Christmas 2009
What would our crazy family do on Christmas Eve?  We went into a cave of course.  The next few pictures are of Christmas morning, but the ones following are actually from the day before (I got them out of order, sorry).
We're making them take pictures in front of the tree.  You wouldn't believe that they slept in until 9am, then waited patiently watching the tree and gifts until we got up before asking to open anything.  It was surreal.
Christopher is trying to hold it together.
Okay girls, just hold it together for one more shot ... as he holds them by the neck to make sure we get a good shot.  He knows we'll keep doing pictures until we get one with everyone looking.  He's mumbling under his breath "just look at Papi and we can open our presents!"
Start with the stockings, of course.
He is one of the only children I know who is excited to receive clothes for a present.
Gimme.  Gimme.  We'll smile, just give us the present.
What are those?
We need to clean up the wrapping before doing any more.
In the trash, in the trash.  We put the paper in the trash.  It's a song and a happy thing.  Gee, they're still young enough to believe it is fun to put the trash away.  My God are we blessed!
Oh, my baby.  My baby!  We love our babies.
She wants to change her diaper.
The gifts are open and Daddy is already taking down the tree.  It's 11:54am on Christmas morning.
What?!  The gifts are open, Christmas is over!
Now we're off to see the caves.
This dinosaur is out front at Cascade Caverns, one of the only caves we could find in the area that would allow our young children to explore.  These folks were incredibly nice and accommodating of our little ones.  The tour was excellent and we learned a LOT!
They provided several posters like this one describing the age of the caverns, how they were formed, and what to look for while exploring.
Here, we are going down the stairs and into the cave.
I've forgotten the name of this hole, but it was originally the only entrance to the cave (in the 50's) and they lowered folks into the cave by a bucket connected to a truck.
Inside the cave, we had to keep calling Christopher back so he wouldn't get lost.  NOTE: On this day, the power went out so we were doing a flashlight-only tour.  Needless to say, we were very concerned for his safety, so tried to keep a short leash.
Sophia was scared to go in "the cave" after having been terrorized by the Pirates of the Caribbean at DisneyLand.  Eventually she lowered her defenses when Daddy told her we were going in to find "The Princess".  After that, she wanted down and was tugging him along to go find that princess. 
Sarah was find so long as she was being held.
The stalactites (those coming from the top toward the bottom) have water seeping through them and it drips into pools.  We're told that in an hour the water level can rise an entire foot inside the cave.
This is a small area where the pool of water is so dense that it reflects like a mirror.
Most of the time, you cannot see anything below the surface because of the reflection.
Here, the kids were all trying to see their hand disappear under the water.  Then they'd scream because it was "gone".
These are holes in the ceiling of the cave.  They are caused by flooding that raises rocks, etc. to the top of the cavern and they are pushed and brushed against the top until it burrows these dome shaped holes.
This is the friendly neighborhood bat.
Here is another cool shot of one of the walls.  Then we left to go to The Alamo in San Antonio.
This was a cool sculpture we found in downtown San Antonio, TX.
Daddy wanted a shot of the two flags.
At the entrance to the Alamo.  Christopher, aka Fonzie, was too cool.
I think Papi is getting a noogie.
The Alamo is a museum these days.
It has a park-like setting surrounding it.
And courtyards throughout.
He's pretending he's in jail.
Officially touching history.
Sophia wanted to touch everything.  This is a map of the original building depicting the defenses with cannons, etc.
Davy Crockett gave his life at the age of 50 to defend Texas Liberty.  In those days, men typically didn't live much past this age, so he must have been one tough man.
There were many plaques with wise sayings.
This should have been up with the Cave pictures.
Following our visit to The Alamo, we decided to walk across the street and see the River Walk.  Everyone loved the fountains.
Pose for the camera.
Looking up river.  It really is very pretty here.
The girls pose for one last time.
I can only imagine what they serve in here.