2nd stop!

After leaving Jason's parent's house Saturday afternoon, we headed out to where my parents live, to surprise my Dad. My Mom was supposed to be getting the surprise as well, but due to some scheduling conflicts, I ended up having to tell her we were coming a couple weeks beforehand.
We knew my Dad would be watching the Seahawks/49'er game, so we planned to have Ethan walk in and very casually say "Papa, I wanted to watch this with you." and see how long it took my Dad to get the surprise... or have a heart attack, which we were worried might happen ;-)
His face got white as a ghost and he just stared at Ethan in disbelief. He told us later he thought he either had a stroke or had fallen asleep on the couch and was dreaming Ethan there.

Shortly after the surprise, watching football. 

    the girls took about 2 minutes to go get the dress-ups on :)

   after watching football, you have to play football.

    my parents with 2 out of their 5 kids.

    my Mom is laughing at me because I didn't realize this was the "funny" picture :)

   I love capturing the "before the actual picture" shot. 
My brother-in-law Jeremy is quite shy and lacks a sense of humor...
   as you can see. 

    Bettis, Smoaks and Arnold families.

    I think my Dad is due before me!

Christmas morning... 
My Uncle, Aunt and cousins came from Sacramento to celebrate with us! 
They brought waffle mix and my Uncle made the best strawberry waffles, ever

    My Aunt Julie with her baby, Sarah.

My Dad came around the corner with this hat on and the red wax lips and had us 
all dying laughing. I think the kids were a bit worried :) 

 at the park, with blow up rocket balloons... 

my Uncle took this one of us. 
Merry Christmas 2011! 

Time spent with family was so fun and cherished.
The trip went by in a whirl, but it was so worth it.
The drive was long, sure... but sometimes it takes a long drive to see the ones we love.
Oh! We learned how to play Cranium and to my surprise, I loved it!

We left that night and spent the night in Sacramento, to give ourselves a head start. 
Ended up leaving Sacramento around 8am and arrived at our home in Washington just 
before 10pm. The drives were long, but totally worth the time with family! 
I already mentioned this on Facebook, but I have to say it again... 
our kids did amazingly well on both drives. Every time we make the long haul we 
worry that its going to be too much for them and every time, they totally shock us! 
We're talking NO complaining; I think Ethan asked a couple times 
"are we almost there?" 
They don't have video games or anything, just movies to watch on the DVD player, naps
to take, make believe games to be played, lots of alphabet game playing, and 
good ol' fashioned "look out the window at things we're passing by". 
We're thankful for 3 very good travelers. 

5 {comments}:

Nicola said...

how fun Stef! Love the picture of you and your dad comparing bellies. So funny!

Gina said...

Some great photos--& I love that your dad was so surprised! :-) Funny--my dad has a similar hat. He arrived at the door wearing it & asked the kids that answered the door if they ordered pizza--they were surprised & then laughed at him--a lot! :-)

Emily said...

I absolutely LOVED these posts. What a fun, fun memory for your family! I wish we could do something like this, but our travel would be a bit more complicated. I'm so glad you were able to pull it off, and that it was such a happy Christmas. Love it!

Tara said...

way to go for great kid travelers!! that makes ALL the difference in a trip!!

what a BEAUTIFUL time spent with family. looks like so many amazing memories! love the pic of your youngest drinking the cocoa with her waffle and candy cane. so freaking cute!!

W and J said...

YAY for lots and lots of family time and wonderful pictures!!!! :) I LOVE the picture with your dad & you both expecting. ;) I didn't get to meet him when we visited with you last.


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