Monday, December 29, 2008

Other family activities

This is the last post of our Christmas week activities. On Friday, we went to West Palm Beach for a tour on the Diva Duck! It is one of those amphibious boats, and it does a little tour of downtown West Palm Beach, then goes out into the intercoastal (Lake Worth Lagoon is the official name, I learned) and gives a tour of a section of Palm Beach Island. Even though we live here, we found it very interesting and learned some new things about where we live! Some of the homes we saw belong to James Patterson, the well-known mystery novelist (his son goes to the school where I teach), the founder of Slim-Fast (whose daughter goes to the school where I teach), the heirs of the Ford fortune, and a few others. It was a very relaxing ride! For any of you who live down here and have kids, this would be a really fun activity for you!

Zach was so excited to ride the "big boat"!

Payton was very wiggly, but she enjoyed it most of the time.

Not sure what happened here...she was much more into her snack than she was posing for a picture!

It was nice to spend such quality time with my parents, too!

Chad, Jennifer, and the boys. Jake was apparently not too interested in having his picture taken, either!

On Saturday, we went to the mall for a little bit before taking them to the airport. Zach and Payton enjoyed some of the little rides. Jake is still too little, but we enjoyed spending time with him too!

Zach was "amazed" by the train! He LOVES trains right now!

Zach and Payton rode the taxi together!

After going to the airport, we stopped back by CityPlace for a little bit. They were having nightly "snowfalls", which we wanted to see. Payton loved it, but wasn't quite sure what to think at first! It was pretty impressive to see how they made a "snowfall" out of seemingly south Florida!

She was reaching out trying to touch the snow!

We were sad to see my family leave, but we had such a nice time. Now, it's on to a week of vacation at home! More pictures to come...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Day

Christmas morning...nothing quite like it! We had a wonderful Christmas. Robb and I got up early and opened our presents together before the morning started with Payton. Then, we opened presents with her, and headed to my parent's house. There, we opened presents, enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner, and played games that evening with friends and family. It was a full day, but so fun, relaxing, and left us with a reminder of how blessed and loved we are.

This is not a flattering picture, but I am so excited about my iPhone that Robb got me for Christmas this year! He hid it in our clock. He called it (without me knowing), and sent me was really fun! I still don't know how to use a fourth of it, but I'm having fun learning!

Before Payton opened her presents, we read an age-appropriate version of the Christmas story with her.

Like most babies, she loved the bags, paper, and bows!

We got her a little rocking "lamb" (like a rocking horse!) She wasn't quite sure what to think! But, I know she will grow into it quickly!

We also got her a wagon. I was THRILLED to find the good, old-fashioned Radio Flyer wagon. I had to get it on ebay, since most stores don't carry this kind anymore. It came new, in the box, which was really nice.

Payton obviously loved it! I'm sure this will provide hours and hours of entertainment for years to come!

Holding on for dear life!

Christmas shoes must taste good!

After we got to my parents' house, my brother read the real Christmas story before we opened presents.

I am blessed with a wonderful sister-in-law and friend!

Payton, surrounded by her gifts!

We got Zach his first was fun to take him out on it the next day!

Jake, with his presents behind him.

Presents everywhere!

Zach had a blast with this Thomas drum! It was hilarious to watch him!

Robb, opening a gift from my brother. He got a K-State basketball, signed by Michael Beasley, the big star from last year who now plays for the Miami Heat. Robb was VERY excited! He loves K-State, and also loves Michael Beasley. This was a great gift for him!

My mom displays the calendar I made her with pictures of her grandkids.

My dad gives Robb and Chad the golf clubs that he made for them. They were both very excited, and enjoyed trying them out the next day! Sitting beside Robb is one of my presents from my mom and dad...a Coach diaper bag! I went home and organized it that night! I love it!

We were so glad that Scott, Bianca, and Wyatt could join us for Christmas dinner. It's hard to believe that three of these blessings were not even here last year!

My mom fixed a fabulous dinner (as always)! She is truly my favorite cook in the whole, wide world!!!!!!

Payton had to open some of her presents after dinner, since she fell asleep during all the excitement of the morning!

My dad built this beautiful toy box for her. It is like a regular toy box, but also has a back on it, making it double as a bench. He made the hinges to where they won't fall down on her fingers. It is beautiful, and something Payton will use for years and years to come! Even grown-up girls need a cute bench in their rooms! Thanks Dad! This will always be special to Payton!

Trying it out...

A good game of Monopoly...I finally conceded to Robb!
It was a wonderful Christmas, and we enjoyed all the presents, food, fun, and games, but most importantly, we enjoyed the wonderful time spent with our family as we celebrated the real REASON FOR THE SEASON!!!

Christmas Eve

Well, these pictures are all backwards...sorry! I have too many to do to go back and redo it all, so enjoy anyway!
On Christmas Eve, my family came to our house for dinner and to open stockings...along with a visit from a special guest!

Payton enjoys a little gift with Daddy.

Jake checks out his new little gift too. handsome little guy! We really enjoyed our time with him. He is growing and changing so much every time we see him! He is such a pleasant, laid-back baby!

My family at dinner. (Jake was taking a nap.)

So wonderful to all be together!

My dad played the part of fun for the kids! Obviously, we don't teach them that Santa is really real, but just something to have fun with.

Payton was very intrigued!

We all watched Santa make his big entrance!

Zach was trying to figure it all was very entertaining!

Zach opens the door for a special guest!

Jake, Payton, and Zach all played so well together!

We opened stockings Christmas Eve; here is Payton with a book we got her. She is really starting to take an interest in books!

Opening stockings...

Zach apparently got a tie in his stocking and tried it on with his pajamas!

Payton enjoyed a little play time with her Uncle Chad...and who knew that stacking rings could make such a great pillow!