12.27.2011

our adventure

Back in August we began tossing around the idea to go visit our parents for Christmas and it quickly turned into a surprise visit. We thought it would be perfect since we knew none of them would expect us to come, since Jason's work schedule is typically so busy that time of year.

So we took off bright and early Thursday morning {4:30AM} and headed down to California!
The ride down was lovely and uneventful, in a good way. We were shocked at how dry and summery Oregon looked! The state everyone told us was sure to be covered in many inches of snow, had barely a hint of snow anywhere! The water levels in all the lakes were super low, giving evidence of the dry winter we've all been having.

**to answer a popular question about gifts: our moms sent their gifts here, not knowing we'd be going there. So as they arrived I wrapped them and put them back in the boxes they came in and then we brought them back down with us for our visit, so the kids could open them in front of the Grandparents.

We arrived at Jason's parent's house Thursday night around 9pm {after having dinner at In and Out} and lined the kids up on their front porch. Jason called his Dad and told him we had someone drop gifts off for them on their front porch and asked him to go check if they were delivered. So when his Dad opened the door, our 3 kids were smiling up at him and said "Merry Christmas!" SO fun to see Grandpa's shocked reaction and then to see it all coming together on Grandma's face was hilarious. You could totally tell she was trying to figure out what we were doing there, how we got there and how we pulled off the surprise.
Totally worth the months of planning and waiting.
We had a blast with his family. Uncle Jeff and Aunt Jenny arrived the next afternoon and it made for a really nice family Christmas weekend. My in-laws weren't only overjoyed to have us there {with no notice}, they graciously gave up their master bedroom/bathroom for us to use and seemed pretty thrilled to have their home instantly turned kid friendly and probably 5 times the volume.

we went out to breakfast on Friday... 



     the gumballs made their tongues turn all sorts of colors :)

    Ethan loves this picture. He recently discovered Popeye {with Grandpa} 
and thinks they all look like Popeye here. 

Around the house... 




 Aunt Jenny is a good improviser :) 

   the girls chopped zucchini for the lasagna Jenny made.




    These coffee mugs are very old - Jason got a kick out of having them in a picture w/Kara.

    Impressing Great Grandma with the iPhone games.


Opening gifts... 


    Uncle Jeff & Aunt Jenny bought Kara her first watch! And... its Hello Kitty!!


    Coasters for Mom & Dad, made by Jenny.


    my MIL's face makes me LOL here :-)





   I think Rachel is pretty much being rude to Kara here, saying something like 
"you didn't get one!"
I thought the look on her face was pretty funny though...  



   I think its safe to say, Ethan loves ping-pong.



 opening gifts is a lot of hard work. 

Before leaving... 
    the kids played outside with everyone while Jason and I packed up.


Thank you, Grandpa & Grandma for a great visit! 
We miss you already!

~Arnold & Hildenbrand families~

5 {comments}:

Matthew said...

Very cool! Thanks so much for sharing - it's so good to see the fam back together for the holiday! 8-)

dsallard said...

Well done!! This is so precious. What a great idea and wonderful gift for everyone.

Your in-laws look great and your MIL must have been beside herself with joy!!

Please tell them 'Hello from the Sallards' Hope you all had a safe and uneventful drive back home.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the whole family!!

David & Cynthia

Nicola said...

What a fun surprise! I love it. Looks like you all had a wonderful Christmas. Love the family picture!
Happy 2012!!!

Gina said...

I love how you surprised Jason's parents! And super cool that you went through the effort to take the gifts on the road with you. What a wonderful trip!

Tara said...

oh my word, the looks on the kids faces while opening presents is priceless!

 

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