After a few days in North Dakota, we moved on to Keith's parents' house in Iowa. We only had 3 days with everyone together, starting with Christmas Eve. I seem to recall spending most of that day frantically finishing up Christmas presents for the kids. And of course, there was my concert that evening. In between, we opened presents, since Keith's family does that on Christmas Eve. Keith set up the camera in the upstairs balcony to take a picture once every 30 seconds. Here are a couple of the pictures.
... and after.
Christmas morning was pretty low-key.
Everyone was tired, so we shared the cooking responsibilities. Ilene did the prime rib and the rolls. I made green bean casserole, and there was also salad, mashed potatoes, and a dessert called "glorified rice"--interesting to note that this particular dish used to be the only rice the Olson family would typically eat for an entire year... times change!
Meanwhile, Keith set up the camera again to take pictures during dinner--one every 10 seconds!
Later on, Catherine made batch after batch of sugar cookies for snacks after church. Michael helped.
The day after Christmas...
... Alexander got caught driving while talking on his cell phone.
Then he played piano with Joseph.
I prepared sukiyaki and sushi for the family with help from Nate and Ilene. It seemed appropriate to have it together, since sukiyaki is a meal for family celebrations in Japan. It was a bit funny with only one pot for 14 people, though.
Catherine prepared the dessert: a special teapot cake for Ilene's birthday!
Ali ate more than anyone else, we think.
Thanks for the lovely time, everyone! We miss you!