As families grow, change, and blend…some traditions have remained the same. Since the boys were 10 and 12, we’ve claimed Christmas Eve as our Christmas.
Early morning breakfast of sensible and clearly non-sensible foods followed by a lively gift exchange with some jumping up and down and gratitude expressed.
After gifts are given, we dash off to the bowling alley for our “Christmas Bowl.” Yes, you read right. We bowl every Christmas Eve. It is as funny as it is fun. We cheer for each other and there is the tiniest bit of competition. (I mean there are awards – teehee).
Cousins help each other, especially if little ones are just learning the ropes.
After bowling, there’s Christmas spaghetti for lunch. More laughter, good stories, and play.
Families pack up in late afternoon and head out to other homes for other celebrations.
For Robert and me, it was a very good Christmas. We feel lucky to have family and friends near and stay connected (Marco/Polo) with those far away. Merry Christmas.
We celebrated my husband’s birthday with a small circle of family and friends. Cheesecake and laughter….what could be better than that?
Brother Larry is on the left. Yup, the gene pool is strong with those two.
Click on link to see the difference seven years can make on Halloween night. We tried to pose in the same way. We took up much more of the sofa and Evy could not cry because she was too happy. So she cleverly put a finger to her eye.
Visits to the Pumpkin Patch, creating your own pumpkin, and seeing them light up is all parts of our Halloween tradition. Included are family pumpkins.
There’s something about taking a pumpkin and with a little creativity and effort turning it into something quite magical. And if it happens to be a kitty pumpkin, you might just fall in love.
What do you do when you learn that the people who put up your house division made a critical building mistake on the construction that would cause dry rot and water damage that would not show up until a few years later?
This happened to my son and daughter-in-law. A neighbor found the mistake and passed on the news to the rest of the neighbors. Solving the issues cost a lot of hard work and money.
When you find out your house is in danger…..”Who ya gonna call? Dad!”
Tom tore the siding off until he removed the dry rot. Dad showed up with all the tools and lumber one would need to finish the job. They worked hard together, removing the window, putting it back in the right way, trimming it and putting on new siding. Took them a few days but they did great work.
Once the job was done, it will need sanding and some new paint. It will be as good as new (actually better than new). I sure hope they can find the workers who made the mistake and did the damage to the whole neighborhood.
Father and son…..a good team.
Our oldest turned 39!! We felt like Oprah… you get a pizza and you get a pizza and you get a pizza. Bryon introduced HIS kids to “The Last Starfighter” and we all dug into the pizza of our choice.
Ice cream for dessert and the evening was a success. Cards and gifts were opened and wishes made.
Father and son…a birthday filled with laughter, fun, mugging for the camera and making good memories.
Fun and games with the birthday boy turning double digits. Games, play, costumes, searching for gems, pulled pork sliders and picnic food. What fun!
The birthday boy and his “crew” prepare for battle.
First game of Kid Kubb goes to the little ones.
The “Shadow” knows
Mom and Dad still have the energy to smile after hosting such a full energy bash.
The birthday boy dabs out.
Photograph and poem by Emily Bittel
Eagle Creek Fire 2017
I breathe, and smoke fills my lungs.
The forest I love is burning –
The place we first backpacked together.
The senseless loss is staggering.
What will be left when the burning is done?
We will shuffle through ash
Shake it from our socks into little piles on the floor of the tent.
Perhaps our grandchildren’s children
Will gaze up with wonder
At the lofty heights of the douglas fir
Through the filter of vibrant vine maple.
I pray for rain as the ash drifts down from the sky
Flakes of a forest I once knew
The last time light will shift through its leaves.
Head in my arms, I cry
Maybe, just maybe, my tears will water the desolation.
I thank Emily for sharing her personal poem. Below is a picture from katutv, a split screen of what the Bonneville Dam looks like normally, and now during the fire. My heart goes out to all those working the PNW fires, the critters who make the forests their home, and the forests themselves. Photo: National Coast Trail Association
Robert has worked at the Artisan Village for the last 8 years. Two days of set-up, 11 days of demonstrating and selling his artwork, then a day to break down the booth. Eight long years working the Oregon Fair.
This year he retired from the fair and we went on an Oregon State Fair date. Loads of walking and enjoying all the sights. A root-beer shake from his favorite booth for Robert and fresh grilled corn on the cob for me.
The fair is so big, we had to make a mental list of things we wanted to do. Either do them or wait until next year!
Robert wanted to see his chums who he had worked along side for the last few years. I wanted to ride the sky chair.
We arrived in the morning when the place was pretty quiet and still cool. The weather was in our favor.
A short trip to the fair lasted about four hours, but was loads of fun. Loads!
See you next year, Oregon State Fair.
We went all out at the coast this month with three generations under one roof. Luck was with us as we enjoyed blue skies, incredible views, and non-stop action morning to night.
We shared three precious days and two nights in Lincoln City, Oregon. There was beach walking and exploring, hot tubing with papa, movie nights, and the very famous traditional talent show.
With spaghetti feasts and breakfast sausages…no one went hungry.
Robert and “the boys” rescued a ladybug.
The cousins were introduced to “The Princess Bride.”
The Saturday Talent Show included everything from tap dancing to rap, with some juggling, magic tricks, and group participation thrown in.
Each night when the kids were tucked in, the adults played “Spinner Dominoes” and laughed until we farted….I mean cried.
Sunday morning found us all talking about how long it took for the weekend to get here and how fast it all went. We didn’t want to leave (there was some talk about time travel).
It was a weekend of memories.