Alex and ArrionHoliday Adventures

For Christmas, we drove the Jeep from our cabin in Hollister, Missouri to Richardson, Texas, north of Dallas. In the past, everything in the Smith Family was focused on Arrion Sue Smith - - the baby of the family. Now, everything is centered around Arrion and Ben's son, Alexander Michael Rathsack.


Annette and AlexPresents for Alex

Aunt Annette and Uncle Larry were in charge of providing educational materials for Alex including books, Leappad electronics, and even an ALA READ baseball cap. Of course, Alex's preferred objects for recreation included ribbons, bows, tape, and empty boxes. He particularly liked chewing on any form of cardboard.

Annette encouraged Alex to roll, crawl, and stand using baby treats as tempting rewards.


Alex and LarryShopping

Shopping is always part of the holiday season. Arrion and Annette enjoyed going out with and without the baby and his gear. Everyone took a turn babysitting.

Adult shopping focused on Barnes and Noble. We probably made a half dozen trips and everyone found something to buy with Christmas gift cards.

Larry and Annette also headed to the Tandy Leather store to buy stuff for Annette's new hobby. Although she doesn't have time to actually "make" anything, she really enjoys putting together hobby kits. For Christmas she got leather working tools, soft leather, leather thread, a cutting board, instruction books, and lots of other essential leatherwork items critical to the success of the hobby that right now, she doesn't have time to learn. These new items will be stored next to Larry's rarely used, but also essential wood carving set. If we ever get a chance to play, we have all the needed tools and supplies!


Alex and AnnetteDid We Mention...?

Did we mention that everything was focused on Alex? Can you tell by the photos on this page? It will be fun to show his friends this page in about fifteen or sixteen years . . . fun for us, that is!



Holidays mean technology at our house. Everyone gets out their laptops, cameras, and other electronic devices. Ben was pretty excited about his new tripod as you can see below. Alex is starting young. He already likes the touch pad on his grandmother's laptop.

Alex at computerBen and tripod

The holiday season is also our favorite time to go to the movies. We enjoyed going to Meet the Fockers and Finding Neverland.

Alex and Family

Happy New Year 2005

Annette's Mom and Dad came to the cabin in Hollister for New Years. When they arrived, Annette and Larry were caught up in researching a diary from the 1910s they'd recently purchased on ebay. Mom and Dad quickly caught the "history fever" and helped in conducting research. Their experience with genealogy websites really made the inquiry fun and quickly added to our information content. We had a great time. It wasn't how most people probably spend their holiday vacations, but it was perfect for us. Check out our work on the Louise Hancock diary at

Bill Nancy Larry Annette

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 5/05.