Jan 15, 2010

since we don't send xmas letters - the 2009 edition

As has been the case for the past three years, Nate and I (and both pup pups) jumped in the car and headed home to Ames, Iowa for a nice long Christmas vacation. Fortunately we headed North between storms, and the roads were fabulous for our two day trip. But once we got there it didn't take long for mother nature to start burying us in a winter wonderland. 

All-in-all we had some 20 inches, but being snowed in (literally) with family on Christmas Eve is never a bad thing...not with our families anyways. :) And with the endless supply of food that both of our mom's provide there's no chance of going hungry...or becoming even slightly unfull for that matter.

Of course the two weeks flew by, and leaving always sucks. But knowing that we'll be home again in a mere three and a half months made it a little easier. Hopefully by May some of this snow will be gone.

The Lord has blessed us with this wonderful time spent with family, a new church home and friends here in Corpus, and good health in 2009. We see exciting things on the horizon for 2010, and we hope the New Year finds you well.

Me waist deep in snow - Sioux City, IA

Heading down Highway 20 on our way from Ames to Sioux City.

Nate and I with our build-a-bears we made for Toys for Tots. I think this was everyone's favorite part of Grace's "gift of giving" Christmas this year.

My bro and sis and me.

Grace, Nate, Gma, Papa, Me, Dad, Mom, Emily, Emily B, and Andrew all posing with our animals we built.

Grace packing up the toys for the kiddos.

Another part of Grace's Christmas celebration was picking out kids to buy books for at Barnes and Noble.

Gma choose a classic for a lil' 1 year old girl.

Buying dog toys/treats for all the puppies of the family and the animal shelter. Dad and Gma bought for our Izzy girl. Spoiled pups.

Nate and me with Gma and Papa.

Arts and crafts time! Coloring the ornaments we got from Gma and Papa.

Every year my mom makes an ornament with the kiddos at the preschool she teaches at and gives it to the family. This year's is a fabulous silver and sequined ball.

My brother and his girlfriend, Em B., have a thing for animal print...these are the matching Pjs they got. Oh yes, they are ladies Pjs.

We spend a good portion of our time together telling ridiculous stories and laughing until we're all crying and holding our stomaches.

This trip home was no exception...

Nate is a giant.

My dad's parents. Gma and Gpa.

She makes the BEST cookies in the world. I ate them until I was literally sick.

My great-grandparent's (dad's side) marriage certificate.

Nate and I enjoying Christmas at his parent's house.

The Rippke clan. Becki, me, Nate, Gma Jo, Erin, Jamie, Byron, and pup pup Jack.

Siblings. :)

The whole fam playing apples to apples

Playing with Nate's new toy his parent's gave him.

The Dass family...the Sioux City branch of the Family.

Nate and his dad.

The deer in Grace's backyard.

Dad and Em on New Year's. We had a quiet evening in waiting for the ball to drop.

Woo party.

Em just graduated from her esthetician and massage classes (she's fabulous by the way). She also waxes ears...here are my dad's...haha.