Monday, December 30, 2013

You're about to be fire hosed....

I dedicate this blog post to:
Melissa and her freaky dreams about my blog.
Ginger and her lonely cup of coffee.
Amber and her needing to live vicariously through me.
And all of you who 'missed the blog' or 'wondered if I was ok'.

I love you!

We are all awesome.
No, really really awesome, I'll show you:

While I was away we...

1. played with Digory and dewormed Merlin...gross.

 2. Earned some awards - HOLLA!!

 3. Packed some Operation Christmas Child boxes - love the new system the past few years where you get to find out where your boxes go!  Last year was Ukraine this year was South Africa!

 4.  A few of us even had a birthday that our mom was too lazy to BLOG about but it's ok, 'cause Aunt Jody dropped by....

 5.  And mom was busy adding more live animals to the family for the aforementioned birthdays
 Meet: Bleu, Sophie's above
and  Sammie/Peaches (it changes) Lenora's, below

Lenora and Sophie, I love you sweet peas.
I can't imagine how it is that you are now 7 but if that's what the calendar says I guess I can't argue?
I'm excited to see you grow up, I'm sad that you're not really all that little anymore...
Basically, I'm a mess.
Happy Birthday from your messy mama.

6.  We hosted a Murder Mystery dinner for the moms and dads of our homeschool co-op.
 we are, 
 having as much fun, 
 and staying in character, as it seems.
HIGHLY recommend!
We ended up doing a 'Saloon' theme which is hilarious because we actually LIVE in the Wild West.
Shoot...the area's nickname where we live is: Gold Country and the main bars are named things like: Mine Shaft Saloon, Crazy Horse Saloon, etc....
The flapper girl?  Well, when you have a great costume, you just go with it - never mind the theme!

 7.  We, in a flurry and crazy turn of events, ended up hosting Thanksgiving dinner with two other families.  Shocker, I know.  But we really thought we'd be at someone's house this year!  Lots of crazy changes but in the end, I love to cook, I love to host so it was great!

 Emma...our bestest babysitter!
 the bestest babysitters parents, who just happen to also be our close friends!
Melissa and Chris!!!
 Jake and their oldest son Luke (the other younger boy up there is Austin, the youngest of the clan)

 ah...(said with my best 'valley girl' twang)

8. QUICK! Take the family photo so we can get our Christmas cards out on time!
Oh LOOK! We live in paradise, how convenient!

9.  Put up the Christmas decorations....for the cats, of course.

10. Cuddle in the sunshine... 

11.  Our homeschool co-op does a little bazaar every year.  The students make things and then they all sell to each other.
These two little bad boys worth of earrings took over our lives for a few days.
We sold a few, it was worth the time with the girls but was a LOT of time.
They are all made out of clay and the girls did like 99% of what you see:

12.  And then it:
 10-12 inches of pure fun:
 there may have been a face plant that landed her a strawberry on her left brow bone 2 seconds after this shot was taken...but boy was this a fun shot!

 the most epic sledding hill ever.
across the street from our house.....

 Bonnie loves her some snow!
 I'm still not so sure.

 13.  All that snow actually delayed my mom's flight to see us!
Once she finally got here (phew!) all us girls loaded up and drove to Klamath Falls, OR for some extended family time.
My Grandpa Dick and Grandma Louise always put us up in a resort just outside of town.
But the jacuzzi tub doesn't exact 'hurt' the beauty:

 One of our main reasons for going when we did was to celebrate the 78th birthday of this little gem:
 my mom's mom:  Grandma Mary

serenading her with Christmas carols, in her room:

 She's got a pretty severe case of dementia, but no matter!
My mom managed to round up some of her dearest and closest friends for a HUGE birthday bash!
She has been friends with a number of these ladies, SINCE HIGH SCHOOL!
Like, really really really close friends.
I cannot even fathom!
It was so amazing to be IN this room and watch all these ladies interact.
Dude, I hope I'm HALF as fun as these ladies.  They made me WANT to be older!

And when we weren't celebrating Grandma Mary, we were hangin' with my dad's side of the family  (getting fat...because this, my friends, is where all the amazing cooking happens!):
It's been so precious to reconnect with all of my grandparents!  We are all eating it up! (not just the amazing food either!)

back home.....

