Saturday, January 3, 2009

Thank you for our Christmas gifts

Thank you so much for all the Christmas gifts that were sent to us from the States! It was a wonderful surprise and we loved every last bit of it. :) We miss you and love you. Here are some pictures of the gifts that were sent. We don't have pics of everything, but I will post more as we use them.

I love my new puppy!!

Christmas Day

This Christmas was very special for Matt and I because we got to spend it with Ashtyn for the first time. It was fun playing Santa Claus and video taping her unwrapping her presents. We opened presents to each other at our house, just the 3 of us. Then we headed off to my parents house and had more gift exchanges. One of Ashtyn's favorite gifts was her first baby doll that Uncle Stephen bought for her. She was so excited that she was trying to pull it out of the box even though it was tied in with a bunch of twisty ties. She was very impatient as we were trying to help her. She loved that doll and hugged and kissed it! Mom got a new puppy for Christmas! Yes, she did get one for her birthday as a surprise from my dad, but it was not the "perfect puppy" my mom was looking for...oops! Well, she was in a pet store the other day and ...there it was! Her perfect puppy! It was born on her birthday and she fell in love with it. I have to admit it really is an adorable puppy. So, my dad tried again...and he bought it for her Christmas present. She was very happy! :) So now she has two pomeranians. After my parents, we went to my Uncle John and Aunt Georgina's house in Corinth. My parents go there every Christmas and I used to growing up. They are always kind to have so many people over for Christmas lunch. I got to see my cousins and their children too. Here are pictures of Christmas Day with some of Ashtyn's gifts.

Gift from Santa

Opening gifts with daddy

Ashtyn likes to crawl under the exersaucer

Messy face!!

Christmas at Mimi and Papou's house

Mom's new cutie pie :)

Ashtyn's new baby doll

At Uncle John's house

New outfit from Mimi

Friday, January 2, 2009

Family trip to Lake Plastira

Happy New Year 2009!! A lot has happened since my last post which is why I haven't posted in a while. Like most years, once the Christmas season begins to make its way it seems like there is very little down time and things happen so fast. This Christmas was different for us now that we are in Greece. We usually spend Christmas in Dallas and Oklahoma but being here we were able to spend it with my family. My dad was able to get an incredible deal for us to stay in a hotel north of Athens for two days (22 & 23) before Christmas Eve. The hotel is located in a place called Loutra Platostoma which is near the main city of Lamia. It is up in the mountains surrounded my hills, valleys, lakes, rivers, goats, cattle...basically everything you don't get to see in the busy city of Athens. It was a breath of fresh air and the scenery was incredible! Matt and I needed this getaway since life has been quite busy and hectic since our move here. This hotel was beautifully decorated, and people come here to relax in the spa and to experience the baths which has water with lots of minerals known to be healing for your skin. The hotel is also located next to Lake Plastira which we have been told is breathtaking. Our first day and night was very relaxing and we played games at night. Our plans for the next day was to see Lake Plastira which is 1.5 hours away from the hotel. So we woke up the next morning, had breakfast, piled into the van and made our way to the lake. We stopped on the way to visit the goats and their shepherd right off the side of the road. Matt took some great video of Ashtyn watching the goats. Well, we realized we didn't really know how to get to the lake and my dad must have asked about 30 people how to get there and everyone would tell us something different. So, 3 hours later and we still were not there so we decided to head back to the hotel. Well, on the way back we bought a map (great idea!) and my brother Stephen decided to lead us the short way back according to the map. Well, we ended up on a dirt road in a van that pretty much led to nowhere. There were bumps, and puddles to go over as we are driving down the mountain. By this point Ashtyn had enough of the car and was very restless. Well, it starts to get dark and we had to go back up the mountain and find another route. Not the best adventure to be on with a 10 month old! All in all it took 7 hours to get home and we never even made it to the lake! Wow, life doesn't always go as planned...we will definitely remember this one!! We did have a good time the next day and laughed about our crazy experience getting lost. Here are a few pictures from our trip. I will have several more posts in the next few days to catch up on all our events.
The beautiful view from up in the mountains

Eating at a restaurant near Lake Plastira

The girls are singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve. This is a Greek tradition where the children go around to homes and shops to play the triangle and sing. Then you give them some change and it's fun for them to see how much they make at the end of the day.

View from our hotel's cold!

Mimi, Ashtyn & Uncle Stephen

Christmas Eve at home