Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas Top 10

Above are some pictures of our Christmas - I sort of hate blogger right now - why is it so hard to put pictures in order?  I can't figure it out.  Anyway, now that you've enjoyed some pictures of our December - here's a top 10 list about this December:
1. Activities: Maggie sings with our Stake (local congregation) youth choir at our town's Festival of Trees, we visit the Oakland Temple to see the lights with Christopher's cousin Devin and his family, we also visited a few locally famous streets with lights, as an aside: everyone should take a three year old with them to see lights, it ups the excitement factor by about 5, we all attend a Messiah sing along - two of us love it, 2 of us think it is ok, 1 of us starts to cry shortly after intermission because it is "taking forever" and we have unfortunately obeyed the rules and finished M&M's in the lobby, we attend Christmas Eve service, which Paige blessedly sleeps almost entirely through.
2.  Gifts: this year, I used an idea from Design Mom and the girls made each other's  gifts: Maggie made pillow cases (pictured above) - on a day that Christopher was home for help with the machine, Ashlee made hair clips and headbands with flowers and Paige made glitter letters.  I loved this.
3.  Food: we had lots of yummy food and delivered treats to Primary teachers and neighbors.  My favorite this year was chocolate covered popcorn.
4.  Time: We had lots of time to spend together.  The girls both had the entire week before Christmas off and even though Christopher didn't have leave, he was able to be home alot.
5.  The girls let us sleep until 7:30 Christmas morning
6.  Ashlee loved that she got to stay in her PJ's all day Christmas day.
7.  We got a real tree this year.  As we are putting it up Christopher tells us a funny childhood anecdote about family friends who thought their tree was just really "thirsty" but really the stand had a leak and they rotted the sub floor.  The morning after Christmas, Paige retrieves her calendar from underneath the tree and it is mysteriously wet - turns out we had a little water issue also, not enough to rot the floor, just enough to leave a big red stain from the felt tree skirt.
8. Gorgeous California weather.  The hills are so green and beautiful right now - it reminds me of summer in our little German town HP.
9.  Christopher got another helicopter and it is a big hit with everyone (one of the pictures above with Paige wincing is her ducking from "Chopster")
10.  Shopping was like going on a date - I love that Maggie is old enough to babysit now, also Paige is old enough to spill the beans about gifts, so we stopped taking her with us.  The end.
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November, Try to Remember

In November we: drove to Point Reyes State Park, the water was cold, the weather was gorgeous.  We had a picnic, walked down the 300 or so steps to the beautiful lighthouse, may have seen a whale breach (we caught only the briefest of glimpses, but the girls insist that's what it was AND, as if to prove the point the sign at the ranger's station, read on the way out,  noted that there had been some whale activity to the south of the lighthouse. It was really exciting.) We then walked back up the 300 or so steps and  drove home, stopping first above another beach to fight for the binoculars and observe sea lions taking their leisure far below in the dusk.  It really is a gorgeous spot and we hope to go back many times.  For a first outing, we felt it was very successful.  But then, we read our guide book (weeks after - when will I learn) and it seems we missed out on some world class culinary opportunities.  So, more exploring of the many hiking trails and food stops is in order.
In NovemberAshlee performed in her school play with the San Francisco Opera Guild.  That picture is so grainy, but so are all the others I took - I will figure out how to work our point and shoot better one of these days.  It was a thrill for me to watch and I think for her to perform.  My favorite parts of the whole play, after her performance of course, were: her phone call home to request permission to audition - I have it almost memorized - it makes me laugh every time I listen to it.  "Mom...or Dad...this is Ashlee.I was wondering if I can go to practice for the opera today, it's every Wednesday from 1:45 to 3:00..... thank-you ..... goodbye."  She was talking so quietly so no-one could hear her, and she is always so business like on the phone, it cracks me up.  And - one of the boys in the play went home after school and showered before practice - every time.  Ashlee says the teachers would tell him not to go home, but to go straight to practice, but he always went home to shower and then came back.  Ashlee told us about it because she thought it was funny and so do I, kids are just funny sometimes.
In November, we went to Utah for Thanksgiving week.  We had a really good visit.  All of my siblings were there, so that makes twice this year we have all been together.  I have a real affinity for UT. now, and it has nothing to do with the state, but just that so many people that I love live there.  I don't have that many pictures, I only remembered to get my camera out once while we were actually there.  The picture below was taken on the drive over, somewhere in Nevada, which was actually quite beautiful with all the snow.  So, that's it, next up December....
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