Ok, I'll try not to write too much. . . it's been a crazy 2 weeks so I'll try to sum it up in pictures.
The week before Thanksgiving, Brad's mom, Lynn, came into town. We started off her visit with a 'birthday party' for all of us because since she never gets to spend birthdays with us, we celebrated everyone's birthday, ate cake and opened a ton of presents she brought. So fun! Thanks Lynn!
We walked around Chinatown in the rain and visited some tea shops. . .
Two weeks after Lynn headed home, we headed to Dallas for Christmas. I seriously can't even remember what happened in those two weeks. . . it was a blur.
Christmas in Dallas was a bit unexpected because of Brad's dad's leukemia taking a turn for the worse in the weeks right before Christmas. We planned to be in Houston for Christmas but the whole gang transported Christmas to Dallas to be closer to the Bill since he couldn't leave the hospital.
The kids took no time at all to warm back up to the family (actually none but Bill & Judy had even met William and the girls hadn't seen the rest of the bunch in 2 years). They had a ball with all the cousins, aunts and uncles and of course, Bill and Judy.
Christmas Even with the fam. . . There was no coaxing a smile out of William. He was sure he was going to be taken from us again. He's spent a bit too much time away from Mama since we got to go on a date that lasted most of a day the day before and he'd had it! What a great time (for us!)!
and the littles!
It wouldn't have been Christmas morning without SOPA so we had him on Facetime.
Our pictures of Christmas morning don't even begin to capture the chaos of 9 little kids, 5 big kids, and 15 adults opening presents and enjoying eachother.
Gramma Juis with her oldest and youngest grandsons. Love!
Thank you Christy and Chris for hosting all the family for Christmas! Your hospitality was amazing and we had a wonderful time. The kids want to know what all the Texas bunch is going to come stay at our house.
On Christmas day we were able to go to Ice at the Gaylord Texan. It was an amazing display of ice sculptures in the theme of Frosty the Snowman. Man, was it cold at only 9 degrees! We were all frozen despite wearing their coats. It was amazing though!
Here's just one of the sculptures of Frosty. There were rooms and rooms of these, a nativity scene and a huge ice slide that we all slid down. Unfortunately while William was acting like a penguin on the way out, he took a nose dive and scraped up his face. It was really funny until the end. :(
We even got to visit Uncle Jeff's new Chick-fil-a store in Dallas. Thanks for the tour Jeff!
After all the mayhem of Christmas, we were able to spend another afternoon with Bill at the hospital. He seriously needed a nap after the kids left. :)
So here's the crew, minus Bill & Judy. What an amazing family we have. And why are we (the NON-TEXANS!) the only ones in full matching garb?! Come on you guys!
Thanks Uncle Don for taking a family picture for us! Merry Christmas from Texas!
For Christmas Brad got a juicer that can juice greens and so he's started into a juicing reboot. We're buying enough fruits and veggies to feed a small community and we are enjoying all the varieties of juices you can make with the new juicer. Fun, and surprisingly filling and nutritious.
Here's us halfway through. We rode from Sausalito to SF, had a picnic, and then back again.
As beautiful as the day was, it was stressful watching my babies ride their bikes in such heavy bike traffic with all the loud noise from the cars right next to us. The were amazing though. Even when Addy fell, she just pulled her bike out of the way and waited for me to help her since she still hasn't figured out how to start herself without training wheels. Elsie thought it was great fun to ride on my tail bumping the trailer. Whatever kept her going. By the end, William had fallen asleep in the trailer. I'd say the ride was a success.
And here's where we'll drop of the planet for a few months until I set aside all I'm supposed to get done to update again. :) We're settling into homeschool, Bible study, regular life and another run with a cold. Is it spring yet? No, but it probably will be by the time you hear from me again! Happy New Year!