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I’m a tad bit behind on posting this, but we’ve been home from our holiday travels for two weeks, and I feel like I’m just now getting caught up with the day-to-day needs of the 4rechs.  It would help if certain people would stop trashing my house.  I guess that’s why God made them so cute.

Our two weeks of holiday madness, I mean, fun, started the weekend of December 20th when my mom and my niece Cameryn came down to visit and help me get packed and ready to go.  It was a quick trip, as they arrived Saturday noon and we all (except Craig) left again on Sunday around 11 to head back to Branson.  We did manage to sneak in a trip to the drive through lights at Burns Park on Saturday night.  I think the girls and Callen were more excited about being let out of their car seats while we were looking at the lights than they were about the display itself.   I thought the lights were nice, but some of them were conspicuously un-holiday-ish (an alligator chasing a family of razorbacks?).

Anyhow, Craig came to Branson on Monday night after work, and then we woke up early on Tuesday morning to head to the airport in Springfield.  We arrived at 8:30am for our flight that was supposed to leave at 10:30am.  We were informed at check in that our plane was delayed out of Chicago.  Long story short, we left Springfield at 3:30pm, after countless rides up and down the escalators with Carina and laps around the terminal with Callen in the stroller. We managed to catch a flight out of Chicago within 45 minutes of getting off our first flight, which we thought was very, very lucky.  Finally, we arrived at Mike and Debe’s house just outside of DC.  We spent 3 days visiting and relaxing at their house and eating lots of good food. Carina and Callen had great fun roaming around and playing with PawPaw and Nanna.  Callen got to meet Uncle Shawn, Aunt Becky, cousin Sarah, and Uncle Mikey for the first time. Carina had great fun with cousin Sarah, and  all of cousin Sarah’s toys too!

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner

Hey Uncle Shawn, what's up?

Hey Uncle Shawn, what's up?

A Bicycle Built for Two!

A Bicycle Built for Two!

On Friday, Uncle Shawn shuttled us over to Woodbridge, where we stayed with Craig’s mother for three days.  Again, Carina and Callen had lots of fun checking out the premises and playing with their cousin Sarah and all the new toys.  We had Christmas celebration #2 and a wonderful feast.  It was so warm one day that we visited Craig’s old elementary school and let Carina and Callen blow off some steam on the playground. We also met Craig’s high school buddy, Mike Sands, and his family at the mall to play in the play area and catch up.  Ba-chan took good care of us and kept us well fed.  I actually got to read a book while we were there, which is a rare treat for me!

Two toddlers in a sack.

Two toddlers in a sack.

Best attempt at getting all three kids to pose for a picture...

Best attempt at getting all three kids to pose for a picture...

Matching snow suits from Ba-Chan - what posers!

Matching snow suits from Ba-Chan - what posers!

On Monday, Aunt Becky took us back to the airport, where we kept our fingers crossed for an easier trip back home.  Everything ran mostly on time and we made it back into Springfield and then back to Branson.  The next day, we headed back up to Springfield to visit the Summers family.  We had not seen them since we moved, so it was really nice to visit with them.  They fed us well and also gave us a ridiculous amount of clothes for both Carina and Callen, in addition to toys for each. We could barely fit it all in the car!  Now everytime I get the kids dressed, it makes me miss the Summers family!

On Tuesday evening we celebrated Christmas with Mom and Richard. In case you’re counting, that’s celebration #3! Mom didn’t work on Wednesday, so we hung out with her and played on the new Wii Fit.  Very fun, I must say. In the evening we packed up the car and headed down to Blue Eye to visit Grandma Great on our way out of the state.  We stopped off in Hollister to eat mexican food and had the whole place to ourselves.  At Grandma’s house the kids got good and tired, and Carina managed to snag some books from Grandma’s vast collection.

Reading with Grandma Great

Reading with Grandma Great

We headed out around 7:30, and by 10:30, we were back in Little Rock, just in time to ring in the New Year in our own house.  The next morning, when the kids woke up, we realized that Santa had indeed visited our house while we were gone, and was quite generous to us once again.

New Year's Day in Little Rock

New Year's Day in Little Rock

What a whirlwind. We are so glad that we had the chance to visit so many of our family members and celebrate the holidays with them, and we are so glad to be home.

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