Friday, December 30, 2011

InstaFriday: Christmas and the Aftermath Edition

Happy Friday!

It's that time again.

The time I don't have to use my brain cells to generate blog content.

My favorite time.

Our week in review.

Through the lens of my phone using the Instagram app.

Kayla helping Nan set the Christmas table 3 days before Christmas.

Because Nan has OCD.

Baking cookies at 11:30 P.M. Christmas Eve Eve with Beast, the Crayfish.

I would say it's on my list of things I never thought I'd do.

But I didn't even anticipate it being an option.

Is it January 2nd yet?

Christmas Eve at Kim and Kevin's.

Kid table was outside.

In December.

Along with the kid entertainment.

This year it was a carol medley with some interpretive dance.

It was lovely.

Traditional 12 Days of Christmas sing-a-long around the dessert table.


I endure for the desserts.

Little ones all snuggled and nestled in their beds.

Or however it goes.

A sweet lady at church made this darling Christmas bedding for the girls.

Kayla officially declared a new tradition.

"We will sleep with these every Christmas Eve."

"Which means I need to add it to my 3rd grade Traditions poster."

Christmas Eve Priorities.

More baking early Christmas morning.

With the best gift I've ever received.

A cookie dough scoop.

It will make you want to bake cookies all day.

And night.  And super early in the morning.

With crayfish.

Get one.

Packaging perfectly symmetrical cookies.

With Christmas in the background.

Peace and silence before the crazies wake up.

My favorite time of the year.

Speaking of the crazies waking up.

Ashlyn came out first.

Realized what was happening and ran back to get her sister.

Both ran out in a crazy-haired, still-slightly-sleeping stupor.

It's my favorite morning of the year.

Rehashing my Childhood Gift 2011.

Do you do this?

Last year it was Peaches and Cream Barbie.

Hope Christmas Service.

Fancy extended worship.

So good.

So excited for 2012.

I love our church.

Christmas Day at Nan and Pops.

Playing on Kayla's new (Pop's old) iPad and drinking soda.

Childhood dreams come true.

Ashlyn's Dave's favorite toy.

A remote control car.

Controlled by a gun.

Grown adult dreams come true.

Day After Christmas Game-a-Thon.

Letter was N.

Reptile or Amphibian.

6 adults stumped.

Kayla yells from the back room.



Kim arrives and gaming continues.

And gets a little competitive.

We love Phase 10.

Unless I am on Phase 6 and everyone else is on Phase 9.

Meet Butterscotch.

A gift grom Grandad.

She neighs.  And eats.  And trots.

And has an on/off switch in a super inappropriate place.

And I'm secretly afraid she's going to kill us all in our sleep.

But the girls adore her.

So welcome to the family, old girl.

Sorry, Kobi.

And Happy Birthday, by the way.

He's 11 today.

On an unrelated note...

Don't forget!

Next Thursday is January's installment of the Test Kitchen.

I'm crafting.

I think there's a glue gun involved.

Alert the media.

And the fire department.

Link up and join the fun!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

From Our Home to Yours


From the book of Luke, Chapter 2:

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Angry Julie Monday Holiday Card Blog Hop

Friday, December 23, 2011

InstaFriday: Christmastime Edition

I kind of feel the need to apologize.

This little corner of the Internet has been quite neglected as of late.




December does that.

December is busy.

But full.

So full.

I love December.

Here's why:

Nothing screams Christmas like a white trash Santa plywood cardboard cut-out at a Roseville $9.99 or Less Superstore.

And just in case you're concerned about the welfare of our souls,

we don't make a huge deal about Santa but we don't ignore him either.

Kayla knows he's just one of the many symbols of Christmas.

Like our tree and ornaments, lights, stockings, etc.

She knows that God is the one who brought the One gift that matters.

And that the gifts she receives are blessings from her family and friends to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Ashlyn's still getting there.

And may have been screaming that she didn't like Baby Jesus at bible study on Wednesday night.

We've got some work to do.


Do you play?

My favorite Grand girls hosted a fun game night a few weeks ago.

Fun to catch up.

And get a little crazy over dice.

Our 2011 light extravaganza went a little awry.

Dave bought LED AND regular lights.

Which I didn't like so much.

So I took down the LED lights the next day when he was at work.

Which he didn't like so much.

She supervised.

It's funny how less picky I get about our tree each year.

This time it took me 3.8 seconds to choose.

We were home in 23 minutes.

A little angel helped us decorate.

The girls were super excited to see Camilla in Scrooge.

Ashlyn was mesmerized.

By the singing. And dancing.

And the grumpy man with the gray hair.

Kayla loved meeting all the characters during intermission.

Great job, Camilla!  We loved it.

Explain to your 4 year old that she has to wait "12 night nights" to open presents and this is the face you'll get it.

Future of Forestry performed a benefit concert at Fort Mason in San Francisco last week.

If you haven't already, download their Advent Christmas I & II EP's.

Merry Christmas to you.

These guys superly stress me out.

But they're cute.  So they stay.

Kayla's 3rd grade Christmas party.

At a coffee shop.

Hipsters in training.

Eucalyptus Avenue in San Carlos knows how to do LED's right.

It's serious business down there.

Kim knows how to do Christmas presents right.

AND it covers our old, ugly thermostat.

Winning all around.

Niki hosted our first annual Hope Ladies Ornament Exchange.

Which is an excellent excuse to bake.

Weisser Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The best chocolate chip cookie I've ever had.

Corn Flakes in the batter.

And Salted Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bark w/ Candy Cane on top.

Delicious holiday modification, if I do say so myself.

Thanks, Niki for opening up your home!

Hayden got onion rings for Christmas.

I'm kidding.

Isn't she the cutest?

Sideways and all.

Kobi got a tiara for Christmas.

He loves it.

I'm kidding again.

We inherited Kayla's class pet over Christmas break.

His name is Beast and he lives in an aquarium on our kitchen counter.

I love him.

Kidding x 348.

Ashlyn being Star of the Week.

Teacher Karen asked her name and she replied,


Hours of practice down the drain.

My dad's former tugboat company had a Christmas party.

On a boat.

A barge being docked behind a beautiful sunset.

Not your average Christmas party.

Followed by a fancy dinner at the Fairmont Hotel.

I read this book during Ashlyn's school morning assembly this week.

It's a good one.

Kayla's last day was last Friday.

Ashlyn's last day was this Wednesday.

Fun one-on-one time with my oldest.

Starbucks dates and early, unplanned stuffed animal presents.

Each year the women on my mom's side of the family head up to the city for the day.

Pictures with Macy's Santa.

Lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.

Checking out the ice skaters at Union Square.

One of our favorite traditions.

And one that causes a certain 8-year-old to wish her cousin lived next door the whole drive home.

It's "all she ever wanted in life..."



That was lengthy.


Now off to buy a few last minute presents.

Make a few last minute gifts.

And bake desserts for Christmas Eve.


Also linking up with my friend, Jeannett!