Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rounding out another year

Year end reflections
When I first turned this calendar page, I didn't know what all the month would hold. It was full of surprises, delights, stresses, disappointments, anticipations, tears, laughter, farewells, and blessings. We embraced them all and look forward to 2012 with the same wonder.
Here's a glimpse of the final week of 2011 in our family.

Belated birthday and Christmas get together

It seems like ages since we got together with our dear friends, Tom and Kim. I know we were just at their house for their grandchildrens' birthdays but we didn't really get to visit. That was remedied yesterday. We met down at Stanfords near Clackamas Town Center for happy hour at 4:30. Three and a half hours later we realized what time it was and reluctantly returned to our "real" lives.

It was more than wonderful to spend times with them. We already have a couple dates on the calendar for 2012 so that we don't let our friendship end up on a back burner again.

Kim and I in front of Stanfords Christmas tree.
Harlan and I celebrating our 33rd Christmas season together.

Cuzzies here = Warm fuzzies
Little bright eyed Anabelle waiting for her mommy to bring on the food. In this case it was squash.

Toddler Communication

Shared smiles led to shared toys. Henry, being past 2 years old, has many more words than Garrett but somehow they communicate. It's fun to watch their interaction.
Genevieve getting down on Anabelle's level. Beneficial to both cousins. Connections that will only strengthen as the years go by.
Danika was asked to watch Belle-belle while Cherise ran to get something. Wyatt pitched in too.

New Years Eve "Party"!

Our party consisted of a snacky supper, pop, brownies, and Christmas crackers that needed to be popped.

Watching CNN for the ball to be dropped in Times Square, New York City.
COUSIN Sebastian was able to make it!
Another wild and crazy couple.

Four of the grandkids in their "cracker crowns".
It's officially 2012 in the Eastern Time Zone and that includes Michigan. So this former Michigander is officially claiming that it is New Years.

Wishing all our family and friends a
Happy, Healthy, Hopeful and very very Blessed 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sweets and bittersweets

Cookie Cousins
Henry and Katie sat under the Christmas tree eating cookies on the morning Katie and her family took off for the East Coast.
The three soon to be Virginians. Rowie showing me his cookie.

Hugs and Snuggles

I wanted to take pictures all morning of these guys. Krystle bought Kate a baby Cinderella doll. It amazingly resembles her. So blonde and cute.

Katie likes her uncles. Hayden was there as the first member of our family to see and hold her. Just like he was for Evie a few weeks ago.

Rowan adores Hayden and Cam! He has had many good times with "the Uncles".

I think Evie is in good hands with her parents, her big brother and this big sister. A baby can not have too many people that love her in her life.

Sometimes a little sugar helps
We have had the occasional doughnut feast with Lys and Logan. So this morning I swung by Helen Bernhardt on my way to pick up Harlan. The Melissa and Doug doughnuts look almost as good as the real ones. A sugar binge may not solve my problems but it makes them manageable for a bit.

Starting the Relocation Vacation

The rig was packed very efficiently for the needs of all 5 occupants. I'm excited for all of the new things ahead for these guys but it's going to be hard not having them just up the road!

God's blessings on their travels and their settling in.

Birthday Surprise
My sister, Kara sent me a birthday card and package from Copper World. It's a real cottonwood leaf that has been transformed into a beautiful ornament. Pretty appropriate for someone named Tammy. Now I can see one as well as hear them!
Thanks Kara!!!

Cherise with hers and me with mine

It's quiet around the house with the 4 grands spending time with their Granny and Pa for part of their school break. It's just Hayden, Cameron and Cherise's family here. We got out of the house for a bit and went to our favorite Grand Central location. Hayden had a vanilla latte for the first time and loved it.
They do have good coffee there. And shortbread as Henry and I found out.
Anabelle didn't get any goodies. But she is so sweet she doesn't need to get sweeter!

Trying to convince these kids to move closer to Portland but so far they are pretty happy where they are for now. They'll just have to plan for more gas money in their budget for 2012.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day

Santa Claus is coming to town

I took Garrett with me to do some last minute shopping at Fred Meyers. In spite of the fact that we grabbed a helium balloon on our way in to the store, by the time we were finished he was beyond naptime and inconsolable. This melt down was in the checkout line. Thankfully every one of the checkers know us and know he is usually a pretty happy camper.

Hanging out on Christmas eve visiting with Krystle and Nate. Getting ready for new jammies and visions of sugar plums and a visit from St Nick.

Anabelle looks like she is a little distressed about this, her first Christmas. Maybe she is just tired of me putting goofy hats on her. She is a cute little elf though.

Christmas Morning!
Anabelle gifted Grampa with her version of a full body massage.
Every 17 year old driver needs a talking mustache key chain.

Christmas Brunch at IHOP

We were a small group for our Christmas breakfast out. Logan and Alyssa's were in Sisters with his parents and the locals were at their own homes until later in the day. Henry was kept occupied by technology and old fashioned crayons and paper.
Anabelle was so sweet and patient in her carseat.

Back at the homestead...

Krystle, Cherise, Courtney, and Alyssa posing in their new scarves and t-shirts we gave them. What a colorful bunch!

Early morning on Boxing Day

Anabelle was cooing quietly on the floor by the Christmas tree so I put Evelyn down there too. Cherise made me stop taking pictures because the flash is so bright. I'm sure they were both seeing dots by the time I got a "good picture".

Anabelle and Aunty Coco bundled up and ready to roll.
We got there just before 4 o'clock. It was starting to get dusky. I made the group stop for a photo before it got dark.

Logan and Lyssa's little family group. This was the eve of their big relocation vacation. I'm happy they had a good time at the zoo with us.

Jess and his sweet big boy waiting in line for the train. Wyatt is growing up so fast. Hopefully he doesn't grow out of this tender nature.

These lights were beyond the train car that we were waiting to board.
We got to ride in the very last car. Our three boys sat together.
Crazy kids in the next seat.
The rest of us squished into three more rows of seats.

Africafe... another tradition

We have stopped to get hot chocolate and fries for the kids every time we've gone to Zoolights. Last night was 17 hot chocolates and 10 orders of fries for the 21 of us. Kate and Garrett shared fries with their families.

Here's a virtual trip to Oregon Zoolights
View of the concert lawn from the Africafe balcony.
Rowan and Garrett in the glow of the fence light.
Wyatt feeding the moose.
Garden at the farm.

Various critters in the barnyard.

I love the cascading white lights on the fir trees.

They do such a great job. I'm sure it takes thousands of man hours to bring this thing to fruition. It is provided many fond Holiday memories for our family.
Thanks for another great year!