Monday, December 28, 2009 parts- Act-1.

Our December and Christmas Holidays proved to be a mixed bag this year. They were filled with great excitement, joy, and fun but also a bit stressful and tiring...but all in all--a season filled with love and gratitude.

When we moved to South Texas in August, we decided to lease a home. We weren't real sure where exactly we wanted to live and so we felt this was a wise route for us. Also, since we still own our home in Virginia, it's been a little stressful trying to decide if the timing is right to purchase another home or not. Since our move here, we have been looking at houses recreationally I guess you could say, mostly on the weekends- well, let me clarify that... Jody was looking recreationally, but I was a little more serious in the looking because the house we have been leasing has no backyard and is right on the 10th hole of a golf course---N-I-G-H-T-M-A-R-E for a stay-at-home mom with a 3 year old son!! So back in October, we found this beautiful home, just over 2600 sq. feet with a huge backyard for Noah and fell madly, deeply in love with it. What is even more interesting about this house for us is that we have always owned new homes, yet this one is an older home--built in the 1950's. After much thought, prayer and work--we purchased it. The couple we purchased it from remodeled it {everything that is but the master bedroom, which we are actually excited about since we can put our own spin on it}. It truly is one of those homes that the minute you walk in you feel like you are home. Look for pics to come soon. We are obviously still moving around boxes and more boxes as I type this.

So, to wrap up and move on... we closed on our new (old) home just two weeks before Christmas and we couldn't be happier. We began moving our things in the home the very next day; however, we had to stop in the midst of the move so we could head to East Texas to celebrate the Christmas holidays with our families. We made it to G-town on the 19th and were so happy to be there after the very long drive (10 hours) with a 3 year old. Noah did really good given he had to ride for so long. We were so proud of him and how well he handled the long drive.

Given the fact that we had a few Christmas celebrations with our families, I thought I would just break the Christmas memories up in parts. The first Christmas celebration we had was with Jody's family on Sunday, the 20th. His sister, Amy and her family were able to drive in from Austin, so it was wonderful to have the entire family together to celebrate the Christmas. Teresa and her crew were there as well as Jody's Aunt Margaret and other extended family members and friends we had not seen in a few years. Noah had a blast getting to hang out with all of his cousins. It is a Mask tradition when all the cousins come in town to build a campfire and roast marshmallows. They even put up a tent {despite the frigid December little guy hated having to wear his tobaggon!}. Janet {my mother-in-law} cooked the most amazing Christmas feast for us and Amy's cheese ball was to die for as usual...literally, I will be working the next month to burn off all the calories I gained just from this one meal!!! Oh well, Christmas only comes around once a year...

The annual Mask campfire....

Jake and Will scoping out the land for their cousins

Jody and Duke hanging out

Janet had her home decorated so beautifully for Christmas...

The tables were so cute and ready for everyone to sit down and eat...

Playing outside in the freezing cold weather...battling his mama over having to wear the tobaggon.

Everyone in the kitchen helping Janet prepare the Christmas niece Kasey front and center...isn't she just beautiful---I can't believe she will be a senior in college next year!!

All the cousins have their own assigned cups...

The cousins anxiously awaiting their Santa gifts...
Noah's cousins let him open the first present.

Teresa loved her purse we got her from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico--she is a purse fanatic like me!

Aunt Margaret catching up with everyone...she just returned from serving a church mission in California. It was great to see her again!

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