Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Zoo Lights 2013

Every year we try to make our way to the Oregon Zoo for their ZooLights display.  Being slightly crowd-phobic (or more like, we're phobic of trying to keep track of all our kids when there's so many people around), we try to pick the "best" day and time so that we go on the least popular time.  Sometimes it doesn't work out: bad weather, misjudged timing, sick kids.  Let's see how this year turned out....

In November, when planning my holiday season, we picked Thursday December 12th as the "best" day.  Little did we know that the first 2 weeks of December would be freezing!!  Finally, a thaw was in view...but so was freezing rain, anticipated for the very day we had planned for our trip.  So we held off until, at 4pm, we determined that YES we would be heading out.

First stop, dinner at Noodles & Co.  We had 5
free meals (that we "won" at the school auction)
which brought our grand total to $13!!
That $13 included a small pop for everyone, and
that's a special treat!!  (cool machine!)
We made it to the zoo around 7pm, which was just when the
crowds were leaving.  Can you see our FRONT ROW parking
spot?  Amazing for this zoo, which is always full!!!
The weather was just slightly drizzly, and it felt WARM
after all that 20 degree weather we had.
Such a magical time for all the kids, especially Seds.

He walked almost the whole way, until the
very end when he got cold and wanted to be
tucked in. (And of course, the walk back to
the parking lot is uphill.  Mama got her workout.)
 As you can see, this was a very successful ZooLights trip!  The roads were clear until we got home, where it was fun to do some ice-skating on our driveway.  The weather was a near perfect as you can get in December, and the meal beforehand was fab!  I sure hope we can mimic it for next year....

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Around the house

I uploaded the last few weeks' worth of pictures to the computer, and I thought I would share these gems for you, dear reader, to have a glimpse into some ordinary happenings in our life:

Marcus set up the small TV on our mantle for some special
movie time, probably when a Blazers game was playing in
the media room on the big TV.  ;o)
We made lemon cookies for Auntie Coley
on her birthday. 
I would say these cookies are on our top-ten list.
Definitely the only citrus cookies on the list.
Christmas packages ready to be mailed.
Gemma coloring a beautiful nativity scene, created by our
own in-house artist (everyone should be so lucky as to have one.)

Mariposa stayed home from school, sick day.
More artwork.
This is how he justified doing art instead of school.  (See
the last check box.)
This is what he should've been doing. 
The next day: Mariposa all better and back to school.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hillsboro Light Show

Last week, the Hillsboro Arts Something-Something Program (whatever) sponsored an electronic light show at the Civic Center.  So even though it was about negative-13 degrees outside (OK I exaggerate), we bundled up and made our way to experience the magic.
The artist has set up lights to shine on the stairway.
There were various controls that the kids could
try, that would change the light patterns and colors.
James used a stylus and tablet, and Bunny used a Wii controller
(she is comfortable with that medium, with all the practice she
gets playing Madden and Harry Potter Lego Wii) (now that I think
of it, James does his best work with a pencil in his hand, too....)
Sedric loved running around, and all the flashing lights.
Afterwards we made our way to the toy store
to choose gifts for the cousins. 
To finish the evening: dinner at Taco del Mar
(known as Taco Bell Mar in our family).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

St. Nicholas Day

Last Friday we celebrated the Feast of St.Nicholas for the first time.  How have I never done this with the kids before???  They loved it!  

The night before, I told them the tradition of
leaving a shoe outside the bedroom door.
St. Nick brought each of them gold coins!
That wasn't the only surprise for the morning: the kids were
thrilled to wake up to some snow.
After breakfast (oatmeal day, just like every M/W/F), we did some of our normal school routine.  Without Mrs. N we have been gathering in the dining room to do our work, and we always start with going over the schedule for the day, prayer, memory work, and a saint story if we have one.  I told them the legends and facts of St. Nicholas' life, and we were excited to learn that he probably helped form the Nicene Creed, which we are memorizing this month!
I had some fun games and activities planned for the morning.
They loved this one, where you roll a die and draw a part of
St. Nicholas (hat, staff, head, beard, eyes, and robe)...

...then we did St. Nick origami...

...all under the watchful eye of the big guy himself!

Sedric didn't know what to think of the snow.
The Highlights  "Hidden Picture" page rounded out a nice
morning for the kids, and for mom!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Busy little boy

Sedric is one busy little boy.  He's having a lot of fun being (almost) 1 1/2 years old.  He has such a sense of humor, and he reads our expressions really well (especially the raised eyebrow and the scowl, which he sees on mama when he climbs on the table to get the advent candles).  We think we may have another Gemma on our hands.  Wish us luck with this one.

Grandpa and daddy fenced in a portion of our
deck and breezeway, so now Seds can go outside
safely while mama does laundry.  Hopefully we
remember to bring the eggs in or we have a mess
on our hands.
 "Where's Sedric?" is a very popular game:

Helping me with laundry
another round of "Where's Sedric?"
(this time, in the toy closet under the stairs)

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Ooops!  I was going through some of Bunny's photos (looking for good shots for our Christmas cards) and I found all the Halloween pics.  I never posted them!  It was such a fun night, I thought I would share even though they're a month late.  

Bunny wanted us all to be Egyptians, modeled after a book
series that she really likes.  My mom helped with the sewing,
and Bunny designed the accessories.
We went to Uncle Brian and Auntie Coley's
annual Halloweenie Roast.  They put on a
great party every year!
Superman, Egyptian princess, and hippie chick.
Going through the goodies after trick-or-treating.  (Most of
the candy went to the beautiful and elusive Halloween Candy Fairy.)