This post is the one that has paralyzed my blogging. I kept waiting to make sure I had all the pictures from everyone that took pictures. I don't. These are just mine, but I figure I better get going documenting with what I have or else it'll be summer before I get back going on the blog. Also, this is a very long post.
This is Jaylie June's version of packing!
This is Bozeman Airport's version of holiday frenzy travel. Awesome.
The empty airport is a little deceiving. Travel wasn't that simple. Our plane was late coming in to Bozeman. Really late. So we were pretty sure we were going to miss our connection in Denver. We were scrambling trying to figure out what we were going to do. Our flight to Dallas was the last one of the night. Meanwhile we are waiting, answering "when are we leaving?" questions from all 3 kids, Kanyon is having seizures, we are trying to decide if we should go ahead and book a hotel so we don't get stuck without one. UGH! It was NOT pretty. Luckily the guy at the counter went ahead and reserved us seats on the first flight out of Denver the next morning just in case we didn't make our connection. That proved to be a clutch move.
FINALLY, 3+ hours later, we were on the plane!
The boys were excited and ready to fly!
My little seat buddy was feeling good too!
This was Denver. We did miss our connection so they sent us to customer service to figure out what was next. So, I waited in line with a trillion other people while Kory and the kids waited, played, watched the ipad, had seizures, and ate snacks. 3 hours later we had a hotel voucher and meal vouchers and seats on the first flight out the next morning. It was a full flight so there is NO way we would've gotten on the flight had the guy in Bozeman not gone ahead and reserved us some seats. It was after midnight by the time we caught the shuttle to our hotel. We had no clothes, no toiletries, so it was actually pretty easy to go to bed once we got to the hotel. We slept for maybe 4 hours and caught a shuttle back to the airport super early the next morning.
The crazy, lack of sleep, insanity of the day before made for the perfect recipe for a peaceful early morning flight. Both boys were zonked out.
And so was this sweet thing.
Considering the circumstances and the amount of stress and frustration we were all dealing with, the kids did a great job. The only major bummer was that we had Kanyon scheduled for a Dr. appointment in Dallas that morning. We missed that, but were able to reschedule for later on that week.
Clint and Rachel left us a car at our hotel (that we never stayed in because we were stuck at the dad gum Denver airport) so we hopped in the car and headed to Gilmer where our Spencer family was celebrating Christmas. While we were driving, Kanyon asked me how to spell Nolan, so I told him one letter at a time not having any idea if he was following along at all. When I finished he showed me this! A sweet little "nolAn". Smart boy!
So, Jaylie does this thing when she's traveling.... When she's done with a toy, book, etc. She puts it behind her head. Here she is with several magazines, a book, a notepad, and a blanket all behind her head. Weirdo.
We got to Gilmer the afternoon of Dec. 23 in plenty of time to enjoy the family. Here is cousin Jay "roasting feet" with the little ones. They get such a kick out of it. He pretends their feet are all different kinds of food roasting over a fire. Its some pretty cute stuff. And that freaky baby on the couch isn't real.
Clay "holding 2 girls" as they say. (June and Ellie)
Nanny Lou with all of her Great Grands.
Nanny with all of her Great Grands and her Grands that were there. We were missing John Richard's family.
We stayed in Gilmer til Christmas Eve afternoon then we drove to Paris and went in to Christmas Eve mode! Including a late night Mule ride to look for Rudolph!
Christmas Eve with Gay Gay.
Paw Paw read T'was the Night Before Christmas. My 3 can be a tough crowd, but they made it through.
One last Christmas Eve rock before bed!
Christmas morning! My 3 waiting in the exact spot where I used to wait! Jaylie is holding my baby doll I got for Christmas when I was about her age.
Santa brought this little Mommy a baby with a bottle. She was VERY pleased.
Here she is waiting for Paw Paw to get the baby out of the box. She could hardly stand it.
Mommy and baby had no trouble bonding.
Santa heard Q wanted a BB Gun and sure enough he brought one! I think Q was a little disappointed that it didn't make a loud noise when it shot, but he was pretty proud of his new "real" gun.
A few lessons from Dad. Shooting into the water was fun. Its impossible to miss the target! We think Quinn is right handed but left eyed...yikes. We've gotta figure out which way he's gonna shoot.
I think one of Santa's jobs is to bring ridiculous things that no one NEEDS. Enter: light up mohawks. My kids have been obsessed with mohawks for a couple of months, so it only made sense .
Here is klp with his new hospital. He loves to "play Dr." with his guys. Someone is always needing a Dr. and he gets a huge kick out of the whole hospital/Dr. thing (appropriate I guess, considering his life events). He went to town taking care of patients.....while wearing a mohawk no less.
