Oh, what fun we had!

We had such a fun Christmas this year.  We spent a week in Scottsdale, AZ with our children and grandchildren and did some very special things.  The first activity was the Phoenix Botanical Gardens Los Noches de Luminaria tour.  We have wanted to do this for years, and it was so worth braving the damp (yes, it was raining in the desert) and chilly night to see this.

Hundreds of luminarias lined every path and adorned all roof lines.

We had the joy of experiencing this special activity with our son, dil & our 3 youngest grandchildren.  This was a beautiful fresh poinsettia tree.  Didn't have a chance to do a vertical photo before the little one was gone in a flash!

 Dale Chihuly created these wonderful blown glass displays.

We did our big family get-together on Christmas Eve Eve because we wanted to include this next activity.  The McCormack Ranch Railroad Park has been here for years & at Christmas they have train rides through a lighted wonderland.  It's something we had done with our own children when we first moved to AZ way back when they were youngsters.  Now we were getting to repeat it with our grandchildren.

This is a real steam locomotive that's always on display, but gets all decked out this time of year.  There is also a big room full of toy trains & all the towns and people to go with them.  These are operated by toy train hobbyists and enthusiasts. 

Yep, we pretty much filled up one whole car!

Next we were off to have pizza and see some of the decorations around the Scottsdale Quarter -- a brand new shopping center.  This is typical of the Christmas decorations found here in the desert.

These little monkeys are always hamming it up.  Didn't take long for the little one to catch on.

After filling everyone's tummies with pizza, we were off to our son's place for presents.  That was pretty much the chaos you would expect with 5 kiddoes, so no pics of that.  What was very special to me was when I gave our daughter & son the albums I had been working on for almost two years.  They were full of the pictures and stories that transpired from just before each was born through their young adult, pre-married lives.

It was so much fun to be able to scan some of their art or class pictures & make them photo-size.

I included some of their school papers by adding tabs to the tops and inserting them between pages.  They couldn't believe I had saved those.

Each albums first page included a letter from me sharing how I found out I was pregnant and how their dad and I felt during the 9-month wait.  Way back then, you didn't know what you were getting.  You just prayed for healthy.  Now our son & dil are choosing to be surprised for their baby due in January.  We do come full-circle, don't we?

These are the exact reactions I was hoping for.  I loved how their children were so curious and interested in what their parents looked like and what they had been doing when they were little.  Sometimes it's hard for children to realize their parents were ever their age unless they can see it first hand.

You could have heard a pin drop, where as 5 minutes before was total chaos & raucous noise and behavior.

Christmas Eve was divided between the two families, for a little one-on-one time.  Christmas Day, our daughter & family went to her in-laws and we went to our son's home.  His 2 older children were with their mom, so we shared the day with this little treasure of sheer delight!

Is she the daughter of two chefs, or what?

Thanks for letting me share our Christmas delights.  I hope all of you had as much fun as we did.
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