Thursday, January 26, 2006

Family Christmas Number two

Hello all!
We're sorry it has taken so long to update the blog, but here it is. We (Christie, Abigael, and I) flew down to Los Angeles thru Ontario Airport on December 24th. Abigael had gotten sick a few days earlier, but seemed to be fine for the 2 1/2 hour flight. We were up at 4am that morning and our GREAT friend Kyle drove us to the airport in plenty of time for the 7am flight. On the plane, Abigael was all over the place for the first hour and a half before finally falling asleep for the last hour. (But of course, she was a good girl and charming and everyone loved her!)
We arrived to nice, sunny, WARM California weather on Christmas Eve day. Grandma and Papa picked us up at the airport. Papa is very mischievous and almost got a ticket because he is very common sense-oriented and the cops are not. After a long wait to get our luggage, we were finally on our way to their house to get settled in. We got there just in time to watch the Seahawks win over the Colts. OH YEAH Go 'HAWKS!! That evening we all traveled down to Dan and Gabbie's to visit and have an early Christmas with them. When we arrived both of the new parents were crashed out on the couch and the two kids were asleep also. We all got to meet Matthew James, our new nephew and cousin born on Dec. 8th. Emma was super excited to see Abigael and the cousins hit it off immediately!

We all got ready and went to Christmas Eve service at Dan and Gabbie's church. After church, we had dinner and then let the kids open presents. The kids had a great time opening gifts, but it was getting late and we eventually had a small melt down but nothing to spoil the mood. We played some games then left their house and went back to Grandma and Papa's house. It was early to bed as Gabbie, Emma, and Matthew were going to travel to Dan's sister's to spend Christmas day with his family.
On Christmas day we all woke up, had breakfast and went to Grandma and Papa's church. We sang songs and listened to the Christmas story of Jesus' birth. Abigael sang along with a smile on her face. When we got home we, Brandon, Christie, Abigael, Grandma, and Papa, all opened gifts. Grandma spoiled all of the grandchildren this Christmas!! Otherwise, we had a lazy day, watched some football and visited Mom and Dad.
On Monday, Uncle Wayne and Aunt Mary flew down to visit for a few days. Dan, Gabbie and kids came up and we had a big family dinner. We had a great time!
On Tuesday, Brandon, Christie and Abigael joined Gabbie's moms' group and visited a Long Beach City fire house. WOW, what an awesome time we had! We spent almost four hours touring and getting first class treatment at the station. There were about 12 kids and almost as many parents. We think Abigael is going to be a firefighter (she wouldn't come out of the engine or the truck!)!! The token dad in Gabbie's moms group is a firefighter at this fire house (he's a truckie). The Engine was out when we arrived and the truck got a call, so we had to wait until they got back to get the tour. They let the kids crawl all over the apparatus, flow water from the booster reel, and even took some kids up in the aerial basket (Abigael was the first in line for all of these activities!). The firefighters made their rookie don his personal protective equipment and breathing apparatus for time (2 min or less). He then let the kids see that under all the gear there really is a person and to not be afraid of firefighters if they are ever in a fire. Afterwards we all went to Dan and Gabbie's, had dinner and watched movies. Then it was back to Grandma and Papa's.

On Wednesday, the three of us went Dan and Gabbie's again. Dan, Brandon and the two cousins went to see the Nemo on Ice Ice'capades with Gabbie's moms group. It was fun and the two girls just loved it! This gave Gabbie a chance to rest while Christie watched over the baby. After the show, it was back home and we watched a movie while the girls took naps. That evening we all (I mean ALL the family) went down to visit and have dinner at the Petersen's house. Bill and Dee Petersen are old family friends from Ukiah. Chris Petersen is one of Brandon's closest old school friends. Chris, his wife Celine and son, Thomas, all live in France (Celine is French) and were here visiting before Celine has number two (she's about 5 month pregnant). We visited till late in the night, then went back to Grandma and Papa's house.
On Thursday, we had a slow lazy day. We paid the next door neighbor high school girl to baby-sit Abigael and all of the adults went to go see The Chronicles of Narnia; The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. AWESOME MOVIE!! When we went to pick her up afterwards, Abigael did not want to leave her babysitter's house, she had made a new friend!!
On Friday, Christie, Brandon, and Abigael all drove to the Riverside area to visit Chris Keithly and his family. Chris K. is the tri-fecta that was Brandon, Chris P. and Chris K. in Ukiah, from the third grade and beyond. Chris and his wife Rosie just recently bought a house and completely renovated it. Chris has FIVE kids!!! Josh, CJ, Samuel, John, and Laura the two month old!! We spent the afternoon visiting and catching up. Abigael was exhausted after playing with Samuel and John. We then drove back to Grandma and Papa's. Mom and Dad took Wayne and Mary to the airport and we all got ready to drive up to Northern California to visit Brandon's Grandparents. Unfortunately, we were heading into record setting rain in Nor Cal...
On Saturday morning, Grandma, Papa, Brandon, Christie, Abigael, and Emma, all started the drive north. It was a SEVEN hour drive to Navoto to see Great Grandpa Lockwood. (The girls did so great in the car!) The great grandchildren crawled all over Great Grandpa and took pictures with him. This was the first time Abigael had met her Great Grandpa Lockwood and vice-versa. After a short visit, we drove to Williams and stayed in a hotel for New Years Eve. Brandon and Christie stayed up and rang in the New Year (WooHoo! It was a "Rockin' New Year Eve"!). Poor Emma kept didn't feel well and kept Gamma and Papa up most of the night. Of course she was just fine in the morning!
On Sunday, we drove up to Chico to visit Great Grandma Seifert. This was also the first time Great Grandma Seifert and Abigael had met. The grandchildren had a good visit with Great Grandma and we took pictures with them all. Then we took Great Grandma Seifert out to lunch while the torrential rains started to pour. We had to drop Great Grandma off and beat feet to get to the Sacramento Airport before roads closed due to flooding. We said good bye in the pouring rain and began the wait! Our flight was delayed almost two and a half hours due to a 140 knot head wind coming down from Seattle. The good news was that we had a 140 knot tailwind going home only 1 hour 15 minutes to get home. Kyle picked us up from the airport and drove us home, Thanks!
We had a wonderful time with the Lockwood clan for Christmas. We are so happy that the cousins, Emma and Abigael, got along so well. We're working hard to help Abigael remember her cousin with pictures and stories. We can't wait to get them together again.
(Sorry this was so long. It was a long week!)
Love you all!!!

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