A romantic getaway to Biltmore for the 2 of us. The first time since Alden was born. Of course, my highlight was the freezing cold trail ride. But the candlelight tour with live music and dancing was cool too as was the winery. Thanks Grandmama and Grandaddy for looking after our little ones for us!
Then it was off to USC (we managed to restrain ourselves from wearing tiger paws and playing the tiger rag) to see Skipper's commissioning into the Army National Guard. We had to miss graduation b/c of scheduling. Soon Skip will be off to training but so far he won't be going out of the country as at first thought.
Then it was back home where we regretted the fact that we forgot our rain boots at Grandmama's and Grandaddy's.
Oh yes. We risked my sanity again this year. I figured out that if we bake the cookies first then decorate the day after, it works much better, and the kitchen and dining room aren't turned over when we're done.
We made snowmen from socks (see our reno/extras blog) and beans and a felt Christmas tree and stockings for Rhi's doll house. I think Alden only consumed one sequin.
We affirmed our strangeness to the neighbors by giving them hand-drawn Christmas cards straight from Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus. Alden absolutely loved throwing hay from our wagon into people's pristine driveways.
We again did a Christmas play on Christmas eve. Notice all of the stuffed "stable" animals surrounding the "manger". In the morning we read the Christmas story, ran down the hall yelling "Jesus is born! Jesus is born!" (so exciting even for me), and sang happy birthday to Jesus with a candle in some coffee cake.
When they opened the kitchen, Rhi couldn't figure out what it was! She thought it was a house. They got the hang of it pretty quickly though, and it's continued to be a favorite here. This is one thing that, as a girl, I always wanted, so it's extra special to be able to give this to them.
"It's a guc!!!" (a really cool one too. He loves it.)
Christmas chaos at Grandmama's and Grandaddy's. We were able to see Aunt Clara and Uncle Brooks there too.
To sweeten the deal, Clemson won their bowl game. Notice how nonchalant we all are about it.
Visiting with some sweet friends.
Yelling through the vent holes. Alden also participated, but here he looks like he's saying, "What?"
Wally's no city boy and neither are his friends from back home. We got to visit some dear older friends who have been so kind to Wally and to me. We give them full credit for the existence of our honeymoon since they allowed us to use their mountain and cabin free of charge!
There's something about SC and Chic-fil-A. We went to Grandpa and Nanny Kim's 'though it wasn't our year for it, b/c Uncle Christopher flew in from Seattle.
A nice visit with Great Grandpa.
With the Grandparents who always spoil me. I feel like a child again sometimes not having to worry about cooking and such (same goes for when I'm at Grandmama's).
Visiting Great Grandma. We started reading the Bible to her, and she took it away from us and wanted to read it for herself! Alden gave her lots of hugs at the end, and she said, "I'll take more of that!" Rhianwen sung Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer (Rhi's favorites) I'm so thankful for my 2 kiddos who do so amazingly with the Greatgrands.
She'll probably kill me, but it was fun getting reacquainted with a girl I knew way back in the Jr High days. Rhianwen really enjoyed it!
Some funny sayings by Rhianwen:
At the beginning of the season I asked her "What does Santa Claus do?"
Rhianwen pondered deeply for a moment and then replied, "He drinks Coke."
After watching part of White Christmas, Rhianwen is now singing the "Sisters" song. But instead of saying Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters, she sings, "Sisters, sisters, everlasting life for sisters!".
And after all of our festivities, Alden now can say "dince" (dance). He adds many words and phrases daily it seems. It's so fun how much he is learning. A favorite winter pass time for him is looking out the window at the bird feeders and watching them all eat seed.
You made it to the end of the picture marathon. Now eat some plastic pasta.