Monday, January 7, 2013

NC Part 1 of 3

Christmas Eve morning, we got up at 5am and got all the kids in the van and drove out to the SLC airport where we flew to North Carolina to see family for Christmas and to attend Krissy's wedding(Scott's youngest sister). In preparation for this trip, I had done a lot of shopping for foods that will pack well, that are healthy and that my family enjoy. We had Clif Bars, three types of nuts (cashews, almonds, pistachios), Cuties, apples, string cheese, raisins, pretzels, gum for everyone to chew on take off and landing, and Annie's Crackers. Scott and I also made a small batch of muffins the night before (many thanks to our neighbors who provided the boxed muffin mix as a Christmas neighbor gift therefore making this step so simple) which we ate for breakfast at the airport.

 We didn't check anything and carried on a total of 10 bags (4 rolling, one diaper bag and the rest backpacks) and our double stroller we had with us and then checked at the gate. That double stroller was a life saver because we were able to load not only the two youngest in there but the three oldest kids backpacks when they got too heavy to carry(which didn't take long).
 We had a connection in Chicago(with only a 50 minute layover which was close! We got to the gate as they were boarding the last group!) so the first plane ride was about 2 1/2 hours and the second was about 2 hours. Both planes were smaller than I had imagined. The first had two rows of two seats in each row and the second plane was even smaller with one row of two seats and the second row had only single seats. I was a little nervous about the small size but flying with 5 young children and the busy-ness that goes along with that got my mind away from that and onto other things really fast.

 I bought Annabelle and Jane a couple of new dolls before our trip so they would have something new and fun to play with on the flight which turned out even better than I expected and provided hours of fun. These princess dolls are so cool because their clothes snap on which means I'm not trying to pull tiny little rubber outfits over too large heads and bodies and Annabelle and Jane can put the clothes on themselves!

 Elisabeth and Charles sat in front of me and Annabelle. Here they are as we're about to take off the ground. Elisabeth must have been a little nervous because her hands were gripping the arm rests. Scott and I made sure to get our media stuff loaded with audio books for the kids to listen to. We also brought our portable dvd player which the little girls used to watch movies. They all did amazing on the flights. There was only one time where a child cried/screamed and it only lasted for about 2 seconds...I wanted to pat the gentleman on the shoulder who was sitting in front of the kids and who scrunched up his face and rubbed his head when 2 year old Jane screamed and say, "You know, Sir, you actually had it quite good.  With 5 young kids near you, it could've gone much, much worse." But I didn't  :)
 Once we got to Grandma and Grandpa's house, the kids were ready to act out the Nativity as we usually do. They ran to the dress-ups and started trying everything on.

 Here is the cast for our Nativity. I was a sheperd, Annabelle the Angel, Grandpa was Joseph, Elisabeth Mary, Scott the Donkey(of course), Charles a king, Nora baby Jesus, and Jane...I'm not really sure what Jane was.

 I liked my sheperd pose when I first saw the Angel. I felt like was in a movie :). j/k!
 After the nativity, Grandma had the kids add a few home-made/sentimental ornaments to the tree.

 We didn't do much or bring much for christmas since this was such a big trip, but we did fill stockings and I made a photo book for each of the kids. Elisabeth's was a nicer one that I did through the same company I do my blog books. It had pictures of her from Birth to Baptism. I plan on gifting one of these to each of the children the year they turn 8. The other kids photo books I put together together with photos I printed out from Costco and stuck in dollar store books that hold 40 or so pictures.


 I put the 'bedtime passes' in charles and Elisabeth's stockings which they loved. Elisabeth already redeemed hers (we rented Madagascar 3 from the Redbox, made popcorn, and Mom, Dad and Elisabeth snuggled together on the couch to watch once the others had gone to bed) and she asked if I could put another one in her Easter basket :). I probably will.

 Oh, and the only downer is that we all got sick at some point in time on our trip. Elisabeth was the first one to get sick and it hit her as we were speed walking through the Chicago airport to catch our connecting flight. It started with a headache and cold like symptoms and then that evening she had a fever. So Christmas day she took it easy. Over the next week, the other four of our children all had the same sickness. Me, Scott and Grandpa Smith all got little colds too, but not to the extent of the kids and no fever.
 I took so many pictures of our trip that I'm going to divide them into three posts. I will try and post the other two some time today but it may be tomorrow.

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