Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas Traditions

I recently became aware of this life size gingerbread house from the fine folks at The Fairmont in San Francisco. I've never been there, but would you look at that?! Can you even imagine a tradition of decorating something that size? We can't even manage the little gingerbread houses.

Our traditions actually start at Thanksgiving. We make sure the tree is up and ready and the kids decorate it with Busha (Dax's Mom). I readily embraced this tradition because when they were little and they decorated the tree with me they always got into an argument about something. They didn't do that with Busha so it was a great tradition to go with......although at 17 now I would like to hope that would no longer be a concern.

From Thanksgiving until just after Christmas the Trail of Lights is set up at The Emily Ann Theater here in town. The light displays are set up by different groups and organizations in the area. It's always fun to see what they come up with each year. We usually walk through once or twice during the Christmas Season to see the lights, listen to the band, sit around the campfire roasting marshmallows, and drink hot chocolate. The weather has been very agreeable this year so it was packed.

Somewhere along the line the kids managed to talk us into letting them open a gift on Christnas Eve. That one gift is always pajamas (Dax loves this one pair if pajama pants so I occasionally wrap them up and give them to him again.) We usually open those pajamas and them watch Christmas Vacation together.

This year we were blessed with a visit from 'Cousin Eddie'.

We generally head to bed far too late and then get up far too early to see if Santa has come. Dax likes to open the last gift, so our challenge is to sneak one aside to have it to open once he is through. Some years he's paying more attention and it's a tough thing to do.

After all of that, we start what usually turns out to be an all day eat-a-thon. There is always too much food, but we do our best to eat it all. A few years ago we decided we just didn't want turkey again so close to Thanksgiving so we've opted for steaks cooked out on the grill. I can't tell you what an amazingly great choice that has been.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

And on it goes

Since the kids have gone and outgrown trick-or-treating (why do they do that?) Dax and I like to go sit and have coffee in town at the square (that's downtown for our little town) and watch the little trick-or-treaters. The last couple of years Addison and Kirsten have gone with us. We love seeing all the little kids in their costumes and being so excited about the candy.

This was my favorite costume this year:

He's a half gallon of ice cream. So creative!

I'm usually a little sad that the kids are too old for that kind of thing, but then I remind myself of how much work I don't have to do anymore. Ha!

We also welcomed two new critters into fold.

They are adorable, but get into the dishwasher....

Unfortunately, we also had to say goodbye to a family member, as my uncle passed away. It still seems hard to believe and I know his presence is missed by all.

The kids managed to sneak in a birthday and are now seventeen. SEVENTEEN! What the heck?! I'm tired of them doing this growing up thing. Next they're probably going to want to move out on their own or something.

Regardless, we celebrated with cheesecake.

.....and sundaes......

It was fun.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Catching up

This year has been crazy busy, or at least that's how it feels.

After we got home from vacation we discovered that one of the water lines was leaking. Addison and I got busy finding and fixing the problem.

Even though it had been only a couple of months since all of the flooding, the ground was hard as a rock already. But, we think we got it fixed. So far so good, anyway.

Then, just like that, the summer was over and it was back to school time. 

I can't believe they are already juniors in high school! I know I say it all the time, but this has all just gone by so fast!

Not long after, Addison got her braces off.

That just leaves Abigail still in braces. As slow as her teeth move, she might be 30 before they get to come off!

Somewhere along the way we enjoyed a small hometown rodeo.

I've really decided that I like these better than the big rodeos. I don't know why, it's not like I'm riding in it or anything.

And Dax and I also celebrates out 20th wedding anniversary.

Who would have ever guessed what those twenty years would bring? But it's been a wonderful time.