Christmas 2011

Ahhhh…and so it’s over!  Just like that (snap!) Christmas has come and gone…the kids are busy playing, Rolf is back in the kitchen making progress on the remodel project and I’m procrastinating on the pile of laundry and dishes that need to be washed.

Ours was a unique Christmas but when all was said and done last night, all agreed it was AWESOME!  Santa knew our Christmas day would be a bit full with church in the am and the annual Turkey Bowling competition at the rescue mission in the afternoon and was kind enough to drop off our gifts on Christmas Eve so we could have a relaxed celebration that evening.  Rudy had no idea what was going on but literally beamed with joy watching the big kids in all their excitement.  All the excitement ended up being too much and Rudy fell asleep before he opened his gifts! Ha

Christmas Eve
Joy multiplied a couple of times...

We were awakened at 3am by the annoying (but very helpful) alarm on Rudy’s oxygen concentrator when the power went out.  Thinking it would be a short outage, Rolf got Rudy hooked up to his portable oxygen tanks and the little monkey slept soundly through it all.  We were surprised to wake the next morning to a very cold house and still no electricity.  As it turned out, there was a car accident that took out a transformer in our neighborhood and it was going to take several more hours to get electricity back to 250 homes in the area.  Thanks to the Lawlers, Rolf got his morning coffee and we got ourselves ready for church.  Things warmed up comfortably by mid-morning and we were blessed with yet another gorgeous sunny day!

With no electricity and no donut table at church, our first order of business after church was to find food.  The only place open in our neighborhood was Carl’s Jr so (surprise, surprise!) the Geylings had fast food for lunch!  The big kids were willing to make the most of it until they realized they couldn’t play with the majority of there new Christmas gifts when we got home because most everything required electricity!!!  🙂  Aw, bummer!!  The afternoon was a bit disappointing for everyone but just as we were loading up the car to head to the rescue mission (and, coincidentally, after the kids took Christmas cookies to the Edison workers with our neighbor Jannele) the electricity came back on! Yeah!  The kids would have preferred to stay home at this point but we promised they’d have full access to all their electricity-powered fun as soon as we got home…and so we were off!

Yum, yum!
Christmas nap on the way to the mission

Rolf established the Christmas Day Turkey Bowling tradition at the rescue mission a few years ago and it has garnered quite a reputation.  This year’s edition sure lived up to that reputation…you gotta see it to believe it…

Rudy's turn with the turkey!

And so it was…an unconventional Christmas but a memorable one.  We trust yours was too (memorable, that is) and that this next week between holidays will be filled with more holiday fun.  Bless you friends!

Merry Christmas 2011

We came home from church last night to discover that Santa came to our house early! We enjoyed a late night celebration…Rudy fell asleep in the middle of the fun so he still has a gift or two to open today.

It’s a good thing Santa came when he did because we woke to the beeping alarm of Rudy’s oxygen concentrator when the power went out at three a.m. and it’s still not up and running now…Rudy is safe on portable O2 but the house is cold and we have no coffee!!!…good reasons to stay snuggled up in bed. :).

Merry Christmas dear ones…we wish you an extra special day!

The Sights and Sounds of Christmas!

Oh, the Christmas season is flying by much too fast!!!  The final countdown to the big day is on and we have a weekend full of special activities at the Rescue Mission and church ahead.  Today is the feast and gift distribution for the homeless guests at the Rescue Mission, tomorrow our family will enjoy a morning celebration with the residents at the Bethel House and a sweet candlelit Christmas Eve service at church in the evening and then our Christmas day will include church again in the a.m. & the annual “President’s Turkey Bowl” with the men’s program residents in the afternoon!!!  Oh yeah, and we’ll manage to squeeze in some gift opening  at some point.  Ha Ha

