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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Birthday, Abby!  I had not even met you when I knew I loved you already.  Dennis had come home from college talking about you.  He showed us a couple of photos of you.  So pretty, so classy, so tiny.  And then the part I really loved…he gave me a hug, lifting me up in the air.  As he sat me back down, he said…she’s just the same size as you.  Well, I had seen the photo, I knew that we were NOT the same size.  But I loved it because HE thought we were the same.   He was crazy about you and from what I saw when we finally met you, you we crazy about my Dennis too.  It is hard for a Mom to not be the object of her little guy’s adoration, but for you, I easily knew I could share him!  I know it has not always been easy to be his partner in helping him succeed in his career.  You had to change some of your plans in order to move across the US and live so far from family and the life you knew.  Then when you thought it was finally over and he had graduated…his career goals moved the two of you to another state…and it was a COLD one!  But you hung in there and now are beginning to see the results of your choices.  You make a great team!  So happy he has you for his wife.  We couldn't have chosen a better one for him.  And even if we are NOT the same size…I love that you have become a valued part of this family!  
Josiah was in his first Sunday School Christmas program today.  We were not sure if he would even go through with it, but he marched in with the kids and stood there just fine.  But I had a feeling about that little kid next to him right from the start.
 Good idea...check out what to do from the older girl...
 yep...get your hands in your pockets...
 hmm...look around, ignore that goofy boy on the left...and then he just could not resist and joined in with him goofing off...I am not sure if he ever sang.  At one point he started talking to me, I was sitting on the floor in front of them to get photos. I don't know what he said, I was just trying to ignore him so he would stay standing up with the group.
Emily and Joshua came to our house for a night while their Mom and Dad went away for their anniversary. We went for a drive to look at Christmas lights, ordered in pizza and watched movies.  They also spent a little time sculpting.  I think their projects turned out really cute. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

I got to spend a few hours all on my own with Josiah and Arianna a couple of days ago.  Having grandkids around is so much different than having your own kids at this age. Somehow, all the other things I have to do are so easy to just let go and enjoy the time I get with them.  I love the excitement and awe they have for every little thing, especially right now with Christmas decorations out that are all new to them.  
We received a call that John's Uncle needed some help with health and aging issues, so we decided to take a quick trip to Oxnard to see what we could do.  It was a relief to see things were not as serious as we had feared, but we are now prepared to help him with choices that will need to be made in the future.  The huge bonus of the whole trip was that we got to attend Gabe's school Christmas program.  He did a great job singing and acting and it was fun to see it all in person.  After the program, we went to dinner with Abby's parents who had also come to the program.  We feasted on some great Korean food.  Then went back to Gabe's place and watched him open the gifts we had brought down for him.  

Cyndi had a 'swag' party.  Yep, we all (McCool family women) went to her place and made swags.  If you don't know what a swag is, it is a bundle of greenery from fir trees tied together and decorated with pretty Christmas decorations.  Then you hang your swag on the place of a wreath.  Actually it is just like a wreath except it is not round.
I took this photo on the way to her place for the party.  I was there at just the right moment as the sunset hit the steeple of the church. 
We had our first bit of snow.  Only a slight dusting, but I had to laugh when I saw the tiny footprints right outside the door....

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

 We had a cooooolllddd snap! 
 But with no precipitation, the roads were clear of snow and ice, so it was a perfect time to drive up the gorge and see the frozen falls .  
Latourell Falls
Wahkeena Falls Creek
Horsetail Falls
The Columbia River bank
Multnomah Falls

Well, Thanksgiving came and do you slow down the clock?!  Thankful that we are still able to celebrate the holidays with our parents.  Mom's birthday fell on Thanksgiving day, so we let her cook our Thanksgiving dinner as usual.  How nice of us, right?