Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Caroling Day

On Saturday Dad hooked up the horses and wagon again for caroling rides around Cheryle's neighborhood. We have done this for several years now, but we missed last year due to rain. It was so fun to have family and friends together for this celebration.

Jessica, Anna and Grace
Silly Grace
Anna and her boyfriend Tyler. He is great! So is she!

Sandi and her grandkids!
Ready for caroling
Pop and Amanda
Pop and my cousin Stephanie and her kids, Olivia, Catherine and Luke. We missed Joseph!

Will playing in the flower beds

Jake and Ronan

Uncle Kenny, Olivia and Luke

My mom and aunties
Aaron sporting a super cool hat!
This was an especially fun day filled with laughter and family and friends. Actually it was an especially wonderful five days at home. Thanks Dad, Cheryle, Amanda and Matt for all your hard work that made it happen. Can't wait to be home for Christmas soon!!!

Parade Day

Will was happy to wake up to his new friend George

Amanda making the signs for the parade

Aaron just being his cute self!
Aaron with his godmothers Gracie and Anna
Only a Granny would let a toddler stir the hot chocolate...
and drink it from the spoon! Lucky baby!
Pop, Will and Joe get the horses going
My sister-in-law, Liz and niece Danielle riding in the wagon

My sister Kim holding Aaron who is all cowboyed up for the parade!

My nephew and godson, Phillip
Sam, Alex and Jake. They were supposed to be waving those candy canes and saying Merry Christmas, but they immediately turned them into swords! Sigh... My sister, Cheryle and cousin, Keith
Cheryle got cleanup duty.
Everyone on the wagon that Cheryle and Amanda decorated so cute!

Amanda, Kim and Aaron, who had had enough fun!

The wagon going under the TV lights. The kids were so excited to see themselves on tv! At the rear are Amanda and Cheryle carrying the "poop wagon". We thought we had a great system of tying the little wagon to the big wagon to put the horse poop in--but when Dad left Cheryle standing holding a shovel of poo literally, Amanda decided to pull the wagon for her. It was ok though, the crowd cheered Cheryle as she ran to catch up to us carrying her poop shovel! Jake putting away the jingle bells after a night of fun!


We flew home to Bakersfield December 2nd to surprise my dad. He was putting his draft horses and wagon in the Christmas parade, but was wishing his little grandsons could ride along in the parade. So as his Christmas present, my sister sent airline tickets for us to all come home and surprise him. Only dad surprised us! He showed up at Cheryle's door about 45 minutes after we arrived. Oh well! It all worked out and we still surprised him. Plus we got one extra day to spend with him! Jake and Will sitting on the wagon while Pop ties it down.
Will helping Pop work. This little boy loves his grandfathers! Both Oompa (John's Dad) and Pop are his favorite people. He was very excited to work and kept saying, "Pop, boots, hat, work!"
Aaron in his wagon.

Will pulling Aaron

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Will discovered that his pants had pockets. Boy was he impressed with this seemingly minor detail! Then Grandma showed him that you can keep money in your pockets. Wow! He couldn't stop saying, "Money! Money! Pockets!" Yesterday morning he woke up at 5 am and I put him in bed between John and me hoping he would fall asleep. He just kept chattering away, until I said, "Will, I'll give you a dollar if you go back to sleep." He said, "Dollar? Money? Okaaaaay!" It's great to have a way to bribe him. Thanks Grandma!

Thanksgiving Weekend

Our family shared a perfect Thanksgiving weekend with John's parents and our nephew, Lawrence. The Thanksgiving feast was great, and it was wonderful to reflect together on how much we have to be grateful for, especially for the time to be together. John reads to us from the Bible
Prayers of gratitude Saturday we got ready for the start of Advent on Sunday by decorating our tree. Lawrence helped John get the star on the top.
The boys enjoyed hot chocolate by the fire and watched the snow fall outside. This morning we awoke to a peaceful white world--until the boys ran outside for a snowball fight! It was a perfect weekend and a beautiful start to Advent.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stuffing Day!

In case anyone may have forgotten from last year, Stuffing Making Day is my FAVORITE day of the year! When I was little all the women got together on the night before Thanksgiving and made my godmother's Portuguese stuffing. I remember those days full of cooking, laughing and togetherness and my heart is full. Last year was the first year that I had no female family members to make stuffing with, so I enlisted the help of my men. It was so successful that we did it again this year and they were tons of help! The big news is that for the first time we did not make Aunt Betty's Portuguese Stuffing, instead we made this recipe http://http//thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/11/stuffing_dressing_my_favorite_thanksgiving_food/
and boy is it delicious! I feel like I am betraying my godmother, but I 'm going to have to say, it's the best stuffing ever! Can't wait to eat it on Turkey Day! Sam chops the rosemary
Jake chops the onions and celery
Will has his first sip of sparkling cider...yum!

Two little turkeys browning the onions

What a goofy boy!
John made Sam laugh so hard he blew his sparkling cider out his nose!

This is where we post our blessings as we think of them throughout November.
It is good to be reminded of how abundant they are.
Bedtime stories read by big brother. What could be sweeter?