January 2, 2008

Christmas on Hickory Hill Farm, GA

It was the Jewkes' turn to have us this year, so we made the trek out to Georgia, back to my roots.:) It was a loooonnngg flight, and we didn't arrive on the farm until 3am (Remember, now, that we have a 16-month-old in tow). Thank goodness church didn't start until 1:30 the next day. We were so excited that the Taskers (my sister's fam) had surprised us all by driving from Denver to share Christmas vacation with us- what a treat! Also a surprise, though not so pleasant a one, my Dad told someone in their ward that he would take his dogs- 2 big, white labs. The kids were all afraid to go outside for a few days. The other, smaller dog, Snowball, is my little twin nieces'.

Do you see the look of fear in those little guys' eyes? It's there. My dad tried to orient Oliver and his cousin, Cooper to the labs- somewhat unsuccessful.

Monday, Christmas Eve, went like this: the guys went shopping for their wives (As of Monday, Christian didn't have a single gift for me, except for the ones that I had purchased for myself.) and the girls wrapped presents and chatted. That night, we had a nice program with all the usual Jewkes stuff: Christmas story with actors and all, singing around the piano, and lots of impromptu solos.
Christmas is a bit anti-climactic when 1) you know you're not getting much and 2) you don't have kids around to get all excited about Santa. But, we still woke up around 9:30, took pictures, and dove in. Oliver loved all the presents we unwrapped for him: balls, more balls, trucks, and more trucks.

Oliver, waiting patiently to rip in to some presents!

After a yummy breakfast of the traditional candy cane pastries and breakfast casserole, we vegged for way too long before getting cleaned up for the day. That night, however, we burned off almost all of those breakfast calories with some serious arm and leg wresting.

Me vs. Mom
Christian vs. Jake
Emily vs. Claire

Now, let the shopping begin! I actually practiced quite a bit of restraint this year and did not make a single purchase, except for a few things for Oliver. Point for me! Anyway, the next few days are kind of a blur of laziness, eating, chatting, playing games, and more shopping. We also went out on the lake and played with the dogs, too.

On Sunday, our little nephew, Jonah, was blessed and I just have to say that he is one of the cutest little baby boys I have about ever seen. Weighing in at only 5'14" at birth, he is soooo tiny and has the perfect little features.

Lest I forget, it was my little honey's birthday on Sunday as well. He was sick most of the day with Oliver (both had man colds), but we still squeezed a little celebrating in that night with confetti cake and our fave, Blue Bell ice cream.

Oliver: "Give me that cake!"

Since Christian was sick, I had to do the honors.
Trying on Daddy's hip new glasses.

This same night, Oliver discovered the rocking horse that neighed. He sat on it for 30 minutes, literally.

Oliver and Cooper loved to play with each other, and the train table.

Monday was one of the highlights of our trip to Georgia, with a stop at the world's largest aquarium, in Atlanta. It was huge and complete with a petting zoo. Yep, that's right, we got to pet live stingrays, crabs, starfish, and even a shark! Oliver loved watching all the fishies and pointed with excitement every time we came up to a tank. Some of our favorites were the whale sharks, the beluga whales, and all the tropical fish and jellyfish.

This was a little cubby-hole to peek in on the penguins.

Highlights of the trip: lazing around more than I have since I was a newborn baby, playing games and talking until at least midnight every night, and I think Christian would say that his reading 3 books while were there was the best time of his life, though my sisters were wondering if he "hated our family" because he read probably 75% of our time there.


Rachel Crofts said...

I had so much fun looking at all these cute pictures and despite their abundance, I was still wanting for more after I had seen all of them. It looks like you guys had a lot of lazy fun in Atlanta. Where did you get that skirt?? Its really cute.

Andrea W. said...

Your trip sounds perfect, Rebecca! What cute kids, the baby is darling and Cooper and Ollie are the cutest little buddies. We missed you, but I'm glad you had so much fun.

Ryan said...

Wow, crazy trip, guys. Sounds like lots of fun. I'm really glad Kook was able to get out and buy something for you, Rebecca. Davis said he spoke to him on that day, and we were all pretty worried for him.

I loved those pictures- it's awesome that Oliver loved that rocking horse so much. What I wouldn't give to just have nine days in one place just laying around and reading and playing games. Sounds like a long Jane Austen holiday or something.

(P.S. Can't you click the option to make your pictures a little bigger? I'd love to see them better).

rebabell said...

Ryan-- I definitely sense some sarcasm around the whole Christmas present issue. Anyway, you can click on any of our pictures and they will get bigger in another window I think.

Jo said...

Rebecca, thanks for sharing your fun Christmas vacation with us. Loved all the pictures and commentary! Who's baby is Cooper, and how old is he? It looks like they're fast friends! Also, how did Becky do on the arm/leg wrestling? I'm impressed!

Eliza said...

First of all, lame Chris, I would be so bugged if josh read all the time while we were on vacation. Sounds way fun though, we missed you guys but are glad you had so much good times. I loved all the pictures.

rebabell said...

cooper is emily's baby- hes 6 weeks younger than oliver. and my mom actually beat me at arm wrestling- she's strong!

kateworthi said...

It's so nice to see pictures of all the fun you guys had at Hickory Hill Farm! It made me really want to book a flight out to see my Claire. I've had some good times with your fam there. And it was so nice to also see pics of Cooper and Jonah and Jenn's fam too - I haven't seen any [of the babies]! I am super jealous you had such a nice time with your family - I wish I was so lucky! Happy New Year!

Matt and Kay Jones said...

Are you kidding me? How big is little Oliver? I can't believe we haven't seen you guys in so long... we miss you! I'm so glad that we have found each other again in the blogging world. Looking forward to keeping in touch!

Greg said...

Reba, you're such a great writer. I love your descriptions of the activities over Christmas. Felt like we were there. You are a dynamite photographer. Great shots in the aquarium. So many good pics of Christian and Oliver, too.