Wednesday, December 26, 2007

our Anniversary

Merry Christmas and stuff

If I had my act together, there would be lots more posts between this one and Dec. 9, but here goes anyway.

We spent a fabulous week in Germany from the 16th till the 23rd (thus, the long break here). The first part of our trip was to Garmsich for skiing which was so awesome, except for the horrific cold and sore throat I had for the first 4 days. We met up with our friends Dave and Tracy and their 3 boys and stayed in very cute little apartments with separate bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, etc. It was way nicer than any place Casey and I lived for the first few years we were married for sure!!!

We were able to put the little munchkins in the base daycare (Alisea did so awesome, mom was the one with issues here) and Dad, mom and Caitlyn hit the slopes together. It was lots of fun, especially since Caitlyn skiis about as well as mom. Casey skiied 3 days, Caitlyn 2, and mom 1 1/2. The rest of the time we just enjoyed the cute little town and Christmas market. Casey and I also celebrated our 14th anniversary while we were there. How funny is this...... Caitlyn's gift to us, she informed us after our first day skiing, which was also our anniversary, was that she didn't complain all day! We had actually noticed the difference! Oh to be 11 again.

After we left Garmisch, we headed to Munich for a day at the zoo (note to self - zoos are not fun when it's 20 degrees outside) and the famous Hoffbrauhaus. Then we were off to the Stuttgart area to spend the weekend with Casey's Uncle Randy and Aunt Alice. They took us to the famous Stuttgart Christmas market which was really awesome and out to eat at a Croatian restaurant which was super yummy. Then we drove home. The GPS said it would be a 7 hour journey home, and with our little Subaru overloaded and all three kids and carseats crammed in, stuff piled around our heads and feet, etc. we naturally assumed it would be more like 9 and miserable. It turned out to be a very pleasant journey - Caitlyn had caught what I had and slept most of the way, Ethan watched movies and slept, and Alisea slept and was content to sit quietly the whole way. We had about a 10 minute meltdown when she got ready to eat, Ethan was ready to sleep, Caitlyn's head hurt, and we had to take a 25 minute detour to get gas because Austrian stations wouldn't take our gas coupons. Otherwise, it was a great trip. It was almost exactly 7 hours from the time we left Stuttgart (Casey was driving!)

After a whirlwind of trying to prepare for Christmas with just one day, we had a wonderful Christmas. We went to a cool little town called Poffabro that is in the mountains. It's a walking town (no access in most places for cars) and the entire town is full of nativity scenes. There are all types, from elaborate room sized ones to macoroni figures, children's drawings, and even one formed from dental equipment. It was a fabulous way to spend the evening, reminding us of the reason for the holiday! As usual, we went overboard on the kids, and they got lots of fun stuff. I finally joined the ipod world (a gift from Casey), and we spent the afternoon with many friends. We sure missed being with our families though! We'll be looking forward to being home for the holidays next year!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Princess ALISEA

Alisea is Blessed

Alisea was given a baby blessing in church today by her Grandpa. We were so happy he could be here in Italy to do that. Alisea looked just like a little princess and I know she is truly blessed in so many ways. We are blessed, too, to have her in our lives. What a joy our sweet babies are to us!

Dad and Fran

Dad and Fran Hancock arrived Wednesday morning after a very long flight. We have kept them busy since then. It has been fun to be with Dad while he experiences many "firsts". We went across the border to Slovenia and saw a castle built into the mountain and took the train for a day in Venice. Then today (Sunday) Dad gave our sweet baby, Alisea, a blessing. We will experience a local market day, and who knows what else tomorrow! Hopefully they'll warm up a little. Their little Arizona behinds are freezing around here!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Baby Alex

I mentioned in an earlier post we had a new nephew on the way. He had to spend a few extra days in the hospital, but I'm happy to report he is home with his family and doing great. That makes 2 nieces and 2 nephews on Casey's side now.

Catching Up

After a crazy weekend, I can finally sit long enough to catch up a little. The stomach flu finally finished making its rounds through the family. I think Ethan must have lost 5 pounds. He definitely had the worst of it. Alisea escaped it entirely, and mom pretty much did too.

It has been so much fun this year gearing up for Santa. Ethan is so excited about Christmas this year. I started wrapping the gifts we have so far, and I am amazed at how much we have for Ethan already. He's at such an easy age to please. Now Caitlyn, on the other hand is not so fun anymore because her wish list is movies, music, video games and books. I miss the days I could get her a new Barbie or a baby doll carriage.
Ethan got to sit on Santa's lap at the Children's Christmas party on Sat. and told him his wish list. Thankfully, he still wants the same thing each time we ask. Alisea also got to sit on Santa's lap for the first time, and did just fine. She seemed mostly indifferent.

We are also waiting excitedly for our visit from Grandpa and our new Grandma Fran. They'll arrive on Wednesday.

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