Jan 8, 2012

Christmas Stage 2

The kids did wonderfully on the drive to Grandma and Grandpa's house.
We had plenty of activities and hardly any fussing! The next day, they
had fun getting reacquainted with the house.

After a relaxing day and an outing to see Mission Impossible with my dad, we headed to East Tennessee.

We stopped in Nashville to have lunch with Aunt Melody and to finally meet Josh.
We found a neat hot dog place, which turned out to be more grease than hot dog!

We arrived in Knoxville that evening. We stayed at our friend Matt's house and caught up with college friends, including the kids' godparents. Lots of chatting and memories as always. A friend brought his 7 year old daughter so the girls had a lot of fun playing with her.

You would think after so much travel, meeting new people, and not being in their own home, they might be a little uncomfortable getting to sleep, but I guess all the activity overrode the unfamiliarity.

The next morning was Christmas Eve. Dax took the girls to his childhood church,
St. George's in Knoxville. This was where he took me when we first started dating. I was really taken aback by all the icons and the whole feel of the place back then. Now I see all the beauty!

Later that morning, Matt's gracious parents brought over a big breakfast and gifts for the kids.
Colin and Matt's mom played a bit of hid and seek.
Then we headed off to Sevierville.

I love this neighborhood where Dax's dad and stepmom live. The Tennessee hills I used to see o my Tennessee history textbooks growing up made no sense to me when I lived in Memphis. Where is that in Tennessee? I was lucky enough to go to college in this pretty setting and student teach almost directly in the hills. It was such a nice sight every day.

Getting to hang out with Papa Hats!

Christmas Eve is when Dave's side of the family gets together. For some crazy reason
I have no pictures of the extended family! There were 8 other people there!
Here is cousin Hudson, though, receiving
his choice of gifts for the season- anything related to the University of Georgia.

Dax and Colin try out the helmet.

Trading jokes with Uncle Alex.

Dax's brother with his sons, Weston and Hudson. It's hard to believe that Weston
was only 5 years old and the little ring bearer at our wedding.

The girls getting matching UT dresses. Good for football next fall. And of course
we'll have to take their picture and send it into the Vol magazine like everyone else.

Matching sleepers! I'll be sad when they're not into matching anymore. : )

Christmas morning, we visited St. Anne's church in Oak Ridge. That's where Dax and I had our Orthodox wedding almost 11 years ago. Colin wasn't too into the service, so we didn't stay for much chatting afterward. With time to spare before heading back to Papa Hats and Granny B's house, we had lunch at Ihop. Lots of tasty food for all, include Christmas sprinkled pancakes,
then we returned to the house for even more good food for two more days.

Granny B's side of the family came for Christmas Day. Weston helps Colin
open a cool toy.

Glow-in-the-dark remote control truck.

The adults were so happy to get a rare picture of all their grandkids.
With us in Texas and some others in Florida, who knows when they'll
all be together again. Gavin, Charity, Isabella, Hudson, Hannah, Colin, Chloe,
and Weston

This one was funny because Colin kept crawling back and forth across
their laps making them giggle.

I like this pose. Colin was in love with these steps
the whole time we were there. Only the last day did we
think to put a tv tray in front of them so he would
stay away.

Chloe and Hannah were very excited about this hand vacuum.
Perhaps that needs to be on my shopping list. There are a few messes
around here they could surely help out with.

All the sons- Jason, Joel, Alex, and Dax. Have I mentioned before
that in Dax's family everyone has two sons.? Including, I just realized,
Beverly. Dax is the one that had to break the mold, I guess. : )

Decked out in his Georgia gear.

Now with spouses! I will never learn to stop hunching over because
I'm tall. I always think I'm standing straight, but I'm not! Of course
nowadays I spend all day hunched over toward the kids, so that
doesn't help. Well, way to bring this picture down! ha

The girls got plenty of stuffed animals to love this year!
The funny thing is they always kept track of these two for the remainder
of the trip, but now that we're home, after the girls go to bed,
I hear the creak of the door. It's Chloe setting the cat in the hallway. ?

Again, the kids did really well meeting all sorts of new relatives and experiencing
new things.

Next we'll visit Gatlinburg!

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