Sorry…longest post ever! 

Ok, I’m just gonna put everything here, all rolled into one enormous update! These pics will mostly be from my phone, with another post with ‘real camera’ photos…soon. 

First off: The Biggest One was asked to write a guest entry for the TTUHSC alumni blog, which you can find here. I think that’s pretty amazing!! If you haven’t read it yet, please do!

Ok, here’s what’s been happening since our last post:

On December 17th, I had my first musical as a music teacher. It went fairly well! I’m very proud of our little school. So any of them are really into performance, and one parent told me that this was the first time his son (a 4th grader) had ever sung in a show, and seemed to enjoy it! That’s a great compliment! 🙂 

Also, The Big One was one of the main roles! She played Mrs. Claus and was hilarious! Here’s a…terrible picture of the good picture on our camera that I can’t upload at the moment…

   
With a few other cast members… (Mom: we totally used the Lady Gaga costume and mask for a funky Frosty! Thanks!)

 
That was the evening before we flew to Texas, on the 18th, arriving the 19th. Most of our luggage didn’t arrive til the 24th. 😦 Grrrrrr! There were so many issues with that (mostly, the tiny MAF airport), but I’m trying to move on. 😛

We spent the first week or so at my mom’s and had lots of Christmas fun!

 Tuckered out!
  Pretty lights! (She was pretty darned behaved around all the trees, considering she loves lights and balls!)
  

Cousins!  
Cheeeese! I climbed up here all by myself…it’s the beginning of the end!

  

Cute froggy hat!!  
 
 Someone to eat with!

  
  

Boop daddy’s toe!  
Looking at some of Granny’s many music boxes. 


    
 
 Sisters who both love to read!

 
We also got to see Grandaddy and the Wetzels! No pictures of the folks at Christmas breakfast, but a cute one playing in their rocks!   

Our next stop on the Texas Tour was the Austin area! We saw three sets of grandparents/great grandparents in just two days! 

Poor thing was exhausted! Fell asleep watching Tv at Nana and Papi’s… Hasn’t fallen asleep during a movie since she was two probably!!

 
“This *is* my cheese face, mom!”   

Playing with some logging blocks at Mimi and Pops’. 

  

Now the other is sacked out!  
 
On the 22nd, we headed down to Houston to see the TTU bowl game, The Biggest One’s sister, and a friend of mine who’s daughters are fairly close in age to ours. 

The youngest ones have very similar ‘cheese’ faces, which begs the question: What do we parents really look Iike when we try to make them smile that leads them to believe scrunched noses are spot on? 😉   
 
 Here’s the mountain man!
  

Ok, I actually think this is a great shot of me and the girls!

And here we are altogether
 
Here’s a couple shots of the halftime performance. At least it was a better turn out than the game (sniff, sniff!)

   

We stayed at The Biggest One’s sister’s home. We spent the next day with L and D eating brunch at The Egg and I (and had to order The Little One more eggs because she kept stealing them from dad’s plate!), having lots of fun tickle fights, and playing a new game called Machi Koro. We had a good time, and we ended up buying the game later, in case anyone is looking for a fun game!

That evening we drive up to Dallas, with a dinner stop in Waco to visit some college friends, and of course, a stop in West for some kolaches! These are some of my favorite signs. Sorry about the last one…didn’t want to lose my place in line! But they’re such crazy numbers!!! 1500 pounds of cream cheese!! (Ps- that’s something I miss the most over here. It cost $10 for a small cream cheese container!!)

   
  
The next day we met with some TTU LSF friends for a New Years Eve party! 

The Little One with her Godfather:
 
The kids put on a show!

  

Two cuties on the fireplace!

 
  More ‘cheese’ face…I think it’s getting worse…
 
She didn’t last to midnight, of course. When I went to retrieve her from the pack n’ play, she was all curled under in a little ball, snuggling her baby. So cute!

 

The next day was wedding rehearsal/bachelorette party stuff for My college roommate, P, and her wedding to D was on the 2nd. It was so lovely, and I was soooo excited for them!!!

   
    
    
    
   
It was so fun, and I am so happy that God brought them together!

The next day we saw another set of great-grandparents, who also celebrated The Big One’s birthday!

She likes dogs. Gives nearly every one we saw a kiss on the face!   

  

A poor judgement purchase from us when we were at the stockyards earlier that day…

  
But it seems to suit others well! 😉

 
We rounded out the the last of our central Texas tour by staying at Grandaddy’s, where she fell in love with the scale!    
We also spent a day near San Antonio to play games with my brother’s family, and got to see The Biggest One’s other sister, K, for lunch!

 Last, we headed back to my mom’s  so we could have a birthday celebration for The Big One and her friends, and to pack our 8 bags of stuff!!
No, not all our stuff, but stuff that was donated or bought for the orphanage here! 

I mean- look at it!! Such beautiful, kind hearts for all this giving!!

  
Smiley thing!

  

She’s 9!!!
  

Birthday bear French toast and rainbow fruit!

  
The Biggest One had a great idea to call up the ice rink to see about a party and it all worked out! If we lived near a rink, I’m sure The Big alone would get to be more familiar with it….and by the end of our night she walked across the middle…yes, walked all by herself. We’ll get there someday, right? But even if she wasn’t the best at skating, she had a fun night with her friends, and that’s all that counts!

    
The day after the party, we headed out for our flight….which had been cancelled. 😦 Thankfully, they found American Airlines flight(s) to get us to Chicago before our Brussels flight, but we had to pay for all the luggage; then we didn’t but we had to collect all our bags in Chicago and recheck; then we waited to see if a united HQ would grant us a different ticket to transfer to AA so we wouldn’t have to collect the luggage; then we went back to having to pay for the luggage with our new tickets!!! Grrrrr!!! United will not be my airlines anymore, should I be in charge of booking! However, the AA agent told us that the DFW-Chicago plane was an old international one and there is a bank of seats in the middle that are typically used for other flight crew on board, but are basically secluded from other passengers and would we like them? Turned out to be fun! Reclining seats with footrests! And lots of leg room! Yay!!

 

Phew! And now we’re back and summer is a looooooong time away! :-/

But, a school musical the beginning of March, a wedding cake for a coworker the end of March, accreditation in April, Sports day in May, and 12 holidays (both US and Liberian) between now and then should keep us busy and refreshed! 

Look for another post to follow soon with Birthday pics from our local party, and then another with the better pictures… 😉

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