Saturday, December 31, 2011

Seven Years...

While in Portland we celebrated seven years since bringing Kaia into our family. Since we are usually traveling this time of year, part of the annual celebration usually has us eating at Essence of China, where Kaia was honing her chopstick skills this time.
Notice two new lost teeth in the past week!

Was a lot of work to get those last noodles picked up!
This year we may have inadvertently started a new tradition. Following dinner, Josh talked me into taking him to Voodoo Doughnuts, which is well known around the country, and we have seen on the Travel Channel's "No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain."  Once there we selected unique donuts to take back to the celebration, such as the Bacon Maple Bar, No Name (doughnut with chocolate frosting, rice krispies and peanut butter), and Miami Vice Berry, to name a few. Guess which one of those the girls ate???  I have a feeling this wasn't our last trip to Voodoo!


1,000 miles....

 That's how many miles we put drove in the past week, but it was time well spent. The trip was broken up into three Christmas celebrations. First, stockings and a few gift exchanges with my family in Portland...
Josh and Grandma making her famous peanut butter balls

China Dolls:)

Piggy socks:)
Next stop, actual Christmas in Klamath Falls with all Mike's brothers and their families. The girls got to take part in Uncle Rob and Aunt Alisha's annual Dollar Store shopping trip where they purchased and wrapped the following gifts...
Jaelyn bought Mike a blue oven mitt

Jaelyn picked out a coffee cup for me (how did she know?) and the festive hat for Josh. Kaia got each brother a cap gun and matching mardi gras necklaces for the whole family!
Here are the kids opening their gifts (There was only one for each under the tree) from us; matching Mickey Mouse water bottles! They were so pleased with the gift that we could've gotten away with just spending $4 for each. Well, maybe not Josh.

But little did they know that it was about to get even better, as there was a note in each bottle.
Yeah, we're getting pretty good with surprises this year (okay, Josh already knew). It may be hard to out-do in 2012!

Here are some other fun and crazy photos from our time with the Crebbin family...
Mame's surprise from all the kids, a new kitchen table.
Which cousin has the better hair and retro tshirt?

Sorry Mame, but had to post the fun silly photo!

THE boys!
We then hit the road again, back to Portland for some more family and friends Christmas celebrations...
Josh with Great Grandpa Inks

Girls singing and signing "Our God is an Awesome God" with Grandma accompanying (which was then followed by "Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer," no kidding)

Girls opening gifts from Uncle Jeff and Aunt Lorrie, who are watching on the video phone in the background.
The only thing that could've made this Christmas any better would've been having Kellen with us (and maybe some snow)! I will post Kaia's Gotcha Day celebration separately.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Think She's Excited???

This is what I found when I went in to check on the girls tonight...

Yep, we leave tomorrow, so they are super excited! Here's how we spent today...

Josh had three wins and a forfeit today. The kid pictured above beat Josh for the district championship last season, and Josh beat him today 11-2!

Christmas Silliness...

Christmas silliness began in our house last night, as we celebrated early with Kellen. Due to his work schedule, he is unable to travel to Oregon with us. Instead, he will be house sitting for us (and making time and a half!).  So we had a Christmas breakfast for dinner, then spent the evening playing games.

Of course, put the two brothers together and they torture their sisters (in an oh so loving way, of course). We started out by playing Disney Charades again.

Team Dad (Kellen, Kaia, Dad)...

vs. Team Mom (Joshua, Jaelyn, and I)...

As you can see, there were some pretty intense and competitive moments....

Next up, River Rush for the X-Box Kinect. The girls were getting so frustrated with the boys, as the boys' goal was to do everything wrong, scoring the lowest score ever! My very competitive girls did not like this plan:(  The more upset the girls would get, the sillier the boys were. Then the boys decided that instead of playing against one another, they would play the active game as conjoined twins, sharing the same pair of pajama bottoms. Oh how I wish I could post photos, but Josh did not want me posting photos of him with the exposed side just covered by undies! Trust me on this one, they were funny.
I know this photo is fuzzy, but it shows the enthusiasm of the evening. Sometimes I get frustrated with the loudness of my family, but deep down I know it is just a reflection of all the love in our home!
Notice Kellen is being uncooperative and trying to sabotage the group effort yet one more time...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Santa came early...

Guess we were extra nice this year, because look what Santa brought early:

Just look at the smiles on those faces! Shhhh.....they don't even realize they are exercising!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Tradition....

If you know me well, you know I love my family traditions! For about 18 Christmas seasons now, since Kellen was little, one of our favorite traditions has been to go as a family to cut down our Christmas tree at Woodbee Tree farm. You can see my annual holiday posts since I began in 2007, then 2008, 2009, and last year's hail trip (trip down memory lane...check out how much the kids have grown!). The only year I think we missed was 2004, since we were spending Christmas in China adopting Kaia we did not put up a tree that year. We always enjoyed some hot cider around the fire, Christmas music playing, petting Randolph, and of course, seeing Santa.

Which brings me to today. Not even an hour before heading out for this season's trip with the entire family, I noticed a friends' facebook post that Woodbee's had closed. What? Darn that recession! Doesn't anyone know you can't mess with tradition? So we reluctantly packed in the van and head off to explore another local u-cut farm. Below you can see Mike and I lovingly leading the pack...

The kids were having a great time playing tag amongst the trees as Mike and I searched for just the right tree (We never worry about losing our kids in public, as we can always hear them a mile away).

Josh never put down the saw the entire time. Guess he doesn't know that "Don't run with scissors and knives!" applies to blades also.

Notice anything missing from the photo below?

This was us leaving, and the only thing Josh didn't use his saw on was our tree. After spending nearly an hour looking at every tree on this big tree farm, we didn't pick any! Each one we stopped to look at either had a "sold" sign on it, was too yellow in color, or had such an awkward trunk that there was no way we could squeeze it into our stand. Not to mention the girls were completely disappointed that there was no Santa. So we piled back into the van, drove back into town, and pulled over at the first lot we came to. We happened to see one at Skagit Farmers Supply, so we pulled over and saw the most beautiful Oregon trees that I had been missing since my childhood! We quickly picked out a beautiful six foot Grand Fir and bungeed it to the top of our van. What made it even sweeter, was that the trees were being sold to raise funds for an orphanage in Thailand. Turns out there is an organization here on the island called Displaced Orphans International that was selling the trees.
Don't they look tired from cutting down this tree? At least we spent the afternoon together, and I was truly happy to give up our family tradition to support a worthy cause. In fact, I hope that they become a part of our new family tradition!