A few days after Christmas, Rob's brother and his family came to visit us. We hadn't seen them in a year and were so glad to let the kids reconnect and introduce Lainey to her Aunt and Uncle. As I have been want to do lately, I am just going to post a whole lot of pictures and let the captions do the talking.
I'll soon be back to my regularly scheduled blog filled with charming stories and witty anecdotes about life. Or maybe not.
My kids with their cousins, Sophie and Jameson. Bennett and Jameson are only 3 months apart in age and I hope they can grow up together making tons of memories. Obviously Will is only a year behind them and the three of them are a whirlwind of energy when they get together. Sophie is such a wonderful big cousin. She is kind of a rock star in our house. My kids adore her.
Aunt Stacy with her newest niece, Lainey.
Rob and his brother, Frank, with their brood of kids.
We had a lot of fun the first few days of their visit just riding bikes in our neighborhood and walking down to the park. Well, it was fun when the kids actually listened to us and stayed with the grown ups. When they rode off way ahead of us- not so much fun.
Still rocking the party hat!
Love this picture! I think Bennett looks especially adorable in it.
Loved having all the kids around the table every morning for breakfast.
Uncle Frank with Lainey
One night during their visit we went back to the Holiday Lights Spectacular park. It was a little different after Christmas seeing as how Santa was no longer in his house and Frosty and Rudolph weren't walking around, but it is still such a cool place.
Will had his face painted like a puppy and then found a real puppy to hold. What a coincidence.
Face painting cousins.
Making smores over the open fire pits.
The Texas Webs
The Red Webs
On New Years Eve we loaded up and headed down to Panama City Beach. Not that there wasn't a myriad of events to choose from in Dothan, but we thought it would be fun to ring in the New Year hanging out on the Gulf of Mexico.
We checked into our hotel and headed straight down to the beach. Here is Aunt Stacy with Sophie and J-man. Love those kids!
Since 4 of the 5 kids got into the water and were extremely cold, we didn't get a good cousins shot that day. Well, Sophie still looks beautiful. It's hard to get a bad shot of that sweet girl.
Maybe in my top 10 favorite pictures of all time. Love this shot!
Party on the beach!
My baby girl! On our last trip to the beach this past August, I was so pregnant and uncomfortable. It was nice to go back and have her on the outside. A whole lot easier that way.
We then went to Pier Park which is a shopping center across from the beach. On one end they have a little amusement park that is perfect for the little ones. We got there just before the crowd got out of control so it worked out perfectly timing wise. I rode the ferris wheel with my kiddos.
....and trains of course!
Lainey wasn't able to go on rides with her siblings and cousins, but nobody can say that this baby doesn't know how to party.
Ice Cream Break!
At 8pm they had a family friendly beach ball drop to ring in the New Year. Perfect for little kids.
And then fireworks afterwards. Happy (4 hours early) New Year!!!!
The best part of the night? Each kid got a beach ball. Whew! I cannot begin to convey the the amount of tears that would have been shed if we had only managed to snag 2 or 3 balls. Thankfully, that crisis was averted. There were still plenty of fights and tears over whose ball was whose even though they were all identical, but that's another story.
We went back to the condo and put the kids to bed and the adults rang in the New Year with some bananagrams and guitar picking. And then as we celebrated on the balcony looking out at the beach, we realized we were locked out of our condo. All of our cell phones were inside and we were yelling through the tiny crack in the door for Jameson to come and hand us a cell phone. We didn't bother yelling for my kids since their bedroom door was closed and we had white noise on in their room to help them sleep. As Stacy was trying to coax Jameson out of a deep slumber, a drunk girl came stumbling out by the pool. Rob and I were shouting our room number down to her hoping she would remember it long enough to make it to the front desk, but thankfully sweet little Jameson heard his Mama calling and came sleepily out of his room, handed us a cell phone, and went back to bed.
The next morning we headed back down to the beach to let the kids play. What a perfect way to spend New Years Day.
Rob wanted me to add this picture. It made him laugh for the longest time. He wanted to know why the grim reaper was coming for the children. It does rather look like one of Harry Potter's dementors is after them. Weird.
After the beach we played mini golf at our hotel for awhile. Bennett's major bout of disobedience cut her game rather short, but the rest of the kids played for awhile.
And then we had lunch at a beach side deli while the kids ran around and played and the older boys strummed on their guitars.
I pray it is the best one yet for you and your family.