Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Catch Up

Just some random post Christmas pics!

Mommy & Carson goofing around in his new sleeping bag
Practicing for summer camping trips in his new sleeping bag
Mommy, the Craig's List addict, just happened to buy a HUGE box of track, trains, and more. Daddy cursed Mommy for at least 15 minutes as he tried to assemble Satan's spiral track without directions. Mommy googled "spiral track" and discovered that there isn't a SINGLE good review of this product. Everyone that purchased it, returned. Perhaps that's why she got such a GREAT deal on it on CL.
But isn't it beautiful!

From Wolf to Woof- The World Forestry Center

Today Nana, Poppa, Carson and I headed to the World Forestry Center to check out the Wolf to Woof display. We discovered they also had many other fun displays and activities!

We planted seedlings!
We drove a tree picker.
Poppa practiced being a smoke jumper! He made it 23 meters from the target!Nana practiced being a smoke jumper . . . she landed in the fire!We all rode the rapids!
Then we checked out the W2W display! We all took turns learning what a hyena hears!
Carson thought we were nuts!
But it didn't stop us!
Finally curiosity got the better of him!We rode on a dinner train!And, Carson drove Nana & Poppa on an African safari!
Last but not least, Carson drove the train. Not Thomas but his BIG brother!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas with the Bride Tribe- Final of the Four!

And just like the movie "Four Christmases" which I LOVED, here is our final Christmas!

Jeremy's mom's side of the family is known as the Bride Tribe. All of us were present and accounted for on the Sunday after Christmas with the exception of Lori, Brian and Thomas who stayed home in sunny California. That's around 30 people!

Our drive to Salem was extra long this year due to a horrible tanker accident. In fact, most everyone got stuck in the traffic jam created by a tanker truck blowing up on the side of the freeway! At least we weren't the only ones late!

Lots of fun had by all!

Carson got to meet his second-cousin, Baby Ashlyn. She's adorable, quiet, and sleeps anywhere! We REALLY encouraged her parents to ENJOY EVERY MINUTE of her portableness at age 3 months.
Proud grandparents . . . they caught him for a quick photo before he escaped. This kid does NOT sit still at celebrations.
Reading a book from Daddy's childhood collections. Grandmas are VERY good at saving EVERYTHING!
Oh boy! This is stylin'!!! Daddy is jealous!
Seriously! Could I be any cuter?
I outgrew my pack'n'play so Grandma Levy gave me my first sleeping bag!!

Christmas Day (3rd of 4 Christmases)

Christmas Day- We braved the icy roads and traveled down I-5 to spend the day with Grandpa & Grandma Rader. Cousin Becky and her family host along with Great Aunt Judy & Great Uncle Joe. It's a BIG celebration, as Becky & Corey have NINE children. No, that's not a typo. Nine of the cutest, most well-behaved, sweetest children!

Our normally 2 hour drive took 3 hours due to the snow, ice, and traffic but fortunately the delay gave Carson the opportunity to nap in the car. That made trip much more bearable for all involved!

The whole crew!

Thanks Grandpa & Grandma Rader! The fam!
Books are the best!
Carson adored Elizabeth and her pink video game.
The highchair line up for Christmas supper
Proud grandparents!
In lieu of gifts, the kids decorated gingerbread houses! Many thanks to Corey for making the houses and thanks to Becky for making 12 bags of frosting!
More candy in mouth than in house

Becky, the mom with the most and the hostess with the mostess! Somehow she still found time to make these beautiful pies. I can't figure how out how she does it!

Christmas Morning (2nd of 4 Christmases)

We were sad to have missed our trip to California this year but did enjoy being home for Santa to arrive on Christmas morning. He flew in during the night in spite of the fact we don't have a fireplace.

My guess is that he realized that we never hooked up our down draft oven. Oh yes, after almost 5 years, it still vents directly into the crawlspace. Thank goodness Santa could shimmey up instead of down.

Carson's new train table is HUGE. Ridiculously HUGE. Which led us to sign a contract on an addition to our home. Which led us to refinance our current home. Which led us to a tight budget for the next 30 years. Damn train table!

This thing is bottomless!
I'm about to explode!!
Batteries! Everything requires batteries!
I love Christmas!!

Christmas Eve (First of Four Christmases)

Okay- finally finding time to catch up the blog!!

Christmas Eve - our first ever at Aunt Liza & Uncle Ga's house! They were kind enough to host since "up on the hill" we'd all been without power for three days.

