Monday, November 29, 2010

In Good Spirits

In spite of having the Cold That Will Not Die...

Saturday, November 27, 2010


We observed our day-after-Thanksgiving tradition of decorating the house for Christmas yesterday.

Stockings hung

with great care. I cried when I took these out of the box. Mommy's prerogative.

Advent house filled with little candies.

My J-bird, hanging the first ornament.

Miss V, watching in wonder.

Enjoying and being so pleasant.

Topping the tree with our hilarious, Seuss-style star.


It's always fun to see our favorite ornaments come out of their slumber each year.

The King.

Pieces of my mobile from when I was a baby

Look how small the J-bird's hand was his first Christmas!

Miss Barbie

James's childhood Star Trek ornaments that light up and talk. I've already heard "Shuttle craft to Enterprise, shuttle craft to Enterprise - Spock here. Happy Holidays. Live long and prosper" approximately 453 times since the J-bird discovered the button on this particular ornament.

Nods to my fondness for Cinderella

The Grinch! One year, I bought James some Grinch boxer shorts. He didn't find them as funny as I did.

The branch in the back, where the J-bird piled as many ornaments as he could fit as I giggled.

My babies.

Now to get on with the Christmas season...gingerbread houses to bake, construct and decorate, gifts to order and wrap and hide, people to see, carols to sing, cards to address... It's a bustling, fun time of year, and a time to examine my heart in the quiet moments, to enjoy the love, to remember why... here we go.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving This Year

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I'm not sure why that is exactly, but I just love it, and this year's celebration goes on my list as an all-time favorite. Matt and Traci, our Oregon Family came over, and we had a blast of a day.

Matt is used to my constant photo- snapping. He doesn't bat an eye.

Traci too!

I had been cooking and prepping for a couple of days, which made it possible for me to relax, cook and enjoy. Traci is an a.m.a.z.i.n.g. cook, so I love when she comes over and helps me in the kitchen. We've cooked together often enough now that we dance pretty well in the kitchen, and it's so fun.

We sat and chatted for awhile after they arrived, and then we tied on our aprons and got to work.

I make a lot of lists.

Waiting for food.

Sorry dude, you've got awhile to wait.

Watching Matt carve our turkey.

He did a delightful job. I love turkey.

The J-bird got a mini-version of the table-setting. Because he is picky, but I am working on this trait, he also got a mini version of our meal. One bite of each dish, plus a roll. He required some prompting, but he ate it all, and I was glad to see that wee bit of progress.

Miss V got yams and green beans. She loves the yams (I made them the other day when I was making the sweet potatoes) but totally hated the green beans. I didn't get them smooth enough, so it might've been a texture thing. I will try, try again!

James's plate. Yum. We had a pretty traditional menu - turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, rolls, green bean casserole, green beans with almonds and balsamic vinegar, deviled eggs, bacon/pecan/and apple stuffing and Traci's awesome cranberry sauce.

Ah...good food and great friends!!

...and a nap after lunch.

After a suitable break, we dove into dessert. Here are Traci's pumpkin whoopie pies. Um...delectable.

Mine own pecan pie (well...a modified version of the Pioneer Woman's recipe, but I made it)

Triple chocolate cream puffs (uh...Costco made those)

And cranberry white chocolate chunk ice cream from my ice cream machine.

Yeah, so it was dessert overkill, but we like to party.

After the kids took their naps, we adjourned to the TV room for some Rock Band III!

The J-bird loooooooooved this. I set him up with a "drum" (a footstool) and some wooden spoons, and he had a ball.

Miss V was her normal sweet, wonderful, observant self. She kicked and giggled and beamed at everyone. Good Lord, how I love this baby.

Rock goddess.

Guitar stud.

Back off, ladies. This one's mine. :)

It was a fun and memorable day, and it wouldn't have been the same without our dear friends, our Oregon Family. Here's hoping your day was full of love and laughter, good food, family and friends. All things to be thankful for.