Chase got to be a ball boy at the Blazers game. This came about 4 days into the snowstorm and we were so worried about him being able to go. But we took our time and made it their safely. Chase had a great time. He got to rebound balls during warmups and half time and got some primo seats right next to where the TV cameras are. We all went and supported him by being there. It was a SUPERB game and Brandon Roy scored his big 52 points that night. Quite a fun and unique experience for a 12 year old. Our huge thanks go out to Leo Hillyer from Hillyer's Mid-City Ford in Woodburn, who sponsored Chase, and to Grandpa who organized the whole thing with Leo.
The kids all had their school programs before the snow hit. Chase had a principle role in the 6th grade program, playing Purplebeard the pirate. His beard bothered him the whole time, but he did a great job!
Tristan and Carissa had a Christmas program at their school. Both had special parts to play. Carissa got to play the tempo blocks -- doesn't she look happy??? -- and Tristan was the head chimney sweep -- he really did an awesome job and stole the show!!!
I'm so thankful we were able to go get our tree before the snow hit. It took us nearly a week before we had time to decorate it. As always, the kids did the decorating and we did the watching. They did a great job and had fun doing it.
Oh yes, the snow. We had snow -- lots of it. It was novel and fun for about 3 or 4 days and then the kids were quickly getting bored with it. They did take time to play outside quite a bit though, making tiny snowmen when we had only 5" of snow,
attemping to inner tube down the somewhat icy driveway,
and finally building a big snowman when the snow got over a foot deep. Special thanks go out to Aunt Patti who picked us some fresh carrots on Thanksgiving, the last of which was used as the snowmans nose. It's WAYYYY better than the baby carrots we always have in the fridge. Somehow those just don't do justice as a snowman nose.
Anyways, this snowman was a big item of contention between Carissa and boys. The boys, as always, refer to the snowman as "Frosty". Carissa however wanted a girl snowman so she put a pink hat and scarf on it and called it "Frostina". Well, every so often the boys would run out, take the pink gear off and put a blue hat on so it could be "Frosty" again. Carissa would get so frustrated and run outside and put the pink gear on and make her "Frostina". Over and over this went until finally the snow started melting and her head fell off. LOL
Oh yes, Christmas time is here. The kids were all excited for the big day. We told them they couldn't get up until 5am and Tristan was at our bedside at 5:01. I think Carissa could have slept in and Chase might have lasted another hour or so, but Tristan was ready to go. He made a little noise and the other two were up and ready to see what Santa brought. We all went into the front room together to see the goodies. Chase got a new red Nintendo DS, Tristan got a mountain bike that he'd been wanting and Carissa got a digital camera, which she has put to good use since getting.
After enjoying the Santa gifts and stocking goodies we moved on to our presents for the kids. We take our time, one child after another, and enjoyed all our goodies.
Later in the day, after we'd had time for breakfast and to play with the new gifts, our families came over. First were Mom and Jim. They brought more presents and goodies (including peanut butter balls and rocky road ... YUM!) and hung out to play and chat. We also took the time to play with Carissa's new camera and snap some family shots. Tried to get pics of the white christmas behind us but it really got all washed out. Mom and Jim left when Chase and I took off to volunteer at the Senior Center.
It was quite a drive to the senior center. It's only 3 miles from the house but the abundance of snow made passing some of the streets impossible. I ended up taking the LONG way around, but we made it there nonetheless. He and I volunteered a few hours plating meals, serving dessert and cleaning up after those seniors who showed up. We also packed Meals On Wheels boxes for the seniors who couldn't get out.
We came back here to the house in time for Dad and Linda and Brian's parents come over. More presents ensued and more yummy goodies were shared. It was great to see everybody and to enjoy time with family. The kids had so many new things to play with and wear and Brian and I even got a few fun things. It was a long day, but it was a really wonderful Christmas.
After New Years we took a few days to go to Bremerton to visit Jimmy and his family. Randal is such a cutie and it was nice to have time to enjoy him in a calmer situation. He really took to the kids, who kept him entertained and loved to watch out for him. They played with him and his toys for hours. Virginia, Jimmy, Brian and I had lots of time to talk and catch up and snuck in some RockBand along the way.
The kids favorite part about the trip, besides seeing Randal, was getting to see Uncle Jimmy's ship. He is stationed on the USS Stennis and will soon be leaving for several months. But the ship was at dock so he took us for a tour. He showed the kids where he stands down below to do one of his jobs and the "bubble" he works in when he's actually catapolting the planes off the ship. He even let the kids try on his safety gear for when he's on the flight deck. Check them out ... aren't they adorable???