Thursday, December 29, 2016

Girls Together Again

It has been years and years since Meagan came to the states and the four of us APU girls got together. Meagan, Martin, Charlie and Kobe drove up from SanDiego where they were visiting family and we all met at the CA Science museum in LA. Jenn and Caeden met us as well as Robbin, Jason, Carsen and Collin.
Somehow the other girls had all boys and I had only girls! Caeden, Collin, Carsen, Lily, Gemma, Charlie and Kobe. I think the kids had more fun running around the rose garden than they did at the museum. It was pretty crowded.
 The touch pools with star fish were pretty popular. We also saw the space shuttle but I don't think the kids were too impressed. They all had a great time together.
 Meagan and fam came up to our house after the museum to stay over for a couple days. We got lucky with great weather the next day and went to the Channel Islands State park learning center and then the beach. My scuba girls.

 Beautiful skies! Of course we always plan on staying dry but that doesn't often happen. They had a lot of fun digging in the sand and collecting shells. We did our best and after a long day headed home for dinner.
 Sad it was time to go and say goodbye. Hopefully we will get to see our Cheeky boys this summer in England.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016

Perhaps my greatest Christmas present this year was getting to spend Christmas Eve and Day at home with my family. It was a stroke of luck that I was able to get the days off work and will happily spend NYE and NY Day at work instead!
We managed to throw the tripod and camera up in front of the tree about 3 minutes before heading out the door for church on Christmas Eve.
We had only just gotten the ornaments on our tree about two days earlier. It had been bare with lights and about 10 balls the girls found in a box and popped on there prior to that. I don't know how time always seems to get away from us in December. 
We all met for church at Ascension and then headed back here for our Christmas Eve cocktail party.
It's always a fun bunch and we had lots of great appetizers and of course plenty of jingle juice. It was so good there wasn't a drop left for Christmas Day!
The four littlest rascals sat still for approximately 13 seconds that evening.
Everyone had to get to their homes so Santa could come! We got our cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Lily needed to write a last minute note for Santa.
A little milk for the girls too and of course reading the night before Christmas with Daddy.
We ready the pop up version that I had as a kid. It's a miracle it's still in one piece.
Time for the children to nestle all snug in their beds while visions of sugar plums dance in their heads.
Winston stayed up late to see Santa arrive and place all the gifts under the tree.
Then it was up bright and early the next morning to see if Santa had arrived in the night. They didn't wake as early as some previous years. I think it was about 7:30am when Lily woke Gemma and rushed out to see if the stockings were filled. Once us oldies were finally pulled from our slumber we could open stockings.
There are always lots of little goodies inside. Sometimes I think stockings are the best gifts of Christmas.
Santa gave Gemma "glasses" in her stocking with real glass in them. How thrilling. Now she can stop wearing Goppy's old empty glasses without lenses to school. Such a silly girl. It might have been her favorite gift of all. She wears them everywhere and sleeps with them on her nightstand.
This Harry Potter fan got a lot of little Harry Potter memorabilia in her stocking.
Santa brings each girl one gift from their list. Gemma got her mermaid swimsuit. It has bikini bottoms underneath. I am not sure how much actual swimming will be possible in this get up but I'm sure she'll have fun trying.
Lily was desperate for a fuji instant camera. She got a pink one with a case and film. The instant gratification is pretty fun, I think she blew through one whole 10 pack of film on Christmas day.
We managed to rip the whole lot to shreds in under an hour. Imagine when they were babies it took up the better part of the day. That and gift giving is pairing down as they get older.
Yes we all stayed in our PJ's for a long while that cold morning.
This guy is pretty excited about his Lucky Lama coffee gift card. I bought him some new Christmas PJ's when I realized he was wearing the same ones for the last 10 years of Christmas pictures. Here's to the next 10 years of abominable snowmen pants. To be fair they really only get worn a few days a year.
Some classic games are back in fashion and simon turned out to be a hit for everyone. 
I think this guy might be Santa's biggest fan. He got an awesome new ball, new squirrels and a stuffed hedgehog. Talk about a score! He also found Alex's chocolate orange while we were out light looking that night so he had an entire dark chocolate ball for Christmas too!
Our little doll got a matching outfit with her Saige American girl doll. It is really cute and they both have glasses to wear too. Always the fashionista she wanted boots for Christmas too and they might even have a tiny bit of a heel on them.
Once the gift carnage was complete we sat down for Christmas breakfast.
Of course we had our traditional crackers to open. We got magic trick ones this year so now we have lots of tricks up our sleeves.
Then we sang happy birthday to Jesus with candles in our chocolate chip coffee cake. Let's say thank goodness Jesus has good taste in breakfast cakes.
After that it was a day filled with R&R and couch time. We did some spirograph, another blast from the past. I forgot how much fun this is. Don't be surprised if next years gift from the Davis family is personalized spiral art!
Someone got a stack of books and promptly parked herself in a cozy spot under the tree to read for a couple hours in her Harry Potter headband.
Gemma the crafter got a cool sand art set from Granny so we sat and made one while Dad cooked Christmas supper. I retire from the kitchen after breakfast. Get used to my new I heart coffee sweatshirt, your gonna be seeing a lot of that baby.
Lily documented the day in tiny pictures. 
Cheers everyone. Lily is the only one who made it all the way through to supper still in her PJ's. We had amazing leg of lamb and roasties. We even managed to pack ourselves in the car to go look at Christmas lights. 
It's hard to believe another Christmas has gone by! We still have a week off school so let's make the most of sleeping in and lazy  mornings until we toast to 2017!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Family comes to town

We were lucky this Christmas our Portland Peeps came to town before Christmas and we got to spend time all together. It has been 1 1/2 years since we were all together last and with these growing kids that is too long!!
We decided to take advantage of being all together and get some family photos taken. 
Lily 8 years old.
Benjamin 4 years old.
Gemma 6 years old.
Charlie 12 years old.
Gwyneth 2 years old.
Owen 15 years old.

The last time we had family pics done was right after Grandpa Lee got sick and had his surgery. It was sad to not have him here for pictures this time. 
It was actually a bit cool here in So Cal and of course it ended up being the windiest day of the year we had booked for pictures. We got super lucky and the wind took a bit of a break down on the CLU campus and we managed some good ones.



I can't guarantee all these silly kids were cooperative but boy do their personalities shine in these pics.




Of course besides the pictures the photographer took I didn't get any other photos of my own. We had a couple nice dinners together and went bowling one evening. It was great to see all the cousins interacting together. From age 2 years to 15 years and they all love each other and have a lot of laughs.  Let's just hope it's not another 1 1/2 years before we all get together again. We need to make up trip up to Portland soon!