So Very Merry…

15741187_10211822772990622_5530026256367300875_nMy sister took this photo of my dear old Pop with his youngest great granddaughter on Christmas Eve in California. Christmas Eve happens to be her birthday, too. Happy first birthday dear one!

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These are Pop’s grandchildren and great grandchildren that were able to gather together this year 1200 miles from us.

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Our kids from Eastern Washington made it over the pass and to our home in time to attend a Christmas Eve service with us.

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Katie treated us to a whole lot of laughs when we woke up to see her donned like this for our Christmas morning festivities.

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We checked out what Santa had left in our stockings and then had Dear’s Swedish Pancakes for Breakfast. When breakfast was done we crossed hands to pull apart our Christmas Crackers. Our nutcracker themed crackers had whistles in them and instructions to make music together. Katie directed us and we laughed so hard as we each blew our different toned whistles to create some popular Christmas Carols.

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We had our annual after Christmas walk and yes Katie was still in her wild cat onesie. Some of us wore our crowns.

15747385_10211510518224520_1859000651677937365_nI have not uploaded any of my regular camera photos. These were all taken with other peoples phones. We are still celebrating together and it will be awhile before I recuperate from all the fun. The girls are thinking about doing a little Boxing Day shopping today.

Three Full Days…

Before we are swept into 2015 I’ll share our full three days of celebrating…

We had a very quiet Christmas Eve. Early in the morning we braved the parking lots at Costco and Safeway and bought the last minute items we needed for Christmas day. We bought a Costco rotisserie chicken and macaroni & cheese for any hunger pangs we might have as we got ready for Christmas day.

Our Christmas Eve service followed the theme of peace in the midst of pain and chaos. We enjoyed singing traditional Christmas carols with a few modern twists and we even had snow fall during the service inside church! After work on Christmas Eve Andrew and Katie arrived for the night enjoying our treats from Costco and after Dear and I went to sleep I heard Josh and Laura arrive for the night after they celebrated with Laura’s family.

Early on Christmas morning Dear and I heard some ducks quacking and it took us a while to spot them on the neighbor’s roof. A quacky good morning made us smile.

More presents were added next to the tree as Dear and I slept.

We woke the kids up to a favorite Christmas CD by Twila Paris to see what gifts Santa delivered to our stockings.

Our breakfast table was all ready to go for our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of Swedish Pancakes that Dear makes for us.

After breakfast I changed out the table for our Christmas Dinner with two places added for Dan and his fiance Jamie who were on the road from Eastern Washington to join us for dinner and the rest of the weekend.

Christmas Day 008Our meal on Christmas day was our traditional Prime Rib Roast and Yorkshire pudding with roasted root vegetables and creamed corn.

Our kids with their loves!

The original family with our three children.

Our oldest, Josh, married Laura in 2001.

Our youngest, Katie, married Andrew in 2011.

Our middle son Dan who will be married to Jamie in 2015.

All of us together.

The day after Christmas we had another fun evening celebrating Dan and Jamie’s engagement and Katie’s birthday with family and friends. We had appetizers and Dear’s Tomato Rice Soup for our gathering.

Katie, Andrew, Steve (BIL), Lana (My sister), Beth (mother of Dan’s best friend growing up), Dan, Jamie

Laura, Dave (Father of Dan’s best friend growing up), Dear, Ellen b., Josh and Katie. Unfortunately Dan’s best friend growing up was home sick along with his little daughter so his family wasn’t able to join us.

We toasted Dan and Jamie and then we sang to Katie before she blew out the candles on her Applesauce Spice Birthday Cake.

Our hearts are full and flowing over.

Dan and Jamie left our home on Sunday morning headed across the mountains again to Eastern Washington. We got the text that they arrived safely and that is always a good text to receive.

How are things at your place?

Merry Christmas!

May your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day be filled with lots of love and joy and a little ho ho ho!

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This afternoon we’ll be at a Christmas Eve service and then come home and have some fresh hand made tamales for dinner.

Twinkle 003By midnight tonight or a little after all our kids except for Andrew will be under our roof. Hopefully they’ll beat Santa here. Dear and I will be fast asleep by the time they arrive but we’ll let Katie greet the late comers and welcome them here.

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IMGP1037Christmas morning we’ll open stockings first with a cup of coffee and then we’ll have our traditional Swedish pancake breakfast that Dear makes for us.

IMGP1039After breakfast we open up the gifts under the tree. This year after we read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2 we are going to have Katie read a very interesting article on some of the Christmas story that has been ingrained into tradition that might be on the urban legend side of things and not really historically and culturally accurate. Don’t worry we don’t have our knickers in a knot. We still know the best truth of Christmas is that God came down and we can now be lifted up to Him through what Jesus did on the cross for us.

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Mystery Tree 2013 027After we open up our gifts I’ll start preparing for our Christmas dinner. We will have our traditional Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding with roasted root vegetables, creamed corn from scratch, and a salad. For dessert this year I’m planning on making an apple tart from apples off of Dan’s property in Eastern Washington.

IMGP1046Of course all through the day we’ll have our favorite Christmas Cd’s playing in the background. Knowing our kids while the roast is cooking there will probably be some games around the table.

Praying you know the real Joy of Christmas!

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Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

God bless us everyone…

The Festivities Continue…

Get ready for photo overload. Today we are preparing for our daughter Katie’s 24th Birthday Bash!! Her actual birthday is tomorrow. In the meantime I’m posting lots of photos from our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Festivities. May God’s blessings continue…

 

Christmas Eve was quiet with just the 3 of us. We went to a Christmas Eve Candlelight service and shared our traditional meal together.

 

Christmas morning our tradition is to check out what Santa brought in our stockings, then move on to a great Swedish Pancake breakfast that Dear lovingly makes for us each year and then we exchange our gifts to each other. We missed you dearly Dan!!

 

Then our whole family heads to the Spiro’s for Christmas dinner. We met Dave and Jody 25 years ago when both our families lived in Ventura, California and we attended Bible Fellowship Church.

 

Dear and Dave

 

Our girls and Dave and Jody’s girls.

 

Grandma Mary the Matriarch of the Spiro Family. Isn’t she lovely at 80 something!!

 

Our dear friends Bob and Jan (Jan is one of my walking buddies and Bob is Dave’s brother) with their mom Mary.

 

Laura and Josh

 

Bridget and Laura

 

Katie, Josh, and Lucy

 

Laura, Katie, and Jamie

 

Katie and Josh

The Kid’s table…

 

 

The view of Puget Sound and the Olympics at Sunset…

 

Our family had a wonderful day from morning to night celebrating with family and friends the birth of our KING!

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

Sky Watch ~ December Skies

Here are some favorite skies from California and Washington at the end of December! A very Happy New Year to Sky Watch Friday bloggers and anyone else who comes by today!

 

For more Sky Watch photos from around the world visit the Sky Watch Official Site.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007 to 2015 hostage and has replaced them all with ugly black and grey boxes asking for a ransom to have them re-published. Such a frustrating bother as I go through each post to delete the ugly boxes.