We crossed the border in the evening on the 22nd, had a delicious dinner at Swiss Chalet and bedded down at our hotel in Sarnia. Philip wasn't feeling well, and since we had two rooms, he went straight to bed in one of the rooms and the kids and I hung out in the other one until bedtime.
They made a fort out of pillows
(Caleb is balancing a veggie straw on his nose)
We took a picture by the huge tree in the lobby...
...and Keenan flew a plane off the second floor balcony =)
After breakfast the next morning we headed out....
...but not before getting a picture with the famous nutcrackers by the entrance!
While we waited for the van to warm up, the woman at the front desk offered to take a family picture by the tree.
We got to St. Thomas in plenty of time, so we drove around a bit, used the restrooms at Giant Tiger and changed clothes.
We met up with a bunch of family at Mark and Rebekah's church (where there was enough space for all of us!) and spent the afternoon and evening together.
First up, the family picture!
Rebekah chose the colors and I think they look fantastic against the snow!
...and the goofy one
Rebekah snapped a couple for Philip and I
Some of the kids with all the stockings
Aunt Heather and Mom
Youngest and oldest grandkids
(Olivia and Mika)
Keenan and Mika
The kids all got to open stockings filled by grandparents, aunts and uncles. Aunt Nora had just had surgery, so she and Uncle Jim didn't make it that day, but she sent a ton of stocking stuffers for the kids, and also supplied the scalloped potatoes for dinner!
My dad read a story out loud that I had written, called "Caleb's Hippo". It was based on the song "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" and included all of the cousins and aunts and uncles that we spent Christmas with.
The adults did a gift swap and steal
...and then it was dinner time!
As per tradition, we had the Christmas cracker things and all wore our crowns! =)
Tim and Steph
Ada and Rob
Andrew and Bethany
Philip and I
Aunt Heather and Uncle John
After dinner, Philip and I played Ticket to Ride with my dad, Tim, Mark and a friend named Daniel. Besides Mark, (who had played once), none of the rest of them had played before, so it was fun to introduce the game to them