...from our world travels. Well, at least our Deep South travels! We started our Christmas holidays by heading to Brownsville, TN to be with all of our Moss family. Martha, Philip, and Samuel were the two year old junior musketeers, second only to the real musketeers Anna, George, and Elizabeth, all aged four and five. We had a wonderful piano recital from Joy, Delie, and Anna, who performed their beautiful solo and duet pieces taught by their Mamie. Then we all sang the Twelve Days of Christmas, each with our own part. We had our first Christmas morning on December 20th when all of the Mosses could be together. All the grandchildren waited impatiently on the stairs and then ran out to open their presents. Little Philip was most impressed with his stash, a Go Fish game, a silver wind up train, and a remote control airplane. Oh wait, the remote control airplane was Daddy's toy! Baby Helen even received a few gifts, which included her pink and green crib set along with a framed print of Jesus Loves Me, surrounded by pink and green bubbles, perfectly matched for her crib set.
We returned home to Birmingham for December 24-26th and had our second Christmas morning. Little Philip definitely knew what Christmas morning was now, since this was his second run of things. He absolutely loved his new art easel and has been playing with it ever since. Anyone in the market for a great one that is not going to break the bank, consider the Melissa and Doug art easel, which came with chalk, finger paint, paint brushes, dry erase marker, finger paint buckets (screw on lids, yeah!) and a huge clear vinyl drop cloth.
Rounding out our Christmas holidays, we traveled to Mobile to be with the Porter Family. First, we celebrated Poppy Porter's 59th birthday with Memaw and Papa Julian on December 28th. Sometimes you catch the perfect picture as someone is just about to blow out their candles. This one takes the cake, no pun intended. Papa Julian enjoyed a bit of easy chair fishing, playing with Little Philip's Go Fish game. We met our newest cousin, Dylan, along with his proud Mommy, cousin Danielle. Little Philip was adorable playing with him, gently, thank goodness! We also visited Mama Gel and Papa Bear Wettermark at their new home in Somerby. Then, on December 28th, Little Philip was very excited to have Christmas morning number three! Last year Santa brought him an Elmo and he has been afraid of this "Stretch Me Elmo." Honestly, pulling arms and limbs that hard would scare me too. This year, NeeNee and Poppy gave him the new Tickle Me Elmo and he was enthralled as you can see. He also enjoyed his Cajun Night Before Christmas book from his Great Uncle John and his alligator book with the snapping alligator head on top.
We finally headed home on New Year's Eve to go through "grandparent detox" to get Little Philip back on his regular schedule before he returns to school tomorrow morning. We took down all of our Christmas decorations for the year but smiled knowing we will be adding one more stocking to the mantle next year for baby Helen. We know we have room for the stocking, now we just have to make room for her, and fast!