Wednesday, January 11, 2017


We didn't get out of the house much in December since Emma took a while to recover from her surgery.  It was probably two full weeks before she was ready for normal activities, and even then, her energy was very low. A few days before Christmas, we took the girls on a drive to see Christmas lights.  We drove to a house that had an incredible light display timed to music, and Dan and Emma braved the light rainfall to go see them more closely while Hallie and I waited in the car.

We found another house in our new neighborhood that was completely covered with lights - including their trees and yard!
Emma wanted to run through the light arches they'd added along the sidewalk.

She is thin from not eating much during her surgery and recovery, so her pants kept falling down when she ran. We thought it was hilarious!

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve with the Jester family! Everyone gathered at Dan's parents' house for the afternoon and evening.
 There were a "few" presents under the tree at Grandpa and Grandma's house. 

Emma and our niece, Naomi, got the biggest presents of the day - they each got a toddler roller coaster from Grandpa and Grandma!

Our annual Jester family photo

Christina and Kim King joined the picture, and our niece Miriam broke into dance to celebrate!

 The girls with their Papa and Nana 

And our family on Christmas Eve

A couple of days after Christmas, we flew to Texas to visit my Mom's extended family. It was Hallie's first flight!

Emma is an experienced and crazy flier!

Pretty soon, Hallie and Emma both succumbed to travel sleepiness

When we arrived in Texas, we found a Braum's for dinner. It's a Texas family-run ice cream shop (with the best soft serve ice cream!) that also serves meals and a few groceries. Unfortunately, their soft serve machine was being cleaned, but we still got to enjoy scoops of ice cream.

My mom's cousins had a reunion at the Ranch House. Several drove in from different states and they enjoyed catching up with each other. 

While mom's cousins were getting together, Dan and I drove the girls to my cousin, Tricia's, house to visit with her family. 

Emma loved playing on the trampoline with her cousin, Laura, whose hair does not conform to the laws of gravity.

My brother, Steve, and Sheila also came to Tricia's house with their adorable daughter, Meera. She had the best time on the trampoline, too!

After a fun afternoon at Tricia's, we all drove back to the Ranch House to spend the night.  Steve, Sheila, and Meera got to meet Hallie for the first time while we were in Texas together!  Meera especially loved seeing the new baby.   

Emma and Meera had a great time playing together and with all their cousins. Since Emma is still under doctor's orders to take three baths a day, sometimes a cousin or two wanted to join her.

And other times, she was just the subject of high interest. She's not modest at all - she's turned away because she doesn't want to share her toys with the other kids. Ha!

The Ranch House is so much fun! We did a lot of playing outside.

My cousin, Emily, taught the little kids a new game that involved jumping on the furniture, so it was a big hit!

Uncle Brian is magical. This was the first time Emma let someone else hold her during the trip (along with her younger cousin, Sadie).

Emma and I joined my cousin, Emily, and her son, Beckett on the pond one day.

 They didn't even get a nibble, but they enjoyed fishing anyway.

We loved getting all of my cousin's kids together for Christmas. I hope we do this often!
My talented cousin, Emily, took some Christmas photos of us while we were in Texas, too.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

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