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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

AHHHH!!!!  It has been over a month since I have put anything on my blog!  I have thought about it a few times...I have even actually come to my blog to try to post something...but that is as far as I would get.  Sometimes, figuring out which pictures to use and what to say just takes up way to much time.  And these days, time is a precious thing. The way I see it...better to be busy making memories and catch up later...who wants to miss out on the fun?  Below are some photos of what has kept me busy. 

Christmas baking...didn't want to disappoint anyone, so made way more than we should have eaten...cookies, peanut brittle, almond roca, pound cake, peppermint cake, cheesecake...and a few others I know I forgot to list.  A few things got the ax this year due to lack of time...peanut butter balls & popcorn balls ...sad, but true...and guess what, nobody seemed to notice.  
 John and Rachel celebrated their 15th anniversary in Seattle, they saw 'Messiah', and Emily and Joshua got to spend 4 days with us.  Jessi and Ariel bought a house, so we were busy for a while helping them pack up and move at the first of the month.  It is just a few miles away, so we were able to have Josiah over, too, while the kids were here.
 It was Ariel's first Christmas in Oregon, so Jessi made sure he got to see all that was possible for her to show him.  One of the places she wanted him to see was The Grotto.  
 The next week, we all packed into the car and headed to the Portland Zoo for the Zoo Lights.  Great Grandma & Grandpa McCool went with us.  As it turned out, that was the record day for attendance since the Zoo Lights first began!  It was not all that crowded once we got inside, but driving there and parking and shuttle bus???  Not to mention the HUGE line to buy tickets...believe me, we thought more than once about just packing back into the car...but it was all worth it once we got inside...the lights were spectacular!!!  If you click on the photos you can see them better...that is Emily's silhouette in the butterfly photo.  
 Finally, Christmas Eve...John's parents came out for a few hours in the afternoon, then when the kids arrived with their families, we made a Skype call to watch Gabe open his gifts while we chatted with Dennis and Abby.  After that we had our Christmas dinner.  We finished off with the annual 'Birthday Cake for Jesus'.
 Christmas Day.  
Since we opened up gifts the night before, we were able to sleep in and have a leisurely brunch.  Then everyone headed over to Grandpa and Grandma McCool's place in time for the Laker game (Joshua, son John and Ariel are the big fans).  We had the usual McCool feast with the aunts, uncles and cousins. We used to all fit into the dining room, but the past few years, the table has stretched across the whole living room to fit us all around it.  

This is a house just down the road from here.  One of the nights Emily and Joshua were here, I took them to look at lights.  They think that I need to light up MY house like this next busy as I was this year...I think NOT!