Stephen’s mom and her new husband were not going to be able to make it to Mena for Christmas. Branson, Missouri is halfway between where they live and where we live, so we decided to meet there to celebrate Christmas this year. We weren’t sure we were going to be able to make it because of the puppies, but a sweet lady who Stephen works with (who also was buying two of the puppies for Christmas gifts) was nice enough to agree to keep the puppies at her house for the weekend. We were so thankful because we wouldn’t have been able to go without her taking care of them. (My parents and Tyler and Britney already had plans for Branson that weekend, as well.)
We headed to Branson the Thursday after finals. I had a great time! We followed my dad up there and beat Deanna and Leonard there, so we had lunch with my family at Fuddruckers. This is a staple for us whenever we go to Branson. Love it! I didn’t feel like dragging around my big camera, so all of my pictures from Branson are with my iPhone.
After eating, we headed to Silver Dollar City. We met up with Nana and PopPop while we were there!
We rode the train – it’s so pretty with all the lights around the park, and they have a really neat act featuring Grandpa telling the true story of Christmas.
Before we left, we had to stop and watch the Christmas tree/light show. It’s always really neat! This video is just one portion of the show.
That night when we got done at SDC we went to our condo and did Christmas with Deanna and Leonard. Deanna always gets us pajamas each year, which I love! Christopher got a “laptop” and some color-wonder crayons and some money to put in his bank account. Stephen and I got a new GPS unit and a little cash. It was a great Christmas! (No pics, unfortunately!)
On Friday, we did some outlet mall shopping and ate lunch at Taco Bell as a big group – my family and Stephen’s. After C’s LOOONG and much needed afternoon nap, we headed to the Branson Landing for dinner at Cantina Laredo (another Branson staple for us) with the whole group again. This was my family’s last night in Branson. We really enjoyed being able to do SDC and the Landing with them! I think this is the only picture I took on Friday:
On Saturday, I was given permission to go shopping by myself because I didn’t finish all of my Christmas shopping on Friday. I started at Tanger Outlet Mall and then went on to the Landing. I think I shopped for 5 hours straight and when I was done this is what the back of the Murano looked like!
Stephen will never let me go shopping by myself again. Ha!
Saturday afternoon we went to the Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks. This is where Deanna and Leonard tied the knot in October. They had a huge Christmas tree and a huge gingerbread house on display there.
That night we ate at Olive Garden with Deanna and Leonard and then went back to the Landing for a little bit more shopping. Mainly Deanna at Kirklands - I had outshopped myself that morning!
We also made a stop at Krispy Kreme. I got this yummy-looking Red Velvet Cake donut. It wasn’t as good as I had anticipated. :(
On Sunday morning, we loaded up our goodies and headed back home. We had a great trip and really enjoyed getting to spend time with Deanna and Leonard. I always enjoy it when both of our families are able to get together and spend time with each other. Since Deanna got married and moved away, I think we will be doing that less and less. This was a great way to meet up and enjoy each other’s company!