Sunday, December 31, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!!  As our winter break comes to a close, we have managed to pack in a load of activities but also some great down-time as well, who knew you could do so much in a week!
I think we left you last on Christmas eve.  We had a good day in Fresno, including Star Wars!! and some relaxing time.  

before we headed out to Auntie Donna and Uncle John's house for some great food and even better friends to visit with .

Above is Uncle John's amazing family pizza oven and below is Auntie with Grace and her famous ice cream sandwiches.

It was a fantastic evening, and though we went to bed late, we didn't let that stop us from getting up early (6ish!!) and eagerly waiting for everyone to get up and open presents!

followed, of course, by Norwegian Pancakes

 Mom went a little flannel cray this year and made the big guys all flannel shirts!
After breakfast and phone calls we headed down to Great Grandma Mary's house.   

Grace and Kye had a blast playing together
Stripey Jello! Everyone's favorite!

I got to try out my new drone
Foot masks for the whole family (Dad was a little wimpy about the whole thing, but everyone got nice soft feet)

Exploding Kittens (thanks Uncle Jason)
 Tired pups and Grace played incessantly with her lego hospital (and it still spends a good part of the day on the kitchen table)
 We had a great visit also with Mom's highschool Friends the day after Christmas (alas, no pictures, but Grace and Ava had a blast all morning).  We had a thankfully uneventful drive home to find out that it Snowed on Christmas in Portland while we were gone, there was just enough snow left to run around the yard a bit in excitement and for a wee snowman (that melted promptly).

 We had a few awesome down days where we cleaned out our rooms and played games and with all of our fun new toys and activities.  I had a big play date with my friend so Dad took Grace out ice skating and she had so much fun (I glow-bowled, which was also pretty great)

We got to spend today with J and E which was much appreciated after days at home with just us (though that was pretty okay too).  
And finished up with a New Year's bash at Vanessa, Dave and Liam's house.  It was so fun, that we had a hard time leaving after New York New Year's balloon drop.  
We are happy to close the door on 2017 and wish you all the very best for 2018,  I resolve to add an exercise day to my routine and Grace isn't really ready to commit to anything too long term just yet, but we are all ready for a new year!  Be well friends and family, we love you!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Prep!

Oh we've been busy getting ready for Christmas!  We are finally off School and ready to rock this exciting season.
Owen and I made a huge batch of sugar and gingerbread cookies!  I can't believe Mom didn't take any decorated cookie pictures, but she was sort of stressed out during the whole process... trust me they turned out fantastically!
We also made it to the Grotto with Val and co.  It was a nice night out with friends to really get us going in the Christmas spirit.
Plus there was a pretty sweet petting zoo including a llama, a baby camel
and a zebu! (she's almost full grown)

plus lots of lights and carolers. 

I also got to celebrate L's birthday at the skate rink and always love strapping on a classic pair of roller skates for the afternoon and celebrate my friends.
Before we headed out to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Fresno, we opened some gifts from Grandma and Grandpa Steves and Aunt Tami and Uncle Eddie! 

WE are so excited and wish we could have spent more time with my new sewing machine and building set before taking off, but really look forward to playing with them when we get back!
We had an okay drive down to Fresno, we did witness a horrible car wreck around the Sac airport, but we made it to Fresno intact.  It was so great to see everyone and settle in for a fun Christmas season with the family.  We kicked things off with a Star Wars, an thoroughly enjoyed it!
Of course there was a bit of baking.  Mom and Dad got a great super nice dinner out at Erna's Elderberry house before Erna retires (and really enjoyed the lemon rosemary baguette, the compressed pineapple dessert, the duck main dish, everything was so delightful).
Oh and Grandpa got his Christmas wish, which was lunch at 5 guys!  Everyone was quite happy with that one!
We hope you all have a beautiful season and that you find love and family where you can!  We feel super lucky to share ours!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Nutcracker season!

Oh boy, we had a busy week, but all super fun things!  I had my last Wushu class of the year and we were lucky enough to schedule another lefse night with our friends Sally and Dolores.  
We tried Gene's recipe (who usually joins us, but was sick) this year and I think it was our best ever!

 Grace was particularly happy she got to play lefse shop all evening.  It was a fun last week of school with loads of activities in class, Grace made a cute snowman votive holder for the folks as well as a visit from the Portland Opera and a visit to the library.

 Mom and Grace also got to help at the food pantry on Friday (usually Mom is at work, but she is also off now too!), and G. and Dad helped decorate the church tree while I was at Wushu.
So this year for the Nutcracker, Grace and her class got to be in the pre-professional program with all of the toe dancers.  They were the bon-bons.  G. had a dress rehearsal on Wednesday and two performances on Sat and two on Sunday, so they were super busy!  

We got to see the Saturday night performance and she did fantastically!  She has a special moment on stage as the naughty bon-bon, the last one who won't go under Mother Ginger's skirt at the end of the dance, and then she cartwheels underneath!  Four perfect performances.  

 She got a cool visit from her friend Lola too!
 I think she was most excited to spend two afternoons with her dance bestie Gretta.  They got pizza between performances every day and got to hang out backstage.

 On the last performance, Mother Ginger gave out special candies to all of her bonbons!
 So the Sunday performance had a bit of a glitch.  Between the afternoon and the evening performance Grace, Mom and G. and her Mom all went downtown to J.'s office to admire the view and get a hot cocoa.  On the way down, the elevator got stuck!!!!  They sat in in for 45 minutes while the show started... Mom and J. were the backstage Mom's so they spent some of that time making cold-calls to random parents in our class to get someone to cover for them.  Luckily either J.'s coworker finally got her message and called the elevator back up, as the technician arrived and started working on the problem.  Anyhow we arrived at intermission, and we got all dressed out to go with about 20 minutes to spare!!!  G and G were pretty stressed the whole time, but really as far as elevator prisoners go, they were good mates to hang out with.
and in the end, the performers all arrived on time and put on a fantastic last show!