Tuesday, April 12, 2016

January 2016

Happy New Year!  We had collard greens
soup and black-eyed peas for good luck.
The snow stuck!  There was just enough
for the kids to go sledding for a few days.

Celeste loved the snow, and playing with her big kids.
Unfortunately...homeschoolers don't have
snow-days from their school work.  ;o)
Annual daddy-daughter dance sponsored by our church's school.
We enjoyed our Christmas gifts, including this baking kit that
the CCs sent to the kids.
Birthday season!  This one was for Auntie Meghan, Sophie,
and Papa, at the R side of the property.
Our little Gem turned six!  At home we
celebrate with gifts from parents and mailed
gifts, and simple dessert. 
And James turned 11!  He made these cupcakes
by himself.  They are spice cake with
cream-cheese frosting and topped with
bacon and potato chips.  Yum!
The family party for Gemma and James.  We served gumbo and
had homemade carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting.
Celeste loves all this activity!

Monday, April 11, 2016

December 2015--Christmas and other celebrations

Christmas Eve, out and about:

Most of my kids were in the Christmas Play once again
(and once again I volunteered to help lead it, since apparently
the holidays aren't busy enough for me)
After dinner at the R side of the complex, we traveled to grammae
and papa's side for gifts and singing "Jesus is Born Today"

Marcus puts together a photo book for his mom every year.

Christmas Day, at our house:

Waking up Christmas morning, ready to
go downstairs and see what Santa brought!

Marcus loves cooking a Prime Rib
on Christmas Day

Celeste with Uncle Jeff

Mariposa's birthday brunch a few days later:

We did an Americanized version of a Mexican breakfast:
crispy tostadas, Mexican beans, a fried egg, and salsa.

(She asked for an Albuquerque/hot air balloon
fiesta theme.  Can you believe we even found a
very nice sparking wine from Albuquerque,
at our local New Seasons???)
Special birthday surprise

And even more celebrations to close out the year:

decorating cookies with friends
Happy New Year's!
I think by this time we were ALL partied out.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

December 2015--the rest of the month

Music recital time

Bunny also played at our annual Altar Society Cirle's Christmas
luncheon, held at our house
One member, along with her daughter and
grand-daughter, made these CUTE little
snowmen for everyone (including for each
one of my kids!)
After trying Zoo Lights the previous week
but being rained out, we finally went the 3rd
week of December.  Here we are at our annual
trip to Noodles & Co.

Selfie at a bday party for Auntie Coley
Big Event: going to see the Star Wars movie!
Holiday Baking Championship is always CHAOTIC--recipes
and pans and ingredients everywhere!
...but the results are always worth it!

Russian Teacakes, Lemon Meltaways, "Clothespin" cookies
(using my grandma H's recipe), sugar cookies, Gingerbread,
Mint Whoopee Pies, fudge, and Buckeyes

Saturday, April 9, 2016

December 2015--we had visitors

Let's pretend we haven't noticed that it's been MONTH since my last post.

I've been working on a new project that is taking up 1-2 hours of my time every day...and that is 1-2 hours that I didn't have to begin with!  Consequently my screen time is very limited.  BUT blogging is always on my mind and now I've stolen a few moments to finally do a December post.

The biggest thing that happened in December was that we had visitors!  I ALWAYS love when my family comes into town!  This time it was my parents for an early Christmas visit.  My sister Erica found a random super-cheap flights as well and came along too.  I love you, Erica, but the best part was that you brought Violet with you!  ;o)

visiting Bunny's lessons horse and barn--
grandma and grandpa in the background,
and Erica holding 2-year-old Violet

They stayed for a long weekend (more than a weekend but a little less than a week, I guess) and we enjoyed all sorts of Christmas adventures and traditions.

The first thing we did was have a BIG
brunch after Sunday Mass--my lovely
husband made fantastic omelets for everyone
yum! cinnamon rolls!
One day we drove into the Progress Ridge area and enjoyed some of the fun shops:

Piccolo Mondo toy store
(we also went to the candy store of course!)

Erica and Violet got to enjoy the Mommy & Me class that I take with Sedric every Tuesday at the dance hall:

Notice how dark it is--this was December of course!  But it's
so light now that it's spring, that this pic looks funny to me.

Make-your-own pizza night with Chef Marcus' homemade crust

One funny thing about this trip was that it rained.  A lot.  Like ALL the time.  We had actually planned one night to go to Zoo Lights, but it rained SO hard and SO much that the zoo closed for safety reasons!  It was awful.  But we made the most of it:

We "jumped" at the chance to play outside
at least ONCE between rain showers!
Violet wasn't too sure about the ponies.
Fun with cousins--6 instant friends

Luckily at the very end of their visit it started to clear up a bit.  We got to enjoy our annual Christmas Fun Day without being soggy!

downtown Portland
at Macy's to see Santa
the Benson Bubblers
Finnigan's Toy Store downtown
We ended the day with our traditional
trip to Deschutes Brew Pub
It was such a fun time, but it was over before we knew it.  :o(  We only get visitors about every 6 months, and it's usually my parents (which is great! don't get me wrong, mom and dad!!!!) so having Erica and Violet here was really extra-special.  The next thing we're looking forward to is grandpa coming to visit again in May, and then Bunny gets to go to Michigan on her own.  But no plans after that.  We'll have to get working on that, so we can keep on having adventures!