Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

This is our third year staying in Houston with our little family for the Christmas holiday and I have loved it.  We like to keep things pretty simple, not spending a lot of money but focusing on quality time together. Here are a few of our Texas traditions I know we will always treasure...
On Saturday before Christmas we visit the museum district to do something special and out of the ordinary.  One year we fed giraffes at the zoo.  This year James rode a roaring rex at the Natural History Museum.  
 I love early Saturday mornings at the museums.  It is so peaceful and quiet in the exhibits before the crowds come.  James volunteered to help out with a science demo. 
John and I believe Houston has some of the best museums in the world!
Saturday John and I went on a date night to the temple to do an endowment session.  This is the first year we have done this but we hope to make this a tradition.  It set a nice tone for the week.
We raided the Christmas section at our library early November and thanks to renewals we have spent many hours cuddled up on the couch reading Christmas books together.  

Rissy loved the Christmas dress Nana gave us.  She would spin around and around - you could tell she felt like a princess.
It makes my kitchen a huge mess, and it gets kind of crazy, but I love to bake cookies with the kids.  It is like playdough you can eat.

On Christmas Eve we went to Old Town Spring to Santa's Toy Shop. 

 We always go early and it feels magic.  James and Rissy were able to pick out one toy for Santa's elves to put in his sleigh.  

After we went to a cowboy dinner of pot roast and fried chicken.  
After resting I set up our Christmas table with flowers from the yard.  
Rissy loves to say dinner time prayers.  
I made a recipe from the cookbook Kimme gave me.  Tex-Mex has become a tradition.  
This is the third year Santa has come personally to give the kids their gifts.
Out of that whole store James chose army men for his main present.  Santa brought Rissy a doll, but she preferred James's army men.
Peggy, our good friend from Church.

After the kids went to bed John and I listened to Christmas music, drank egg nog, and worked on a special surprise for the kids...

The kids love the balloons Santa brings and it keeps them entertained all day.

The Grandparents were all very generous with gifts this year.  Carla gave us the living scriptures movie set and my parents sent lots of toys.  John gave me a beautiful bead necklace from our trip to Holland.

Seeing Rissy and James enjoy the festivities is so fun and fulfilling.  They play together really well and are both great kids.  Being parents has given us immeasurable joy.  I am grateful for the Savior's birth and life so we can always be together. 
Sending love to family and friends!  The Gregory's

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I'll Be Home For Christmas...

We just returned from a pre-Christmas trip to Utah.  The first part of the week was spent in Heber watching Heather's kids while Dave had a second surgery on his neck.  The second part was spent hibernating at my mom's house with sick kids.  Both places were holiday havens filled with delicious food, family, and photo opts.  I wish I was able to see a few more friends, ski the Bird, and get my cherished hair straightening...but hopefully it will give me another reason to come back sooner than later:)  

 I was so glad to be in on the Derby girl Christmas lunch this year.  My mom bought Charlotte and Rissy these cute Christmas outfits.  

 James adores his Sullivan cousins...and a cup of hot cocoa. 

 James enjoying Dave's awesome post surgery oscillating cleaning toilet.  I want one so bad!

We were able to go to our old ward and their church party.  

Our beach babes.

 John dared the boys to a polar bear plunge in Nana's pool.

 Heber has some breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.  

 I love my mom and her tea parties.
The last night John and I went on a hot cold date to see the lights at Temple square and Draper park.  It was a perfect end to the week.  Thanks again for the hospitality family.  It was a wonderful way to get a white Christmas out of my system.  Now I am ready to welcome the seventy degree Houston holiday season;)
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