January 6, 2019

Christmas Happenings

Alex was transferred back to Tinker Air Force Base (Oklahoma) in August.  He invited the whole family to visit for Christmas months ahead knowing this is where he would be.  We had originally wanted to drive there with Raven in tow but knew it would be too cold-good decision!  Jessica and Emmett were flying in from Maryland.  Unfortunately, Mike couldn't get leave :-(  Ron's parents, Erika and Guenther, flew in from North Carolina.  Christmas this year is going to be full of memories!

I'll start the story in mid December.

December 12th is the day we welcomed our second grandson, Benjamin Octavius, (Benji for short) into the family!!  Benji weighed in at 8 pounds and he was 20.5" long at birth.  Alex and Kana are very proud of their little bundle of joy :-))

such a cutie pie :-))
December 12th is also the day Jessica and Emmett arrived in OKC.  Thankfully Alex was able to pick them up from the airport before heading back to the hospital to be with his new family.

happy smiles all around! Emmett, Kana, Benji, Alex and Jessica
December 15th we dropped Raven off at her new spot in Roseville.  From there we drove to Oklahoma in Rainier.  We had the back of the truck FULL!  We brought our work equipment in case we were able to secure work on the way back to California.  Alex had asked us to bring some of his stuff that's been stored at our shop since forever...  Plus we had our luggage and Rufus' luggage (haha, he just has one bag).

see you in a couple weeks...
quick stop along US-93
December 19th we arrived at our AirBnB house in Oklahoma City.  We will be staying here with Erika and Guenther for the week.  We agreed this would be a much better option than staying in a hotel.  We have the convenience of a home and we can split the rental costs too.  This was our first experience with AirBnB.  The house itself was a good fit for us, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, full kitchen, laundry machine, room to stretch out and even a backyard for Rufus.  This is a great route but next time I look into a home rental, I will be more careful.  We weren't expecting the home to be in it's current state of needing renovations.  It worked fine for us with some adjustments.  As soon as we unloaded our luggage we headed over to Alex's house.  We were about to see the family!!

Erika and Guenther arrived December 20th right on time.  Coordinating babies bedtimes with flight schedules meant a pizza dinner would be easiest.

Erika, Emmett, Jessica

Most of the rest of the days we spent time at Alex's house relaxing.  Kana made some dinners, I made a dinner or two and lunch was typically leftovers.  No one went hungry.

Rocky is getting used to his new brother

she's a good Mom!

Benji is just the right size for Erika

another grandson to LOVE!

Emmett and Guenther playing pat-a-cake
four generations of Kipps :-))

December 23rd is Alex's 33rd birthday and it's also the day we celebrated Christmas as Jessica and Emmett would be flying home early the next morning.  It was important for them to spend Emmett's first Christmas together with Mike.  I'm happy we were all together at least for a little while!

Dinner was a collaborative effort but Jessica was the  main chef.  She began cooking the night before.  Everything turned out excellent!!  Thanks to Alex's turkey 'injection', the meat was super moist.  Along with turkey, we enjoyed mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, fresh cranberries, sweet Hawaiian rolls, corn casserole, dressing and broccoli.  Something for everyone and again, no one went hungry.

my view :-)  LOVE my family <3
I had fun feeding Emmett - he's quite a good eater too!
With stuffed bellies all around it was time for birthday cake and a chorus of 
Happy Birthday singing for Alex!  

Next on the agenda: Gift opening for the babies :-)   
Benji is still too young to play with his gifts but Emmett was enjoying his new toys!
A new tradition for each of our grandchildren will be personalized tree ornaments.
I hope they will cherish these when they have their own Christmas trees in the future...

There was also a DIY project that Ron, Guenther and Alex accomplished while we were there.  The dryer decided to stop working and when you have a newborn in the house it's an essential piece of equipment.

An unexpected house guest arrived on December 25th.  Kana's mom, Kazuko, flew in from Japan.  Kazuko and I had fun taking photos of each other with Benji.

December 28th was our final day with Alex and Kana before driving back west.  We went out for lunch to Jersey Mike's sandwich shop.  Our time with the family seemed to fly by so quickly.  I'm happy we were together but knowing we will be back makes my heart happy!

love my guys!

Christmas memories are special.  One special moment was getting a new name.  No longer will I be known as Grammie, although I love that name.  I will be Oma, the traditional namesake for German grandmothers.  Ron will be Opa.  Erika and Guenther also have new names.  They are now known as Uroma (Erika) and Uropa (Guenther).   

I hope you all had a Special Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!!


  1. Those grand sons are so wonderful!! Great that you got to spend some holiday time with both of them :-) I'm looking at a house rental for next Christmas - I'll be sure to check on the condition!

    1. I bet you feel the same way but I'm already looking forward to seeing them again! They're simply precious :-) The house reviews were good so we thought we were in good shape. There were a couple other houses available but it's limiting with a dog.

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  3. What a fantastic time with everyone! So special. Love those gorgeous grandkids!!!


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