We visited the Grandpa and Nana Kingsley in Louisiana for New Year's weekend. It was such a fun trip! We really enjoyed seeing so many relatives. We played, ate delicious meals, stayed up way too late together, and explored bits of Louisiana together.
On New Year's Eve the family party included making silly New Year's hats while we laughed and talked together.
My hat was a castle, meant to accompany my pipe-cleaner dragon....but the dragon wouldn't stay in place on my head. So he stayed on a shelf. We named him Mr. Darcy, and he later became the DI team mascot.
See his beensy party hat? Love it!
These matching monster hats were everyone's favorites- they are super cute!
What the table looked like in the wee hours of the night after the crafts and countdown happened:
Matthew was super excited to take a ride in Grandpa's sports-car with Aunt Betsy. He was so delighted!
Right now the Kingsley Grandparents live on an Air Force base in Shreveport, and it has the most appealing historic neighborhoods. I LOVE driving down the streets and enjoying the romantic ambiance of old houses and ancient trees. This is their house:
The house is pretty old, it seems like I recall it was over 100 years old (Nana, correct me if I'm wrong!). We love the charm it has, and I love to imagine the lives of families who lived here in previous decades. It was built with a servants' quarters, and I loved exploring the floor plan and thinking about the servants who worked here. Here a couple of glimpses from the inside:
Diego's favorite feature at Nana's house is always the foosball table. He spent hours happily playing with anyone he could coax to the table. Each time he scored a goal, he'd laugh and laugh over his cleverness and skill.
This picture is to capture my favorite stocking-stuffer from Nathan- a Tshirt blending two things we love: Star Wars and Calvin and Hobbes. It's such a fun and nerdy shirt- I love it!
We also visited our first bayou and met the most delightful native Louisianans I could imagine. We were entertained with plenty of stories from their experiences living here. They were such good people, and we enjoyed exploring the property together while hearing about their encounters with alligators and other wildlife.
Here are glimpses of Nana Kingsley's 2013 gingerbread house. She always creates epic houses with lots of detail, and we had a delightful time exploring her handiwork. At the end of the weekend, she let the grandkids help demolish everything and eat all the treats. They were very happy to oblige!
See the little teddy bear skiers enjoying a mug of hot cocoa and taking a break from the ski slopes?
This is the doghouse for the family dogs. She paints the words with a toothpick dipped in food color.
The kids really loved these little carolers and their teeny ear muffs. I'm so impressed with the tiny details she puts together!
Nathan and I stayed up past midnight every night, playing games or talking and laughing with siblings. It was such a wonderful weekend to share with everyone!