Christmas Day

Christmas Day was filled with gratitude, excitement, family and friends...all the things that make it perfect!

{Aunt Mo and Uncle Phillip had to join us via Skype, but thank goodness for it!!}

We are so blessed to have four generations of both families with us!

Merry, Merry, Christmas!!!!!!


Christmas Eve

After a fun Eve of the Eve at the Mills' house (I can't believe I didn't take any pictures!!!), we had a low key Christmas Eve at home. Most of the day was spent in our pajamas! We cooked, cleaned, did laundry, and baked cookies for Santa...


Then it was time to get ready for Christmas Eve church.

SuSu and G came with us this year to our church, which was very special!

Trying to get a picture where we all look our best is still quite interesting around here....but it has gotten a little easier! (Although I am never really happy when I am in the picture!)

After church we ate dinner and hung out, but the kids were so anxious to get to bed that we went ahead and called the reindeer with sparklers at around 7. Then the kids ran right in, up the stairs, and hopped into bed! I think they were all asleep by 7:15!!!

It was a relaxing day and a good way to prepare for the full day to come tomorrow....

lake charles Christmas

We headed to Lake Charles late Wednesday afternoon to celebrate Christmas with David's parents. The kids were so excited to go on a "trip", although we did hear "are we there yet?" about 40 times on the fairly short 3 hour ride! :)
We got there pretty late Wednesday, so we just visited for a little while and then went to bed. David was able to schedule some work there on Thursday morning, so he headed out for that in the a.m. and the kids and I hung out with his parents and got ready for the day. When he came home we ate lunch and then opened presents. I was actually pleasantly surprised how little the kids mentioned this, especially since the den was overflowing with gifts!

After exchanging gifts we headed out to visit some friends....the girls, of course, immediately changed into some of their new clothes...

Martha's best friend Debbie's daughter Margaret, and her daughter Lucy...David and Margaret grew up together.

Then we headed out for a special surprise- there is an ice skating rink in LC for the holidays and the Parnells wanted to take the kids...

They LOVED it!

After a short warm up period they all did really well...(I tried to act extremely confident even though I had only been once before- kind of scary that I was helping them learn!!!)

And David and I got a good workout!

The rink was at the new (actually REALLY nice) casino that they have in Lake Charles. It is like a big lodge...so we took some goofy pics by the big fireplace.

After skating, we were off to visit some more family friends, The Stevens.

David also grew up spending lots of time with them...here is Betty Ann...

...and her daughter, Shawn, and granddaughter, Sarah.

We went out to a nice dinner Thursday night and the kids did pretty well. It is definitely the fanciest restaurant they have ever been to, so we did lots of talking about table manners. We really enjoyed the treat and the food was delicious!

After the long day on Thursday we spent Friday morning just hanging out and letting the kids spend time with their Grandparents and play with their new toys...

And then it was time to head back to Mandeville for the Mill's Eve of the Eve Chili night!

We had a great trip and really appreciate the Parnells for having us and treating us to some delicious food and fun firsts! The kids will definitely be talking about ice skating in Louisiana for a while!



Elise has written Redd a few notes over the past few weeks, and so she was very excited to finally have a response one morning last week.

Of course an elf would communicate via M&Ms!!

And, on our way back from our Lake Charles Christmas (post to come) Elise passed me this note from the back seat:

Immediate tears, not only the thought, but the way she signed it.

Our oldest little girl- even has she changes daily in front of us- that she will always be.

Merry Merry Christmas Eve...


Breakfast with Santa

My Mom joined us for the annual Breakfast with Santa at our neighborhood clubhouse. We all look forward to this every year...

Not the best pic, but at least we are all looking at the camera!

Elise was the photographer here!

Working on her list for Santa, which she decided to add things to, dangerously close to Christmas...warned her that the elves may have trouble meeting those requests. Her response, "they can just go shopping."

Yippee!! First year with absolutely no tears!! Just another sign that our little ones are growing up!

Even Santa's extra large lap did not have enough room for all three this year....so, Bennett was a gentleman (bad hair day and all!) and let his sisters sit with Santa

SuSu and her three grandchildren!

One more sign letting us know that Christmas is just right around the corner...