Thursday, January 23, 2014

Christmas with the Cousins

It is such a special time when our family can all get together -- especially since half of our crew lives in Shenzhen, China!  This year was no exception. Adam, Chandra and Noah and Tristan came to stay at mom and dad's house in Moody for a month or so over the holidays. The normally quiet Queen Anne Victorian home gets a makeover on the 2nd floor as they prepare to have kids rule the roost.

This year we did something different, though. All of Chandra's family flew in from California to join us for the festivities! We had a full house with Ian, the boys, Talia and I, as well as Chandra, Adam, Noah and Tristan and Chandra's side of the family, along with Mom, Dad and JB! 

It was truly a family-filled Christmas! Here are some photos of our time all together...

Dad, Ian, Chandra's father - Karl, her Uncle Eric, her Aunt Vicki, Chandra and Adam all playing a family game of Monopoly one night. Adam has made this a family tradition to play Monopoly late into the night at least one time during the holiday. This time Karl won!

Christmas morning. Elijah got snowman sunglasses and I was wearing Joaquin's Christmas tree glasses.

Joaquin and Tristan were buddies, playing on the i-pad one morning

Uncle Adam gave Talia a "lip-smakin" passy in her stocking.

Elijah's new mustache stocking stuffer

Talia learned how to smile while we were staying at MiMi and Papaw's house for the holiday

Our first family meal out with all the boys in tow! They did great and made masterpieces on their coloring pages while we waited for the food to arrive.

Always fun at the kids end of the table!

Right outside Maggiano's where we ate dinner was a kids train that went all around the shopping area of the Domain. The boys LOVE to ride the train and it is a great motivator to have good manners during dinner so they can ride the train after we are all done! One adult gets to ride with them and it was my turn this time!

Noah and Elijah in their super hero outfits! These cousins are less than a month apart in age!

One day we took all the boys to the bowling alley for games, laser tag and arcade. The kids had a blast and so did mommy and daddy. Elijah learned how to make "selfie" faces. :)

Noah and Elijah with their Slurpee's during the game

Elijah picking out his bowling ball

Mommy teaching Joaquin how to bowl without stepping over the penalty line

All the boys got to play Pac Man on the dual game board

This was my attempt to take a photo of the crew during laser tag. It was pretty tough to see anything through the black lights and the smoke clouds. I hadn't played in years and it was super fun!

This is what the crew looked like on the way home from the bowling alley! 
Knocked out from all the fun!

A typical boys bath night... never a dull moment with four boys all 5 and under

Talia got to try on lots of Christmas gear... :)
MiMi had this little elf outfit that Tristan wore at one time. Talia looked so precious in it and it was super warm!

The day after Christmas was the official "day of the nap" for everyone -- including Daddy!

On Christmas Eve the boys all got matching p.j.s to sleep in!
Can you tell they are excited?

Chandra is soooooo good at getting all the boys in bed. She always put them in the tub, read them goodnight stories and got them in bed! They loved their special time "camping out" together.

This was our gingerbread house tradition. The boys each took a wall and decorated it then we put it all together to build the house! MiMi had lots of activities like this planned for the kiddos when we all got together!

This is one of the puzzle nights the kids had. MiMi and the boys all put together several

The grand kids all cuddled up with MiMi to watch a movie

Sweet Talia slept right in the middle of the mix!

Uncle John was so sweet with Talia! They bonded during the holidays and had special time together!

Joaquin ADORES being a big brother! And if you can't tell by Talia's big smile, she loves her big brother too!

This was another one of Talia's sweet little Christmas outfits!

Uncle Adam holding the first baby girl of the family

One of Talia's first giggles caught on film!

Talia is definitely a daddy's girl. She lights up every time she hears his voice and smiles when he tickles her!

Christmas Eve service

Waiting in line to put the kiddos in the kids service

Christmas morning

All the kids were in a flurry of activity

Chandra made her family traditional egg and sourdough breakfast casserole and the boys quickly opened their Santa gifts

Elijah was the only one I could get to stop for a second and pose for a photo

The archeology magnifying glass was a favorite

Uncle Adam read Luke 2 - the Christmas story before the festivities all began

Joaquin put on his new soccer jersey and his tree sunglasses and ran up and down the stairs yelling for everyone to come downstairs so we could open gifts under the tree

Elijah and Joaquin's big Santa gift was power wheels cars. The boys piled up in their p.j.s and coats and boots and hats and raced around the drive way all day!

Each car seats two kids so all 4 off the boys had a blast!

And Talia got lots of cuddles! Aunt Chandra was a favorite to cuddle up with and fall asleep...

It was a wonderful holiday season and we all made so many special memories together!

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