Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ping pong, babies, Yoder Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!!  Our Christmas in VA was filled with lots of fun activities, games, great food, and visiting friends!  

Aaron and I were so excited to see Nate, Maggie and Phil!!  We passed around the Ba-hum-bug hat during the week to any deserving person :)

We were so thankful to get an evening to visit with our Risser family as well!  My lovely mother and Aunt Jewel planned a get-together while we were in town.  There were lots of baby snuggles and time to catch up with cousins!  Here are my uncles chatting and my brother and grandma.

Games!!  Maggie played Pandemic with some of the guys.

Here is my lovely grandma holding the littlest Risser grandchild (for right now)!  My cousins, Lena and Adam Weaver, had Ty about 2 1/2 months ago.  We met him for the first time on this trip.  He is precious :)

We also met another one of my cousin's baby for the first time, Levi Yutzy!  This is Aaron and Andrea Yutzy's first boy.  These two sweeties were born just weeks apart!

Levi has the sweetest smile and was so snuggly!  He is now 3 months old!

My parents got to hold the two sweetest babes!

Ping pong was another big hit during the week!  We played a lot of "Around the World" and doubles tournaments.

On Christmas Eve we opened stockings and each got matching PJ's!!  We wore them ALL day on Christmas!  Thanks mom!

So many wonderful presents!

KC Chiefs belt buckle for Aaron!

Okay, so I have to explain about the present my bro Phil gave to Aaron and I.  Phil drew this large, over-sized map and had us go on a treasure hunt outside for our gift.  He wrapped it in a cardboard box and put it in the ground in the backyard.  Aaron, being the sweet husband he is, got to dig the hole!  Oh, I didn't mention that it had rained the previous 2-3 days.  Do you know what happens to cardboard when it rains?  It crumbles.  Well anyways, the treasure Aaron found was COVERED in mud and had to be rinsed off!

It made for a good laugh :)  Thanks Phil!!

Another tradition we have on Christmas Day is we always have a noon meal for my grandparents and neighbor, Neil.  My mom and dad are always so generous and welcoming to others!

Neil is 92 and has been my parents neighbor for 26 years!  He is still going strong and has plenty of stories to share each time he stops by!

For one of the evening meals, Nate made fried oysters!!!  They were actually very good and were enjoyed by just about everyone at the table!  Thanks Nate!

Maggie taught Aaron and I our new favorite game, Carcasonne!  We like how we can play a game quickly and also it can be just 2 player!  Nate and Maggie also got us Dominion for Christmas!

Earlier in the week Aaron and I drove to Crozet, VA to visit one of my best college friends!!  Tamara and Daniel Martin have one of the cutest 1 year old's around!  Lucas was so sweet and played with us for awhile.  We miss living close to this family so much!!  

After such a wonderful Christmas break, we flew out on Friday morning back home to Kansas.  We were sad to leave, but are so thankful for a loving family and such a wonderful time together!  Love you all!

Visiting DC over Winter Break!

 Hello all!  It has been awhile since I've written and in the last couple weeks we have covered a lot of ground traveling across the US!  On December 19th we were able to fly to Virginia and visit our Yoder family for Christmas!  We started our vacation in Washington, DC.  The highlights were the Capitol, Library of Congress, Natural History Museum, and the Lincoln Memorial.  We were going to visit the National Christmas tree outside of the White House, but it was very busy so we drove quickly past!  Thanks to my dad, Elwood, for being our tour guide!  Three years ago, Aaron and I visited Washington, DC while we were dating and we wanted to return and see a few more places! 

The Capitol building has a ton of scaffolding covering the top so this picture isn't very impressive.  Notice the police car posted outside the building.

Visiting the Natural History Museum was a big highlight!  There are so many awesome animals and exhibits to walk through!  Each time I visit it I find new and different things to look at!  Phil is looking like he is enjoying himself :)

Holding a cockroach in the bug exhibit!

Grizzly Bears are BIG and SCARY!

One of my favorite exhibits was loaded with amazing photographs that all looked 3D because they were so clear!  We actually ended up getting Phil a 2015 calendar filled with some of the best photos of all! 

I would love to have these hang in our house!  So vibrant and beautiful!

We were so excited to see our family!

The Lincoln Memorial!  He is always so impressive to look at!  So much history has happened here!

We all enjoyed a lunch break in Union Station at the food court.

We also visited the Library of Congress!  Below is the large Christmas tree in the middle of the building.

One of the main reasons my dad was excited to visit was to see the Magna Carta exhibit.  This is an 800 year old document!

 The ceiling architecture was beautiful!

After a fun day of walking around the city we were happy to get home!
We will be back to visit again DC.
Stay tuned for pictures from our Christmas in VA!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Give Thanks.

Our niece, Makenah, made this beautiful sign for some festive decorations at Thanksgiving!  We enjoyed being with the Billings family this year in Garden City.  We missed our East Coast family dearly but will see them in a few short weeks!  We were able to relax, get in a quick Black Friday shopping trip, eat GREAT food, and play some fun games with the family!

The table was set and ready for a feast!

Here is sweet Makenah.  She made place cards for everyone at the table.  This is so something I would've done at 4 years old as well!  Right, mom?!

We had scrumptious sides and delicious turkey!  Thanks Danielle for hosting!

Yum!  Pumpkin pie for dessert....with whipped cream!

That lucky boy got to lick the top off!  It was so much fun talking and playing with Logan this trip!  He is so smart and talks so much.

We took Casey along on our trip and he had a blast as usual :)  Here he is watching shadows...

Darts!!  It was in the 70s one of the afternoons and we got to be outside quite a bit!   (Jenna threw some great throws!)  Aaron was ALWAYS the winner.  I need a little practice to catch up.  hehe

Okay.  Stop it!  Look at this charmer!  On Saturday morning, the Billings and the Stuckys met at IHOP for brunch.  I got to sit across from this cutie. :)

This is the only picture of Aaron and I that I took on my phone over the weekend.  Not in focus!  Oh well.  He has been growing that beard for a couple months now.....but just guess what he did tonight!!  You guessed right! .....shaved off everything but a mustache!!!  I was a little shocked to actually be able to see his face!  He's handsome either way tho :)

And I have to brag a bit.  Does your husband make you authentic Gyros on a week night???!!!!!  Because mine does!!  These were so good.  I'm telling you....Aaron needs to open a restaurant!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone we love and miss you!!