Our family had the awesome opportunity (thanks to Alaska Airline Miles!!!) to go down to visit Tutu and Dale in Texas for Christmas. Dale and some of his family live about a half hour outside of Houston, Texas in a little town called Crosby. I had visited Austin before, but other then that, no one in our family had ever been to Texas, so this was going to be a fun experience for us! And I can tell you, we had a WONDERFUL time!!!!! It was so much fun to just let loose for a bit, not have to worry about bills or cleaning the house, or school schedules, or anything else. We just hung out, played and did whatever we wanted, and laughed a lot! Thank you Tutu and Dale for the amazing week!!!!!!
The airline flight was actually not nearly as bad as it could have been. Though of course, 4+ hours on a plane with three little kids is never a picnic :), it definitely wasn't terrible either! Just a lot of electronics, which I don't usually condone. :) But no one freaked out, which is a plus! The picture below is when we just had gotten to Tutu and Dale's house, and Emery decided she was just going to relax and color for a while.
The next day we were able to go over to Dale's sister and brother in-law's property and play on the farm for a while. Definitely not like western Washington! I think the one who loved it the most was Teage actually! He was so thrilled to be able to collect fresh eggs, I thought he might flip out! :) All of the kiddos had so much fun feeding chickens, watching the goats and donkeys, feeding the HUGE catfish out in the pond, etc. I loved seeing all of my children (and my hubby) having so much fun playing around, being carefree. What a lovely sight it was!
Dale's sister has her kids living on the property as well, which is so neat that they are all close. On the property they have a few golf carts to get around, and of course, my kids LOVED riding along!! They thought they were in a theme park or something!
And of course, the gorgeous sunsets in Texas....it was warm, and beautiful. Definitely a great change for us for a week or so!
The next day we had a chance to drive up to College Station to go see Dale's son Brian and his family. I am so grateful that I have some new step siblings in my life also, they are all such wonderful people and it was a fantastic opportunity for us to get to know them and their families better. Brian and his wife Jaime are two of the kindest, most sincere people, I have ever met. We truly loved spending some time with them at their home, and had a blast with all of them!
We were able to go to Marshall's school Christmas concert, which the boys loved, and it was special for all of us to be there. They sang songs and danced around for everyone which was really fun. The boys played outside the whole rest of the day, playing basketball, football, on the tree house, they had a blast! And that night was one of the highlights of the trip. We met up with Dale's daughter Samantha and her children, as well as Brian and his family and all went to something called "Santa's Wonderland". It is this HUGE (I think around 100 acres) area of land, all made up with amazing Christmas lights, beautiful scenes and gorgeous colors. We all piled into this huge hay trailer being pulled by none other then a Ford F150 (inside joke), and were able to go around the entire property to see the gorgeous lights. It was fabulous! The kids absolutely loved every minute, and it was so fun for us to see the joy and fantasy in their faces. It truly was beautiful!!
The whole group!!!!!!!!!
Brian, Jamie and their family
Samantha, Aaron, and their family
Tutu and Dale
and Teage, myself, and our family
I think it was really fun for my mom and Dale to have ALL of their grandchildren together in one place at the same time!!!! What a treat! It was for us also, we had a wonderful time with everyone!!!!