NC Winter '11: Part Three

The rest of the time we were in NC we laid low, relaxed, hot tubbed, ate and enjoyed our visit. 
Your Daddy flew home to return to work mid week, and you, Sarita, and I stayed a few days longer.

You and Gra made cookies, of course. :)

You played with your toys.

You played outside with Gra.

Sarita and I sat on the porch and enjoyed the sun.

We made lots of cards...

and a great big mess of Gra's office!

And then there were the lakes.

The first day, Gra took you for some alone time.

Just up the street from her house there are two small lakes
with wooded trails all the way around each one. 

You told her it was the best day of your life, 
and promised the lakes you'd be back the nest day. :)

The next day EVERYONE went! 
Even the dogs.

We walked around to the dock.

We hung out by the water

while you used your science kit stuff to 
aid in your explorations.

Sarita even got in on the fun with you.

She carried her first spider, ever. 
A daddy long legs. 

We took photos. Of course. 

A dock on water is one of my favorite photo op.s! 

Gra and Pepere sure loved having you in one of their places. 

We were so Blessed with safe travels, good health,
and family time on our visit.

The whole vacation was just right! 


A Marvelous Monday!

On Monday we went to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. 

You got to pretend you were in a pit crew. 

AND drive a race car simulator in a real race car with your Dad!

We all had fun and enjoyed seeing the cool race cars, old and new. 

By the end of our tour you were SO tired and crabby 
that Gra had to leak the secret surprise to us so that we could
nap you, or you would have never stayed up long enough to

Jada and Kaila showed up AFTER your nap that afternoon
to surprise us with their Mom and Dad, Robin and Duece
AND their new baby brother, Leo! :)

EVERYONE was thrilled to be together!

You and these two girls just happen to get along famously.

You can't get enough of each other!
You even slept in Gra's living room with them.
I loved giving you permission to stay up as late as you could
watching movies and eating snacks with your cousins!
Something we rarely get to enjoy. 

I'm so glad you have these few memories 
of fun days with Jada and Kaila. 

The Mama's are working on a plan for more in the near future! :)


NC Winter '11: Part Two

 On Christmas Eve you and Gra made carrot cake for Jesus' Birthday.


We gathered around to open gifts and spend family time.

You got LOTS of fun gifts. 
Cool things you could use at Gra and Pepere's house while we're here.

You read us the book Gra made for you from our last visit,
and we watched the TV show you made as your gift to family. 

Much to my surprise, I got an American Girl Doll from Gra.
You are quite pleased about this because now
Lucy and Jay's doll, Lilly, have a new friend to play with.

You and your Dad and Gra couldn't wait to get to the science experiments.

You created and played with goo, slime and boogers (or whatever)
until you were green and the face and had
"a funny feeling in the back of your throat".

Gra thought it would be fun if you puked, but your Mom put the stop to it all.
You're welcome. :)


NC Winter '11: Part One

Backing it up a little...

our travels were pretty uneventful. 
You and Sarita occupied yourselves with I-devices.

 We boarded the plane.

Then we landed in NC so fast it was hard to believe.

The first meal we enjoyed was traditionally 
at our favorite, On the Border.

Gra and Pepere turned their whole world into
a winter wonderland of lights just for you. 

You were so excited when we drove up to the house in the dark 
and you saw the lights for the first time.
I told you to come up to the front and see Jesus.
You came running expectantly, yelling,
"WHAT!? He's really there?!!!"
You were quickly disappointed to see the plastic light up scene. 
It was kind of cute and sad all at once.


Christmas 2011

Just like our Thanksgiving, this years Christmas went on and on for days!

First, we celebrated Christmas with your Great Grandma, Gigi, 
at her place on Saturday.

You saw Santa, but would have nothing to do with him 
on account of your theory that all Santas have terrible breath. :)

We ate and hung out with family while you and Michael 
enjoyed some play time together. 

Tuesday, you spent the day at Nanna and Pupa's house. 
They made delicious cookies with you, and you opened your gifts from them.

Wednesday, we played with the remote control bumper cars 
you got from Nanna and Pupa, and we packed our bags for our NC trip, 
knowing that we would have little time before we left.

Thursday, we dropped the dogs off at Uncle Jeff's Dog Center. 

Then you and I spent most of the day at Uncle Ron and Aunt Sue's house. 
Natalie was also there on her first Christmas break from college. 
It was such a nice time, as always. 
Aunt Sue spoiled us with snacks, food, and even freshly squeezed juice. 
Uncle Ron spoiled us, too. 
You opened a couple of your gifts while we were there, 
and then we took the rest home to put under our tree.

Thursday afternoon was our "Christmas Eve". 

The four of us rode around and looked at Christmas lights.

Then we returned home to snack and open the gifts 
under the tree from family and one to another.

Friday morning, we were up and early on our way. 
We drove to Milwaukee and flew to NC, lickety split! 
We were settled and in the hot tub by about 3p their time. :)

Saturday was the real Christmas Eve, and we had snacks and opened gifts. 
You got lots of cool presents that you could use at Gra's house. 
Science experiments, cars, paints, books, movies, etc...

It was a good family bonding night. 
After we opened gifts we all cuddled on the couch 
to watch the video you worked so hard to make for your gift to family. 
It was SO good and funny. 
Your cooking shows, commercials, infomercials, public service announcements,
and songs made for some great entertainment!

Then we sat together while you read us the book 
that Gra made you of our last visit here.
Gra was amazed at how well you read. :)

We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and broke into Gra's 
amazing homemade carrot cake (which you helped make).

Sunday morning, we all went to church together. 
Then we made another Thanksgiving feast! 
Pepere deep fried the turkey, you shaved the carrots, 

Sarita skinned the potatoes, and you cut them up. 
Gra did all the rest. :)

There were so many celebrations. 
So many days and events of feasting and gift exchange, 
Christmas music, and warm gatherings with our closest friends and family. 
I couldn't have hoped for a better way to commemorate 
the sacrifice God made in sending His Son as a baby for all of us. 

It was a Merry Merry Christmas!!! :)