We flew to Texas for Christmas.
It wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be to travel with 4 kids and lots of luggage the week of Christmas. It was a long, but manageable day.
Luckily, we've got this flying thing down. and Renting a mini van and beach house made things much less chaotic.
The kids top, number one, thing they wanted to do when we got to Lake Jackson was go to Chuck E. Cheese.
They have been sad since ours closed a few years ago and this filled the holes in their hearts.
My top, number 1 thing, to do was hang out at the beach.
Not a bad way to spend Christmas Eve and get out some energy.
Crew was the only kid that wanted to build a Sandman with me.
And we were the only people on the beach that actually went in the water, pretty sure everyone else was locals. : )
I could of spent days just like this, but sadly we just got the one day.
Luckily, Paul and I did get a few beach walks in during the week.
- Christmas Eve at the beach house.
Everyone was very impressed with my christmas tree and our house decor even added a nice finishing touch to the tree.
Got my Christmas Eve tree and stocking pictures, like always.
Ruby also lost a tooth Christmas Eve, which just added to the excitement of it all.
- Christmas Morning!!
Waiting on the deck cheering Opa on as he climbed the million stairs up to the beach house.
I didn't take many pictures this year. But, we nailed it in the present department. Every kid was happy, grateful, and had a toy to play with.
then it was onto Paul's parents house, where the cousins finally came into town!!
This is it, the only picture I took Christmas Day. But believe me, it was awesome, kids loved being with all The Navasards, and it was very magical.
We spent the rest of the week eating good food and hanging out family.
Brooklyn proved to be the best toy there was.
Some of our favorite food:
Asels, where Crew ordered a donut burger.
So much Shipley's, but yet not enough.
Got takeout from El Torro.
We spent the day after Christmas at Keema Boardwalk.
Another day visiting the museums in Lake Jackson.
Then we did family pictures before we had to head up the airport hotel in Houston.
Kids said it was their best Christmas Ever!
After a very delayed flight home, we picked up Fang with 20 min to spare.
Fang was crying, kids were screaming. it was quite the reunion.
And here's Fang's report card. :)
Kids were also happy that Santa stopped by our house and filled up Fang's stocking. Proved to the younger 3 that Santa is for sure real.
We then had a perfect, mellow, New Years Eve with the Rensinks.
There was Soda Pong.
Just an overall goodtime where kids were asleep by 10:30.
And then we spent the rest of break being lazy and playing in the snow.
Typical Utah kids: the moment the sidewalks and roads are semi clear they are back to bike riding, scootering, and playing basketball.
Paul brought out the water balloon launcher to aid in the neighbor kid snowball fight.
Not a bad Winter Break.
We decided we hadn't done anything too crazy for awhile, so we thought why not fly with 4 kids to Texas to visit Paul's family to liven things up?
We lucked out and got TSA pre check for our flight to Texas, and that made life about a million times easier.
We got lots of stares and comments walking through the airport and boarding the plane. I forget that 4 kids outside of Utah is actually a lot. :) I got lots of "God bless you" from fellow travelers and "Oh my, you are brave".
Overall things went pretty smoothly. There were some running to gates and dragging kids behind us, lots of corralling children in corners while waiting to board, and once again ipads and suckers saved the day.
The kids had a blast with Nana and Opa.
and were so excited to see all their "big cousins" again.
Miles could not leave Michael alone.
He also could not remember his name the first day, so there was lots of "Where the one I like?!"
Michael was a saint and let Miles crawl and hang all over him.
Crew had his birthday while we were there and had an amazing day with everyone.
We went to the splash pad and then Dairy Bar for lunch.
And then he got to play with his cousins the rest of the day, it was a pretty good 3rd birthday.
While in Lake Jackson, we always have to stop at the Sea Center.
Ruby loved her first visit and got to use her newest word "ish" a lot.
Since we are kind of a tornado, we rented this adorable little A-Frame beach house to stay in, while the rest of Paul's family was in town too.
