Sunday, December 30, 2012

Merry Merry

Merry Christmas!  (You'll have to rotate your head but it's worth the smile)
video
Well, when we celebrate, we manage to cover a lot of ground in a short time
 First off, Ginger Bread House!  Grandma, Owen, Uncle Ry, and I put the whole thing together to take to Auntie Donna's house.
 Only a few snacks along the way
 Turned out pretty cute.  We also just had to get outside for a bit, so had a family football game at Fresno State, followed by a walk around the campus admiring some of their sculptures.

 It was pretty beautiful outside, and a lovely walk.

 I got a little nap in the car, and a book with Grandpa.
 before heading out to our Christmas eve tradition of a fantastic dinner with Jenna, Auntie Donna and Uncle John
 After we arrived I started to feel a little under the weather, so snuggled up under a blanket in the corner window seat and watched some cartoons while everyone else enjoyed the beloved company and wonderful food.


 These guys not only are marvelous hosts, but they also added clams to this year's menu... who knew, but Owen was a HUGE fan of the clams.
 We got home, put out snacks for Santa and his reindeer and nestled snug in our beds...  We woke up in the morning and found that they had nibbled here and there, but left some crumbs behind.
 We had a super lovely Christmas morning, so exciting to open stockings, presents,
 spent time with everyone.  Owen's joke kit was a  big hit, whoopie cushions and snapping gum all around!



 We had our traditional breakfast of Norwegian pancakes... including fresh lemons from Grandma Terri's meyer lemon tree.
 Then headed down to Tulare to hang with the family at Great-Grandma Mary's house.
 Uncle Derek, Auntie Debbie, Kellen and Mason were there!  I was still feeling a little under the weather and was on and off grumpy for much of the fun (Though Auntie Geralyne's striped jello brought a smile)
 There was a ton of seafood!
 Games (including a good attempt at charades, but we are very good guessers).
 Good company!
 Great-Auntie Gigi and Derek L
 Cousins!
 Great-Uncle Geary, G'Auntie Kathy, Brittany and Jordan
 Grandpa and Uncle Ry.
 Great Grandma getting a kiss and the scarf that Owen sewed himself!
 Grandma and Great-Auntie Geralyne.
 Erin and Mike
 All the Great Auntie and Great Uncles with Great-grandma.
 We tried too, but it was hard getting everyone to look and smile at the same time, but Great-Grandma looked pretty in this one :)
 We finished up with a yummy burmese chicken soup for dinner.
 and finally headed back to Grandma's house.  We had a few more quieter days in Fresno.  We went back to Eureka burger... if you're in Fresno, it's worth checking out... mmm fig burger.
 Owen headed to Cole to try out some of his airplanes he got from Santa.
 Mom got to hang out with some girlfriends from Highschool... Olga, Carolyn, Susan and Diane.  Actually we joined them for a little bit but it seemed to be mostly a gals affair so we headed out after I pitched an unattractive fit.
 The kids got some good hanging-out time too... we headed to Auntie Diane's later that afternoon for some fun haddock-chen time!
 Owen and Ben immediately got a long wonderfully.  Tyler and I both needed our mommies nearby, but all in all had a great visit.

 and enjoyed a beautiful evening in Dr. and Mrs. Chen's backyard.
 And Mom loved getting some QT with her dear friend.
 We headed back to Grandma and Grandpa's house and picked them up for a dinner out.  It was fantastic and what luck, food that EVERYONE (that means even me) loved.
 Thank you Grandpa and Grandma for a lovely visit, you take such good care of us, are so much fun and we loved our time with you!

 Our drive home was much less eventful, thankfully. We've been in recovery... from our colds, our sugar overdoses,our heavily scheduled days and kinda just been hanging out.  Merry Christmas and happy new year to you, our sweet readers, friends, family, thank you for letting us share with you, we are grateful.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Preparation

Well, this week has been eventful.... the first big one was a whole buncha snow at home!

 Just enough really to pull together a wee snowman.
 I got a play day with Joaquin while Mom made cookies, we had a blast!
 And showed off our matching 6-year old kid jeans... holes like these take no time at all.  After a fun week at home, we headed to CALIFORNIA!  It took extra long and Dad had to chain-up twice because of the beautiful snow over both passes.
 When we got to Aunt Gigi's my cousin's Kellen and Mason where already there from New York.
 Kellen and I played a lot together.
Great Auntie Geralyne and G'uncle Mark made an AMAZING gumbo.  It was so delish, full of great sausage and seafood.
We got a little rain break to play outside.
and Auntie Debbie was doing nails for everyone!  Grace was thrilled.
and finally opened up enough to play some fun dominoes with her and Mason.
We love any opportunity to play with the cousins.  Kellen and I especially did fantastically well together, and basically disappeared for hours at a time.



but everyone really got along so nicely and had a blast playing together.
and angling for snacks together.
We even took the dogs for a few mini-walks.
On Friday, it was also Auntie Gigi's birthday.  
We all had fun singing "Happy Birthday" and eating cake.


It was a bit tricky to get us all to sit still, but we took a few photos of all of the cousins together.
We headed to Auntie Ann and Uncle Jason's house for pizza, movies, and pedis.
I even got to help Uncle Jason make some yummy cookies.
to enjoy while we caught up on our superhero folklore.
Thanks Bay-area family for having us and spending so much time playing and feeding us.  We had a great great visit.


Rounded off, of course, by a little wrestling match with Uncle Jason.
We enjoyed one more morning with Great-Auntie Gigi... complete with Chocolate Waffles!
and a beautiful crown from our friend Deepa.  Grace was a little shy, until Auntie busted out the lipstick.
We'll see you guys soon!
So we headed out towards Fresno, and made a quick stop for brunch (yes, right after chocolate waffles... it's the holidays!) to meet with our dear sweet Sonoma friends Suzanne and Keith as well as their kiddos, Nate and brand-new Josie.
It was great seeing them, even if only for a little bit.
and especially to meet with Josie!  She is so cute!
We miss you guys.
but were so glad to share some of the morning with you.
At last, we finally have arrived at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
The oranges are ripe and yummy, Grandma helps Grace spruce up (man, this girl... already and the make-up, nails and hair)
Grace got a special Grandma treat... an adorable pom-pom poncho.
that she got to wear out to the old spaghetti factory for a fun dinner with (another!) Josie... oh and the rest of the Vans.. but Josie and I really hit it off.
Today, we got to meet up with Becky, Noah, Susan, Troy, Nolan, Trevor and Carolyn!  Me-n-Eds is a pretty great place to let the kids free while the grown-ups talk and catch-up.
We always love visiting with them, everyone seems to be doing so well.
and it is so much fun to talk and share hugs and smiles with old friends.
and our families.
We finished up the afternoon helping Grandma put together Chocolate lollypops.
and have just a few more fun Christmas activities to prepare for.  Happy Holidays everyone!