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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A West Coast Christmas

IMG_0079Alexa with her Ama – so excited to be in California! I think Ama’s excited too!

Alexa experienced her 3rd flight on Christmas Eve as we flew to California to spend some time with Chris’ extended family. We spent the first three days in Chico, CA, where Chris’ aunt, uncle, and grandmother live. Their families joined us and all fourteen of us were together including the two newest additions – Alexa Hope and Josiah Hayes (born in October). It was such a special time celebrating the gift of Jesus’ life on earth as well as the gift of family and the lives of Alexa & Josiah.
Then, the Kennedy/Chase crew headed back to Redding, CA, to spend the remainder of our time together. It was priceless to watch Alexa interact with her Ama & Opa (Chris’ parents) as well as her Aunt Kelly and Uncle John. Alexa is greatly loved and we couldn’t be more grateful for our time together. As soon as she adjusted to the time change and became very familiar with her east & west coast family, we had to pack our bags and fly home. Thank goodness for Skype and digital images.
Speaking of, there were myriads of pics from which to choose, so please bear with me as I try to capture our time in CA without uploading every image. I’ve broken them down into twp categories (Alexa & family/friends) so you can scroll to whichever one suits you. Or peruse them all if you desire.

Alexa’s 1st Cali Christmas IMG_0135 Alexa thrilled with her 1st baby doll from Ama & Opa. She loves kissing its face.

IMG_0132 Unwrapping a gift with Great Grandma Graf’s help. This is so much fun!!

IMG_0152 Alexa’s loving snuggle time with Aunt Kelly, Uncle John & her baby doll.

IMG_0271 All this paparazzi makes me tired Ama!

IMG_0273Alexa’s mesmerized by the woodstove & Opa’s mesmerized by his granddaughter.

Alexa taking a look at the Christmas tree and deciding what she wants to grab. don’t you think the back of her hair is so cute – look at that double crown!

IMG_0096 Alexa giving her cuz, Josiah, a little love poke. Who doesn’t need one of those!?

IMG_0200 Opening a gift from Great Grandma Rachel. Hooray . . . I love books!

IMG_0202 A glimpse of the tunnel & tent (background) from Ama & Opa as well as the “mad money” from Great Grandma Rachel. Alexa’s very perplexed by that . . . “Don’t we just use plastic cards, Mommy?”

IMG_0257 Alexa’s through with the tunnel, but look, Mommy made it through!

IMG_0207 I thought California was warm. Why do I have to wear mittens?

IMG_0220 Alexa loving her game of peek-a-boo with Aunt Kelly & Uncle John.

IMG_0214 I love this pic of Alexa checking out her Uncle John – she doesn’t even know how cool he is yet :) I mean . . . look at that sweet math shirt.

IMG_0270 Opa modeling proper spoon slurping etiquette – a must with pureed prunes & cherries.

Family, Friends & Festivities
IMG_0089 Chris with his sis, Kelly Chase.

IMG_0114 Grandma Graf with her grandkids – Lyndal Hayes & Chris (I’m the adopted grandchild)
 IMG_0116 Grandma Graf with the rest of grandkids – Ryan Hayes and his wife, Camille, and Kelly Chase with her hubby, John.

IMG_0157 Ryan, Camille & Josiah Hayes. I think he’s 10 weeks old. What a gift!!

IMG_0100 The proud grandmothers/sisters – Karen Kennedy w/ Alexa & Janet Hayes.w/ Josiah.

IMG_0218 The proud grandfathers – Tom Hayes & Charlie Kennedy.
 IMG_0146 The original Graf crew – Grandma Lois, Janet & Karen.

IMG_0201 Chris with his Mama.

IMG_0119 John & Kelly. John’s working the Christmas bow.

IMG_0261 Spending some time with our sweet friend, Sharon Ribgy. 

IMG_0238Love this pic . . . Alexa’s checking out Chris’ longtime friend, Jeff Gulden. Ironically, he’s one of the sweetest guys I know. No need to be suspicious of him!

IMG_0119 It wouldn’t be right without a pic of the festive Christmas table. Yum!
IMG_0123The place card holders were little ornaments – brilliant. After every meal, the place card holders were moved to another location at the table so the entire family had an opportunity to sit by and chat with each other – equally brilliant.

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