The kids loved their loft.
And I loved being right on the beach.
The kids could not get enough of boogie boarding.
Macey loved being big enough to go out deep with Paul and I, and got quite good at catching the waves all by herself.
Miles loved diving and swimming through the waves. There was no fear from any of them.
Paul also taught all the kids to skim board, while Ruby and I just watched.
The kids couldn't wait for their "big cousins" to come play with them at the beach.
It was an absolute blast. Love all these kids.
The main reason for the trip though was Granny's 90th birthday and Granny and Granddad's 70th wedding anniversary.
The entire Olgilve Family was able to make it and it was awesome to all be together.
I didn't get any pictures at the party cause I was constantly chasing kids or chatting with people I don't get to see often enough.
When we got in the car to drive back to our beach house Miles said, "That was the best party ever!!!!". And I had to agree with him. It was one of those moments that reminded me why the stress of traveling with my 4 kids was worth it. It was pretty great having everyone together.
A few other random things:
-Ruby's hair was crazy curly from the humidity and I was in love with it.
- One of the best things about visiting Texas is all the amazing food. My favorite being donuts and kolaches from Shipley's, which I got to enjoy almost every morning.
- We ordered some seats from the Astro Dome, which Gipsy kindly picked up for us and then helped us take them apart to check as baggage on our flight home.
These kids had their moments of driving me to near insanity on the trip, but it was most defiantly worth it.
We got to spend a week with Paul's family at one of our favorite places, the beach.
Sunny & breezy weather, good company, and, the fact that Paul and I had our own attached bath, made for a great week.
Macey, Miles, and Crew could not get enough of all the attention. And having older cousins around who weren't annoyed by their little shadows, was pretty awesome.
Watching these cousins, who hadn't even see each other for a few years, was one of my favorite parts of the week.
The girls referred to themselves as The Beach Babes and it was rare to find these 3 separated.
They made sure to read Macey a book every night, which eased the sting of her having to go to bed before them. Don't worry Miles was not left out, and I even found Michael laying in bed with him one night. As they kept saying all week, "How do you say, No, to that face?"
Another sweet cousin moment I caught was when Layla put Miles on her back because the sand was burning his feet. Miss and love these kids.
After his cousin Michael, Miles' favorite part of the trip was boogie boarding.
This face says it all.
e also, shockingly, let everyone bury him.
Crew proved to be just like his brother and sister, and loved the water. The moment we got down to the beach he made a direct turbo crawl to the water.
He would crawl until a wave came, then he'd sit up. When the wave was gone he'd start crawling again until the water got in his mouth and then he'd turn around to crawl back to the beach. He repeated this until we got bored and found someone to hold him for a few minutes.
We attempted to keep him contained in Brooklyn's raft. It would work for a few min. at a time. It was better than nothing.
Macey kept herself busy at the beach by catching fish with Nana and digging pools to keep all the sea creatures they found. Uncle Jim taught them how to find stuff in the seaweed, they even found a little lion fish one day. Pretty cool.
She discovered the fine art of body surfing and was constantly on the look out for an adult that would take her out deep to ride the waves in.
There was also alot of the older cousins pulling Macey and Miles around in the raft.
Since there were so many people willing to watch our kids, Paul and I got to boogie board together everyday
. It was awesome. We of course tried to high 5 or hold hands on every wave we caught together. Never gets old.
There was also lots of skim boarding done by Paul and Miles.
Another awesome thing about this trip was the upstairs deck. We had an entrance off our room, and it worked as the perfect place to keep Crew contained and of course relax in the hammock.
We also spent every morning out here with our early riser.
Crew finally got to meet Paul's grandparents, whom he of course loved. His middle name, Ruffin, is from Granny's Granddad.
It was a great week and my kids keep asking when their cousins are going to come to Utah to babysit them. Photo by Life Expressions Photography