Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Prior to this year, Jarrod and I had only spent one Christmas in Texas since being married.  We were so excited to be able to spend this year back home with family; especially since it would be Trenton and Charlotte’s first Christmas in Texas.

Christmas did not disappoint.  We had a wonderful time!

We were able to snap a few family photos before going to Christmas Eve Mass.


The kids had played hard all day, so they both slept through Mass – Charlotte cuddled up next to WaWa, and Trenton first on my shoulder and then laid out in the pew.  Jarrod and I were excited that we actually got to pay attention to the whole sermon and not just bits and pieces between reminding two kids to sit still and use church voices!

After church we came back to our house for dinner with WaWa and my Aunt Carol.

We also had a couple of surprise visitors!


After opening a few gifts, it was time to put out the cookies that we decorated for Santa and drift off into dream land.

Christmas Cookies

The kids were ready to go on Christmas morning!

Santa left some fun toys!

Charlotte loves cuddling the giraffe that Santa brought her!

Trenton and Daddy were checking out the race cars that Santa brought.

We played with Santa gifts for a while and then pulled some presents out from under the tree.


Boy did the kids find some fun stuff!

Daddy’s gift idea was a hit!  Hopefully we’ll have nice weather so Trenton can try this out soon!

Little Missy wore her princess gear all day!  Mimi and Pops hit the jackpot with this!

Daddy got a couple of really special gifts.  Mom, Dad, and I took the kids to the dollar store over the weekend.  I told Trenton and Charlotte that they could each pick out a gift for Daddy.  Whatever they thought he wanted/needed.


Trenton picked out Starship Troopers for Daddy.  He said that it was what Daddy always wanted!

Charlotte first picked a package of girls underwear for Daddy’s gift.  They weren’t really Daddy’s style, so she picked something different.


A green toothbrush because “Daddy like green and he need clean teeth.”!

It was then time to move on to breakfast.  I was told by Trenton that Christmas breakfast had to be special and something that we had never eaten before.

This is what we wound up with.

Santa Pancakes

Santa pancakes! 

It wasn’t long before it was time to load up and go to WaWa’s for lunch.  It was actually more like a feast!  The Krauskopf family knows how to have a meal!  The kids and I were home last month, but it was really great to see all of my family again at WaWa’s. And the kids have so much fun playing with their extended family.

  Charlotte called WaWa one day at the beginning of the month, and asked if she could put the star on his tree.  I’m so glad that I caught this.  It has to be one of my favorite pictures ever.


We feel so blessed to have been able to spend our Christmas surrounded by family.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas too! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

See You Next Year, Snickers!

We had to say goodbye to Snickers last night, but we had fun keeping up with his antics in the week leading up to Christmas!

It didn’t take long for Snickers to find some Christmas candy at Mimi and Pops’ house!

Snickers M&M Message

Uh oh!  Snickers had to fight off an iguana!

Lizard Fighter 

Snickers wanted to see snow in Texas.

Snowflake Snickers

Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and RaphaELF!  Heroes in a half shell!  Turtle Power!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Four more days!

Alpha-Bits Message

Oops – looks like someone got locked in the dog crate!

Locked in the Dog Crate

Elf Doughnuts!

Elf Doughnuts

Ready to decorate cookies for Santa!

Decorating Santa Cookies

See you next year, Snickers!  We’ll miss you!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Christmas Getaway for Two

Jarrod and I decided not to buy each other Christmas gifts this year.
(Even though I’ve spied a small jewelry box under the tree.)

Last year after Jarrod came home from deployment, he and I spent a night in Richmond at The Jefferson Hotel. (*Sidenote – The cast from Lincoln was staying at the hotel too for filming in town.  We got to meet Joseph Cross who played Secretary of State John Hay.)

We had such a great time on our getaway last year, that we decided to try another one this year!

Thanks to my parents, Jarrod and I were able to drive up to San Antonio for an overnight stay.

We stayed at the Oge House Inn, a bed and breakfast in the Historic King William District.  Our room had a beautiful view of the San Antonio River.  The house was built in 1857 and was once owned by Texas Ranger, cattle rancher, and businessman Louis Oge.


After checking in to our room, Jarrod and I wandered downtown.  We visited the Alamo, Louis Taussad’s Wax Museum, and Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium before eating dinner on the River Walk.  The River Walk was beautifully lit for Christmas, and I would have loved to take a river trolley ride, but if you know me, you know that I’m a wimp when it comes to cold weather.  And Thursday night’s low was 28 degrees.  Instead, Jarrod and I walked back to Oge House and checked out The Alamo (Billy Bob Thornton version) from the DVD collection, and went up to our room to watch it.  Yeah, we’re a couple of party animals!

Jarrod and Johnny

Jarrod and Sandra Bullock

World’s largest tire

Jarrod with Robert Wadlow, the tallest person ever.

River Walk

Friday morning we woke up and were treated to a wonderful two course breakfast in the Oge House dining room.

Jarrod and I wanted to do a walking tour of the King William Historic District, but once again, I’m a wimp when it comes to cold weather.  The B&B manager gave us a pamphlet for a cell phone tour, so we hopped in the car, turned our bluetooth on, and learned about some of the historic homes in the district.  After our cell phone tour, we headed back downtown to check out the Buckhorn Museum and Saloon and the Texas Ranger Museum.  I had been to the Buckhorn about 10 years ago with my family, and there were some new exhibits and animals since my last visit, including the addition of the Texas Ranger Museum.

I hope Santa has something a little smaller in mind if he’s bringing Charlotte a giraffe!


After eating lunch at the Buckhorn cafĂ© and sitting down at their bar (the oldest saloon in Texas), we were worn out and ready to get back to my parents’ house.  We had a great time on our trip, and may make it a Christmas tradition to have a little getaway every December.  Thanks again to Mimi and Pops for keeping the kids!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Road Trippin’

First of all, I want to welcome all of you visiting from SITS.  I’m so excited to be the featured blogger today, and I hope you keep coming back to read more!

So, we have been back in Texas for three days now.  After a 30+ hour road trip from Monterey, California to Hillje, Texas with two kids, a dog, and an elf.  And guess what….we’re not in the loony bin!

I was a little worried when Jarrod suggested driving back to Texas for Christmas rather than flying, but our trip actually went really well.  We were able to see some magnificent scenery.

(Those of you that follow me on Instagram {username: creativelyblooming} have probably already seen these pictures, but I wanted to post them here for those who haven’t seen them.)

Mojave Desert
Mojave Desert

Mojave Rainbow
Rainbow in the Mojave Desert before entering a storm.

We were hoping to stop to see the Grand Canyon on the second day of our road trip, but we ran into a bit of a road block.

Arizona Snow

A really beautiful road block.

Arizona Snow2

I’m thankful that I didn’t have to drive through it and could snap pictures!

We did make a few other stops on our second day though.

Route 66 Store
Route 66 General Store

Winslow, Arizona
Standin’ on the corner in Winslow, Arizona.


Lava Rocks
Stopping to check out lava rocks.

The kids were really good on the drive.  There were times that they got cranky and Jarrod and I were cranky back.  But then sometime Friday afternoon, I got on Facebook and my feed was full of posts about a school shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.  The killing of 6 and 7 year old students.  At that moment, whining, cranky kids didn’t bother me anymore.  I was happy that my kids were with me and they had the chance to be in a bad mood.  And that I could watch them sleep soundly in a hotel bed at night.

Sleeping Babies

We weren’t on the road long Saturday morning when we crossed the New Mexico border into Texas.

Texas Windmill

We still had another 9 1/2 hours of driving to go, but we were home.