Thursday, October 25, 2007

Back Track

Now that we are a little more settled in, and the fires are starting to get contained, allow me to back-track to Elena's christening the last weekend in September. I can't believe almost a month has already passed since then!

We were very fortunate to have lots of family out for Elena's big day. Of course, Becky and Scott, Elena's and Garrett's godparents, were on hand, and we all got to meet beautiful Diana for the first time. I am so sad that we are going to be living on opposite coasts for at least the next two years and won't get to see this precious girl grow up! One of the bummers of being married to the Marines. In addition, my folks made the trek down from Maine, and Chris's folks came out with his Grandpa Delbert (Mick's dad) and Grandma Lil (Sherri's mom). Chris's mom's cousin, Trudy, and her husband, Mike, came over for the weekend from South Carolina, and Diana, Sherri's best friend while Chris was growing up who now lives in North Carolina, came down for the church service and lunch on Sunday with her son. Needless to say, we had a full and busy beach house for several days.

Here are some photos from the weekend. I know there are a lot of them, but I really did cut some out. It was just so special to have so much family together for the weekend. With the move we just aren't sure when we'll be able to do something like this again.

Elena showing Papa around the place.
The kids and Yaya blowing bubbles in the breeze.

Elena snuggling with Grandpa Delbert

The men fawning over Diana. What is it about little girls?

The Benninghoff family. Introducing Diana Benninghoff. She's gonna be a heart-breaker!

Saturday night we took everyone out to Mike's Farm, a local farm that has a pumpkin patch, does hayrides, and has a fantastic southern dinner (fried chicken, ham biscuits, pork loin and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, mac 'n cheese, and dessert). We've been promising Chris's folks to get out there for seven years, and we decided that this was just about it for them to make it out there with us. We missed the tractor show, but we had a great dinner. To top things off, when the kids were running around the yard after dinner we met two beautiful little girls who were visiting with their grandmother. The amazing thing is that they were adopted from Guatemala too, and one of them was born in Antigua, just like Elena! What a small world!

One of the kids current favorite books is Dora's Perfect Pumpkin. Garrett found this one on display and said, "Momma. Pumpkin. Dora." I guess he found Dora's perfect pumpkin himself.

Um, Bubby, I think this is the perfect pumpkin.

Little girl all dressed up for her baptism Sunday morning. She wore my christening gown for the service. Her gift from Chris and I was the jewelry, locket and bracelet, that my parents gave me for my christening. She liked her bling.

Opening her presents. More like her cards, to be read over and over again.

Elena feeding Grandpa Delbert some goldfish crackers.

No, Garrett is not raising is arms in victory at the prospect of having a Broncos shirt (Grandma pulled through for Chris and presented the kids with Broncos outfits to counter-act the Pats outfits. However, Garrett was less than thrilled with the idea. Good boy!)

Happy Daddy in matching outfits with his kids. (Mommy only allowed this because the Pats didn't play until Monday night, so there was no cross-mojination)

The Merrill-Atwood clan
Our last trip to the beach in North Carolina. Sherri was home sick with the stomach flu, so we trekked off without her.
Here's a great shot of Garrett watching the surf with Grandpa (Chris's dad, Mick)

Grandpa Delbert and Grandma Lil keeping an eye on us.

Elena couldn't stop talking about the "bubbles" in the water. She thought they were pretty special all over her.

Just a cool shot of Garrett on the beach.

The surf was absolutely crazy on Monday. We could hear the roar of the waves at the house -- three blocks away! And there wasn't even a storm out to sea!

Elena "salting" her brother with sand from the beach. He's completely oblivious.

That's about all I have for now. Next post should be tomorrow (good weather cooperating) and will be about the start of our road trip, Guatoberfest included. Thanks for all the good wishes and prayers y'all have been posting. Chris and I really appreciate them. Until next time ...


The McKenzie Crew said...

Love the pics - just miss you:)

Kristen and the Gang said...

Great Pics!!!! Congrats to Elena on her BIG day!!!

Kim & Dave said...

Your kids are adorable!

N & D said...

so glad to hear you had such a great family time before you left on your big trip!
glad to read you are safe and sound in CA too!

Anonymous said...

Bec--Man oh man I quit checkin this thing cause you hadn't written in so long and now....I get all this news!!!
I'm glad you are okay-those were some scary fire pics. Ben and I are joining you in a few weeks?;) HAPPY 31st my friend. We got back from the TAMA mountains where i had no internet so, belated my dear. I say--feels no different than 22 right?We are ALL over Japan these last 2 months trying to do it all. The kids are beautiful and you are so lucky to have so many family and friends around you--I can't wait to get back to the states.
Love and HAPPY HALLOWEEN to the two pun'kins
---Meg, Ben and Nathan

Kelly said...

CONGRATULATIONS to Elena! Such beautiful photos. I love the ones of the kids with the pumpkins! :)

Karen D. said...

You have been in my thoughts and prayers! I had been wondering how you were doing and how close to the fires you were. I am glad that Julia has her Blog Roll back up and I can keep track of you again!

Love and prayers,
Karen and Abbie