It was our year to be in Texas for Christmas so we flew out of Bozeman headed for the fam!
This is my traveling posse. Its getting a little easier as they get older in some ways. They're great travelers and as long as the annoying airline stuff flies on time it is a minimally painful process. The realities of traveling with a kiddo with disabilities are beginning reveal themselves. He's big enough now that we can't just tote him around like a toddler. And getting on and off the plane without the stroller is quite the ordeal. I'm sure we're just getting started with the complications of all of this but as always Kan Man rolls with it like it ain't no thang. And Kory and I just juggle backpacks and children and my armpits sweat a lot. Then it all settles down once we're sitting in our seats. Unless Kan isn't in the seat he wants and he's screaming about it but thats all a part of the deal with klp.
The first main event once we were there was to head to Nanny Lou's for the Spencer Family Christmas. Here's the Great-Grandkid table and now that our cousins are starting their families, this table will only get bigger!!!
My kids got Sorry which we loved to play at Nanny's house when we were young. I even got them the retro version for my own sentimental self.
Kan Man had little interest in anything other than the marble run. His favorite thing!
Juney loving Baby Jay's pup Shaw.
Kan was thrilled to ride with Ro home from Gilmer. She was generous with her hair as usual.
We got home Christmas Eve and had to get everything ready! Gay Gay had fun ornaments for the kids with their names on them.
Getting the children nestled all snug in their beds.
We had a great Christmas morning! I'm not sure where the pictures are from it! YIKES! Quinn got the Air Hog drone he was hoping for, Jaylie got a doll with real hair and a "special box", and Kanyon got the much anticipated air hockey table! He has never really asked for anything and didn't ever seem super interested in requesting specific gifts. But this year EVERYTHING changed. He played on an air hockey table somewhere and since that time he was asking for one non stop! When we did Phillips Family Christmas early in Lewistown he kept waiting to get the air hockey table even though we were only exchanging small gifts/stockings. HA! We tried to see if there was ANYTHING ELSE that he would like for Santa to bring, and one day he described something and I finally realized what he was talking about a POOL TABLE! Sheesh! The kid goes big! Santa had to get pretty creative since we were flying but he worked his Christmas Magic and there was a (mini) air hockey table under the tree and all the world was right!
Christmas day night we started the Spencer Family Christmas Mayhem. Jaylie June loves to be in the kitchen so she pulled her weight peeling potatoes.
And helping Gay Gay at the stove.
Of course we had Nanny Betty's turkey and dressing and it took 3 generations to get it all stirred well.
After a yummy meal we made our best attempt at bedtime for the gang. It went about as well as it usually does. Haha! In all truth, these kids actually do great piled in a room together. There's giggling and fun, but then they go to sleep and roll all over each other all night.
They woke up ready for presents!!!! But as parents always do, we made them take pictures first.
I'm not sure where the pictures are of the present opening but it was fun and loud and flooded the room with wrapping paper!
These 3 got butterfly wings!
Air Hockey and hair twirling.
I usually end up writing just a few words on photos like this because its so hard for me to try to write how this feels. To have my whole family together in our house with thousands of kids running around having a blast together. Our family isn't perfect but I can honestly say that they are my favorite people to be with. Then you add the fact that these kids have each other and the fun that brings to all of us is just impossible to describe. So sometimes words like love and thankful are really all I can come up with. But really I could probably write millions of words. But we'll just stick with Love and Thankful. Oh....and Loud.
Between Paw Paw and Gay Gay, all the cousins, fun aunts and crazy uncles, I'm chopped liver. when we are in Paris. But I did get a little squeeze from my little girl.
Some of my best friends from high school got together one night and it was fun reminiscing and catching up with these girls. Some of them I haven't seen in years. Home is a good thing and I'm glad we could all be home at the same time.
We made a trip to Longview to see some of our people there. We saw the Rotzler/Venables crew and had a great time being together and having the kids back together. We love these people so much. Its one of those feelings where all of a sudden all is right in the world when we are back together. For a long time all of our kids thought they were cousins and we just let them think it. I think they have it figured out by now, but we sure love that they love each other. And that the Rotzlers and Venables (who are actually related) let us join their family.
Its nice having kids old enough to take pictures for us! Addie had sweet little Jake just a couple of days after this. I was a little mad at him for not coming while I was there, but I forgive him.
These 2 little birthday buddies born just a day apart. We call Meg "Jaylie's first friend".
The next day we met up with more of our nearest and dearest-- the Colliers and the Porters. Quinn and Trent are still buddies and still really funny to see standing side by side.
Love love love love love. There's something special about friends you spend your newly wed days with and your baby having years with. These are irreplaceable people in our lives and we LOVE THEM and it was so good to spend a couple of hours together.
A few nights later we drove to Greenville and met Scott, Paula, and Baby Theo (not so baby but it was our first time to meet him in real life!). Of course Jaylie June makes this face when everyone else is cooperating! UGH!
Scott is one of Kory's best friends in the world and we don't get to see them as often as we'd like so it was so good to be together with the special folks.
Eventually all the mayhem came to an end. As always it seems impossible to leave. And this time it almost was. We got to the airport and right as we were parking for Mom and Dad to drop us off, I got a text saying our flight had been canceled! I'm glad we got it when we did because we could leave the kids and all our luggage in the car with Mom and Dad and Kory and I went in to get things sorted out. After long lines and a wild goose chase we ended up getting put on a direct flight the next day. We pricelined a hotel and got one that was attached to the Bass Pro and a Whataburger so we had no trouble finding entertainment and meals without a car once Mom and Dad headed back home. Our last Texas meal was appropriately Whataburger.
The next day we made it and had a little delay, but it was so nice flying direct because we weren't worried about missing our connecting flight! It spoiled us to say the least. Waiting once, boarding once, unloading once.....soooo nice!
It wasn't all smiles and fun. Traveling together often brings about conflict.
We made it back to Bozeman safe and sound and ended the trip with an adorable picture of Jaylie June and her new doll in the bathroom.
Merry Christmas Y'all.