January 14, 2016

First snow.

We finally have snow.  Seemed strange to go from 50 degrees on a Saturday to the teens on Sunday with lots of ice and some snow.  It sure is pretty!  The temps combined with fierce winds didn't make for the best play conditions.  Ken and the guys enjoyed it but the little ones... not so much.
On Monday, Liz was determined to make the best of it.  She suited Carrie and herself up in the hopes of grand sledding adventures.
Carrie... not so much.  She was cold, she slipped once on the ice, and back inside she went after one short ride.

Thankfully, Tuesday brought another round of snow and this time, a little sunshine and (slightly) warmer temps.

These pictures don't look sunny but they were taken during the heavy part of the storm.  They all enjoyed the snow and had fun with some of the neighbor kids.

(Now, I'm ready to go back to those 50 degree temps!)

January 13, 2016

12 Days of Christmas.

So, how about a post on our 12 days of Christmas in 52 photos or less?

I promise there are not 52 photos.  It will just feel like it.  And since I don't really remember what yesterday was... I cannot totally be for sure which day some of these photos were taken on.  So I'm just lumping them all together.
Carrie is crying because her mom has a bad memory.  Peter is ashamed.

No really, I don't remember why Carrie was crying Christmas morning.  Probably because she wasn't awake and no one had gotten her a cup of coffee... milk.... yet.  Peter is just rubbing his eyes awake.
 Christmas morning really was like this.  All princess crowns and smiles.

And peacefully enjoying playmobil in pajamas.  Before heading off to Ken's family's gathering.  Of which, I have zero photos.  Darn.

 The day after Christmas was an entire day of blissful hanging out in the detritus.  No cleaning.  Just fun.
Even the Gertrude enjoyed the hanging out.
 Pilchard and Peter enjoyed the napping.  We all enjoyed the napping.

The next day was Grandma and Grandpa's 50th Anniversary celebration.  We celebrated with a blessing at the church where they were married followed by at the hall where they had their reception.  A beautiful walk down memory lane for them and us.

 The bubbles and dancing at the reception hall were the best ever.

 Insert more images of sleeping, playing, etc. here.  Because, whew, much tiredness and recovery needed.  Also, in fact, insert Ken going to work even though he was supposed to be off for the week.  Also, a chiropractor appointment and Costco runs.  Necessary stuff.

Snuck away with my boys to finally see that movie everyone was raving about.  It was pretty good.  I'd like to go see it again.

A trip to Krohn's Conservatory is a necessity every year.  We all love the outdoor Nativity with real animals.
 Grandpa managed to get us all in one photo.
 Carrie managed to insert herself into the Grandparents photo.
Also, the rare and elusive photo of just Ken and I.  That doesn't happen often!

This was Carrie's favorite spot at the Conservatory--the incline train!  We had to come back to this spot at least three times.

Then it was out to dinner and I just, just, couldn't resist poking a little fun.  She's the cutest one ever.

 New Years Eve and Fireball Island are a classic combo.  Much food and fun was had by all.
 As well as being loud and crazy at the stroke of midnight.  No fireworks this year.  Because we forgot!

Fast forward to Epiphany... candles, incense, house blessing.
My favorite moment.  Carrie had to sit next to baby Jesus... then couldn't resist touching him ever so gently.  The faith of a child!

January 12, 2016

Christmas Eve.

 Christmas Eve was a beautifully mild day.  Windows were open, Gertie was loving it.  Having her pic taken?  Apparently, not so much.  Christmas Eve was a bit unusual this year for us.  Typically, we host dinner (it should have been my family this year--we alternate between the two sides) but schedules didn't all coordinate and so... for the first time in the history of our family... we had Christmas Eve all to ourselves.  It was strange and wonderful all at the same time.

We ended up going to 315 Mass just like normal though.  Only, we were just on time and stood for the whole thing even though this was the "overflow" Mass in the gymnasium.  Not a big deal.  Until the end (when, incidentally, we finally had seats because of the large numbers of people who left after communion... ahem...), and then somehow Caroline happened to notice this leetle red button next to an outlet on the wall.

And she pushed it.  BEEEP!  Yeah, it was the buzzer for times up in basketball or something.  The entire congregation and priests jumped.  Then laughed.  I personally laughed (quietly) so hard I was crying.  Scared the daylights out of poor Carrie!  Hey, she was under Ken's watch at the other end of the row....  Another first for us!

Then we headed home and started dinner.  The kids did their exchange with each other.  The big gift of the night was Patrick's gift for Nick.  Patrick had saved up to buy a new ipod on a Black Friday deal.  So all of Advent he was conspiring to give Nick his old one and even made a Lego gift box for it.  Here, Nicholas still isn't sure that the iPod was really for him!  He was thrilled.  He also became the first member of the family to own an iPod that 1) he didn't buy and 2) before his First Communion.

Dinner time!  Oh what a delicious dinner it was! We had fun eating on our china and drinking from fancy wine glasses and feasting.
We still had not made our gingerbread houses yet this season so we finished the night off with some crafty fun.  After everyone was properly sugared up on royal icing and gummy bears... it was up to bed!

Mom and Dad still had a lot of presents to wrap!