It has been a fun couple of weeks filled with all kinds of sweet moments…

Once again, Rudy was happy to keep his distance from Santa...Santa's instruction to the big kids right before I took the picture was "On the count of three, kids, lean to the left!". Ha Ha
Rudy may not have enjoyed seeing Santa but he sure LOVED the hay ride with his brothers!
We've lived in Santa Barbara for 4 1/2 years and NEVER been on the Landshark! While the big boys were in Mammoth snowboarding with the church youth group last weekend, the rest of us got to celebrate a friend's bday with a tour of town and the harbor on this crazy vehicle.
Rudy was cautious the whole ride but ultimately liked the adventure.
Fun with friends Cady and Thomas on the Landshark!
A quiet moment of play while the big kids were all off doing their own thing. Remarkably, Rudy hasn't messed with one ornament on the tree this season! He's more interested in emptying the bookshelf any chance he gets! 🙂
Rudy was overjoyed by the REAL camel and donkey he saw at a local live nativity, yeah, you don't need to comment on the obvious here...we know what you're thinking Bryan Frame!
Much to my surprise the big kids wanted to join me on an errand to Kmart yesterday to buy socks to distribute at the homeless feast today! It was a fun little family outing that included, of course, a quick stop in the electronic and toy departments "just to look"! Ha Ha

Rudy’s enjoying his Christmas break, but even though there’s no school or CCS sessions, that doesn’t mean he isn’t getting any therapy.  Big brothers have their own regimen they put him through.  Last night, Rolf and Wilson were working on a project in the garage and Rudy scooted all the way down the hallway to investigate until the only thing between him and joining in was the little step down.  He’s always been content to perch there and watch, but he sure wanted to join in the fun.  Big brother devised his own therapeutic approach complete with incentives and rewards:

Yup, he’s pretty proud of himself.  Just wait until he figures out all he can do with those little bird legs. Today the garage step, tomorrow the roof jump!

Eine Kleine Rudimusik

There’s nothing like a good Christmas party.  We enjoyed a memorable one last night.  We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful home with more dear people (the Rescue Mission board).  But the quality entertainment really made the soiree.  Take a look:

Can’t get enough of the prodigy (we can’t) here’s another clip.  He seems to be mesmerized by his own talent!

There’s still a few available bookings during the holiday season, but act fast…

Long time, No post

Oh my, two weeks+ have passed since Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve is exactly two weeks from tonight!  As is to be expected this time of year, each day is filled to the brim and the season is racing by.  The Wednesday after Thanksgiving, Olivia and I flew to Kansas to help my mom celebrate her 80th birthday on December 1st.  Rolf’s mom flew in from Alabama the same day to help take care of Rudy in my absence and it worked out for Livy and I to give her a quick hug in the airport as she arrived and we departed!  Ha Ha  Olivia and I had a wonderful long “girls” weekend with Grandma Jo doing and eating whatever we wanted!  The rest of the family had a marathon weekend with Wilson’s Jazz performance at school and marching band gig in the Santa Barbara Holiday parade & Max’s theater arts class performance of “Got Broadway” at his school.  Rudy managed all the craziness at home well and passed on going to all the activities involving applause!  ha ha  He is, however, enjoying other holiday sights and sounds…especially Christmas music and the bright lights on the Christmas tree!  Rudy’s enthusiasm and energy is a joy to watch and he’s certainly taking his cues from the big kids!

Rudy is battling relentless congestion but he has been able to keep up with his therapy and school schedule.  He is officially going to school “by himself” with the help of Nurse Marie and is adjusting very well.  The loud bus ride is a bit distressing for him but once he gets to school, he is happy and motivated to learn.  We’ve noticed a huge leap in his desire to verbalize and he is now saying two-word sentences such as “Hi Mama” and “All done”.  It’s pretty thrilling and no matter how often he proudly repeats himself, it doesn’t get old!  He’s even starting to “sing” a bit by inserting key words into songs.  SO FUN!  As always, it’s just so much more fun to show you rather than tell you about it…so sit back–this may take awhile…

Our last meal in the old kitchen...Wiener Schnitzel! The construction is now in full swing!

And Rudy’s last bath in the old sink…

Rudy helping me mail a wagon full of our Christmas packages at the post office the Monday after Thanksgiving...we endured searing looks from the line of customers behind us! Ha
Rudy with Nurse Marie
Big Boy Rudy off to school without Mama!

I’ll never tire of hearing this…

Happy 80th Grandma Jo!

Singing with Mama…

Drumming with Daddy…

And playing with Maxo…

It's also that time of year for posed family are a few from our family photo session...
Something was awfully funny!
The Mod Squad
Rudy with his personal photog, Greg
Christmas greetings, laughter and love from the Geylings!