Sunday, December 29, 2013

comfort and joy

Ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas all!  I hope that you all had a very happy Christmas filled with hope, gratitude, joy, family, friends, celebration .... the works!
 I know we missed last week, but we have more than enough to catch you up!  We headed down to California for a load of family and friend time.  After a long drive with unseasonably pleasant weather, we finally arrived.  Owen and I got busy getting everyone on board playing plenty of games.  Sometimes people got a little competitive.
 Uncle Ry and Remy also arrived with Grandpa after the Fresno State Game in Vegas.
 We become sort of a crowd at Grandma and Grandpa's house with all of us and doggies too!
 Luckily we kept busy and had plenty of projects to do, including our annual Ginger bread house for Auntie Donna!

 It was lovely!

 An awesome bubble bath for both me and later for Mom...
 Lots of building.  Uncle Ry showed Owen and me a few cool tricks to make elevators and trap-doors.
 The sun was shining for the week and it was beautiful out.  We spent plenty of time enjoying the sunshine.
 with the pups of course.

 Owen and I are getting better at sharing i-pad time... and we had a really challenging game of memory.

 I still think that other people's shoes are hilarious!  they are.  seriously.
 We headed over to Auntie Donna and Uncle John's house for Christmas eve dinner and it was a fantastic party as always.  Owen and I really really enjoyed Uncle John's Pizzas (in his own authentic pizza oven he inherited from his Uncle's pizzeria)

 We even saw Auntie Donna sit down for a little bit!

 David tried to buddy up with puppy Regis for a bit.
 Look Regis even smiled for the camera!
 Jenna's baby mika is a lot more cuddly.
 at last!  "REAL CHRISTMAS"  I have been asking all week when real Christmas was and it finally arrived.  Santa and our dear ones were very generous to us.  We got everything from our christmas lists (Dragon toy, Dragon book and Pokemon cards for Owen, and a Pony for me) plus so many amazing gifts.

 Rainbow dash.  My first my little pony (not my first pony!)

 We followed up a morning filled with presents galore and a pretty magical morning, with our traditional breakfast of Norwegian pancakes.  Uncle Ry tried out cooking Bacon on the grill (Grandpa's favorite way)
 We also talked a bit with family out in Michigan on face-time
 Hey Auntie Ann!
 We then packed up and headed to Tulare and Great-Grandma Mary's house.
 We got to see so many beautiful family and set-up for a double whammy Christmas celebration and Baby shower!
 There was a lot of time to play games
 Toss the ball around a little bit
 and more presents.
 Owen and I got to play Santa's helpers and hand out gifts!

 and spend some quality time with Great-Grandma Mary!

 We also get to celebrate the soon arrival of cousin Erin and Mike's son Kye Gerald!
 Aunt Kathy, Grandma Terri and Great-Grandma Mary put on a pretty awesome party!  Lots of fun games (like identifying baby-food...mostly it was fun to watch everyone's face as they tried different flavors)
 Owen won the "who has a poopy diaper" game and is now charged to wash dishes with his new dishcloth and towels!
 They opened presents
  while I snacked on all of the super yummy treats.

 I practiced ballet with my new doll, to get ready for my new class starting next month... I am soooo excited.
 We had a great wind-down a bit for a few days after Christmas, where we got to play a lot with all of our new (and old) toys.  I got to practice my karaoke on this new awesome machine that makes me even louder!  Thanks Uncle Ry!
 We also got to meet up with Mom's CWHS friends at good ol' Me-n-eds!  It was great to see everyone!

 and spend a few hours letting Mom catch-up.  We got to hang out with all sorts of great friends.
 Plus we had loads of time to play at the park nearby.

 Grandma even let me lounge around her room and play in her jewelry box.

 Owen even got a dollar out of Grandpa who challenged him to climb the tall pole.... no problem for my brother!

 Thank-you sweet Grandpa and Grandma for taking such wonderful care of us while we were visiting, we had a really lovely time!  At long last we headed back to our own Christmas tree.  We wish you all a wonderful vacation, finale to the Christmas season and 2013....
 Oh, and Thanks Olga for teaching us this fantastic and mildly horrifying party trick...