A California Christmas

I’m breaking from my regular blog post format due to the fact that there are a LOT of pictures that Paul and I took over the past couple of weeks. Long story short, we were able to go to California to visit my parents (and other siblings who also converged upon my parents’ house). We left here on the 23rd, made it to Mom and Dad’s on Christmas Eve, and were able to stay until New Year’s Day. We got in last night. It was a fun-filled trip with visits to Sea World, Knott’s Berry Farm, and tons of time with family. Joseph loved playing with all of his cousins, but was especially excited to get to play with my nephew’s son and daughter (his son is about 7 months older than Joseph and his daughter is just about a year younger). As much fun as it was, we’re always glad to be home. 🙂

This Trip in Pictures:

Usually I try for chronological order, but I’m not sure I can get away with that this time…

This is from right before we left for California. Joseph wanted to pretend to be a king, so I whipped up a quick paper crown for him.
Enjoying ice cream at Dairy Queen somewhere on the road to Grandma and Grandpa’s.
He kept saying, “Mmmmmm…yum!” with every bite.
We stopped in the Phoenix area to visit with one of Paul’s former foster sisters. It was great to meet her and her family.
Christmas morning means that Daddy gets to open his stocking.
Inspecting the clamp that Joseph picked out for him.
Joseph diving into his stocking.
He got a new Rescue Bot in his stocking. He liked the fact that the drill bit that’s on the Bot’s arm actually spins a bit.
Using the drill to try and open the rest of his presents…he eventually resorted to the more traditional method of ripping off the paper.
Checking out his new book (The Pigeon Needs a Bath).
Unwrapping his magnetic chore chart (and yes, oddly enough, he happened to ask for a chore chart after we had already purchased this one for him, so he was pretty happy to see it). We also got him some new church clothes and a couple Imaginext dinosaurs.
Uncle Jason and Aunt Saira (as well as Luna) were able to come up to Riverside on Christmas night. They brought Joseph a pinata horse with candy inside as well as presents (three Rescue Bots that actually transform…his little ones don’t, so he was pretty excited about that).
This is what happens when Uncle Paul suggests to an assortment of nieces and nephews that they use both gingerbread house kits to make a gingerbread high rise…note the alligator on the roof. I love my family!
Reading with Uncle Dave.
Joseph loved getting to hang out with all his uncles and aunts!
Oh, and cousins! So many cousins!
Checking out a show at Sea World.
He liked watching the orcas jump out of the water (as well as the dolphins at a different show).
Family selfie!
And…this is what usually happens when Joseph discovers that he can see himself in the camera…
In the polar bear cave. Joseph was seriously unsure about the fact that there were recorded polar bear growls and roars that were emitting from the cave.
Playing on a boat.
He loved hanging out here…it was a huge bounce house, essentially.
He also loved running through these swinging foam cylinders. This area also had a huge rope fort with bridges, ladders, and slides that Paul chased him around in for quite a while.
He loves anything that has to do with music…
I love the look on his face here. So happy!
Hanging out by a sea turtle…at that point, Joseph was kind of getting tired of pictures, so this is the last one we got that day.
We went to Knott’s Berry Farm on New Year’s Eve day and it was packed! Next time, we’ll choose a different day for sure! Here’s Paul and Joseph on a roller coaster in Camp Snoopy.
He was super excited to go on the Snoopy’s Flying Ace ride.
He was insistent on getting into a Sopwith Camel (as opposed to the Red Baron’s plane).
Getting ready for the swings.
Leading the pack of pump cars.
Playing with a steam locomotive replica…”how does this thing work?”

And here’s a movie that Google+ did with a bunch of pictures from our trip. I’m not sure why there isn’t a preview picture, but if you click on the triangle (for “play”) on the lower left hand side, it ought to play for you:


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