Sunday, January 9, 2013

Holiday Fun !

We successfully made it through 5 months of 3rd grade and Kai/Sierra were ready for their 3 week holiday break. They got out of school close to Christmas and didn't have to return until January 9th. It was a nice break for all of us.

Prior to that, we had a busy holiday season. We went to Georgia for Thanksgiving, where we met MeMaw, PawPaw, Uncle Jeffrey, Aunt Kit, Hunter and Forrest. It was a nice treat for us to spend time with family for Thanksgiving.

That trip started our holiday festivities and Christmas celebration. The day after Christmas we travelled back to Virginia and West Virginia for a week. We had a nice visit with our family... then it was back to reality.

The photo diary is below:

Thanksgiving in Georgia



Holiday Festivities




Thanksgiving in Georgia! (back to top)

We decided to go to Blue Ridge, Georgia for Thanksgiving this year. We initially thought it would just be us (not thinking anyone would want to make the 9 hour trek), but were surprised when MewMaw/PawPaw decided to join us, as well as Uncle Jeffrey, Aunt Kit and Hunter/Forrest. MeMaw/Pawpaw arrived on Monday to meet us. Everyone else arrived on Thanksgiving day.

On the way up, we stayed with our friends Jim, Ilene, Sam and Cora. It was a quick visit but so good to see them.


Kai hanging out in the trees.


Sam has a huge snake. He let Kai hold him.


Not sure how both kids like snakes when Mom and Dad are so creeped out by them.


I guess they're lucky that we have friends that share their reptiles....


Sam teaching Sierra the violin.


Sierra and Cora.


"Hold on... we're almost there."


Buddies in the leaves...

Forrest enjoyed our hike as well. She's an old girl but still has lots of energy.


Our cabin was really nice. It was all wood, everywhere!


The master bedroom.


The living room.


Loft bedroom.


Rec room/Kid's bedroom.



Playstation 2 = Big smile!


Pawpaw equipped the cabin with nerf guns.


"Check out my pool skills."


"Set it up Daddy!"


Pawpaw teaches Kai to play pool.


Warming up!

The view from the cabin was beautiful. we even had a little bit of fall color left.


It doesn't look too big from this view.



The cabin was 3 floors.


There was a nice State Park near by where we hiked.


Pawpaw equipped Kai and Sierra with walking sticks for the journey.


Taking a break on the rock bed with PawPaw.



Photo opp at the top of the mountain.


We made it!



Napping in the mountains.


We all made it!


Handsome Kai.


Chillin' out in the hot tub with Daddy.



We tried fishing but it was too cold.


We figured the fish must have all been hanging out at the bottom of the lake.


Horseback riding was awesome.


We took an hour ride on a mountain trail.



Kai and Sierra both did great managing their horses.


Kai waiting to head out.



MeMaw wasn't up for the hike or ride but had dinner waiting on us when we returned.


We played a game of headbanz afterwards.




"I'm never going to guess this one."


"Am I an animal?"



"Do I have feet?"


The sunrise was beautiful from our cabin.



Thanksgiving day hike... energy was high knowing Hunter and Forrest were close to arriving.


Our cabin was called Parrott's Perch.



After climbing up the mountain (which freaked MeMaw out with her fear of heights), we had to go up another tall road to get to there.


"Check out my leaf earrings."



"They're here!"


Snacks and video games... this is a great vacation!



Silly Forrest...


A Thanksgiving Day soak.



Kid campout.


Sierra and Forrest playing the DS.



"We love cousin time."


We took everyone back to our hiking spot.



Kai chillin out on top of the world (at least the world in Georgia)..


Great Ward family picture!



The Higgins'


Jeffrey and Hunter.



"Put me down Daddy."


Crazy cousins.



"We're ready for the Christmas Train Ride in Blue Ridge."


We had the open car so needed to bundle up.



Hunter and Kai.


"Smile everyone!"



Santa visited our train car.


