Saturday, December 31, 2016

Around the Condo












Happiness ...

Happiness is watching the waves crash at sunset ...

video

Game Day

A little Christmas surprise for Josh ... tickets to the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville.

The water taxi to the stadium ...



Pre-game marching band ...



Let's not look at the score ...



Connor would have loved this ... a pool for some lucky kids to enjoy in the VIP section ...



And back to the condo in time for sunset ...

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Winter Break

For as long as I can remember, my family has been traveling south for winter vacation. That probably comes from having two parents who always worked in education ... my father a teacher for 35 years and my mother an elementary school secretary for over 30 years. We all had the same two weeks off from school every year, and being rational people, we wanted to visit the beach when it wasn't excruciatingly hot or over crowded.

So our Florida Christmas tradition began many years ago ... and my parents are gracious enough to continue inviting us on their winter vacation to this day. Our boys LOVE the beach. Connor loves it so much he went down a week early with Grandma and Grandpa, enjoying over two weeks at the beach this time!

Our boys DO NOT love the very long drive to the beach.



Even driving over night, as Josh likes to do, it's still a very long 12 to 14 hours, depending on traffic and the number of stops we end up making along the way. Thank goodness for our Tahoe, for iPads and headphones, for a cooler and snacks, and for the lack of traffic by driving on Christmas Eve this year!

We made it to the beach before lunch on Christmas.




And like I said, the boys LOVE the beach. Playing in the waves, letting them crash into them, is heaven. Connor has always been a water baby, just like me. The twins have come to love the water, after getting over some issues (sand, for one, and life jackets, for another). They LOVE the ocean now. Xander goes out further and further each year, wanting to get to the biggest waves and let them crash into him. He loves to dive through them just like big brother, and he loves to ride them, also like big brother. He would stay out all day long, if he could convince the rest of us to do so.

We've been fortunate enough to have great weather the past few years. Highs in the upper 70s and low 80s are not always normal in the area we visit, but that's what we've enjoyed. So we spent lots of time on the beach, in the ocean, by the pool, and from the condo watching the waves crash all day long.

We also added in some time for delayed Christmas presents (Connor missed Christmas at home to leave early for the beach).







We also brought some of the twins' presents along, since they essentially opened presents and then we left home.





The boys didn't quite make it through the whole first day after our long trip down ...



But we all settled in to enjoy this view for the next 10 days ...





Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas at Grammy & Pappy's House

And after our Christmas (Eve) morning celebration, we headed out to Grammy and Pappy's house for Christmas with the extended family.

Sawyer was not ready for more gifts ...



Anthony and Brianna, however, were ready ...



Xander (and Louie) checking out his gifts ...



Sawyer checking out something he loves, the Melissa & Doug mosaics ...



Grandma Jo checking out her Old Kentucky Chocolates basket ...



Xander checking out his StikBot and his NS (Norfolk Southern) train with Grammy ...



Aunt Kelly and Pappy ...