December 31, 2004

Looking for the Recap?

Click here for it. Enjoy!

December 25, 2004

Holiday Highlights

While Chicago hasn't been one of the blog's most exotic locales, it's still one of our faves (of course!). In lieu of that here's just a few excerpts of our '04 holiday:

1. At Karen (Janet's sis) and Tim's homestead for a post-thanksgiving feast:

Sami and her FAVORITE Uncle vegging

Samantha, thinking "will this guy just let us EAT?"

Alexis, Janet's sister Julie's youngest seeming to ask "Got Turkey?"

Caroline (she calls herself "Telly") posing after tackling her dessert

Best buds Kaitlyn and Sami

2. Decking the Halls. Christmas is a big deal at the Van Huysse household. Under the matriarch's careful supervision and tutelage, four Christmas trees, a host of outdoor lights and a miniature village occupying a full one-third of the TV room is assembled.

Father and Son putting up one of the 27 (yes, 27) strands of lights

Close-up view, pre-ornament trimming

Precarious Angel Placement

Mom and her best friend Eileen have been baking xmas cookies for 18 years straight (daughter Keri and others are more recent additions)

Fruits of our labors

3. A visit from our good friend David Lee and his fiancee Vivianne, in from Brazil (David hosted us waaaay back in Feb in Sao Paulo)

We actually look sober in this one

4. Christmas Eve at Grammy and Pa's (the Noel Clan), a tradition characterized by Pa's yummy appetizers, loads of present-unwrapping and an all-around good time:

Andrew and Zachary (I had to bribe them to pose)

Samantha, opening Aunt Janet's gift for her (note similarities to her Turkish boots)...

...and note her reaction to them. They are obviously cut from the same cloth ;-)

My Sister-in-law cum Reindeer Karen

5. Christmas morning at the Van Huysse's, another holiday tradition featuring a round-robin of present opening around the tree and copious amounts of coffee :-)

Dad opening up some sort of power tool

Sister Kate's fave present ('natch)

Scene of the unwrappin'

6. Christmas Dinner. Mom's features like 30 expertly prepared dishes that must take her 18 hours to prepare (she's a wizard in the kitchen). The feast's regular attendees include members of the Mangan Clan (my Mom's side):

Cousins Nora, the latest Mangan addition (Carrie and Mike's), Annie and Mary Kath with their Grandma Anne

The Chefs. This one is naturally more than a bit disturbing to me...

Does she set a mean table or what?

Cousin Tiffany and her cute-as-heck daughter Jacqueline

7. The annual Jasper trip. Every year J and I make the 350 mile trek south to visit my Dad's family in Southern Indiana. The trip always includes an excursion to the local Mexican restaurant for south of the border fare and about 465 pitchers of margaritas:

As you can see, clearly no fun was had whatsoever

This year featured all but one of the fabulous five famed Van Huysse sisters. Four was about all the restaurant could handle ;-))

Jim and cousin Courtney

Gramps and grandson

8. Sight-seeing in our hometown. We figured we should take advantage of our 2+ months in the Windy City and play tourist...a task which we felt required the importing of Melanie, whom we hadn't seen since we left her in Rio in March!

Wives No.'s Two and One in front of the Art Institute of Chicago

At Millennium Park, a newly constructed and coolly designed site in downtown Chi-town

Very Modern/Artistic for in front of this trippy LCD exhibit thingee

9. Great Grandma Noel's 90th birthday surprise party. This one featured Noel fam members from Massachusetts to California:


Great Grandma with a little help from Andrew, third generation descendent from Ginny (photo taken by his 8 year-old brother Zack)

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?