Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas festivities!

Okay, brace yourselves... this is going to be a long one filled with many, many pictures from our Christmas adventure to the Tri-Cities.

December 21st-22nd: We spend most of Sunday and Monday last week cooped up in our house because of all the ice and snow from Arctic Blast 2008! As I mentioned in my previous post, I-84 that runs between Portland and the Tri-Cities (my hometown) was closed due to the weather and bad visibility, preventing us from leaving Gresham earlier like we had hoped.

December 23rd: I woke up and checked my cell phone next to the bed and was shocked when the clock read 7:19am... The last thing I had remembered was feeding Cooper and going to bed around 11pm- that's right 11pm!!! Cooper was still sleeping (approx. 8 hours)- Merry Christmas to me! I turned on the T.V. to "Breaking News" that I-84 was opening right then, they opened the gates in Troutdale to the interstate at 7:22am and we were all clear to pack the van and make the trip! By the time we did get all packed, kids fed, Wendy's for lunch, gas in the van, and got on the road, it was about 1:30pm. The roads were still a little scary in places, but Rick did an excellent job driving and got us to my mom's house safe and sound around 7pm. The normally 3-3 1/2 hour drive took about 5 1/2 hours, but it was worth taking the extra time to get there in one piece.
Before we left, Rick took this cute picture of the kids standing in the snow drift leading up to our front door... it was almost as tall as they are!
Here is a photo I took of the road, just before we got to Hood River. YIKES!
December 24th: Growing up, we always had a great big dinner on Christmas Eve and then opened all of our gifts- except the gifts Santa brought of course! So, this year was no different!
Here is the beautiful tree my mom decorated, before we tore into all the gifts!
Riley and Cassidy in their matching Christmas dresses!
Tyson hiding in all the gifts!
Cooper was a great early Christmas present for us this year!
We were able to get a couple of good family pictures... after many, many attempts!
Grandma Diane was really excited to spend her first Christmas with all the grandkids since moving back from Hawaii.
Grandpa Jim read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to the kids before we opened gifts.
The kids layed out (and on) their stockings for Santa to fill before going to bed...
Sometime just before midnight, Santa made his stop at Grandma's and delivered many wonderful gifts for the children...
December 25th: Christmas morning, the kids woke up at Grandma's to new toys and treasures left by Santa the night before. The girls had fun playing with new princess dresses that Cassidy got and I'm pretty sure Tyson would have been content with the new sippy cups Santa left in his stocking!
Later that morning we packed up the van and made our way to Papa and Grandma Gayle's house to have breakfast and open gifts with them.
The kids got a kick out of the singing Frosty the Snowman.
But, Tyson did not like the barking stuffed dog under the tree... the rest of the day, he wouldn't go near it and kept saying "scary" when he saw it.
I just thought this photo of Tyson was cute with the fireman's hat... it went perfectly with this fireman's rain boots he has on in the picture above.
All the kids with Grandma Gayle and Papa.
I think Cooper really enjoyed his very first Christmas... can't you tell?!
Then, it was back to Grandma Diane's and Grandpa Jim's for a yummy Christmas dinner of ham and potato casserole! The kids ran around in their new pajama's and robes... We also drove around town that night looking at all the beautiful Christmas lights (and trying to get the kids to fall asleep!). I love this time of year!
I think Tyson looks a bit like Hugh Hefner in his robe!
And Riley wouldn't stand still for me to get a cute photo of her...
December 26th: After days of being on the go, we were all super exhausted! But, we bundled up the kids in the morning so they could go out and play in the snow for a little bit. It was so cold outside (probably a little too cold) and I think it actually took longer to get ready to go out and play than we were really out there! My mom's house sits on a cul-de-sac, which had been plowed in a circle making a perfect little crater for the kids to climb on and play in. I think they had fun! There was a smudge on the camera lens that I didn't notice until later, which is way the next three photos look a little foggy...
Tyson was very interested in eating the snow (non of it yellow, thank goodness!) and decided to take his boots off in the snow... that's right about when Rick decided it was best to come inside and warm up!
This was Cousin Cassidy's very first time playing in the snow... it's actually her first "real"/full winter after living in Hawaii for the first couple of years of her life! Lucky girl! (That's Rick getting some great film footage in the background)
We spent the rest of the day relaxing on the couch while the kids napped and my mom, Jim, and Cassidy drove my Grandma Clarette back to Walla Walla. I told Rick at one point that the previous couple of days had almost been a blur because they were so busy- a very blessed and fun busy! That night, we went back to my dad's for dinner. Before we left, the girls "made" some cookies with Grandma and Tyson played with some of his new tools.
December 27th: We had a few things to do back at home for the weekend and on Monday, so we had to pack up on Saturday morning and head back to Gresham. The trip home was much easier than the drive over. The kids were all amazing little travelers, we hardly heard anything from the backseat the entire trip! We also didn't make a single stop, so the drive only took 3 hours- great time!
The snow had mostly melted, but the rain was coming down pretty hard starting around The Dalles and lasting the rest of the way home, making for a tense drive. Again, Rick did an amazing job getting us from point A to point B safe and sound!
Riley was so excited to help feed Cooper and hold the bottle while mommy's arm got a break from reaching to the back seat!
I can't believe how much stuff Rick was able to cram/pack into the back of the van... and that was with the back row of seats gone! We need to learn to pack a little lighter...
When we got home, Rick unpacked the van while I fed the kids lunch. We had just enough time to load back into the van and head to the church for the 4:30pm service. Due to the bad weather, all the previous weekend and Christmas services were canceled/postponed, so we were able to see the Christmas program a few days late. It was a fun way to extend the joy of Christmas just a few days longer this year and the music was beautiful!

December 28th: Riley woke up Sunday morning with a fever (102.6 at one point) and spend the entire day wrapped in blankies on the couch sleeping and watching movies. With no competition for the new toys, Tyson had a great day playing and being really cute in the playroom. If only he were that way all the time... but, he and Riley seem to enjoy fighting over toys a little too much! Rick and I spent the day working hard at organizing the house and garage in order to make room for some of our new stuff and generally get the house in order. We even took down all the Christmas decorations. I didn't get any before and after pictures of the house- but, it looked like a clothing/toys bomb went off before and looks like all clean and nice now!

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday! I feel so blessed to have been able to spend the days with family and only wish the weather would have allowed us to get to the Tri-Cities earlier to visit with some friends too... hopefully next time we're in town! (I warned you it would be long... sorry!)


MSB said...

It looks like you had a fun and BUSY time! I love the kids' stockings!

Babyfro said...

Wow, busy busy! I'm so glad you were able to get to and from safely. It looks like you had a great holiday!

Lisa said...

I love it all! Except the driving on that road. That I hate. But I'm glad Rick knew how to drive in it and you're all safe!
What is on top of the Legos from Santa?
Tyson really is handsome beyond his years! He's gonna be a heart breaker!