We piled into the Suburban, loaded all the presents and food in . . . made it to the gate and realized that the roast was still in the fridge. Turned around (reminder we're chained up due to 3 feet of snow) and traveled the quarter mile back down the driveway.

This time we about 4 miles from home and saw the furnace repair guy headed up the hill. Annoyed that he didn't call first but thankful that we saw him in time. At which point we all thanked Nana for forgetting the roast, which caused enough of a delay to cross paths with the furnace guy.

Now we head back the 4 miles (did I mention we were already 2 hours late at this point). Catch the furnace guy who is in a 2WD van without chains. Find him pulled over chaining up.

Back to the house. Unload all the food and reload it into my Pathfinder. I drive Carson and Nana and food to Aunt Liza's house. Jeremy and Poppa wait for the furnace guy . . . only to have the furnace miraculously turn itself on 4 minutes before kind furnace guy shows up. Seriously! What are the odds!!

Get to Liza's house and realize that we forgot one critical bag of food. Power forward.

In the end, have a LOVELY Christmas Eve with a scrumptious prime rib, out of this world mashed potatoes (new recipe which is now the ONLY recipe), and a rummy Rum cake!

Doing dishes is fun!
Especially when you get to wear gloves!Doing dishes sucks! So we're playing WII MarioKart!Getting ready to feast!Oh ya!
Santa's little elf handed out presents to all!
And helped open!
And is now the new chef!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Arctic Blast Day 13

We didn't watch the news this morning . . . apparently the forecast changed from rain to snow!! It's been snowing for the last 3-4 hours, on top of our 2-3 feet already!!

We lost power from Sunday night until Wednesday night. Out where we live in the country, no power also means no water, no heat, no nothin'!! So we packed up and shacked up with my parents. They have a diesel powered back-up generator which powers their furnace, well pump, and about 1/4 of their lights.

It was fun and funny at first but became less fun and more stressful as it got closer to Christmas. Jeremy and my dad would drive down each day for more fuel for the generators. We were running a small gas powered generator at our place to keep the well/pump house warm enough not to freeze and had a line going into our house that powered a small space heater and kept the fridge going so we wouldn't lose all our food.

Tuesday we started to get cabin fever really badly. We all piled into the Suburban (outfitted with chains of course) and went in to town. Hit Target and Red Robin for a dose of sanity. The line at Les Schwab was wrapped around the store, we decided to chance it with the ill-fitting chains.

The power came on for 3 hours on Monday night, giving us false hope that it would be on for good. Fortunately it was long enough for my mom to warm up enchiladas in the toaster oven. Unfortunately it went back out just as we sat down to eat. That made us realize that having Christmas Eve at my parents' was not an option.

We packed up the car with all the presents and food to head down to my sister's in town. The power came on for 10 minutes as we were leaving. But we didn't want to get our hopes up.

Fortunately, when we arrived home Christmas Eve, the power had come back on and has been on ever since. It was the best present Santa (and PGE's loyal workers) could have brought!

Day 9- This is no fun! No power makes it really cold We decided it was too cold to stay any longer.
So we decided to hike over to Nana's to warm up. Fortunately Carson still fit in the back pack!Still having fun at this point!The horses weren't too happy with the snow either! Their water buckets were freezing too quickly because their warmers didn't have any power.Power flickered back on so we decided to try heading home. But the snow and wind had picked up quite a bit so we had to bundle Carson up even more!Thank goodness for the back pack and a dedicated daddy!
And now here we are on Day 13 . . . snow is still falling! Jeremy's car is buried. I am busy trying to unbury it as a surprise for him while he's gone.
First I carved a path around it so I wouldn't hit it with the snow shovel.
Front of the house.
The mound of snow in the driveway.
Mailman stopped today to tell us he can't deliver the mail if he can't get to the box. The snow plows have created huge berms on the sides of the road. It took me awhile to get through the ice and snow chunks to clear a path to the box. Hopefully it's good enough!
Updated shot of the BBQ and heat pump. The icicles on the gutters are over three feet long! Scary looking!
Updated shot of the patio set.
Look closely, those are 4.5 foot tall fence posts across the street from us. Buried!
And last, our sitting stone is completely buried, as are our mini pre-lit Christmas trees. They glow at night underneath the snow.

How Old is Carson?

How Old is Keaton?