Merry "Martin Luther King" Day

Just kidding! We did not intentionally get together as a family and open presents just to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., but we did get to celebrate a belated Christmas up at Hume Lake with my family. We used the nice long weekend to hang out in the snow, sled, play games, watch movies (including a sing/dance-a-long to Mama Mia) and eat yummy treats...when do those New Year's resolutions start?! :)

Dad decided that (due to the amazing after Christmas sales) we all needed matching jammies for the weekend. I don't think he realized just how much they would get used. There was rarely a moment in those four days that at least one pair of red pants was not on display!

Eli got to see, feel, taste snow for the first time and had mixed emotions. He liked to eat it, but didn't really want to touch it and was very concerned if it got on him or anyone else! Crazy little monkey! We only managed to get him on one sled ride but he liked watching all of us sled...until we spun out or crashed at the end. He was very concerned by this! I tried to smile really big and convince him it was all for fun, but he wasn't buying it. Maybe next year!

First and only saucer ride

Eli walking "on the line" with Aunty Jen and Nana

Our little model...not quite sure what look he's going for!

Relax, Rejuvinate...Retreat!

We just got back from a retreat weekend with our Bible study in Bodega Bay. It was the most beautiful weather and it was so great to spend time hanging out, playing games, spending way too long on puzzles and catching up with friends. The guys got to golf and play tennis and us girls had a day out shopping and having lunch. Although the location has changed, our retreat tradition has been going now for 5 years! Crazy! I also got to practice a bit more with my new camera and get a few lessons from our resident photographers as well.
Practicing his "Cheese!"

Eli and his buddy Isaiah

Follow the leader


It came today!!!! My birthday and Christmas wish lists included the Cannon Rebel xsi camera and it arrived today. As fast as I could read the basic instructions and get the camera out of the box, I began taking photos. It was so exciting just to see the difference on the auto setting! Amazing! Not that I have dreams of becoming a photographer, I'll leave that to Sandy and Megan, but it is definitely going to improve our family memories, scrapbooks and blog! So while Eli was napping, I used the few subjects that I had on hand. Check out my first photos with a "grown up" camera...

I love this setting that makes the background blurry

Sleepy Raisin

My handsome hubby

...And to All a Good Night

December is one of my favorite months. Along with my birthday, I enjoy the exciting buzz of the Christmas countdown, decorating, getting our tree, unwrapping the ornaments and laughing at the stories behind each of them, hanging lights, shopping for loved ones and the anticipation of surprises. But more than any of those things I love the feeling when you are with your family on Christmas morning (jammies all around) and just hanging out! We did it with my parents on Christmas morning and we get to do it again (belated Christmas with my sister) in two weeks!

This year we also instituted a new "tradition" which was really special. On Christmas Eve we attended the service at our church with my parents and then had a "Happy Birthday Jesus" party after dinner with balloons, cake and singing of course. It was especially meaningful because not only we were able to take our eyes off ourselves and focus on the true meaning of Christmas, but Eli also understood that we were celebrating Jesus! During the day we kept telling him we were going to have a birthday party for Jesus (Eli is a huge fan of birthdays...balloons, cupcakes and singing all rate very high on his list of favorites!) and that evening on our way to church Grant asked him, "Eli, whose birthday is it?" and Eli's reply was, "Jesus!". Of course he doesn't understand that Jesus' birth was an integral part of God's plan for our salvation, but he'll get that eventually. For now I'm just happy that he enjoys singing to Jesus and blowing out his birthday candles.

Christmas Eve (before assembling all the toys!)

Christmas morning at our house

Eli with his new train at Papa and Nana's house