Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Our 2008 was a wonderful year filled with many amazing moments, happy times, love, friendship, family and special days... something that is just special to reflect upon. I know our 2009 will also hold many grand adventures, simple moments and cherished times. I hope your New Year also holds all that is near and dear to your hearts, memorable moments and exciting challenges!

Happy New Year!!!

Blue Cheese

Hawk refurbished Bryan's childhood guitar - the ol' Kramer. He stripped it down completely, changed and updated the components, sanded it down, filled the old slots and repainted... it was a long time in the making requiring detailed craftsmanship and lots of patience. On Christmas day he presented Bryan with his *new* ol' Kramer now called 'Blue Cheese'. The name Blue Cheese comes as a sister name to his other favorite guitar called 'The Cheese'... when you see it you'll understand the Blue Cheese name. It turned out beautiful and Bryan loves it!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Santa Arrived...


All bundled up for some snow fun!


I have not posted much this past week or so with the holiday and Bryan taking some vacation time - it kept me busy. Our trip home from Leavenworth was greeted by snow - a beautiful, wholesome dumping of snow... about 10 inches for us! We loved it. I know, not everyones favorite thing in the world but I truly love it. I enjoy how the world slows down, the sights are clean and soft, the muffled sound of life outside is quiet and peaceful and the smell in the chilly air is simply refreshing... I was in heaven the past week! Life was gentle, patient and festive.

We ventured out to enjoy the snowflakes many time; sledding in the yard, making snow angels, venturing on small excursions, playing with friends and catching flakes on our tongues. It was a very fun week. The best part -- we technically had a white Christmas! I cannot remember ever having a white Christmas... so this was a wonderful treat!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Leavenworth - Part 2

More Leavenworth photos coming up... sorry for the long break, we have been busy having fun in the snow - and a lot of snow it has been! We'll share those photos later!
Holly & I being 'Rudolph'.

Gosh she is cute!

Just me!

Everyone gathering in town for the lighting ceremony.

The town is soooo pretty!!!

A sample of all the various art around town.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Leavenworth 2008 - #1

We enjoyed our third year in Leavenworth, WA. It is a small bavarian style town that hosts many fesvtivals throughout the year - the tree/town lighting being one of their largest ones. I am in love with this little town. You can't help but get in the holiday mood while visiting this town.
We all had a very fun time, spent hours and hours in the cold snow. We visited our favorite little outdoor bar called the Munchin Haus - enjoyed lunch and brews around a toasty fireplace. Enjoyed many of the local gift shops, decor and of course the lighting ceremony itself.

The weather was *perfect* which is good... because up until the day before, even hours before - there was no snow! I personally, can't imagine Leavenworth in December without snow. So, I was overjoyed we ended up wtih snow and a good amount. In fact it snowed pretty much all weekend!

Heading over Blewitt Pass.

View of the park behind town, so beautiful!!!

Bryan & I... Gosh I love him!!!

Holly & Uncle Don made this snowman - so cute!

Catching snowflakes!

The park in town starts lighting, beautiful!

The town lit up during festival.

Gingerbread Night

We purchased a Gingerbread House kit about 2 weeks ago with very good intention to make it soon after. Well, things came up and we had a full schedule which pretty much left no night time or weekend time to make the house as a family. So, we promised Holly that we would make it the night after we came back from Leavenworth.

We held our promise and Tuesday night we set up the counter to make our gingerbread house. She had a great time desiginging it, we all added our own bits to it and with the mishmash style we all have... it didn't turn out too badly. Most of all, we had a nice family night - and that is what matters!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Heading to Leavenworth

Just a note that we'll be off line for a bit... we are headed to the beautiful town of Leavenworth for their annual town & tree lighting! We began this tradition a couple of years ago. Should be a fun weekend of snow, fun and festivities!

I'll be back to share photos soon...

Jingle the Elf

This is our second year that Jingle the Elf has visited Holly over the holidays! Jingle is a sweet elf who seems to visit from the North Pole when we are not watching, sleeping or least expect it. He is of course keeping an eye on Holly and reporting back to Santa on how good she is being. Sometimes Jingle leaves Holly little notes, treats or gifts. Like yesterday Holly awoke to find a brand new Tinkerbell puzzle all assembled in the living room... how cool is that! We love to take peeks around the house for evidence of Jingle swinging by. We have yet to see him or catch him in his transits - he is quick to get back to the North Pole, after all this is Santa's time of year that is filled with hustle & bustle of getting ready for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Choo Choo Train

Bryan has a train set from his childhood. I never knew he owned one until the other day we came across one that really intrigued Holly while we were on a Santa Train - he mentioned then he had one. The next day he brought it out and spent some time sprucing it up and getting it working again. Then Holly & he played with it most of the afternoon. I am not if he had more fun 'tinkering' with it or playing with it. Either way they had a lot of fun and it was neat he was able to share another of his own childhood toys with her.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Tonight Bryan had a haircut.... a much needed hair cut. He has curly hair, so as it grows it gets lots of little curls - kinda cute actually. Well, he came home from his hair cut and Holly stops and looks at him.... and says "All of your curls are gone! My Daddy has curlies in his hair." Bryan proceeds to ask, "What do you mean?" She explains that her daddy has all these little 'curlies' in his hair (motioning little curls with her fingers). I jump in and say, well it is still Daddy - just with a haircut. She replies... "No, he's not my Daddy.... he's just a regular Daddy now!" (With a saddened face). Bryan looked sad to!

