Sunday, January 07, 2007

Christmas fun

From Christmas 2006

So our Christmas break was just the best thing ever. When will we ever have the same opportunity again? Never! We left Illinois on Dec 18th and we didn't get back until Jan 7th. That is like 20 days! It was practically as long as our Europe trip (but at 1/10 the cost!) Needless to say, we had a blast and we loved being around family. Famiy is just great. It's not always harmonious because there are new members joining the family left and right, and eveyone is moving in different directions, and things are always changing (but hey, it wasn't always harmonious 10 years ago either!) But it's always fun, and always filled with love. And that makes for a perfectly relaxing Christmas vacation.

This year we got a digital camera for christmas, so we caught up with you "real" bloggers. Now we can point and shoot and upload. And just in time too, since Celeste will be having a baby in just 4 short months....or is it long months?

Too bad we didn't have it in Texas with my family. We didn't nab any sweet shots of the fam. But we did get some in Colorado.
From Christmas 2006

From Christmas 2006

By far my most favorite gift this Christmas was Guitar Hero II. It was a spectacular success at my house, and did pretty well in Colorado too. Parents even joined the ranks of excited gamers waiting their turns. And it was well worth the extra effort to drag the guitars along with us on 3 different flights to share the happiness with others.

My favorite thing we did during the trip was our day in Fredericksburg, TX. It is a quaint little German-town in TX. On main street, there are tons of shops and restaurants and it was fun to wander along in beautiful weather and just enjoy the day. Plus the town has an interesting tie-in with the Mormon settlers in TX. The Germans of Fredericksburg were tradesmen and craftsmen and didn't really know how to be farmers. Luckily some Mormon settlers came in and had a mill and helped the townspeople a lot. So that makes the town even cooler.

And finally, my favorite game of the break was Empire Builders the Europe version. It is a phenomenal game about carrying goods from city to city to earn money. First one to $250 million wins! It's so creative too. You each have to build train tracks, and the game board is basically a big connect-the-dot, and you each have a crayon to do just that...connect dots to build your railroads. Each dot costs a certain amount so you have to balance where you pick up goods, where you drop them off, how much money it costs to build the tracks, and how much money you get at delivery. It's really fun! And I have to boast just a tad...Celeste's Dad is a master at the game. He practically wins every single time he plays. I've never won before (we played the America version last year). And I won this trip! Let me tell you, that is no small feat against Dad Barrand.


The Murdocks said...

Brad, I'm so jealous that you got to spend some time in Texas for the holidays. You must have had so much fun with your whole family home together. And you talking about Fredricksburg made me homesick, plus I have such great memories with your guys there! In fact, I think Aaron introduced you and Austin to me on a trip that included a Fredricksburg visit, after we tried to go to Enchanted Rock. Anyhoo. Keep the posts coming, especially now with pictures! yay!

Tracy Barrand MA LPC said...

Brad and Celeste
I love violet, brooklyn and clara. I've always loved ameile too. I got excited when I saw her, she's so skinny. It will be really fun to hold her when she chubs up. Girls rock. I'm so excited it's a girl.
Love you guys

Jennifer D said...

I got Guitar Hero too. Okay well Someone got me a playstation, and I bought Guitar Hero. I miss you guys. Can I just say...Carry on my Wayward Son