We had a great time in Spokane (and Harrington) visiting my family over Christmas.
Here are some photos from our time there....LOTS of photos!
As soon as we arrived (Christmas Eve morning) in Spokane, Ellie had to get some snuggle time in with "Papa Dan" (she's almost getting too big to share his chair with him...pretty soon she'll just be taking the chair over for herself;o)), but for now, it's one of her favorite things to do.
Later that evening, the "kids" (this is what my mom still calls us...cracks me up! Meaning me and Pete, my brother Cory and wife Bridget, and step-brother Aaron and his wife Nicole) and their kids over to open gifts....
Then we had even more join us (for a total of 19!!!) for a yummy dinner!
Ellie and her cousins (Evan and Avery) opening presents. She got to enjoy a whole day with them a few days later (Tuesday), as "Aunt Nicole" invited her over to play, so my mom (aka Ellie's "Mimi") and I could shop the after-Christmas sales.
Ellie and Avery (3)
Nicole (my sis-in-law, my stepbrother Aaron's wife) and her son Zach, with his sweet girlfriend Vonda (middle)
Avery, Grandma Jean (Papa Dan's mom) and Ellie---
do you think perhaps Ellie's getting tired of photos?
Ellie and Grandpa Fred (Papa Dan's stepdad)
Me, Ellie and Dan's daughter Kellie (my step-sis)
Pete and Ellie having some down-time in the much coveted recliner on Christmas morning--she patiently waited for me, Mimi and Papa Dan to wake up before digging in to her SANTA presents!
Ellie found the plate and mug empty and a note from Santa (aka Uncle Cory)...
I had him write the note, since he did it last year and since Ellie's getting smarter I wanted to have the same handwriting...well HILARITY ensued as it took Cory took 5 times to get it right (well kinda...his final attempt still involved a crossed out word). First he spelled reindeer wrong (Rain-deer, really??) ummmm...twice (!!!), then he signed his own name twice...well, three times but on this last one he just ripped it off and squeezed in "Santa". Bridget (his wife--my SIL) about peed our pants laughing so hard....there is a reason we call him "Beavis"...UGH!
Ellie opening her presents from Santa (and a few from Mommy and Daddy too)!
So happy to get a Baby Zhu Zhu pet...one of the things she asked Santa for!
We had a very relaxing Christmas morning...then that afternoon the seven of us (Papa Dan, Mimi, Uncle Cory, Aunt Bridget and the 3 of us) went to the Matt Damon movie "We Bought a Zoo"...it was a great movie, and the movie popcorn was pretty scrumptious too!!!
Then on Monday (the day after Christmas) we headed down to Harrington (my hometown) to spend some time with my dad and stepmom Kathy (aka "Opa" and "Oma").
Check out these awesomely SWEET cowgirl boots that Oma splurged and bought her!
Ellie had a great time playing with her little cousin Bayler (age 1-1/2). She must have built a tower 20 times, and Bayler knocked it down...ummmm, 20 times! By the end Ellie was throwing herself down on the floor in disgust and frustration (um, perhaps we have a little bit of only child syndrome?;o))...but overall, they had a lot of fun playing together!
Aunt Alyssa (my sis-in-law, my brother Dusty's wife) and Bayler (who was more than ready for a nap--he eventually crashed a few minutes later!)
Uncle "Rusty" and "Shelly" (or Dusty and Ellie)
...this is what they jokingly call each other!
Ellie putting on a balancing stick show for the group...Bayler, just be glad it wasn't the "karate show" she'd been putting on for us before Christmas!
Ellie and her "Opa" (my dad)...at this point, I think she was pretty much DONE with photos being taken...and my dad apparently wanted to punch me out?? Huh??:o)
We spent a week in Spokane at my mom and Dan's house, then it was back on the plane to head home to Boise. Nanny Carol (Pete's mom) stayed at the house for us during the week we gone to take care of the animals...
When we got back, we celebrated with Nanny Carol. She got Ellie a new portable DVD player (the old one died quite some time ago)...Ellie was thrilled! She LOVES her movies!!!
And Pete was thrilled too with his present from Nanny...a collectible, very expensive book about the GT/CS series of Mustangs (yes, the cars!).
Loretta, our black lab, was just excited that we were home...(she's such a goofball!)
Nanny opening one of her presents from us...
Pete, goofy Ellie and Nanny Carol
Pete and I relaxing!!
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas...
we wish you a very Happy 2012!!!