Riley Family Christmas

After a few days in Alabama with the Roberts' family, it was time to make the transition to Riley time with Gamma & Poppa in both Alabama and Florida.  On Wednesday, it was such a blessing that I was able to travel to Sylacauga in North Alabama with my family to visit my dad's parents who are in a Alzheimer care facility there.  I would like to think they knew we were all there swapping stories, getting teary, having laughs, holding hands, and looking at so many sweet pictures of life with them.  

Justin took the boys on to the Riley cabin in Gantt for a fun day of boy time with Big Poppa & Gamma fishing, boat riding, and playing at the cabin.  Only a few pictures because Justin was having too much fun for the camera :-)

fishing with Poppa

the view from the boat ride

Dinner at David's Catfish
On Thursday morning I joined them at the cabin and got to spend time with them before the crazy weather hit.  We played, watched the weather and as soon as it moved through packed up and headed down to Crestview to Gamma & big Poppa's house. 

sharing a snack with cousin Emmaline while Nana looks on.
How sweet is it that this little picnic table belonged to Big Poppa when he was little
On Friday morning we celebrated "Christmas morning" together.  Gamma made french toast casserole that we enjoyed before gathering around to open gifts.  We actually got a couple of sweet cousin shots before the excitement began.

Eli (3), Beckett (3), and Emmaline (1)

and someone is being really funny (not behind the camera :-)

Emmaline thinks its really really funny

and Emmaline is out!
Then the fun part began.. Presents.  Now the Riley's do things a little different.  For years the plan and the way they do things is one at the time.  Around the circle by age.  However, I think it is a "learned behavior" because the boys did not get it. At all.  We all agree that this might take a few more years of maturity to really be successful as last year was a disaster too!  Oh well, at least we were able to roll with the punches and just enjoy the gifts :-)  We have plenty of years to take turns.

Beckett and Eli loved handing out the gifts to everyone

Emmaline thoroughly enjoyed eating gift paper 

Daddy helped make sure all the presents went to the right place 
and then Beckett had a meltdown waiting on his turn

Emmaline making him feel all better

and really really confused!
Then we got in the swing of things and had fun.  Beckett totally cracked me up.  He opened his rescue bots which is the only thing he asked for Christmas.  He comes over to me with them and says "I got my rescue bot.  Can we go home now and play?" Ha!  He got what he came for and was done!


Uncle P and Emmaline taking in the action 

sweet Emmaline and Aunt Lauren with her new books
The boys also got a fun soccer set so they can do some practicing before they start this spring.

And for the second year the boys got make a special Christmas gingerbread house with Gamma and Poppa. Don't you just love the aprons and ears?  And in keeping with traditions, I think they ate more than they decorated!  Even Emmaline got in on a little action this year.

decorating with Poppa
Eli the candy reindeer

Beckett is ready!

hard at work 

This looks good Aunt Lu!
That night Justin, Gamma, and I took the boys to the Crestview First Baptist live nativity scene.  They were tired but there were some sweet moments and we have had such great conversation about it since.  They did not want to take their picture in the manger scene but they did love the sheep.  I mean loved the sheep.  How fun to hold a baby sheep too!  

The boys loved fishing, loved the animals, and loved playing outside at Gamma & Big Poppa's.  Such sweet memories (no pun intended) of the candy house.  I hope they got a glimpse of the true meaning of Christmas at the live nativity scene.  Love all the new traditions.  The boys sure are lucky to have 2 wonderful sets of grandparents!

The Riley's
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