Woo hoo! With this post I’ve completed a second year of photo journaling.
Christmas Eve was a nice evening with family over. We had lots of food and exchanged gifts. After the gifts, my brother-in-law surprised his girlfriend with an engagement ring and she accepted his marriage proposal. Later we enjoyed playing a card game and laughing.
Christmas morning there was no rush to get up and open gifts since we had opened most of them with Kelsey the week before. We did save a few gifts so we would have some to open. The best part, for me, was when we did FaceTime on our iPhones with Kelsey. We each got to see and hear her and she asked Travis to open her remaining gifts while she watched.
There was threatening weather Christmas Day but it didn’t really develop into much at our home. It was fun to have it actually snowing on Christmas Day. That doesn’t happen too often here in Oklahoma. As Keith watched the snow fall in our backyard he alerted me to a wildlife photo opp. There was a bird on our neighbor’s fence near the house with all the wind and snow whirling around him.
Later that evening when I looked out a window, Purrkins was all curled up on the loveseat with the snow as the backdrop. Such a peaceful view.
When the weekend arrived we took our Christmas decorations down and put them back in the attic until next year.
As 2012 drew to a close, Keith got us some Martini Asti because I like sweet wine and because sparkling wine is perfect for New Year’s Eve.
Ready. Set. Go 2013!
Our decorations for the tree are new this year. We decided to cull some of the very worn and hodge podge ornaments for some new, cohesive looking ornaments. We do have some ornaments that are too meaningful to put aside so we bought a table top tree and decorated it with those.
Last week when we did our family Christmas, I got a new lens and some cool filters for my camera, which I used for the two photos of the trees. The filter makes star bursts of the lights, pretty fun. Keith got an electric smoker. His very first dish in the smoker was smoked olives.
Most people have traditions involving specific foods at special times of the year, like Christmas time, and one of ours has become making and eating Aunt Bill’s candy. When you make a double batch it requires two people to stir and pour. The picture below is of Keith watching the candy thermometer for just the right temperature.
A few days later we had our family Christmas early because Kelsey will be in Montana over the holidays. It will be the first time that we won’t all be together on Christmas.
One of the fun things for our kids has been the silly things in the stockings and this year was no exception. They had their expected chocolate coins and a silly sucker that when you put it in your mouth looks like a character’s mouth. Kelsey’s was Rudolph and Travis’ was the abominable snowman. Then Travis put Keith’s gift in a backpack so Keith enjoyed pulling everything out one at a time before he finally pulled his gift out. It was fun to see Keith’s ‘excited’ expressions as he pulled each item out: a used notebook, a pen, a flyer, etc. Finally he pulled out his gift.
On a cold winter’s day…
there is absolute comfort in our household. Just look at that smile.
My mother-in-law’s wedding day arrived. It was an unusually beautiful and warm December day. As my son and I prepared to enter her home, where the ceremony was taking place, we were both struck by the beauty of the sunset and stopped to enjoy it.
Leading up to the first of December I went shopping and, as is typical, I find things I don’t need but want. One of those things was a new outfit for my cat. He has a Santa outfit and I have photo of him in a borrowed reindeer outfit so when I found the elf outfit I thought it seemed a perfect addition to his wardrobe. Purrkins may have a different opinion on the outfit.
With four consecutive days off from work, we enjoyed several occasions with family. The first was Thanksgiving Day.
All of us were able to snuggly fit around our expandable dining table and serve ourselves family style rather than our historical buffet style. I clicked the button to take this photo just seconds before Mom began our prayer, in which she expressed appreciation for every window we have been given to have shared time with loved ones and that we cherish each of those memories whether that amount of time was large or small. It was one year ago today that my brother’s baby son Zane died.
After our satisfying meal and the cleanup, several of us played some card games and laughed until it nearly hurt. Laughter can be so healing.
Friday I began the preparations for putting up our Christmas decorations in anticipation of Sunday when our kids will come over to help.
Saturday included a few hours with my mother-in-law making some arrangements for the food and other details for her wedding next Saturday.
Sunday morning Keith suggested that we get new Christmas ornaments in an attempt to having a tree decorated in a theme with nice ornaments. So, we went shopping and agreed on some new ornaments. Later we had a nice meal, decorated the tree and played a board game with Travis, Kelsey and Scotty (Kelsey’s boyfriend). Of course when we got the Christmas decorations out Kelsey and Travis found the kitty Santa outfit and, as you might expect, Purrkins was absolutley thrilled with it. The eyes say it all.
Sunday we met at my mother-in-law’s home to get together with family and put Christmas decorations up around her house. This December our family has Irene and Wes’ wedding in addition to Christmas. So, the preparations are underway for both festivities.
Visiting until more of the crew arrives.
Irene became the designated hooker, you know, the person who puts the hooks on the ornaments.
Keith had the honor of putting the tree topper on…ta da!!!
Cleo, as in Cleopatra, is Wes’ and my mother-in-law’s newest household member. She’s a loving, active greyhound who did sit still long enough for this one, quick, iPhone snapshot.
On Halloween Travis was not initially interested in helping give candy out to the trick or treaters but soon he changed his mind. He found an old mask in the top of his closet then Keith found an old trenchcoat. Soon a few other accessories were gathered. Each time the doorbell rang Travis sauntered to the door as he got into character to give out treats. In between trick or treaters he watched tv all ‘dressed to kill’.
Another picture I took this week is of a vintage album that has some old tin type photos in it and I’m trying to identify the family and people. It is either in a Buckner or Smith line. Read more about Esta’s Little Album on my other site.
Only one pic taken with my iPhone all week. Saturday my Mom, son and I went to Genghis Grill for lunch where I snapped this pic. After lunch we went to Best Buy and Mom bought me an Apple TV, which we used that afternoon when I showed her all 900+ photos from our vacation. I’ve got to edit them some and put them up for others to see.