Here's post-birthday December through New Years in a nutshell :)
Caleb's class visited the Philbrook Museum's annual Festival of Trees. We had never been and it was very neat - all sorts of trees made of all kinds of materials plus an entire floor of gingerbread houses made by local schools, churches, Girl Scout troops, etc. It was a challenge to explain to a group of 2 and 3 year olds why they couldn't eat the candy off the houses though.
Caleb and his friends play spot each other on either side of one tree.
One pre-holiday purchase was a stuffed dog that danced around to Jingle Bell Rock. He was an instant hit with Harper G.
We had several Christmas parties to attend this year, including our church community, Covenant. It was a tasty dinner at Ti Amo's and then, because so many of us had babysitters for the evening, we headed to a casino to dance. (Don't I love being Methodist!!) In all actuality, we didn't stay long - I've been spoiled by all OK restaurants being smoke-free that one step in the casino nearly did me in. But we did dance a bit :)
We tried four different times to get a good family picture to use for Christmas card purposes. My friend Alissa was so kind to meet us and tons of pictures just to make triple sure there were a couple decent ones in the bunch. Never a good one of the four of us but this one's pretty priceless.
Because I work at Riverfield, I had a two week Winter Break just like the kiddos. We took part of that time to travel to very west Texas to visit some of Aaron's family. Along the way, we spotted this truck with our friend Lauren (former Miss America) on it. I had seen it on a billboard but never speeding down the highway. Caleb was pretty excited to see the face of someone he knew on the side of a truck.
Our first stop was in Brownfield, which is close to Lubbock to see three of Aaron's great aunts. Though they are all getting up there in years, they still each live independently and were very hospitable to us. It was a challenge to keep Caleb away from all the breakable things but he and Harper Grace were very sweet and the aunts were good to put up with the increase in volume and activity for the day. Aaron's parents met us in Brownfield then we all headed to Farwell, TX - home to Aaron's half sister Lori and her family. It is so far west that it's about 10 minutes away from Clovis, NM. Lori, Gary, Stacey, and Bri live on a farm; it was a different experience for Caleb to not see any other houses around and to get to ride in Uncle Gary's big red tractor. We celebrated early Christmas with Aaron's family then headed back to Tulsa, just in time...
...because the next day bad weather began to move in, but not before Caleb could make his first trip to a movie theater to see the Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel. His friends Owen and Aidan joined him and all three were quite well-behaved.
The bad weather moved in on Christmas Eve day but we already had plans with some friends to go to early Christmas Eve service then to dinner at our favorite Mexican place, Arizona. You'd think I would get a clue when my sister, who was coming in from OKC, said she was glad they made it in one piece. Or when Asbury canceled the late services, then all services. Or when the restaurant we were going to closed early. Pshhhh...it's just snow and we have a 4 wheel drive truck, right? So we arranged to still meet our friends at the only restaurant that we could find that was still open. The snow was coming down but nothing horrible...until we sat down at the table and looked outside to see snow blowing HORIZONTALLY across the window. We quickly ate our dinner and the 10 mile drive took us about 90 minutes. OK, maybe I won't be so brave next time.
Once we were safe and sound, Caleb and Harper Grace put on matching pjs for yet another photo session. A few cute ones but we never did get both of them to look at the camera at the same time.
He was quite excited (but not quite as excited as our aching bodies and sleep-deprived eyes would have liked). There is a great video clip that should go RIGHT HERE but it is long enough that I can't get it to upload but I am ready to post this blog so I'll keep working on it for next time. (Anyone know of any free editing software? I just need to cut out a few seconds of the video for it to upload?)
Christmas day got off to a slow start because my parents and Morgan and Brian couldn't get here as early as they would have liked due to the foot of snow on the ground. Once they got to our house, we enjoyed stockings, brunch, presents, appetizers, and dinner in the space of a few hours so that we could stay on schedule. He was very eager to open his stocking but had to wait until my family arrived. He had asked Santa for "lots of cars" and was concerned when they weren't left along with the trampoline. We explained that Santa might have left some surprises in his stocking. Whew! There were cars in the stocking...Santa does exist!
Caleb was a great present-distributor, making sure all the presents were placed in the right pile.
Harper is pretty much fearless, walking around everywhere and climbing anything she can. I told Aaron that I'm willing to bet we go to the ER with her before we do with Caleb (aka Mr. Cautious).
My big big boy. He looks 3 going on 13 in this picture, I think.
Harper on January 1st -looking a little worse for the wear!