Saturday, January 28, 2012

Part 6---Last one!!!

Just a couple more fun excursions and our Christmas blogging will be complete.  We took a road trip to some shopping outlets about an hour away from San Antonio so Nana and Papa could spoil their precious granddaughters and on the way home we stopped in Gruene (like green), TX.  It's just a tiny little town that has become a tourist spot because of its folksy charm and old fashioned country feeling.  Mom, you would have LOVED it!!! 
 We ate at the restaurant that has been built into the old flour mill and everyone told us that whatever we ordered would be good.
This is the waiting for your table area.  As you can see, it is quite the popular place.
 Papa and Hadley waiting for order.
 This was the view from our table.  Those people are eating was just a fun (delicious) place.
 I thought their Christmas tree was awesome and tried to convince Andy that should we ever live in a house where we need a chandelier (highly unlikely), this would have to be the one we get.
 The onion rings......and Joni.....who loved the onion rings (that's my girl).
 One night Andy and I took advantage of the free babysitting we had and went on a date.  We tried to make it more interesting than dinner and a movie so did the progressive date.....
1st Stop:  Coldstone for some Carmel Apple Oatmeal Cookie Creation (any date where you start with dessert is going to be good!)
 2nd Stop:  Mission Impossible 4 is it?  Very entertaining!
 3rd Stop:  The Starbucks inside the theater for a cup of coffee.
 4th Stop:  Las Palapas....the best (and cheapest) mexican restaurant ever!  We had some tacos and closed the evening with a giant plate of really really really good sopapillas.  Don't think about how many bajillions of calories we ate that night because we didn't.  We are trying to make up for it now (and will continue to for the next couple of months :)) 
 The shopping trip was a success....look at those cutie-patooties!
 Helping Dad and Nana build their little tent which had to be assembled from the inside.  I'm pretty sure some pieces were left over when they finished but it was standing and the girls didn't care :)
 Another fun activity....painting our nails....Hadley does a lovely job, no?
 Playing in a box....typical kid stuff---while all the awesome store-bought things sit inside :)
 Another hair-cutting adventure.  This time, Dad got to go with Hadley and Nana and Papa and Hadley the she got a professional hair-washing for the first time.  I think she may be a fan :)
 And this wonderful vacation ended on the highest note ever......Jason and Kaylan Snyder (Andy's best friend from high school and roommate in college) live in Dallas where we had a 4 HOUR LAYOVER on the way home.  They came to the airport and we had a good hour to visit with some of our dearest friends (who we never get to see *sniff*).  It was wonderful meeting their sweet Abigail and we were so so grateful they took the time to come see us!  We love you guys!
Well that's all everyone!  Thanks for sticking with us this long!  One more thing before we go.....I have pasted our 2011 Christmas letter below.  We would LOVE if you took the time to read it.  I know some of you may have already seen it, but for everyone who hasn' it is.  LOVE TO YOU ALL!!!

To all our beloved friends and family—
We had big plans for another witty Christmas letter 
this year, but recent circumstances have motivated us to write 
this letter instead.  A few months ago, we were overjoyed to find 
out that Megan was pregnant with our third child.  Last week, however, we discovered that we had lost the life of our precious baby.  The last few days have been filled with much sadness and pain.  We want you to know, however, that they have also been filled with even more peace, joy, and encouragement.  We have received much kindness and love from family and friends.  What we have received from them, however, pales in comparison to what we have received from our loving God.  In the first chapter of 2 Corinthians, God reveals Himself as the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction” and we have certainly found that to be true.  As we turned to God with all of our sadness and grief and asked Him to help us through it, He blessed us with a “peace that surpasses human understanding,” just like He said He would.
Please don’t misunderstand—we are not trying to paint a picture of the Christian life as one in which people are happy despite painful circumstances.  We are not happy that we lost our baby.  Neither is God.  Death, disease, sadness, and despair are a result of the sin that has tainted this world ever since the first man rebelled against God’s good commands.  The good news is that God graciously promised that He would reconcile his people to Himself, even though we had become His enemies.
That first Christmas morning over 2000 years ago, God’s promises were fulfilled.  Philippians 2:6-7 says of Jesus Christ, “though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.  Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a servant and was born as a human being.”  Jesus’ miraculous birth was only one part of the story, though.  That “Baby Jesus” we talk about every December grew up and lived life on this earth experiencing all of the pain, heartache and sadness that this sin-cursed world has to offer.  He did this in order to identify with our suffering, knowing it firsthand.  God is able to comfort us the way He does because He experienced our human suffering for Himself.  
More than just suffering with us, the Bible says that Jesus Christ suffered for us in His death on the cross.  Because of our rebellion against God’s good commands, our relationship with Him has been severed and can only be restored by God Himself, through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.  With His blood, Jesus has paid for our rebellion and offers us a restored relationship with God—including access to true peace and comfort in this life.  
As we have been reflecting on how faithful God has been to us, we want to remind you that hope, satisfaction, peace and comfort in this life cannot come from anything you do, anything you have, or from anyone around you.  True Hope is only available to us through our God and Savior Jesus Christ.  As you celebrate this Christmas season, our prayer is that you, too, may experience the peace and comfort that comes to those who recognize the true significance of that Baby born so many years ago.
With much love and many blessings to you all,

