Sunday, December 30, 2012

St. Louis Christmas

I have to be the first to admit that I was totally defeated by the dreaded 12 hour drive to St. Louis before we had even driven one mile. I was very worried about how my toddlers would handle that long in a car during the day. I pushed to drive overnight...with no success...I begged for plane tickets...with no success...I spoke of all the what ifs about what could go wrong and how miserable it could be...and Ben called me out on my worry before we had even sat in the car.
But, I will also be the first to admit that the drive was great. Both kids did spectacular. Even Kinley who woke up with fever and having to restrict some liquids so as not to have too frequent bathroom breaks, was such a trooper.
  IMG_3216 IMG_3223 They slept a little, I just kept feeding Ty all day long, they watched movies and we read books and before we knew it, we were there!
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The whole week was a great time of family bonding and just spending time together.
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I really cannot say enough how wonderful all Ben's cousins were with my kids. It's not too often that 20-something college and post college adults really, genuinely want to spend time with kids. These guys are truly exceptional. They take a real interest in Kinley and Ty and almost fight over who can get a hug, kiss, smile or laugh first.
My kids were never bored for one instant and being the only great-grandkids, I admit, I was a little worried about that too.
 They played dress up, dolls, pretend, peek-a-boo, kick the ball, solve the mystery games, painted, colored, puzzles, made jewelry, decorated jewelry boxes, you name it, with my kids. They were amazing. It was almost like a break for me. A total blessing. Such a testimony to their amazing parents and families.
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One night we celebrated Grandma's 90th birthday, which is actually in February, because we were all together.
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Kinley loved helping blow out the candles and hand out presents. Grandma's gift was an amazing bracelet that I wish I had a picture of. It has all the birthstones of her, Grandpa, their kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.
It's beautiful.
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We all went to church Christmas Eve and then took lots of family pics afterward.
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Love all the girls!
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One thing we do a LOT of in this family is play Pinochle.
There is definitely at least one game going at any moment of any day. We even played a little in Alex & Mendy's room Christmas Eve after the kids were asleep.
Alex had much more fun than he is representing in this pic.
I really could not have done the week without these guys. They were so sweet, patient, and so much help with Kinley and Ty.

Santa even came to St. Louis for Kinley and Ty in our hotel. He set up their stockings in a rolling chair outside our hotel room for when they woke up in the morning. Kinley wanted to be sure Santa didn't have a "card" (i.e. keycard) to get in our room.
That would have been a little scary.
IMG_3270 IMG_2517 IMG_2526 IMG_2519 IMG_2529 Unfortunately, we ended up in the hotel room Christmas night because Kinley was screaming with an ear infection. Thank goodness the family is filled with doctors and nurses who could help her feel better.
The trip home was just as smooth and we cannot wait to see all the extended Lamke family again soon.
Thank you all for all your love, support, and patience while we were with you.
We love you to pieces.


Honey said...

What a blessing for you all to have such a loving family. Especially Kinley & Ty! It looks you all had a great week.

kristen said...

those pics are amazing! what a trip! I love that y'all do that and that bens family is amazing. I love what troopers your kids are! I Love it all! and I am wearing the same shirt right now as alex in the pics! hahahah!!