Archive for December, 2014

Christmas 2014 (part one)

Sunday, December 28th, 2014



A couple of years ago, I decided to do all white gift wrap with bright bows.

I love it!  Merry and bright.



Harrison decided to rest his eyes a bit while we were decorating the tree.

Here’s a little cameo appearance/ impromptu ballet performance for me.



Greg’s parents, his grandmother, and our niece visited us the weekend before Christmas.

We ate at Paesano’s.

I did a little photo shoot with my niece for her 13th birthday (on 12/12).  You can see those photos HERE.

Pa and Harrison took a long walk together.

We exchanged gifts.

We hopped in the photo booth.

Nana built trains with the boys.

We had a good time together.



We worshiped on Christmas Eve at our church.  Carter sat with his friend Luke and his family.

(I got permission to take photos to share with our church so I worked discreetly.)




We had the annual Christmas Eve pajama giving.



Can you tell who the youngest and most gullible kid is in our family?



We enjoyed birthday cake, baked eggs with spinach and parmesan, applewood smoked bacon, and mixed berries for breakfast.



We always do a spin on antipasta for lunch.  It is easy for me to set it all out.

Manchego.  Gruyere.  Aged cheddar.  Spicy hummus.  Pistachio pesto.  Sliced ciabatta.  Honey pecans. Fruit.  Olive oil.



This is the look I got as a balanced atop a bar stool to get the above shot.

…It was totally worth it.



Dinner = spicy pork tacos on corn tortillas with salsa verde.  Cumin lime rice with Cuban black beans.  Tomatillo salsa.  Cotija cheese.  Lime wedges.



At dinner the kids made fun of me and offered to “spot” me in case I fell.



Harrison talked about how happy he was to run into his friend at the park earlier that day while he was riding his bike.





I am thankful that I get to spend Christmas with my family.  Jesus comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found.

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Christmas 2014 (part two)

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

This year we gave Emmeline a violin.  She knew that it was coming because we wanted to include her in the selection process.

Here is her best fake surprise face. . .






Harrison made a sweet card for me.  He insisted that I read it to Greg because he thinks that Greg doesn’t know basic Spanish.



Emmeline made me a card too.  Carter created a whole host of goodies mostly for Greg–including a coaster that declares that he is “a detective for robbers”.



Q: How do you get a 10 year old’s full attention?

A: You give him a multi-tool that includes a pocket knife.

“Carter, don’t have the knife out unless you are using it carefully.”

“O.k., mom.”

24 hours later, “Mom, I cut my finger on the knife!”  (No joke)

Lesson learned?



I gave Greg some things related to his firetruck–including bunting for future parades and this pair of books about firetruck history.




Emmeline was still getting the hang of her circle scarf.  I’m having a hard time not stealing it–even though I picked it out for her.



Carter devours non-fiction books.



Greg makes me laugh by reading aloud fortune cookie fortunes in a fake Chinese accent and by inserting the words “honor”, “lucky” and “ancestor” as much as possible.

I decided to buy him a whole box of fortune cookies.  The gift, I admit, was mostly for me.



This is Carter’s face when he saw his new bike for the first time.  He has been asking for and waiting for a bike for over a year.







Harrison has never received a new bike.  He has only gotten hand-me-downs from Carter which come with a lot of use and abuse.  He always receives them with the brightest smile.  He always celebrates when Carter gets a new bike.

This is how Harrison responded three years ago when he got Carter’s hand-me-down bike:



And here a very sleepy, “I just woke up from my nap” Harrison watching Carter receive a brand new bike in November of 2011.


This day I asked Harrison rhetorically, “Harrison, who is better than you for cheering on your brother and celebrating him as he enjoys a brand new bike???”

Harrison answered a plainly as can be, “Carter.”  He always thinks of Carter first.  He is the best friend Carter has in all of life.


Harrison has not complained once that his current hand-me-down bike is unusable right now with a flat tire etc.

He has been patiently waiting for Carter to get a brand new bike so that he could get the next hand-me-down one.

We decided to knock his socks off and celebrate his contentment with a shiny, cherry red, brand new bike.   It was a total shock for him.  He celebrated by leaping into the air.  Mission accomplished.




The day was beautiful.  Harrison took his bike for a spin at the track.  And as if the day couldn’t get any better for a 7 year old, we ran into a girl from his class whom he really likes.

She was playing with her family.  He made sure to get her attention.  He almost lost his balance while watching her.



(Side note: Carter needed some coaxing/ encouragement to actually use his bike rather than treat it like a museum piece. He is sometimes afraid to enjoy the gifts he receives.  Later in the day, he rode his bike.)





Emmeline and I left the park early for some girl time.  We wanted to watch A White Christmas, and we knew the boys wouldn’t be up for that.

On the way home, we took a couple of pictures in a pretty patch of light.



Hailey is 13.

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

My niece turned 13 this month.  I wanted to give her a photo shoot for her birthday.

Happy birthday, dear Hailey!  I enjoyed spending time with you this weekend.