After a really great Christmas morning, we started to get ready for the rest of the day. I volunteered to make Christmas dinner for 10 other unsuspecting family members! That means I was feeding 14 people Christmas dinner, and (surprise) I had never cooked a turkey before! I had a fresh turkey to make sure I didn't have to worry about thawing a frozen one. Why make matters more complicated than they should be? I started cooking dinner on Christmas Eve and finished up most of the other side dishes on Christmas day.
Mid morning on Christmas day, John opened the turkey after I tried to do it but almost puked. Raw meat tends to gross me out, especially if it looks pretty similar to the way it looked when alive. He took out what he thought was all of the goodies from the inside. He put the turkey in the roasting pan, and I covered it with a marinade, which turned out pretty well. I put the 13.5 pound turkey in the oven early enough, so it would be ready with an hour to spare. In the midst of cooking it, I accidently turned off the oven for about 30 minutes. The turkey was ready about an hour and half after dinner time. It was moist and yummy, especially since everyone was starving!!
On the 27th, we visited my grandmother, Mamaw. We came back home and then went to Maryville. On the 30th, we went to a playground and had a great time. Anabelle especially had a great time on the slide! We stayed in Maryville until the 31st. Auntie Cathy, Uncle Eric and Marlee stopped by our house on their way back to Jacksonville on the 1st. On the 2nd, a Friday, we had a brilliant idea to go to the Georgia Aquarium! (Grammy: we confirmed it is the largest aquarium in the world.) John and Eric waited in line for an hour in the rain to get tickets. Cathy, the girls, and I tried to stay dry. Once we were inside, it was very crowded. It seemed like we were on display as sardines for the exhibits. All in all, it was fun and I'm so glad we went!
During Cathy, Eric, and Marlee's visit, Emma Rose played the Wii and did really well on the power throw in bowling. Marlee cheered her on! We also had a mini surprise birthday party for Eric. Eric and John played a game online and sat at opposite ends of the dining room table. They stayed up until 2 am on Friday night.
The aquarium was so much fun that we bought season tickets and went back again yesterday! We were able to see the exhibits and relax. Emma Rose had a wonderful time, and her favorite sea animal is the sting ray. (Her favorite land animal is still the giraffe.) The sting ray 'touch and feel' exhibit was a huge hit, and we went back there a couple of times. Anabelle tried to jump in because she wanted to touch them, too! She looked at the fish, especially in the Ocean Voyager exhibit, but her favorite part was eating graham crackers from the little cup comparment in her stroller.
Every Christmas since we became parents, I think that the Christmas were in is my favorite one. Again, this Christmas, it was my favorite. Emma Rose loved the mystery of Santa, being with family, and all of the excitement. Anabelle isn't quite sure about everything, but she seemed to enjoy everything that Emma Rose did. She also had a good time with Marlee and all of the other family. Anabelle and Marlee are going to be so much fun when they start playing together rather than side by side.
Link to only 85 of the more than 300 pictures: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QYs3Ldo5at1C
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