Sunday, March 27, 2022

Merry Christmas 2021

This was most definitely, the best Christmas gift we could ever receive!
A precious little (but bigger than average) 9lbs 3 oz baby boy!

He arrived just days before Christmas! 
This is the first time we have had a grandchildren 
born near us and we are loving it!

 back at the ranch!
We made Christmas eve dinner
and finished all of our last minute preparations!

Mary has been with us for 2.5 years (at Christmas time).
She has grown over 12 inches since she arrived!

She loves to cook and help in the kitchen!
She is delightful!
What a blessing she is to our family!

We all went to church and celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savor!
I LOVE church on Christmas Eve!
Actually I love going to church every week!

Then back home for some holiday photos!

And Hubby and I even had a photo taken of us!
Okay we took a lot of them at different angles
and this one was the winner!
Plus, I am wearing the same thing that I wore last year...
Of course the kids had to tell me that...
Well FYI, I'm probably going to wear it again next year!
(so there you have it!)

It was such a joyous evening!
The Burgess family came on Christmas Eve 
and the others came on Christmas Day!
It was so wonderful enjoying them while they were here.

This was our first Christmas celebrating 
the these beautiful grandchildren!
Our hearts were so full!

They opened their gifts and played with them!

Honestly, we were probably more excited than they were!
(We did forget to take a Burgess Family Christmas pic... Oh well, next year!)

Here is our 2021 Christmas Card!
This is a photo from Mark and Kari's wedding!
(We are missing Matt, Caitlin and their two girls.)

Here is the back of the card with highlights from 2021!

Christmas morning was simple, joyous and relaxed!
 It was just those that live at home opening gifts!

Everyone gets 2 gifts and we take turns opening!

Dad draws the name out of a Santa hat
and then that person gets to open his or her first gift!

The kids LOVE opening gifts
and they had such a happy spirit!

Melissa got a letter jacket!
She was thrilled!

I had to keep this pick in the post bc look at the other girls faces!
They are truly happy for their sister and 
proud of her for lettering in Cross Country!

Congrats Melissa!

Our kids were so kind and generous with gifts to us!
We got gift certificates for lunches out, dinner dates and coffee cards!
We are abundantly blessed everyday with these amazing children, 
I mean teens and young adults!

We have super nice neighbors!
They gave the kids gourmet popcorn
kettle corn, white cheddar cheese and caramel corn!
And YES, I did sneak a little bit of it and it was delicious!

The big kids started to come at 1:00!
Kari and Mark!

Then Abby and Johnny!

We had family chess and cribbage tournaments!
They both would like to win!

Abby I vs Madeline!

Thank you girls, for the smiles!
Sorry to ruin your focus!

With the passing of time, I can't remember who won
but these two both wanted to win
and they are good at cribbage!

Emma and I played WAR...
I wanted to win BUT Emma won!

It was such a FUN, relaxing afternoon!

Of course football was on the TV!
We had appetizer, beverages and Christmas treats!

And yes, then I started wondering where the other kids were?
I found 9 in a bedroom, playing games, chatting and listening to music!
(That would be Ava's unmade bed and that's Melissa's perfectly made bed!
They adore each other and yet they are so different...)

The three younger boys were downstairs building their new model cars!

The six adults did a wine tasting contest!
It was really fun but quite hard!
There may have been some shared answers and roaming eyes!

Dinner was wonderful, celebratory and a very social event!
No matter what table you are originally at,
everyone comes to the big table to chat!
I LOVE that!
My seat is gone the moment I stand up!

Our Christmas Day crew!

Who's Birthday is it?
Yep, Jesus's!

We were able to chat with our adult kids and grands in Seattle!
Aren't they adorable!

But, insider info says
they are often like this!
An excited blur!

Merry Christmas!
Thank you God, for the blessings of your son, our Savior Jesus Christ!

This holiday was exceptional!
We had fun, we celebrated, we worshipped, we ate well and we relaxed!

Friday, March 25, 2022

December Fun!

 December was a wonderful month!

The kids skied- they LOVE skiing and snow boarding!
And yes, that's our dear friend, Jennifer photo bombing the pic!
She was there with her crew for a day of skiing and snowboarding!

We are so thankful for homeschool ski days!
The price is right and there fewer people there!
Lots of opportunity for numerous runs 
instead of waiting in long lines!

Our Christmas decor is only up during the month of December.
We like to fully enjoy November with the many birthdays 
and peacefully celebrate Thanksgiving!

It feels so celebratory and calming to get the decorations up!

This Santa was from my childhood home.
He was outside by the front door.
Due to his many years of service he has earned a spot inside the house!
Seeing him lit up in the evening is so heartwarming 
and brings back many happy childhood memories!

This year, there were no broken ornaments while decorating the tree!
That's a first!

For the most part our decorating is minimal.
It's not the whole house, 
just the rooms that we gather and celebrate in!

And now it's time to relax, enjoy a bailey's
reflect on all our blessings, with thankful hearts!

Now that the kids are much older... 
getting them outside in the winter is more challenging.
They don't "play in the snow" like they used too!

Here's a bundle of teens taking a walk!

And they no longer dress properly for the winter weather...
We try to remind them to wear hats, gloves, snow pants, etc...
But they also get to make some of their own decisions,
 now that they are older.


Quite a few teens tried snowboarding this year!
They had a lot of fun and sore butts, when they were done!
Some prefer to ski and some prefer to snowboard!

Ver blessed by this wonderful group of friends!
This is our birthday club and we have been together celebrating for 30 yrs!

Now that we have grands in town-
 I get to go to their events!

Ali loves dance and she is quite good at it!

Emily is also good at dance
but she is more in the "like it" category!
She loves swimming, gymnastics, soccer and basketball more than dance.

Smiling for Nana and the audience!
(okay, maybe for her mom... too)

Emily is focused on doing it the right way!

Both classes together!

And special treats for all the dancers
from Olaf!

Ali's dance class!

Emily's dance class!

Thankful they are living so close to us!

We LOVE movies with HopeKids!
A great movie, popcorn, slushie and an uncrowded theater!
It doesn't get any better!

Mary and Grace have enjoyed doing activities with their friends!

Hubby and I enjoyed a little getaway!
We walked the Mall of America,
 had a wonderful dinner and a night of rest!
It was wonderful!

We did our usual baking and frosted the sugar cookies!
The kids LOVE to bake and 
it's a blessing to have so many helpers!

Busy, frosting the sugar cookies!

We certainly had our fair share of sugar during the month of December...

Sam and Ben participated on the High School Swim Team this season!
(the BOYS team, if you get what I mean!)
Sam is originally a diver but now he is a swimmer, too!
Ben is a swimmer!

They both had such a good experience being part of the team!
It was GREAT exercise, great coach and the greatest group of guys!
We are thankful for this wonderful opportunity for them!

December, you were wonderful!
And next up the Christmas holiday and a new grandchild!
It doesn't get any better than that!
Thank you Jesus!