Thursday, January 9, 2014

Christmas trip 2013: Aunt Stephanie's house

This was our best trip to Aunt Stephanie's house yet! What made it so great was her kids, Craig (10) and Abby (7). They were fabulous playing with Olivia and Leo. They were so good, in fact, that there were stretches of time where the four "big" kids played in the basement on their own while the adults sat upstairs and visited. Amazing! 

But there were a lot of highlights! After an uneventful road trip on the 26th, with just 45 minutes of napping from Leo and none from Olivia, but pretty good behavior and lots of iPad watching, we arrived at Steph's in the evening for dinner. Immediately the kids were playing, and they played the rest of the evening. We got to see baby Isaac for the first time that evening, too, and Heidi for the first time since she has been a mom! But I wasn't able to hold that sweet baby because I was sick and didn't want to share that with him!

The next day we went to Grandma Dorothy's and Grandpop Steve's for breakfast and got to play with Isaac again. We went back to Steph's to play longer and then headed back to Mom and Dad's to visit my Aunt Vicky, Uncle Gary, and cousin Erika. They came out in the afternoon on the 27th, and it was great to reminisce about days gone by with Erika and see my very sweet Aunt Vicky.

Aunt Vicky and Isaac
Heidi, Erika, Me, Stephanie
Me, Mom, Heidi, Erika, Stephanie, Vicky

I didn't realize until it was upon us, but we were actually having a Christmas dinner. Had I known, I would have bathed and changed my children into more appropriate clothes! I took no part in the preparation, but was happy to partake of the feast! In the mean time, we played, of course!

Grandma and Isaac

Craig, Luke, Xavier, Abby, Leo, and Olivia

The kids' table. Olivia didn't want to sit there, but Leo did!

Alex, Isaac's dad, is in the foreground here. I think it may be one of the only pictures of him in the whole bunch! My cousin Laura, Xavier's mom, is on the far right.

Brandon--looking thrilled--, Stephanie, and Isaac 
Getting ready to open presents!

"Why wait?" thought Leo. "It doesn't count if the gift isn't for me, right?"

"Oh, we aren't buying presents this year," said Mom and Dad.

The next day, I drove Dad to the airport to fly back to ND. It was nice to have the drive time to get a one-on-one visit with him. In the mean time, the kids played:

We got a quick picture of my sisters and I with our youngests. None were the perfect picture, but we tried! 

Heidi and Isaac (4mo), Stephanie and Luke (13mo), Christine and Leo (22mo)

We went horse back riding twice while we were there. Olivia LOVED it! Leo liked it, but was more interested the first day in playing in the van, and the second day in feeding the cows! Ha! They also loved playing on the hay bales in the barn! The second day we walked down from Steph's house, so I have some photos of the cute farm kids! Stephanie and Mom were extremely gracious in doing all the work catching and saddling the horses!

Leo had fun, too!
Can you see the excitement!

Notice the little boys at the gate!
Look at that cowgirl, Abby!

When the kids took baths, they never took them alone! We loved it! 

Luke, Olivia, Abby one evening
Luke and Leo another evening

Grandma Clara has been living with Stephanie and Brandon since August, and it was fun to see how much Luke loved Grandma! Here they are in their signature position: Luke sitting on Grandma's lap in her easy chair!

I didn't get any basement photos, which is remarkable because that is where the kids spent most of their play time. We did make it to the Louisville Science Center one morning, and all five kids had a ball! 

Craig and Abby made some pretty cool dams and flows!
Playing in the airplane cabin!
And in the cockpit!
A little Star Wars!
The air circulation seen through the movement of the scarves was pretty fun to play with and watch!

We had such a great four day visit with Grandma Dorothy, Grandpop Steve, Aunt Stephanie, Uncle Brandon, Craig, Abby, Luke, Grandma Clara, Aunt Heidi, Uncle Alex, and baby Isaac! We miss you guys already!

1 comment :

  1. great post! and I LOVE the sister pic with your youngest kiddos!!! precious.