14.  Our little town is renowned for it's Victorian Christmas....
 my take?  When hippies dress up like 'Victorians' we need to just get it over with and call it what it IS:


I mean, really, please tell me what is Victorian about this:
Cool? Yes. Victorian? Maybe not.
It was ok but our little town has so much charm that when vendors set up in the middle of the street it actually takes away from it's awesomeness.

 15. Alice?   Going somewhere?

16.  We did all Christmas food decorating in ONE day.
I just wasn't feelin' it this year.
But, alas, I have little girls who remind me constantly of our 'traditions' so not doing them was not exactly an option.

Gingerbread Nativity Scenes, which are really Graham Cracker Nativity Scenes.
 and Gingerbread Men/Women, which are really Gingerbread.
In one afternoon.

17.  Christmas Eve.
The day Jake was supposed to deploy but because of some awesome people going above and beyond...drumroll please....DID NOT!

 So we got all dolled up, ate some appetizers in church:
 And then headed downtown to eat Chinese....a tradition that is now 3 years strong!  
 Home for the opening of the Christmas pj's!

 18.  CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!!!!!
 You can barely see them but on my wrist are five bracelets.
Brace yourselves for this ladies.....
When I say I have the best husband, I ain't lyin'.....

The bracelets are all made with homemade paper beads.

That. Jake. made.




 this is what it looks like to NOT be deployed on Christmas day, I was so excited that I made that boy some homemade biscuits and gravy for breakfast:

the girls are soooo good at their reactions, I LOVE it!

 Christmas Day night we had a gal who's husband was responsible for Jake NOT BEING DEPLOYED on Christmas Day over for dinner....because her husband was deployed (not in place of Jake, just deployed).  We hosted their wedding reception for them back in Omaha and had her over for dinner with her 3 1/2 kids for Christmas 8ish years later.  Just another day in the military!

19. The whole '10 inches of snow' thing put a real damper on our homeschool co-op Open House. got rescheduled for a few weeks later...Jake was still here to see all the girls present and...

 swing dance!'s adorable.
I know.

20.  And now for the saddest part of all......

It's a short deployment...but it's a deployment and it finally came:

 It's been almost or over 5 years since we've had to say good-bye like this....
Here goes nothin'

Like I said.

Well, ya know..the two of you that are still here anyway.


Lisa Williams said...

Holly - count me in as your two! Such a BEAUTIFUL FAMILY!! I haven't read your blog before, but you're a natural, lady! We didn't get to our Christmas cards this year, but yours is great. Thanks for remembering us :) Happy New Year to your crew!
Lisa Williams

Brandi said... I feel caught up. Missed you friend. So glad you got Christmas with Jake. This is our first Christmas apart. You won't believe how long this one is. I can't believe the twins are 7! Wha??? How did that happen? Happy to hear from you via blog.

jennifer brock said...

Guess your two are up! lol

Bought cards twice and did not address any and they got returned, both times! Maybe next year!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Thinking about you and praying for you today.


Jennifer Stovall said...

I stayed till the very last entry. I love following your fun life. I am sorry your guy is away...hoping it goes fast for ya!Happy New Year! Jenn

Liz said...

woohoo!! you're back!! love reading about your adventures! Happy Birthday Sofie & Nora.

Courtney Cassada said...

yay!! so good to have you back here. loved it all. love seeing all your faces!

no, that was not victorian. but your town is COOL!!

sorry jake is gone..but so fun that he got to be home on Christmas!!

love you, friend!

Anonymous said...

My coffee tasted so much better this morning :) Thank you. I think the only thing that could make it better was if you'd come and read it to me :)

Marcia Sue (Warrior Lilly) said...

Love. Beautiful. such a nice delightful fire hosing of special people and memories. Thanks for blogging again, Friend!

Missy said...

#1-Oh my gosh, you got beta fish. Those are ONLY acceptable if you don't refer to them as like, real animals! Never do that! They are just fish! Sorry, I get a little emotional over these dang things. I know a couple folks who have taken this beta business to a crazy loving level. It just ain't right, loving fish that much. =) If you start talking about them like your kids and's time to flush those suckers and come back to grips with reality. =)
#2- that picture of you on the sled made me laugh out loud!! Bah ha! Best face ever!
#3-that dude has a plunger on. his. head! and it's on FIRE!! I don't even know what to say about that...
#4-Jake. =(
#5-I love your kitties. Never flush those.