Here's our McDaniel family Christmas 2011 picture:
I mentioned that our Christmas was "Curtis Style" - in case you didn't know this, my maiden name is "Curtis" - so, we spent Christmas this year with my side of the family, the Curtis'. Before I go into all of the Christmas festivities with the family, I will start with the cat family...
Here we have Buddy Curtis (left) and Regis Curtis (right) meeting Lion-O McDaniel. We say these are his uncles. Regis was my cat when I was living with my parents, but they didn't let me keep him when I moved out and got married.
I thought this photo was just precious. Buddy is checking out the toilet while Lion-O is hiding in the bathtub.
Here's a picture of my mom holding Regis.
Regis must have remembered me because he snuggled up to me while I was on the couch and made himself at home.
In this photo, Lion-O is wearing a Mexican hat that he received from my parents for Christmas.
Here we have Curtis & Lion-O taking a cat nap on Christmas Day.
OK, so on to the rest of the family:
We spent Christmas Eve going to a candelight service at Pinewood. Afterwards, we headed over to Uncle David's house for a nice family dinner. In the above picture, we have all 3 of the Leinecker kids. Uncle Rick, my mom and Uncle David.
Here's my grandmother, Margaret (Marge) Leinecker. I was named after her. :)
Here's my grandfather, Richard (Dick) Leinecker.
Here's a good picture of my cousins, Jason & Jennifer, sandwiched in with my parents.
...and here we are with my cousins, too!
Aunt Ginger & her dog, Lucy. Ginger is also carrying a baby that is due in May.
The next day, we woke up very early and opened up gifts. We had a nice breakfast and then we went to a Christmas Day service at Pinewood. It was very encouraging - they even spent some time talking about dealing with loss during the holidays. It was very emotional for Curtis and I, but we are so glad that we made the decision to go!
Curtis and I also had the opportunity to skype with his family in Pennsylvania. We would love to be able to celebrate the holidays with both sides, but it can be so difficult when they live so far apart.
Later on, we had almost the entire family on my mom's side come over for a Christmas dinner. Everything was tasty! Afterwards, we had some entertainment for the whole family with a Wii game called "Just Dance 3" that Curtis got me for Christmas.
Here I am trying to emulate the dance moves on the screen - it was more difficult than I thought!
Here's my younger brother's attempt!
Curtis did a great job. We even have some of his footage on youtube, if you are interested, click here.
Ben & Uncle Rick - dancing together!
Jason, Curtis & Ben dancing.
My mom, Jennifer & Jason getting down.
A father-daughter dance!
Curtis & I danced to "A Crazy Little Thing Called Love."
We had a lot of fun!
Two days after Christmas, we headed to Melbourne to visit some of my dad's side of the family - two uncles, an aunt & a little cousin.
Here I am spending time playing with my cousin, Elle, in a tube! She was so cute and we had a great time with her. We even played on her playground outside.
Here's Curtis & I on the swing! We bought Elle a Looney Tunes mix-and-match game for Christmas.
We immediately started playing the game. I think Elle really enjoyed our gift!
Curtis and I were able to see most of my family on both sides - we were missing my older brother and his family (but we got to see them for New Year's - post will come soon), 3 of my cousins, and one aunt! Now that we are all getting older and moving all over the country, it can be difficult to get everyone together. I'm very thankful for my family and the new memories that we made this year.