Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christmas in Phoenix

My last post mentioned how I've finally felt the urge to start nesting. Catching up on the blog is certainly high on the priority list before another Wheeler munchkin greets the world. But with so many other projects to get done as well, I hope you'll forgive the photo dump. As the pictures show, we spent a lovely Christmas in Phoenix. It's hard to cut down on the photos because each one kindles a lovely memory for our family.  Unfortunately, as with many things in life, in order to be fully appreciated you really had to be there. If a photo log bores you, check back later for more interesting fodder.

Before leaving for Phoenix, we opened the giant Christmas box from NomiAnn and Papa Kay. The lovely gift for the entire family? A desktop computer! Please accept our sincerest thanks as I compose this blog from our new technological toy.
Fast forward several days, including a nine-hour drive to Phoenix. Positives of the trip: we took some extra time to see the snow in Zion National Park. Eli was enthralled and commented about the winding road, "This is a fun roller coaster!" Negatives: this same cute three year-old was only somewhat potty-trained. (Yes, it was messy. Don't ask.)

So where can you find us on Christmas Eve morning? Running the Jingle Bell Jog, of course (a Christmas version of the annual Wheeler Wobble). Here are the speed demons: Jason and Justin. (Much to Jason's chagrin, Justin slid past in the final seconds.)
Lance right behind.
Christy shows off her skill.
And Ben, paving his own path (i.e. taking a shortcut) in his nifty Vibram Five Fingers.
The Wonderful Walkers: Brianna, Brooklyn, Eli, and Susie.
And last but not least, Talia and Kara bring up the rear. Even though she was tired and wanted to walk at the end, Talia loved the event and didn't want to turn around until we'd gone nearly as far as the runners. Much to my amazement, she told me, "The Wheeler Wobble is more fun than Trick-or-Treating!" Whoever imagined we'd hear those words from our cute sugar fiend? She also commented, "This isn't like a real race. It's where we go to get more energy." I like that the kids don't associate running with body image or weight loss, but rather with overall feelings of good health.
Every family get-together is made better by frisbee. Nice catch, Ben!
Even doctors deserve a little bit of fun, right Justin?
Christy, Brooklyn, and Eli hang out with the T-rex. Hard to believe it's Christmas Eve!
Christmas morning we made the kids wait before heading downstairs to see what Santa brought overnight. Do we do this for any real reason, or simply as retribution because our parents made us similarly suffer? Fortunately, the time was well-spent by playing toss the niece and nephew.
Love Justin's face in this one. You can just see him praying that he doesn't have to take Eli to work with him (Phoenix Children's Hospital).
Brooklyn, Talia, and Eli, lined up by size at the top of the stairs.
Wow, look what Santa brought the girls--new bikes! Many thanks to his elves for helping to build them ahead of time.
Eli's big present from Santa was Legos. I think he enjoyed them nearly as much as his father. :)
Talia in her sparkly hat. Thanks, Uncle Lance! A perfect fit.
Piles of loot.
The joys of Christmas.
Kara and Eli take a moment to read.
It wouldn't be a Wheeler Christmas without meat pie and cranberries for breakfast. The snowflake decor is courtesy of the kids and Aunt Christy.  By the way, Talia prayed, "Please bless that Jesus will have a good birthday."
Looks like the meat pie has been replaced by a pretty snazzy candy cane. What could that be for?
Brooklyn suspects something good...
Of course! Brianna and Justin are the master pinata-makers. We brought the pinata over to Brianna's parent's house in Mesa, where all enjoyed whacking away. Here are Justin and Jason tackling the set up. I guess climbing ropes are good for multiple things.
Talia as pure motion.
Some more pictures of Christmas day at the Stokers. Here are Jason and Brooklyn.
Orange groves and bocce ball on Christmas.
Naturally, the kids were delighted by the swing set, especially since there were other kids around to play with them.
And Chef Christy, helping out in the kitchen while Lance shares his trademark massage.
A lovely Christmas by any standard. Coming soon: the rest of our Phoenix adventures.


Erin said...

Wow, your kids dress up on Christmas morning. (We do presents in pajamas.)

Norma said...

I finally got around to opening up the computer again! Kind of late for your Christmas excitement, but still loads of fun! Thanks so much for sharing. Looks like you all had a great holiday! Love ya!