Being with our families at Christmas time, who we don't get to see often enough during the year, is a special special highlight for us! Our boys do very well during our 8-hour drive, though the last hour or so, you can really tell that they are just ready to get out of the car! Celebrating Christmas with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins makes it all worthwhile though! :) Here are several pictures of our time in North Carolina.One of the first things we love to do when we get to NC with Lito, Pika and tia is to go see the beautiful lights in McAdenville! Christmas lights never get boring and McAdenville seems to just get better and better each year!
We drove for the most part, but we did get out to walk some and enjoy the light displays closer. It was veeeery cold. Here is Eli trying to stay warm with daddy.
Here is a video of part of our drive around McAdenville with JJ yelling Merry Christmas to passers-by and trying to get a reply :)
Great grandpa and great grandma (Josh's grandparents) met Noah for the first time, since they live and stay in Florida year-round. We were delighted to introduce our little blessing to them.
Smiles for the greatgrandparents!
Our boys love interacting with their cousin Lilly. We are thankful for any moment where we can have the cousins play together since we really want them to know and love each other in spite of the distance between our homes.
Chick and Dixie by the Christmas tree.
Lilly loved taking care of Noah (I think she thought he was her babydoll :)
Noah slept peacefully with Uncle Vinnie.
...and with cousin Amanda :)
Eli loved being with Papaw...playing and reading books.
Here is a short video showing our boys having fun with Papaw and Mamaw and Lightning McQueen :)
My three little men...wishing I had an extra arm to scoop Eli up too! :)
Watching daddy about to blow out the candles on his birthday cake
Happy Birthday dear husband and daddy! We love you more than words can express!!
Fun with my little Eli
December 23 (Josh's birthday) was the Reed Family Christmas. Since we had the whole extended family there, we decided to get a group shot. This is attempt #1.
...and attempt #2 (probably our best...not too bad for using the self-timer!)
Christmas Eve is always our big celebration with the Valenzuelas. We had a very fun and full evening, preparing a delicious meal, hearing Lito and Pika share the Christmas story with our boys, opening presents, going to tia Natalia's church for a beautiful Christmas Eve service, and going back home for dessert. Here is JJ opening up a gift with Pika's help.
Tia Kim opening up Ana Sofia's Jesus Storybook Bible! I'm sure she will love it as much as our boys do!
Josh and I with our youngest at the Christmas Eve Service.
Feliz Navidad de los Valenzuela!
Playing in the water fountains with tio....I think Eli is about to fall in this pic :)
Tio always makes even the simplest things fun!
Happy JJ playing with water and getting splashed!
Little brother Eli trying to participate too :)
One of JJ's favorite gifts-- a play-doh creativity table!
I think tio Andres had just as much fun with it as JJ....and JJ was delighted to have a playmate that was as much into his toy as he was! :)
Heart to heart talk between father and son over yummy pear and cranberry crumble pie! mmmm
More play-doh time!
This video shows JJ playing with his play-doh with Pika (this is before tio realized we had opened the box:) and making spaghetti. I thought it was so cute how JJ tried to say that word! :)
Tia Kim enjoying her dessert...can't wait to meet Ana Sofia!
We moved over to the Greene's on the 25th. Here is Papaw helping JJ put together his percy jumbo puzzle.
Fun with Uncle Terry (Eli was waiting for his PJs :)
Mami trying to hold JJ still for a pic
Amanda and Devon
Papaw rocking with sweet Noah
JJ showing Papaw "Talking Santa" on daddy's phone
Charlotte got a white Christmas (the first in years...since the 40s!!), so of course we had to get out in it and have some fun! Eli still was a little unsure about the whole idea of walking in the snow. It was so funny because as soon as we set him down in it, he planted his feet firmly and would not move...at all! His eyes were the only thing that moved for the first half hour even! :)
Deciding what to do with all this strange white stuff
JJ loves to put his hands in his pockets and everytime its cold outside that is automatically where his hands go...and they don't come out! :)
Getting snowballs from Mamaw. I think JJ refused to take his hands out of his pockets even for his snowball and even though he did have mittens on.
Lilly and Eli (who had just watched his snowball fall)
Papaw and Mamaw having fun in the snow
Mamaw getting Josh with a snowball
Daddy was focused on making this snowman a good one! :)
Cousins wondering what Dixie was going to do in all the snow
Eli and Dixie...both probably wondering why in the world they were out in this cold!
Mami with my two big boys
Cousins and mamas
Lilly helping Papaw out
Bringing sticks to papaw for the snowman's arms...waiting to see if their sticks passed papaw's inspection :)
My precious "always-up-to-something" JJ
My precious happy Eli
JJ putting the finishing touch on the snowman
And the finished product! (I don't know what happened with the head of the snowman! Somehow it turned out looking more like a robot-snowman! :) They worked hard at it, though, and had fun!
Tickle fun with cousin Patrick.
Thanks to all our family in NC for making our Christmas so much fun! It is a blessing to be able to spend Christmas with you all and celebrate the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ together-- we love you and miss you already! Come visit us in KY!!! :)