Saturday, January 08, 2022

Family Gift Exchange 2021

 A few years ago we decided we'd all simply draw one name for our family gift exchange - rather than trying to buy gifts for 21 people.  Tonight, was our family gift exchange. I made a big pot of salmon chowder and tomato soup. Everyone brought bread, sandwich toppings, drinks and dessert.   JaRissa are not able to be with us this year. CyRi missed the evening too, Josiah is sick. He had the big C last July...seems early to have it again...but he's too sick to be with us, and out of an abundance of caution Carrie and Livie stayed away too. I only took two pictures all night, but Cory grabbed some shots.  We went around the room, and everyone swapped gifts. There were some sweet gifts and some fun gifts. We thought we were done when the kids surprised US. 

Moment of revelation -  📷by Cory 

They had one more gift. This was from all the kids, though we've told Jamin was the driver behind the gift. Krista said they'd decided we should have to do a scavenger hunt to find our gift. When I made a face, someone quipped now we know how THEY feel. ::snort:: 
📷by Cory 

 The first clue said something about a sunset on the beach. We ended up in the basement where we found another pink envelope tucked behind our sunset on the beach painting. 
📷by Cory 

The next clue talked about HPT and the marker of time. We found another envelope clipped to GG's calendar in his room.  
📷by Cory 

The next clue was rather obscure and talked about modern nature and blow outs - which is the company Arielle has a business with....I had seen a box on the counter from Monat.  This was a combo blow dryer/curling iron. I joked it would have been more help to Michael before his hair cut. 
📷by Cory 

Inside the box we found a luggage strap and chocolate covered macadamia nuts. The kids asked us to guess what our gift was...almost too good to voice....


YES! We have a condo on Waikiki beach for a week in February. They've bought the tickets, paid for the condo, and arranged for someone to stay with Grandpa and do "all the things" we do. 
📷by Cory 

I cannot even BEGIN to tell you....we love our life, but the past year has been hard. I have been dreaming of a bit of time away - the two of us - and we knew it would need to wait...but here it need to wait.  I told the kids it didn't escape my notice anytime we travel together it's somewhere THEY send us. When Michael retired, they bought us a cruise to the Caribbean. AND NOW HAWAII! 

Michael has been to Hawaii with the Air Force.  I have been to a women's conference in Hawaii. We have never gone together and certainly not to RELAX for a WEEK. 

The girls and I were talking as the evening concluded. We never had the money for fancy vacations. Our budget was maxed investing in children...but now the children are growing up and holy guacamole...we're going on a vacation! 

This sweet little girl, Annie, wanted meat - all the kinds of meat - and that was just fine with Baachan. 
This girl knows what she wants! 

The only other picture I took all day is of Stacia and her gift. She was excited. She got a blow torch. I guess it's a good thing for making desserts...I expect we'll shortly be seeing singed cupcakes and such around here. 
A girl and her blow torch

Mr. Gingerbread went home with KrUke. The men have won the gingerbread competition this year. Mr. Gingerbread doesn't do much on the years the boys have him, but they've said they will loan him out this year. He may get out a bit more. LOL