah us!

Poppi and Thing 4 with the finished product.
Family photo, pre Bunco, notice how nice we are being to each other, let's just say that didn't last once the first dice were rolled.  We're all a tad competitive.  There may have been trash talking and loud whoops and hollers.  Maybe.
Preparing for the evening ahead.
These two won "most losses" for the Bunco night!  Losers, winners, whatever you call them they sure are cute!
 Poppi and Gianna trying desperately to hang on until midnight.  This little girl was the good luck charm for the night, helping out at each table and bringing wins wherever she went.
The other side of the room waiting for the New Year and Nani's birthday to begin.
Yay, Happy New Year!  Those blurs you see are the remnants from one of about a hundred poppers that were exploded in the living room that night.  We are nothing if not crazy fun, oh and dedicated to capturing just the right photograph, confetti flying, girls jumping.  You know the one!  Just imagine it here. 
At approximately 12:02 am we were all snuggled in bed and fast asleep, pleased with ourselves for staying awake into the wee hours of the morning.  Ha! 

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