It was all very cute!

Now I am curious as to how long Bryan will go without a haircut this time... LOL!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pacific Science Center

Bryan took Friday off from work to enjoy a long holiday weekend, this is a nice tradition for us over the holidays. We have been really wanting to head up to the Pacific Science Center but to do it on the weekends was just not an option for us... crowds are not our thing. So, we went Friday and it was so nice and so empty!
We enjoyed a bit of Winterfest at the Centerhouse as well - we listened to various school choirs, enjoyed the train exhibit, had lunch and even went over to watch the ice skating rink... Holly loved this! It was her first time seeing ice skating in real life - she wants to wait a few years... good choice kiddo! The skating rink in itself was worth it as all the little kids were funny and the big kids were hilarious - a nice treat over mochas and sweet cakes.
At the science center we enjoyed the butterfly house, the planetarium, kids area and dinosaur exhibit the most. But, we played the whole day away! A great family day together!Holly & Bryan comparing butterflies.

I had a butterfly land on me....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Zoo Lights

Thursday night we headed on down to Zoo Lights at the local zoo - it was sooo nice! There was *nobody* there, honestly it was empty. Most likely not good for the zoo at all, but it was really nice for us as there were no crowds for anything at all, Woo Hoo!

We started out the night with a 'hot picnic' out or our car - which was fun! We arrived early after Bryan got off of work. I made a pasta dinner in our crock pot, some other goodies and packed our camping chairs. We parked on an end spot and set up shop - holiday music, christmas lights for enjoying, hot food on a chilly night - in the dark! It was fun and I think it will make for a neat tradition each year - a fun, unique way to go out.

Point Defiance Zoo does a wonderful job with designing the various light displays and the flow through their zoo. They eve have some animal displays still open for enjoyment, including the aquarium areas... one of Holly's favorites! Overall, we had a very nice night!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Art

Last night I stripped down our 'art wall' and cleaned it up, keeping the most recent art projects or some that I just love and am not ready to pass on yet. Holly was really worried at first, but then proceeded to help me choose which projects would stay and which would go. We now have a clean slate and are ready to start the onslaught of Christmas & Winter art... should be fun!

After cleaning our wall up Holly immediately was ready to start creating new pieces - so, we got out our supplies and set up camp at moms craft area. She made Rudolph the red nose reindeer, who we learned from our friend Maggie last year. Holly remembered this art project like it was yesterday... amazing! Anyhow, here is the first installment of Christmas Art from Holly this season!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Tree

Now that we are into December and I may not receive as much teasing, here are some photos of our Christmas Tree! I love our tree, it is colorful yet peaceful. Nothing like turning the lights down and snuggling into the living room to take in the lights, music, hot cocoa and create some new memories! Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Santa Letter

Tonight Holly worked on her letter to Santa over hot cocoa, she did a great job! She got all of her words down on paper and listed her items she is asking for from Santa. It was a lot of hard work for her to get it all down, but she did. Here are a couple of photos, including her hot cocoa mustache.
Her letter to Santa reads:

Dear Santa,
I have been really good. Here is my list:

Race Cars
Thank You,

Puzzle Mania

Our home has been a filled with puzzles, puzzles and even more puzzles! Holly has always enjoyed putting puzzles together and she still does, just harder ones now! We put puzzles together daily now - and not just your small 24 pieces but she is up to 100 piece puzzles now. And, she *loves* it! We have a few puzzle books as well as your basic boxed puzzles and it is not uncommon to have a completed one on the coffee table as she is working on another puzzle in the kitchen. It's fun and something we all enjoy doing together! A fun family activity... that is *if* she lets you help, this morning I was booted from the puzzle. Waaah!

Nice Long Weekend...

This weekend was a nice one! Having Bryan home is always fun. We had a great Thanksgiving dinner, Friday morning we ventured out to finish up some holiday shopping for Holly... and can you believe that when Bryan & I were doling out the stores we'd hit -- he took Walmart!!! Seriously, he took Walmart! Wow -Father of the year here, LOL! I headed to Toys R Us and Target which had enormously long lines but it was worth it and I personally enjoyed it.

Friday afternoon Annette and Sue came over and we spent the whole afternoon and evening scrapping and paper crafting. I finished some unfinished projects, which was really nice. It was nice to relax and play with good company. Holly and Bryan enjoyed a leisurely day of playing, the park and a walk.

Saturday we had a nice family day that started with a long (kind of hard) walk in University Place. There is a new golf course out there that overlooks the water and is cut into an old gravel/sand pit. It is a long walk around it, but mainly a all the way "down" and an all the way "up" walk. We really enjoyed it though, the weather was very nice, we played along the way and burned some serious energy and calories. So much for the calorie burn though... as we headed to Olive Garden for lunch afterwards. My Mom & Dad had given us a gift card for our birthdays and we have been waiting to use it when we have a free day to enjoy - that was Saturday. It was nice! Saturday night we headed down to the Old Cannery for a view of the holiday lights and more.

And, Sunday we hung out around the house to play and I did a few errands. Then we went to dinner with Don & Sue at Stanley and Seaforts. That was really nice! I can rarely think of time when just the four of us can get out with no children to care for. Having dinner with them was a great treat and Holly had fun with "Ristina" aka Kristina. (Holly has the hardest time with Kristina's name, not sure why. Especially considering her closest friend is Kristin which she has no problems saying - very close names, yest Kristina is hard for her).

Overall a GREAT weekend!!!