December 30 started early for Pete and Josh.
They mountain-biked to Ensign Peak from Rick and Jodie's before breakfast.
I love the can do spirit in each of these cousins!
Both housefuls met up for a quick lunch at Even Stevens Sandwiches
before some of the boys went to the BYU basketball game
and the rest of us went to the Provo Beach Club at River Woods.
Photo bomber strikes again!
BYU played St. Mary's and barely got beat at the very end.
I just included a few pics at the Provo Beach Club,
and the kids had lots of fun climbing, balancing, driving, runing and playing video games.
Are these precious little faces, or what?
Syd and Jake iChatted us from Hong Kong while we were there.
They are so darling together and we missed having them with all of us!
We then all hurried to Thanksgiving Point to walk around and see the fabulous lights at Luminaria.
These beautifully-done statues are in these gardens year round and are inspiring.
The Smiths of course had to check out the Dutch stroop waffles.
Jedd went to Holland on his mission and Missy has visited there with him, so they are aficianados.
It was cold that night and the hot chocolate tasted so good!
Gingerbread houses were on display in one of the green houses - masterpieces!
Baby, it's cold outside!
After we all returned to Lind's, we hurried up and made appetizers/dinner for our fake New Year's Eve party.
NYE was really the next night and Stratfords always have a wild and crazy dance party together,
so we decided to have that the night before and welcome in the new year one night early!
Roasted shrimp on cream cheese, pepper jelly and Ritz crackers . . .
. . . hot meatballs, many Italian meats, hot artichoke dip . . .
. . . various cheese Charcuterie . . .
Jodie's fruit dip and fruit . . .
. . . and yummy Muddy Buddies!
We played fun games . . .
. . . then went in the sports court to dance.
Jeff is the Best DJ Ever!
After we toasted with Martinellis at midnight, we turned on the lights and continued to dance and take pics.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
On New Year's Eve, Sunday, we celebrated New Year's Day.
We all attended church, some at Rick and Jodie's ward
and some at Mindy and Jeff's ward.
We all cooked or had cooked ahead to have a big bone-in ham dinner with ham sauce.
We had candied yams, scalloped potatoes and carrots, Caesar salad, corn,
Jodie's homemade rolls and homemade Dutch apple pie.
Some of the kids said, "This is the best meal I've ever had!"
I think everyone was very hungry waiting for everything to get done.
Then it was time for our cousin talent show, in which each kid, young and old, participated.
We heard piano solos and singing, saw gymnastic tricks, dances and basketball prowess.
Sam and Jared showed us the highlight video they shot and edited of our family's adventure to Havasupai.
Pete showed us a video they made to advertise a dance at MVHS where he starred in a Mission Impossible caper.
Both videos were so creative and entertaining!
Mr and Mrs Claus showed up to give out presents to all of the good boys and girls, which included everyone!
The cousins had drawn names and they exchanged their presents to each other.
The kids went to other rooms to play and the adults had their White Elephant exchange, which was hilarious!
They had also donated money that they would have spent on nice presents to a needy family.
Summing it all up, sometimes it was complete bedlam with so many bodies
being together night and day in relatively so little space,
but you know what?
It was worth it!
Unmatched memories were created to increase Stratford family bonds of love!