Over Christmas break we were so thankful to see friends and family. I'm always amazed at how many precious faces we manage to cram into our short time in Texas. Of course there are always folks we miss, sad.
You'll be pleased to see that James Lockett (Ava's Elf on the Shelf) also "madithomsaf". He had a blast hiding in mischievous places with Mimi's old elves.
We loved our time with the Broaddus family, Ninfa's for lunch and Spice for shopping with the perfect company - life just doesn't get much better. We can't get over how big Ethan is. What a sweet little guy.
The darling finished product
Silly James made block words with Mimi's two elves.
Poor Beene Beene broker her femur right before we returned from Switzerland. Ava was disappointed to miss out on her usual trips to Beene Beene's palace at Josh's parents house.
We made sure to visit the hospital several times over our time in Texas so these two could catch up. While we were in Switzerland Beene Beene sent Ava the sweetest letters telling the stories of animal characters they've created. In this picture Beene Beene is reading her the latest news from their imaginary friends.
Making sugar cookies for Santa
All iced and ready
Leaving Santa's cookies on the hearth
Making sure Santa isn't already in the chimney
When we woke up on Christmas morning the cookies and James Lockett were gone. He left a special goodbye message for Ava in the blocks.
Santa left her a rocking horse and TV for her dollhouse, just like she asked.
Mimi and Coach gave Ava a kid-sized piano and some beginning piano books. I'm going to cover the basics with her and we hope to start piano lessons once she's mastered these books.
At Baba and Pops house Nolan and Ava were very happy to see each other.
I think Baba was pretty thrilled to have them back in her arms too.
Watching Aristocats in their sleeping bag/chair
Ava read Nolan a book about trains while he signed along.
Ready to bake gingerbread cookies in her souvenir Luzern shirt.
An Ava and Baba Christmas tradition
I'm sure Nolee's smiling face will be included in this shot next year.
The mild-weathered Christmas allowed for lots of outside play time resulting in two very dirty grandkids.
Nolan helped Ava rinse her hair.
Beautiful weather and fun in the December sun
Pops knows how to push Ava perfectly.
One of my new favorite shots of Ava
Little Mommy trying to prevent Nolan from chomping rocks she collected
So happy together
A neighbor. Yes, really. While she's not great for lending a cup of sugar, this little donkey provides entertainment for the grandkids.
Kicking the ball with Nolan
Uncle Nate gets a taste of what Sarah and I mean when we say we have our hands full. Can anyone see the grandma spotting him?
On a nature walk
Something she learned in the Alps: always carry a walking stick.
Big news: Ms. Well has a big sister! Baba and Pops gave Ava this real big American Girl. Ava promptly named her Arabelle, which rhymes nicely with Ms. Well. I think her name may have had something to do with a wonderful Christmas visit with the Farmers. (Robyn, how do we have no pictures from our time together? Oh yeah, we were talking 100mph the whole time. I'd say it was a fair trade. We have to take some pictures next time though.)
We had a special Christmas celebration with Beene Beene in the hospital.
Presents and puzzles and lots of love were shared.
On the night of Halloween 2010 Ava announced that she was planning to grow her hair out to be Rapunzel for Halloween 2011.
As soon as we were finished trick-or-treating in Switzerland she was ready to have her hair cut short. Between the expensive prices of haircuts (and everything else) and a major language barrier I wasn't brave enough to have her hair cut while we were abroad. I promised her that as soon as we returned to Oklahoma we'd go to her favorite salon and she could do whatever she wanted with her hair. On Saturday I made good on my promise.
She loves this place because they let her pick what fruit scent she'd like her shampoo and conditioner to be.
Everything is kid-sized, bright and fun.
Talking over her decision to donate her hair to Locks of Love
Determining if she has enough
Yay for a 10 inch donation!
Shaping up the rest
A quick blowdry and a few strokes with a round brush later
and her hair is cute as can be. No more tangles, no more marathon blowdry sessions, no more gobs of shampoo and conditioner. Also, Daddy can fix it on mornings he takes her to school. She loves it and so do we we. More about school and our first week of work soon. Hope everyone had a lovely week!