Andy, Megan, Hadley, and Joni Huber         

        (Here’s a very short bit about each of us.  There’s lots more (with pictures!) at our blog:
            Andy is almost done with Seminary!  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  We have no idea where the Lord will lead us come August, but we are excited to find out!
     Megan is still loving her job as a full-time mom.  Between story-time, MOPS, church activities, and Children’s Bible Workshop teacher, there is never a dull moment.
     Hadley is 3!  She acts much older, of course.  She is very smart, but we realize there could be some bias there.  She still LOVES the zoo and being outside!  So fun.
       Joni is 18 months and is going to be the comedian of the family.  She wants to do everything her sister does.  Her loves at the moment are books and babies.  
So sweet.  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Part 5---SEA WORLD!!!

So in my opinion this was the BIG Christmas present from Nana and Papa.  We got so many other wonderful things from them but I hadn't been to Sea World in 10 years and it was such an awesome day.  Hadley STILL is talking about how she "saw the big whale jump."
Kissing "under" the super giant mistletoe at the front gate.
It turns out that our poor sweet girl is too short to ride any of the cool rides.  Andy is pretty excited because she is going to be his roller-coaster girl.  We did "sneak" her onto one ride but we had to skip the rest.....or enjoy them from the side-lines.
The first stop was the Sesame Street show.  My girls have never watched Sesame Street but they could not look away.  
It must be all the singing and dancing and Cookie Monster talking about cookies. 
 Then on to feed the ducks....
and touch the sting rays.  Ok, maybe just look at the sting rays.
 Checking out the penguins on the sweet little slow-moving sidewalk escalator.  Hadley and Joni both are big fans of penguins and Sea World has quite the collection, go figure :)
 Here she is on her first roller-coaster ride with Dad.  She was so so excited.  I know I said before that we had to sneak her on the ride but what I really meant was that the guy running this ride was one of the only Sea World employees not checking heights on the kids.  She wasn't the shortest one riding it either so we felt ok letting her enjoy this moment.  And did she enjoy it!
 She even got into it by lifting her hands and screaming (not a real this-is-terrifying scream, an I'm-having-so-much-fun-why-has-no-one-ever-told-me-about-these scream).
 and then a ride for Joni (which also had an employee not checking heights even though Hadley and Joni were too short to ride).
If you have never been to Sea World, they are famous for Shamu, yes, but also for their shows.  It isn't like a zoo where you can just walk by and see a killer whale or a dolphin.  They have shows throughout the day that are scheduled and you have to figure out what time you are going to see all the shows.  This is the seal and sea lion and walrus show.
That was one old fat walrus!  His "trick" was to roll into the water....very talented ;)
 Then Nana and Papa took the girls to feed the seals and sea lions some fish (also something Hadley continues to talk about) while Andy and I went and found seats for the Orca show.
 So for as long as I can remember dolphins and Orcas have been my favorite animals.  After seeing the show again, I remembered why.  They really are awesome creatures.  
You can't tell by the still picture but he is spinning.
I love this picture.....the "big whales jumping."
 The last show we went to was the dolphin show........which had a beluga whale in it......
 .....and was mostly a diving show (and a really good one at that).....
 with a couple dolphins.  Still fun.
  And since it was Christmas time, we were able to see Santa Shamu and....
Mrs. Dolphin Claus.  Don't ask because I don't know.  :)
And then some sweet family pictures.  It was a long day but so worth no naps and staying almost until they closed.
Family pictures in the candy cane forest.  
So fun!!!  Thank you so so much Janet and Kemper!  We love you!  We are almost done with Christmas stuff and then onto January!  Love to you all!