Final Christmas Celebrations

Final Christmas Celebrations

We had a couple more family Christmas gatherings this past weekend, and we had a good time visiting with everyone. And Remi got even more presents, which she was pumped about. I desperately need to organize/clean because I’m getting overwhelmed at all the stuff in our house.  But we will get there.

We had Tyler’s dad’s family Christmas, and they totally went overboard on the kids. There was a mound of gifts, but it was fun to watch them open stuff.  Remi loved this little hamper, but as a hat/cage? haha we all laughed at her doing this.


She got to play with a second cousin, Bretli. She’s a year older and the girls were so cute together.


On Sunday, we drove an hour or so away to meet up with my Aunt Bobby and Uncle Jerry.  I love them. My dad had several sisters, but Aunt Bobby was the only one I got close to.  I’ve been to stay with them a bunch and just love them. Remi did too.

They gave her a sweet baby doll, and more than anything, Remi just loved making them laugh.


When we got home from the drive, Remi needed to burn off some energy. She had been a VERY good girl at the family gatherings- so we let her go crazy outside.  It was a gorgeous 60-degree day, so we played and jumped and ran a ton. I love her wild spirit!


We totally enjoyed our holiday season, but there’s something nice about returning to “normal.”  Looking forward to that as well!

Family Christmas #1

Family Christmas #1

We had our first family gathering weeks before Christmas. It just made sense, though. Cousin Luke had his Christmas band concert, and we wanted to go see that….so while we were in Hot Springs, we got together with the family.

I decided Remi and I would wear our matching RicRac and Ruffles outfits!

We headed to Hot Springs and got a yummy lunch at Newk’s when we arrived. Then we went to Luke’s band concert. He plays trombone in the 6th grade band, and they did great playing some traditional holiday hits.

After the performance, we all went to Uncle Neil’s for food and fun. We played a fun dirty santa sort of game that the kids liked. (We did the Dirty Dice Gift Grab here).  Then we opened gifts.  Remi got a doctor kit and proceeded to give everyone shots!  She also got some dinosaurs and roared at everyone.

She also got lots of tickles and giggles. She loved sitting with Uncle Neil in his chair.


Family photo isn’t perfect, but we love each other. 🙂

Rhema Christmas Lights

Rhema Christmas Lights

After Sesame Street live, we threw bedtime to the wind and decided to stop at the Rhema Christmas lights before heading home.

Rhema is a church campus and also a Bible College campus, so it’s very big. And they do a lovely drive through light display, but the holiday magic is the walk-through areas because you are surrounded by acres of lights. They say it’s over two million lights. It’s so beautiful!

We went last year on a Saturday, and it was packed….so being there on a week night was SO NICE because it wasn’t busy. In fact, Remi actually did a lot of running around the displays, and it was open enough for her to run free.

It was cold (in the low 40s) but there was like no wind, so it was pretty comfortable, so we took our time exploring the entire area.

This *blurry* tunnel and the area around it are my favorite. This section is set to music and the lights change and go on and off with the music. LOVE.


Remi LOVED all the pretty lights. Sweet girl wanted to get close and kept trying to get off the sidewalk.

They sell treats and hot drinks, and a lady in the snack shack gave her a little cup of popcorn, and she looked so big walking around carrying her snack.


On our way out, I tried to capture the scene, but only could get like 1/8 of it in frame. It’s just magic.

I’m so thankful we got to stop and enjoy the display. I love this time of year, and seeing the magic in Remi’s eyes makes it even more special.

Branson Black Friday

Branson Black Friday

We decided to be crazy and go to Branson for Black Friday. We didn’t plan on doing much shopping, but wanted to just spend some time together and do some fun Christmas stuff!

Remi was recovering from a little bug, so she slept on the way. She woke up about an hour in and was pretty upset and fussy. We debated going home, but decided to press on, and I’m so glad we did. Once she slept a little more, she was GREAT and her sickness was over.


When we got to Branson, we started with Dolly Parton’s Stampede! Remi was still in a nap fog (and had decided she didn’t like her first shirt, so we had to change)


But once the show started, she was INTO IT. She loved the music, the horses, and the whole thing. She also WENT TO TOWN on the food.


The show was from 3-5, so we went back to the hotel after to chill. We let Remi girl play, and she wanted to take a bath in the big tub! We let her get water up to her neck (unlike at home) and she loved it. She (thankfully) slept pretty great in the hotel and was a happy girl when she woke up!


Saturday morning we donned our matching pajamas and headed to the Showboat for a Pancakes with Santa cruise!


A little better group photo this time. 🙂


Remi was INTO all the characters on the boat.  Hugging the gingerbread man, getting candy from the Sugar Plum Fairies…


We waited in line (which she was much more patient for than I thought she would be) and she got a snowflake face painting.


It was a gorgeous day (like 65 degrees) so we walked around the outside deck looking at the water wheel.

We ate pancakes and then the show started. She LOVED it. There were dancing hippos (I want a hippopotamus for Christmas!) and even a dancing dinosaur! And bless it, when Santa came out, she said “I hug him!” and tried to climb down to go get him!


She did get to hug Santa after the show! He was waiting on the dock to meet all the kids. She (again) waited patiently and hugged Santa and sat on his lap.


After breakfast, we all changed clothes to head out and go shopping.  Remi liked walking back to the car- she played with those polar bears you see behind her, played in the rocks and found herself a stick.


While we shopped, she rode the rides at the outlet mall. She LOVES them and remembered them from this summer. As soon as we walked up to the mall, she said “I ride horses!”


After a little shopping, we got lunch and drove home.  A great trip all together!