Hunter and Forrest posing with Santa and Ms. Clause.



Family Santa shot.


MeMaw and PawPaw telling Santa their Christmas wish.



Crazy face!


Kai and Sierra ... one in Tennessee, one in Georgia.



Now we're in two states at once!


Ready for the cold trip back.



We all needed to bundle up for the ride home. It got cold.


Smile PawPaw.



Jeffrey and Kit.


Great shot of Daddy, Kai and Sierra.



Forrest even bundled up... ready to head outside in the woods.


"Let's take a sleigh ride."



Whacky cousins...



Forrest gave all the characters a hug.



Sierra and Kai didn't have too much interest in posing but did do it once for Mom.


The elf girls thought Sierra was a little boy.



Hunter got a little embarrassed by the attention.


Cool Kai tolerating them for a picture :).



It got into the 20s our last night there.


Holiday Festivities (back to top)

This year we cut down our tree at the tree farm again (slim pickings this year). We also went to see Santa and went to the Seaworld Christmas event. It wasn't as crazy of a schedule as we've had in the past but enough to make it feel like Christmas in the 80 degree weather.



Kai and Sierra's favorite things at the tree farm this year was getting a Sprite.


We found one (the best we could find in the sparse selection).


Let's pay for it and get home to decorate.


Nice smile for mom in the Santa line...


...and of course the crazy face picture is a must.


Mom made it in a picture... love my babies.



Sierra is still very excited to see Santa... Kai is more tolerate (but did want to get his wish in).


Kai's wish list this year. He noted his real wish with a star but put a couple of backups in case his big wish didn't work out.


Sierra's wish was for a big wheel thing that sparked. That was her big wish.


Sierra reviewing her wishes with Santa.


"Please give me my razor spark rider."


"Smile for mom."




"Give me a real smile."


"Really, I might get my Kindle."


"Love the glasses..."


Higgins' 2012 Christmas Card.

Fred, our "Elf on the Shelf" visited for the month of December. Here he was trying to sneak into Ms Moeser's gift (Sierra's teacher).


Kai and his friend Kyle at their school Christmas party.


Sierra's class at her class party.



Smile pretty girl!


Mom came in to help with the parties.


SeaWorld was fun. There were lots of cool decorations to get us in the mood.


Crazy nut... but a cool picture.


Daddy and his little girl.


There's a nice smile.


Kai blended in the shark exhibit.


"Watch out Daddy... there's a shark over your head."


"I love the red trees."


Sea of trees.


"Cool dude... snow"


"I pray for a white Christmas."


"This tickles my tummy."




"Merry Christmas."



Christmas (back to top)

Christmas is always so much fun. Kai and Sierra get so excited which makes all the hard work worthwhile. We went to church for Christmas Eve service and then came home to open one gift. Our Christmas Eve tradition is for them to open one gift and has morphed to them opening their gift from each other. We then put out the cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer and head to bed. Christmas Day starts very early but is a relaxing day around the house and a nice dinner with our friends. "Good times...." (as Sierra would say).

Happy Kids ready to open Gift #1.


Pretty Sierra posing in her Christmas dress.


"What is it, what is it?" Sierra got Kai Lego men (they each had a $10 limit).

Kai got Sierra stuffed animal puppets.



The tree is full of gifts ready to Christmas morning.


Santa's cookies, Reindeer carrots - check!


"Yeah - Santa brought me my Kindle"

"Wow - Santa brought me my Razor 360"


Full stockings to undo...


"Check me out!"



"It's activated!"


And they ate the cookies and carrots!


Thanks for the books Memaw and Pawpaw.


Thanks for my book set Memaw and Pawpaw.


Thanks for the pogo sticks Aunt Kit, Uncle Jeffrey, Hunter and Forrest.


Memaw/Pawpaw - we love our bow & arrows.


The annual scavenger hunt which led to our family Universal passes (the gift from Mom and Dad).

"Check me out!"



"Sierra thanks for letting me ride."


