Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

JOY!
I hope everyone's holiday was merry and bright, just as ours was!  We filled the days leading up to Christmas with holiday prep, but we made it fun!   The kids' school was closed and David took a little time off work so we spent the week mostly together.  One day we divided and conquered...Mom and Penny grocery shopped for the two meals we would be serving at our house while Daddy and Cooper ran some "secret" errands.  On Friday morning the four of us went out for breakfast together.  Afterwards, Mom and the kids made jokes in the car while Daddy shopped in a thrift store to find an ugly Christmas sweater.

On Christmas Eve Eve, we kicked off the weekend with what we call "Friends" Christmas.  We recognize that most (us included) reserve the holidays for family.  We like to have a chance during the holidays to acknowledge our friends by including them in our holiday celebration too.  Many of our good friends came over for fondue and an ugly Christmas sweater competition.  (Congrats, Becky.)  The kids ran wild up until bedtime, after which the adults played giant Jenga.


On Christmas Eve, Daddy prepared the chili to be served with tamales that evening (a South Texas tradition) while Momma made dessert to take over to Grandma's the next day.  The kids took luxuriously long naps and Nonnie arrived in the early afternoon.  We spent the latter part of the afternoon relaxing, and the kids watched the fluke $5 Christmas song DVD I picked up over and over.  Ma-Mas, Pa-Pa, and Uncle Clint came over, as per tradition, to help us eat tamales and play elf...Uncle Clint put together the new playhouse, Daddy set up the electric train, and Momma stuffed the stockings. We fell into bed tired but satisfied with what was sure to come the next morning.

The Elves' hard work...
Christmas Day began early...as in 5:45 a.m. to be exact.  (The song doesn't go, "All I Want for Christmas is Some Decent Sleep" after all...especially with little kids in the house.)  With the video camera rolling, both kids seemed overwhelmed by all the splendor at first and didn't seem to know where to start.  They quickly figured it out and dove in.  Both kids seemed happy with both their gifts and each other's gifts.  We had many, many hilarious moments that I couldn't sit and describe because it would take all day.  It was just simply a sweet, magical morning.

A Thomas train that moves by itself!
New playhouse!
Penny was skeptical...
It was cold Christmas morning!
Cooper enjoying Nonnie's (er, Santa's) gift...He has already mastered the crash move.

After we  had tried out all the new toys and gotten dressed, we all trooped over to Ma-Mas and Pa-Pa's house for more presents and Christmas dinner.  We received a lot, gave a lot, laughed a lot, and ate a lot.

Coop takes off on his shiny new fire engine.
Again, Penny is skeptical...
Uncle Clint shows the kids a thing or two on the keyboard...
Our cups ran over this year and we are truly grateful.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Holiday Season is in Full Swing!

The last week has been COLD and has left us little to do but get ready for Christmas.  We have spent quite a bit of time indoors, visited Santa and attended a family Christmas party at the Ranch.  Cooper is getting really excited for Christmas and keeps asking us where his toys are...We keep reminding him that not only does he have to wait until Christmas, but he has to be good!

Shots from our recent activities:

Why play-doh is an indoor activity I will never know.  When I asked  Cooper what happened, he replied, "The engines are hauling the play-doh, Momma!" (like, duh!)
A visit with Santa!  Not everyone was happy about it...
Little peppermint face after her harrowing ordeal with Santa...
It was COLD and rainy at the ranch but we had fun anyway! 

Coop takes his digging job VERY seriously.

Cooper and Owen: partners in crime!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Walk in the Park


Generally speaking the weather in South Texas is terrible...hot, humid, and in the spring, irritatingly windy.  We are prone to droughts but sit in the middle of a big red target for scary tropical weather.  Relief ensues with the cool fronts we receive in the fall, though the pleasantness quickly reverts back to warm and sticky in between them.  Lately I have been aware of one perk to the climate we endure here.  In the winter, we have bouts of cold but they never last more than a few days.  I feel for those that live in the north, where once winter begins, it goes on and on and on.  We have had to bundle up a few days before venturing outside, but it has alternated with nice, warm days where we donned flip-flops and shorts and could enjoy the outdoors.  Here are a few pictures from one particularly pleasant Sunday at the park.

Contemplating...
Penny loves to swing!
Penny loves to do anything her brother is doing!
Case in point...