Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Gifts of the Season

For us, one of the true gifts of the season is the time we are able to spend with our family and friends.  We are blessed to have many special people in our lives and grateful that we were able to see them this Christmas season.  

Our first stop was a Christmas Party at our dear friends from college in Sacramento.  We enjoyed two nights of staying up late, reminiscing about old times, comparing parenting notes, and sharing our hopes for the future.  All of the kids enjoyed their time together running amuck, building legos, playing dress up, and having donuts;)  Can't wait until the next time we are all able to get together.

From Sac, we headed to Lodi to visit the Coldani's. We had pizza and watched the 9er game while the girls ran around the house in their bathing suits.   We even had a slumber party in Giada's room.

B's winter break started following our trip up north.  The kids built their gingerbread houses with Brianna.

We spent all of our free time preparing our ornaments and performance for Grandma Aurelie's Christmas party.  We performed a Silent Night with a dance party remix.  Our star performer got a little stage fright.  The little ones were treated to a surprise visit by Santa.  I have many fond memories from these parties growing up and we are so lucky that B and Addy are able to have them too.

It just so happened that our local family was all in town for Christmas Eve.  We enjoyed a great dinner!    The kids had a blast playing together and making cookies for Santa.


When we got home on Christmas eve, the kids exchanged their brother/sister presents.  Addy got a campout set and B walkie talkies.  He knew what he was getting cause Addy kept telling him what we wrapped for him earlier that morning.

After a day filled with tracking Santa, he finally made it to our house:) Addy was excited to open her princess dresses that also came with a closet.  B was thrilled to receive 2 commemorative Giants World Series bats.

Right on time, my mom and dad walked through the door for Christmas morning round 2.  Santa was so kind to bring me a new camera for Christmas and the family went along with fun for photos in front of the tree.

 Merry Christmas to all!  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thanksgiving and getting ready for Christmas

This year we headed to Livermore to spend Thanksgiving with Jeff's family.  The girls sure do enjoy playing together and this year the boys had a jam session.  Huge thanks to Randy and Dee for a great thanksgiving meal and opening their home to us.

The weekend following Thanksgiving, we headed to Vegas for Jeff's Grandpa's 89th Birthday party.  Everyone was able to pull off the surprise and Grandpa was definitely overjoyed to see everyone.  


In order to pull off the surprise, we headed out to a Discovery Museum before the party.  I have fond memories of the Exploratorium in San Francisco as a kid.  Discovery or Children's musuems are like mini versions.  We have been to several of them including Ashland, Oregon and Orange County.  The kids enjoy all the fun activities, including working on this car.

When we arrived home from Vegas and it was time to start getting ready for the holidays.  We were lucky that some special elves hooked us with an amazing tree that took us a couple of nights to get decorated. There were definitely a few emotional moments while we worked on the tree and they didn't involve untangling Christmas lights.

We have also adopted the "Elf on the Shelf".  The kids look forward to waking up to discover where he has setup to watch for the day so he can report back to Santa at night.

Several years back when B was about Addy's age, we began celebrating the feast of St. Nicholas. Thank you to the Minton family for sharing this tradition with us as a way to start the holiday season and remember the origins of Santa Claus.  Each year the kids put their boots by the door and in the morning find a few special treats.  

 Here's to the most wonderful time of the year!

The October Blog is finally here...

Much of the month of October was spent watching the Giants during their magical run to a World Series Championship!  I am pretty sure the #rallypants #pantsonbackwards had something to do with it. I have a picture of the night it all started but I swore I wouldn't go public with it.  Hummbaby!

B and Addy love a good craft project especially when it involves candy.  Jeff and I also love the 49ers, so I have been trying to set-up a craft project for them to do while the games are on.   So, one Sunday when I believe the Giants and the 49ers were on, the kids built Haunted Houses.

One of best things I love about living on the Central Coast is the small town events.  The kids and I enjoyed the harvest festival parade with some hot chocolate and a treat.  It also a great time of the year to visit the Avila Valley Barn to feed the goats, get some corn, and take a picture or two.

B had his heart set on being Flash for Halloween.  We hunted down a costume when we were in Orange County for a softball tournament.  Addy picked out a Tinkerbell friend costume at Marshalls early in the month.  I got lucky that they still had it when I finally went back.

We have made a tradition of trick or treating in the Village of Arroyo Grande.  This year there was even a photo booth for the kids to pose for some silly pictures.

And Halloween wouldn't be complete with the Skyline Annual Pumpkin Carving Night.

September Catchup: Birthdays, Anniversary and Weddings

B turned 9!  Can you believe it?!  We went camping for his birthday.  There were "Fish On" for Poppa Jun and B.

Jeffrey and I celebrated 12 years.  For our anniversary he bought me tickets to see Lonestar.  I was so excited because for many years I would have to drag him to country music concerts.  We both had a great time and enjoyed an evening out together.

Addysen had her 3rd birthday in Prunedale with her cousins!  They had a blast painting and playing in the yard.  As with any birthday, there were yummy sugar cookies to enjoy.  On her actual birthday, we went to Chuck E. Cheese.

My good friend, Red, got married in the OC.  We enjoyed the weekend away and spending time with friends, while the kids spent the weekend with Grandma and Poppa.

 A few weeks later we headed to San Diego for Malia's wedding.  We began our trip late Thursday as we are finding it easier to travel late.  We spent most of Friday in the pool and scootering around until it was time for the wedding.  The wedding was perfectly Malia.  We were blessed to be part of the celebration and even more honored that kids were there, too.  (They both become close with  "My Cousin Malia" in the previous month.).