Thursday, December 31, 2009

Galveston, again.

We had planned to take my family to Moody Gardens to see the Christmas lights just before Christmas. However, thanks to Aunt Mary's cooties (at least according to Kevin... :)) the boys were sick the better part of the week. So a few days after Christmas we tried again. As we neared Galveston it began to rain. As we got closer to the island it slowed to a steady drizzle. It was still drizzling when we arrived. We decided to visit the aquarium pyramid first in the hopes that by the time we were done the rain might have stopped all together. We apparently weren't the only ones with the same thought as we ran into Jason and his wife Cheryl's family, too.

The boys had a great time watching all the fish swim by.

They enjoyed running from one exhibit to the next.

Ryan in the Shark cage.

Somehow we managed to miss the penguins the first time through so we had to double back and find them. It was neat to see them swimming underwater, and waddling around up on the ice cap, too. We even watched as one particularly large penguin kept trying to get back up on the ice. He didn't quite get far enough and had to try several times before he made it cheered on by us, and other visitors, too.

Before we left the pyramid the boys spotted Frosty and stopped by to say hello.

Then bundled up tight and plied with snacks we set off the see the lights. Thankfully the rain had stopped, but the winds gusting off the open water were still pretty chilly.

We stopped here and there for pictures along the way.

It was certainly much less crowded than it was the time before.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Portraits and IOUs fullfilled

It was time for family portraits again. So the morning after Christmas we headed to the photo studio bright and early to have pictures taken.

I think they turned out great again this year. Though unfortunately getting the boys to sit still in a picture together proved to be as challenging as I expected.
I am afraid this was as good as it got. :) Distracted with snacks they managed to sit within proximity of one another for a few seconds at least.

I wish these pictures had turned out better. I loved the contrast with the red and black.

Even setting the boys on stools where they couldn't get away we couldn't manage to get them both looking in the same direction much less smiling for the camera. I think these pictures paint a more accurate picture of what life is really like anyways... :)

With my Grandparents here for Christmas it was the first time the whole family would be in one place in long time. I can't even remember the last time our family had portraits taken so for Christmas one of the gifts I gave my Grandparents was a family portrait.

It was probably one of the best gifts I have ever given them. I know they will treasure the pictures for years to come.


Christmas was so much fun this year. With the boys getting older they are really starting to enjoy things more and get so excited about it all.

The boys were thrilled with Christmas from the moment the decorations starting coming out.

Their favorite were the Hallmark snowmen and Night before Christmas bear that were set on the coffee table. Once they figured out how to work the buttons they were off to the races.

They would run around and around the table trying to keep them all going at once. It was so cute, and so funny.

Christmas came so fast this year I have no idea where it went, but before I knew it, it was already Christmas Eve. My mom and Grandparents came out this year. It's the first time my Grandparents have made the trip in a long, long time. So we were super excited to have them out to visit. Grannie read the boys Christmas bedtime stories and filled their heads with dreams of sugarplums.

Once the boys were in bed Santa's newly deputized elves got to work. They helped Santa get all the toys ready to play with on Christmas morning while mom and dad worked on wrapping lots and lots of presents.

With the clock chiming 2am the presents were wrapped and put in their places. Santa had come and filled stockings for one and all and left a few surprises for the boys as well.
The boys woke up just after 7am as usual. They noticed the presents and gifts from Santa from the upstairs catwalk.

As soon as the gate was opened they made their way downstairs as fast as they could.
And went right to the presents meant for them. Ryan to his truck.
And Connor to his new book reader.

They also checked out the mailboxes Santa had left.

And then Connor spotted the frogs.
The boys had to feed them each and every piece before we could move on.
We eventually made it to the stockings.
Ryan excitedly pulled out truck after truck.
Connor on the other hand found raisins at the top of his stocking and refused to go further until he had polished off at least one box.
After seeing what Santa had brought we took a break and fed the boys what would be the first of their breakfasts.

With food out of the way the boys began opening presents.

With a little encouragement they began to rip the wrapping paper off package after package.

The boys did a great job of helping get the right packages to the right people.

They stopped now and then to play with some of their new toys before deciding to unwrap a few more.

With all the presents unwrapped the adults had brunch, and the boys their second breakfasts. After a round of quick showers we changed out of our PJs and took the show on the road. We stopped briefly at my Aunt and Uncles where the boys opened yet more presents

And once again helped distribute the gifts to all the right folks.

Connor spent a minute helping Justin assemble the BBQ grill or rather running off with a the little bits and pieces. :)

We one again packed the boys back into the car and headed to Kevin's brother's house to celebrate Christmas with his family. It was more than an hour after their normal nap time and at least a 30 minute drive so Kevin sat in the back in the hopes of keeping the boys awake so that they could take a nap once we arrived.

After a nap and dinner the boys opened more presents.

As the boys' bed time approached we headed home once more. But before we called it a night we had to wish Grannie a Happy Birthday as well.


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