Monday, January 04, 2010

Christmas Travel Marathon

Hi, remember us? It's been a while, we know. This was one of those holiday breaks where we traveled a lot. It was almost the kind where we needed an oil change before and just after the travels, but not quite. We would not have it any other way as we were able to see family in West Tennessee as well as L.A. That's lower Alabama for those of you unfamiliar with our terrain here in the Deep South.

Because Big Philip works in education, meager though the pay may be, the payoff comes in a lovely two week break that allows us to reconnect with each other and our family, and that is just what we did. We began by visiting the Moss family in Tennessee. There, one our surprise Christmas present from Mamie and Bop was Skype for each of the siblings. Since then, Little Philip and Helen has been video phoning cousins and grandparents, even calling Aunt Mary Helen in Nicaragua once! No matter who is on screen, Helen puts her hands in the air with a questioning aire and says "wheah Amy?" Amy was grandchild number eleven to come along, just three months after Helen. And since then grandchild number twelve was born to Aunt Beverly and George bringing their total number of children to seven. Grandchild number thirteen is due in July, which will make Amy a middle child of three to Aunt Emily and Uncle Jamie. Try to keep up now, the numbers wildly fluctuate! Below is a picture of the nativity play, starring all the older cousins. Little Philip was cast as Joseph but got stage fright and was quickly recast as a shepherd where his line was "we are so afraid!" Helen and Amy loved spending time with each other, taking care of their baby dolls.
After traveling to Tennessee we came home for Christmas "eve" eve so that Santa to come to our house. Santa was a big deal this year to Little Philip and it was so much fun seeing that special light in his eyes. Well, you can't exactly see the light in his eyes in this picture but he's four so, he's focused on the loot. And we promise Helen smiled that morning, but not when we forced her to look at the camera for this picture. Apparently we disturbed her from her princess tea service.

After about 20 hours in Birmingham we headed to Mobile to be with the Porter and Wettermark family. We were there long enough to really spend some quality time with Memaw Porter in Daphne as well as Grandaddy and Grandmother Wettermark. We even got another picture of the four generations of Wettermark women. Grandmother Helen, Nee Nee, Mommy, and Helen. This is always a sweet moment for us. Despite the chill, Little Philip and Helen headed straight for Memaw's front porch swing during our visit. NeeNee and Poppy completed Little Philip's geotrax train set with the an airport, complete with a remote control airplane that does loops in the air on a track.

We coaxed Nee Nee and Poppy to visit the Mobile Exploreum with us since it was free admission for us as McWane Center members here in Birmingham. For anyone that does not know the a McWane membership is reciprocal with most children's science museums in the country, now you know and it is so worth it. Lots of silly time was spent at the Exploreum. Little Philip was amazed at Daddy's floating head.
Then we were finally headed home, to two cats that were besides themselves lonesome for our return. When we opened the door I wanted to say "we've been robbed!" but alas, that is just how we left our house on December 18th and how we found it on December 27th. Aunt Elizabeth was able to come home with us for the week which was so much fun for everyone.

Then on December 28th we went over to Starkville to cheer on the bulldogs and were able to sit with our friends the Mathews. Miss Diane helped Helen understand the game while Big Philip tried desperately to get Little Philip to sit still and watch the game. Notice the death grip Daddy has on him in the picture.

We've spent the last week trying to clean up while spending some good quality time with each other. Big Philip started work today, and we all return to school tomorrow. I think we will be grateful for the routine to return.

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