Saturday, January 02, 2010

4 Christmases, Vacation, 1 Gift & A Birthday

We celebrated Christmas four times this year: on our own, with Ben's family, with my immediate family in Oregon and with my extended family at my Grandmother's. Below are some favorite moments from our holiday season.

CHRISTMAS #1: Joyce Fam

Christmas Eve "Eve" -- our own family tradition to celebrate on a day that Daddy doesn't have to work. Hooray for fondue!

Sam opens a gift while Daddy gets some snuggles

Somebody LOVES opening gifts

All boy--he loves to hammer!

One of the top gifts of the year: an electric toothbrush! Dentists are sighing everywhere.

CHRISTMAS #2: Add on Tutu, Boppa, and a couple of Aunties
Christmas Eve morning Ben's parents, Auntie Jennie, and Auntie Eskedar came over early in the morning to shower the kids with love and gifts! Such a fun time! We spent all day together, opening presents, playing with toys, going to church, and enjoying a crab dinner.

A new bike from Tutu and Boppa!

Busy boy

Resting after the opening extravaganza

And she's off! On her own! (sniff, sniff)

CHRISTMAS #3: In Oregon with Grammy & Papa, Uncle Joe, Aunt Michele & Uncle Ben, and Cousins Grace, Lizzie & Elijah

Maddie was beyond thrilled to see her cousins. They played hard together all day, disappearing for significant amounts of time, relishing each other's company.

Uncle Joe, aka Jungle Gym Joe, is officially one of the best and most patient Uncles ever. He was tireless and selfless as he played non-stop with five very rambunctious nieces and nephews.

Hamming it up for the camera

Enjoying her accordion from Uncle Joe the morning after

"Reindeer" on Mom & Dad's farm: herds of elk periodically roam the property.
Awesome, huh?

Farm girl follows Papa on their way to feed the cows

CHRISTMAS #4: Extended Painter/Hames Family at Grandma Mimi's House

Maddie could hardly contain her excitement at getting more time to play with cousins!

Not in focus, but you get the picture.
This was after ice cream.

Enjoying walking the property as a family. Just enough snow to feel like Winter.

My snow angel

Frozen earth. I love it when these icicles form in dirt.
It feels great when it crunches beneath your feet.

My parents live on 33 acres. Since I was a child there have been Herefords (beef cattle) and Jimmy, the shetland pony, who is as old as I am. This is a very fun part of my upbringing to share with my suburban children.

I edited this picture to crop out a piece of "reindeer" poo stuck to a stick. We were on an adventure, tracking the reindeer by following their tracks in the snow and their droppings along the way. Very fun!

It was a cold and windy day. Samuel was all wrapped up, riding in the front pack on Ben, our very own baby bunting. Those rosy cheeks are just too much for me. Mwah!

We rested for a minute on a fallen tree.

Snow! It started falling on Tuesday morning, coating everything with a gorgeous dusting of white. These are the rhododendrons in my parents back yard. The rhodos in the front reach
two stories high. Amazing.

CHRISTMAS GIFT: A date to McMenamin's Edgefield, a fun and funky local establishment specializing in converting old buildings and properties into bars, pubs, hotels
& all-inclusive locales. (This particular property offers lodging, three restaurants, a spa with saltwater soaking pool, pizza and pool hall, movie theater pub, golf course, winery, distillery and 7 or 8 little bars, each with their own character).

Miss Ruby herself greeted us in our spacious hotel room. I splurged on their biggest room (which was still an incredible deal) because most of the rooms are European style, lacking their own bathrooms. The building is a converted Poor Farm dormitory.

We enjoyed live music inside the Edgefield Winery. It is a long, L-shaped room surrounded by stainless steel wine vats and barrels and barrels of wine. That night we listened to a couple of musicians play old-time bluegrass and fiddle tunes. Some of the happiest music I've ever heard!

It was really an amazing venue.

At the top of the property is a small, wood-paneled distillery with a large wood stove in the middle. It is incredible--warm, cozy, inviting, and on that particular night, nearly empty save for this snuggly couple. Ben sampled their 13 year Alhambric Brandy, just released.

The views from our room were gorgeous--part of the brick building to the East, the water tower to the South, snow dusting everything.

The Power Station, aka the Pub, where we had dinner Tuesday night.

The West entrance to the main lodge.

A BIRTHDAY: We have another tradition of celebrating Maddie's "Oregon" Birthday with my family while visiting at the first of the year.

Cupcake details

Little brother and Uncle looking on

Sweet Papa kisses for the Birthday Girl

Phew! You made it to the end! ;)

1 comment:

mel @ the larson lingo said...

Looks like you guys had wonderful Christmas celebrations & a great time in Oregon. Your parents farm is gorgeous! So neat. And the night away for you & Ben? so awesome. that place looked like so much fun! Love all the pictures (with your new lens?!?)
p.s. The 3 on the cupcake made me tear up!!!