Later that afternoon the whole gang came over to celebrate. Here is our group picture. Sure do love these people. We had so much fun all camping out at Mom and Dad's. Kids played non stop, parents had fun together. It was a blast. Though we have TONS of kids in one house, they all are big enough now and play really well together. But the noise level is incredibly loud.
The "little girls" table at our big Christmas lunch with Nanny Betty's yummy dressing.
We let the kids open their presents that afternoon. But not before a group picture.
After a long, fun, exciting day all these little PJ matching kiddos hit the hay so us adults could open our presents.
Dad got this gun video game thing. We all enjoyed playing while the kids slept.
Mo (and baby) were unstoppable.
The day after Christmas, Cousins and friends came over. Us three girls have lived our entire lives together. Now we are raising babies together. It was so fun to all be together even with all the insanity!
Me and June, Julie and Natalie, Alison and Miles.
Here's the cousins (Scott and Taryn, Julie and Sam's kids) and Friend like family (Alison) kiddos.
As you know, there are LOTS of Mule rides around Mom and Dad's house, but at Christmas time they take it to the next level. There's a big cedar tree that they decorate. Here they are after they hung some ornaments on it. They sing to the tree every time they drive by it.
Jaylie June and Marion.
It was COLD. But Paw Paw and Gay Gay are troopers and bundled the gang up for a Mule ride.
The weekend after Christmas, we drove to Longview for church. It felt so good to be back at our church with our people. It still felt so normal. It is truly home to us. Miss Kinsey was still home from college we were SO HAPPY to hang out with her!
We had a great Sunday with friends, then kept the fun going and spend the night with Uncle Steve and Boozie (my aunt Mary Lynn). I forgot Jaylie June's PJ's so she had to wear one of Boozie's old CDR Staff shirts. I was dying from the cuteness of this.
This girl followed her Boozie around...even supervised her make up application.
We had a blast in Longview. There is never enough time, but we are thankful for the time we had and the friends we did get to see.
We got back to Paris just in time for our dentist appointments!
Silly [toothless] Landry Lou wearing Uncle Kory's boots!
Usually there are at least 37 kids in the bathtub at once, but somehow these two managed a nice, calm, peaceful bath with just the two of them.
Baby girls fresh out of the tub.
Sweetness with their Gay Gay.
Gary and Sharon were out of town while we were in Longview so they came to Paris! It was SOOOOO good to see them! Its always a blast. We just love them so so so much.
New Year's eve, Mo and Clay brought their Wii over to play their new Mario Kart game. It was so much fun. Adults and kids had a blast!
We took the kids to the movies one afternoon...
played a little dress up. Not sure what Marion is so ticked off about.....
....and had good ol' cousin time.
Kanyon has a complicated body in a lot of ways so there are quite a few systmens that aren't normal for him. He has to spend about an hour a day on the toilet (I'll spare you the regiment explanation/details). While he's sitting there he gets to watch the iPad so his cousins all gathered around to watch with him. Nothing says "LOVE" like keeping you company while you're sitting on the toilet!
Ro Ro did this drawing of Jaylie June. It's on point.
A little reading with Aunt Rachel.
Juney had to help Paw Paw with the fire wood (while wearing Uncle Clint's hat)
The hat killed me in this picture!
Decorating their cars.
It was beyond awesome to be home and be together with family. A big thank you to my brothers and their families who pretty much put their life on hold and move into my parents house while we are in town. Nothing beats being together.
We headed back on Jan. 6. Kan had a Dr. appointment that morning, then we headed to the airport. All was well with our departure. When we landed in Denver, I got a text that said our flight to Bozeman had been canceled. Seriously?! So we started scrambling and headed back to our all too familiar customer service line. Another 3 hours later, the best we had was a flight booked the next day that would take us from Denver to Seattle to Bozeman....a FULL day of travel AGAIN. There were no more direct flights from Denver to Bozeman for 2 days. UGH. Not cool. There was one more flight to Bozeman that night but we would have to be on the standby list. So that was our best bet....trying the near impossible feat of getting all 5 of us on a standby flight. I was sooooooo over it. We got to the gate and we were something like #18-22 on the standby wait list. Pretty much no way we were going to make it. But they started calling names one by one. We started gathering our stuff thinking we were about to have to figure out a hotel. Then they said "Phillips Family, please come to the door. Fast." So we did! They pushed us through the door with no boarding passes and we jumped on the plane!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!! I have NEVER been so relieved. I did NOT have it in me to do another full day of travel. We got to Bozeman late that night and stayed with Clint and Sydni. We were so so so glad to have that trip behind us! SHEESH!
It was a MERRY MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!