Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year's with the Australians

We had a great New Year's celebration this year, as Mike's brother Ed and his family came to visit us for a long weekend. They live in Sydney, Australia, and have been traveling in Europe for the past 6 months--my sister-in-law Shemara working off and on, and Ed and the children seeing the sights. We hadn't seen them for four years, since we were all in England together for Christmas in 2007. So we had a great, although very short, visit with them.

Dinner at Mom and Dad's on the day of their arrival
I had forgotten to have us use the Christmas crackers on Christmas,
so we used them that evening!

Digging in

All the cousins together--
Seven boys and one girl!

Jessie in her tutu--
So fun to shop for a girl for a change!

Ed, Shemara, and Jessie

Chris with Christmas hat and the usual accessory

David and Nadine

With Alex, age 10

On the next day (Saturday), Mike and the younger boys joined everyone else at Ed and Shemara's hotel for a swim and lunch, while Chris and I stayed home and cleaned for the party that evening. I think they had more fun!

Bonding over electronics

For New Year's Eve, we invited a handful of friends over with the large family contingent. It was a very fun gathering, with lots of laughter and conviviality.

Jessie and Nick putting on plays

Drew and Ed after dinner

Nadine and David

With Mom

Mike saying something profound to Shemara

Love that look on Ruth's face!


Laurie talking with her hands

Mom, Nadine, and me

Visiting the adults after dinner

With my sister and sister-in-law!

Party planner Kieran in action

Mom and Dad

Breaking out the fancy champagne (courtesy of Ed and Shemara)

My beautiful and brilliant Australian sister-in-law

Dancing to Pink Martini's upbeat "Auld Lang Syne"

Mid-tune! Those pastors can sing!

Conga line time!

Pulling the party poppers
(all the kids, including Nick, stayed up until midnight!)

Ed conked out with jetlag
 On New Year's Day, we all faithfully dragged ourselves out of bed to go to church...I think our family and various extended relatives made up a good percentage of the congregation!

My brother Stephen came to church with his new girlfriend, Trisha. They had just met each other this past weekend, after corresponding online and talking on the phone for almost three weeks. They both feel as if they've been waiting for each other all their lives. I'm very happy for both of them, and Trisha dealt very well with the hordes of relatives she had to meet on Sunday!! She seems like a lovely young woman, and we look forward to seeing her again soon.

Nadine multitasking, cuddling and chatting

My happy little brother

The two lovebirds

Chris (photo by Nicholas)

Grandpa with Nick

Playing Harry Potter out in the yard

My dad deep in conversation with Shemara

With Mom and Nadine
 Then the Puyallup contingent left and my saintly parents watched the children so we could go out with Ed and Shemara to belatedly celebrate Shemara's 50th birthday. They celebrated in France last fall, but we were not able to join them. So we went to Andina and had a lovely adult meal.

The food and company were wonderful, and Mike and Ed were charming to Mama Doris, the restaurant owner, who came by to chat to us about Peru. Showing their diplomatic upbringing, they soon were deep in conversation while Shemara and I started our own sidebar. After all, we do not get to see each other very often.

So sad, but the next day we had to say goodbye.

Jessie hugging Alex

Family shot

Last cousin shots

Not sure why Chris was looking so grumpy!!

Mike taking them off to the train station, with Kieran waving goodbye

They took the train to San Francisco, where they rented a car and drove to LA. And the photo above shows our new minivan, which we bought between Christmas and New Year. But that's another story! What a crazy busy holiday season!

Hope it's not another four years before we see the Australian family members again!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a wonderful time was had by all !!