Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SoCal, Chloee and early Christmas fun

Let me start of by saying, I have one fantastic husband.  Books me a flight and sends me to my kids for a week since they can't come home for Christmas.  I packed all of their Christmas, checked an extra bag and headed for sun, warmth and all the lovin I could get!

Warning - a lot of pictures....... you can totally skip this if you want to
Aren't they just the cutest family?  I'm sad that they can't come home, yet it gives them a chance to establish their own traditions.  We had them open our gifts the first night.  We skyped in Splenda and videotaped it all.  So much fun to see them happy!

At the USMC family Holiday Festival (of which I wrote a little bit about here), we noticed that they hung the sign that had been made in October.  Handprints of the children of Marine's.  We found Chloee's right off

We had lazy mornings just snuggling, having "conversations", and playing games

Lunch at McSlop shop is always good

Taking in a movie.....  I loved the Muppet Movie, but Chloee was a little bored.  I think it was really targeted to those of us that grew up watching the show.

Some playing at the park

A burying Mimi in the pillow pets


Their ward party was "A night in Bethlehem"  Including a small petting zoo outside at the entrance

Chloee wasn't particularly interested in petting anything.  Not even the bunny.  We tried, but she wanted nothing to do with them

They started the decorations outside with the tiki torches and palm fronds everywhere

The missionaries were stationed at the entrance and gave you your gold coins to enter the town and purchase your food

I have never seen something decorated so nicely and as authentic as you could possibly get within a ward cultural hall.  Almost everyone was in costume (we weren't)

They had a large canopy over the city

And a cobble stone path through town

Families brought their own blankets to spread out and eat on

Lot's of scenery to make you feel like you really were in a different place.  This one was set up so you could pose for pictures if you wanted

In the center of the town was a water well.  You could get fresh water for your drinking glass from there if you wanted.  NGL - pretty cool

At the start of the food line.  Chloee asking for her kids meal : )

It was a nice dinner that many ward members pitched in to provide.  Pulled pork over rice, salad, veggies, fruits, pita bread and hummus and then a variety of desserts to choose from

After we ate, and before the program, Chloee was humming with happiness and silliness!  "Take a picture of me Mimi" was repeated over and over again!

Seriously, aren't those the most gorgeous eyes you have ever seen?

The young men were dressed as the Roman soldiers - nice touch

For the program they played a video depicting the birth of Jesus and then we all sang a few hymns

After that, the kids all lined up in a different area of the building to see Santa!

Chloee found a friend from her Primary class

At home, Chloee had made a Christmas countdown and loved taking a ring off every morning

We tried to build a gingerbread house from a kit

It was fun, but the end result was an EPIC fail!  Chloee didn't care, she still loved it!

My days went by way too fast!  Before I could even blink it was time to take me back to the airport! : (

I'm so glad that Splenda makes it a priority for us to visit.  I'm glad that they are as close as they are (Can you imagine if he got stationed in Japan?)  And I'm more than glad to be able to be a small part of their cute family!

Merry Christmas to my SoCal kids!


Suz said...

Who doesn't want to see pictures of Chloee?!!!

Lazarus said...

Great pix and narrative, we can see what a wonderful time you had. And everyone is so good-looking, especially your grand daughter, what a cutie!

gigi said...

I think that was the best Christmas present ever!! Chloee looks as if she has grown so much! Cute family is right!
Merry Christmas, my friend!

Sue said...

Chloee looks soooooo happy♥

What a fun trip for you. your hubby is the best.

Loved the ward party. What a great idea.

Mae Rae said...

this was such a treat for you and a treat for us as well. Merry Christmas M-Cat!

" Hit It......." said...

I am so glad that you were able to get out there. What a difference a year makes. Corbin truly has his own family...and he looks so darned happy! You are very blessed and the lord was watching out for Chloe' and Corb when she sent Karalee into their lives.

Love you my friend. I hope you have a Merry Christmas! xoxo

tammy said...

I'm so glad you got to go and I'm sure they were happy too!

Those damn houses....I lucked out and found pre-assembled this year. Just needed to decorate!

Amy said...

So glad you were able to visit the kids. They look so happy and it sounds like you had a great time.

Pedaling said...

It's great to fit in all you can with all the family, possible.

Looks like they are doing great!

happy, happy!

Jamie said...

What a fun week!
Yes, she has beautiful eyes!
I can not even imagine all the work that party took, WOW!

Loralee and the gang... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loralee and the gang... said...

That's the coolest ward party ever! I may have to suggest it for next year in our ward. And what a wonderful visit you had. Those moments are the best. And cheer up! I know you will...:-)