"This is harder than it looks..."



Sierra caught on pretty quick.

"Dick - thanks for the books set."



"Dick - I love my basketball."


"... and my football."


"I've already build several new cars."



Virginia/West Virginia Visit (back to top)

The day after Christmas, we headed back to Virginia and West Virginia to visit all our family. It is a treat for us since it only happens a couple of times a year. We got a little treat with some snow at Grandma Nancy's (not much to play in but still cool to see it coming down).


"Which one should I use?"


Cousin Seth with his new hat PawPaw made.



Cousin West was in from Washington state.


Uncle Jeffrey, Cousin Amanda and Aunt Bunny



Aunt Bunny and Cousin Clay. Clay was in visiting from the Coast Guard in California.


Aunt Bunny and her boys.



Kai bowls a .....


"Watch out pins..."



"So which tattoo do you like best? Did they hurt?"


Lovin' on West.



Say cheese.


"How's life in the Coast Guard?"



Nice background!


MeMaw and Kai ready to bowl.



Forrest is about the same height as Sierra... another year and he's likely to tower over her!


2 generations of cousins.



Peace out!


Kai and Sierra in West Virginia wearing their PawPaw hats.



Cool Sierra size shopping cart.


Let it snow!



Woohoo... only a dusting but enough to get filthy in!


"Watch out, she's coming"



Aunt Nancy and Cousin Carly.


Sierra and Cousin Brad.



Brad entertained the kiddos in the "snow."



Carly was having a big time.



"Watch out Carly!"

The pretty girls.



Cousin Ryan and Stacy met us for dinner.


Smile Brad.



The Higgins' family


Uncle Mike and Cousin Evan.



Daddy and Carly.


Everyone still able to smile after a belly full of Mexican food.



Aunt Nancy and Grandma Nancy.


"Stop tickling me."



Uncle Mike, Evan, Ryan and Daddy.


Evan wins the height prize!



Crazy Ryan getting a loud laugh out of Sierra.


He even managed to get Kai off the ground and cracking up.



"Ooh-la-la, more snow"


We have enough for snowballs today.



Watch out mom!


"We mean business.. put your camera away if you know what's good for you."



Back in Virginia, checking out the pier.



It was a little chilly out (but not as cold as WVA).



Silly girl.


New Years Eve!



Amanda came to celebrate with us.


PawPaw and Amanda.


Aunt Kit.


Happy 2013!





It doesn't feel like a new year!



New Years Day in the wind machine.


Uncle Jeffrey - the pack mule.



Put us down!


Cousin Hunter turns 12!



Happy Birthday!


This was a very cool, life size bubble machine.



We liked the Children's Museum.


"Check out this bubble."



"If you blow real gentle, you can make one float."


"What are you looking at?"



"You got something to say?"


PawPaw and the Grandkids chillin' out.



Sierra's face imprint.


Giving her "face" a kiss.



Miscellaneous (back to top)

In addition to all the fun described above, we had lots of other miscellaneous adventures (see below).


Kai made All A Honor Roll again (not too many made it in 3rd grade - he's doing awesome).


Kai and Sierra were top winners again for Entertainment book sales, so they won the FunSpot party.


Kai went solo on the twirling ride.


Here he is way up in the air.


We're ready to race.


Kai was big enough to ride on his own this year.


So was Daddy :).


They love the rides that take them up and drop them down quickly... good tummy ticklers.


Hello from upside down.


It was a little too cool for everyone else, but Kai wanted to do the water ride.


Our first cross country meet of 2012. Sierra placed 12 out of about 50 girls.


Kai did awesome.


He was able to run the entire mile race.


He finished about the middle of the pack.


Sierra was really able to keep her focus.


She ran the entire time too.


We were stunned when she came in 12th and got a special ribbon.


She was recognized with her age group.


Sierra and her friend Dylan who also placed.


Kai and Sierra after the race.


Our little backyard owl - we found him at the base of our tree in the backyard.


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