This year we flew to Kansas City to spend the Christmas holiday at the Anders house in Odessa. Our flight out was pretty uneventful, although it's always a long day. The kids are so good now with travel. We got them some Christmas shows to watch on the plane ride and they just chilled out on both flights and Andrea and I were both able to relax and watch some shows and play some games ourselves. It's a very nice change!
When we got to Kansas City, Abby picked us up and we stopped by McAlister's Deli for a late lunch.
Once we got to Odessa, the Rudolphs and Gobles stopped by and we all got to visit for a while.
Drew and Allison had both gotten our kids some special gifts with their own money and Connor and Paige got to open the presents a little early so they could enjoy them all week.
Paige got a "Frozen" themed Olaf snow cone maker from Allison. Connor got a nerf gun with a grenade launcher on it from Drew. It was very sweet of the Rudolph kids and Connor and Paige had a lot of fun with their cousins and the gifts. Paige worked on the snow cone machine with Allison, and it was pretty difficult to make it work. I ended up helping them out and probably turned the darn crank a thousand times to get one small cup of snow cone for the girls. They had fun mixing it all together and eating the flavored snow.
Connor and Drew had a ton of fun playing Nerf battles in the basement. Connor loved his new Nerf gun, and Drew also brought over most of his Nerf weaponry. Both boys dressed up and staged all kinds of battles with anyone who was willing to participate. Allison and I tried to fight them, but Drew and Connor were usually too much for us to handle and we got overrun. Drew liked to play scenarios and usually he and Connor pretended to be Ukrainian separatists battling against government forces. They would chant "U-Cray-Ee-Na" while we fought and really got in to the role playing.
Paige loved playing with all of Mommy's old toys in the basement. The restaurant was almost always open downstairs.
On Sunday (the 21st) we all traveled out to Kansas for the Anders family get together at Aunt Marilyn's house. They had all kinds of goodies to munch on, we got to watch the Chiefs game, and the kids enjoyed opening gifts and playing with the other kids.
We managed to round everyone up and took a big group picture with my camera's remote.
Connor and Drew brought along the green Nerf gun, and Charlie got a Nerf gun for Christmas, so we all played outside for a bit. We had a competition to see who could hit a box on the side of the house fastest, and we goofed off for a bit before we got too cold.
On Monday and Tuesday (22-23), we mostly ran some errands and the kids played with everyone. On Monday we saw the "Annie" movie with the kids and with Allison. On Tuesday, the kids stayed with Aunt Amanda and Graydon while Ryan worked.
It was warm enough that the kids got to play outside for a little while and Paige even took a nap!
We met Jordan and Jenni Miller for lunch at McAlisters and caught up for a while while we enjoyed some sweet tea. Afterwards, Andrea and I went up to Meierotto Jewelers to get her some earrings for Christmas and then we went up to Liberty for a little while to drive around. I stopped by my friend Brad's place and Andrea went over to visit with her friend Mandy. We had to hurry home for dinner, so didn't get to stay very long.
On Christmas Eve, we went back up to Liberty with the kids and visited their babysitter Rachel. Andrea and I chatted with her for a bit while the kids played with Logan and his cousins.
That evening, Andrea made sugar cookies with Paige, Allison and Grandma Genie.
Connor played Nerf guns mostly, but he and Drew and Grandpa Garry played some music for a bit in the basement together. Connor did a pretty good job keeping time on the drums.
Christmas morning, we woke up and all got together to open presents at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
There were all kinds of goodies and the kids spent most of the day playing with their new things and with Graydon's new trampoline.
In the afternoon, I went for a jog around Odessa and enjoyed the sunshine. It was cloudy and drizzly most of the time we were in KC, but on Christmas day it was nice and sunny.
On Friday (the 26th), we got dressed up and went over to Uncle Mike and Aunt Cindy's house for the Herrick reunion. Most everyone was there, except for Jan and her kids. She was feeling a little sick, so unfortunately didn't make it. There were a lot of children this year and Connor and Paige had a lot of people to play with.
Paige was doing a lot of cheerleader jumps, so I had to get a few pics of her in action.
Aunt Cindy always decorates a bunch for Christmas. I told her how nice it all looked and she said that she probably didn't even have half of it out!
Paige posed nicely by the tree with Graydon.
Paige and Andrea liked holding and feeding the newest baby Nora.
Connor played with all the kids nicely, but didn't hold the baby.
On Saturday (the 27th), we left pretty early for our flights home. Amanda ate McAlister's with us and then dropped us off at the airport. The flights home were nice and uneventful, but it was a long drive to the airport, two flights, and then a long drive from the airport to our house. We were happy we made it home safely, and were very exhausted.
We had a wonderful time in Kansas City for our Christmas. We are so thankful that everyone was healthy and the weather cooperated so nicely. Grandma Genie always does such an amazing job making us feel at home. The kids got to spend so much good quality time with everyone. Drew is a teenager now, but he still plays so nicely with Connor. Allison is such a sweetheart and she and Paige did so fun things together. Graydon was always so happy to see us and he is such a good little boy.