To say that the Christmas season of 2008 was memorable is an understatement. It began with one of the longest drives to Oregon ever, with the record snowfall on the ground. What is typically a five our trip ended up being an eight hour trip. We saw motorists wiped out everywhere, just sitting in their cars, facing the wrong direction on the interstate. Our goal was to be like the "Tortoise and the Hare," just keep on moving at the same slow pace and let everyone race around us. Fortunately we made it to Portland just before the ice storm hit. There was literally seven inches of snow on the ground with a sheet of about 3/4" ice on top. We were housebound that Sunday, so the kids went outside to play in the ice! On Monday we braved the weather to head out to Klamath Falls. We had to chain up to get out of the Portland area, then took off the chains for the Willamette Valley, then put them on again for Willamette Pass. Again, our trip took us almost twice as long as usual, but our Tortoise method paid off again.
Once there we enjoyed four days with family and lots of snow. The kids even built a giant igloo that could fit three. Of course, two of those bodies had to be the girls:) All ten cousins got to be together for Christmas, which was wonderful!
Thankfully our trip back to Portland was much more uneventful than the one going south. We had a belated Christmas with my family, then spent the next day with my Grandma, and getting to say our goodbyes. She passed away Sunday morning at the age of 89, and being married to my grandfather for 70 years. Incredible! The upside of her passing over the holidays is that a lot of family had already been around, and most of those who weren't were able to fly up for the service. We celebrated her life yesterday and I enjoyed seeing family that I had not seen in 30+ years. Grandma sure was surrounded by a lot of wonderful people!
Due to us being with my grandma on the 27th, we celebrated Kaia's anniversary of joining our family four years ago (Gotcha Day), a couple days late. Our usual celebration is gorging ourselves on Chinese food, and that we did. Our memory of that day four years ago in China is so fresh in our minds. That too was a memorable Christmas, but in a much different way.
So the holiday season comes to a close today, not because this is New Year's Day, but because it is Jaelyn's 5th birthday! She is quite excited about it too, and reminded me this morning before I even had a chance to speak.
Thank goodness for a couple days rest and recovery before we have to head back to school on Monday. Now to sort through the photos and decide which ones to post (and delaying the laundry, grocery shopping and decorations to take down)....