Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Years at Black Butte

After making it through the busy time of year, and feeling snowed-in for much of the Christmas break, we decided to slip in a little family get-away for the New Years holiday. We loaded up and headed through the snow to one of our favorite places in all the world - my parent's house at Black Butte Ranch.

Most of the weekend was spent RELAXING. Hard to believe with 4 boys, but our guys love it there so much that they can keep themselves entertained for hours. We read, watched a lot of football, played even more Monopoly, swam and hot-tubbed, and fit in a couple of fun outings as well.
This is a quick family picture taken at Hoodoo's snow-tube park only minutes after we got there and only minutes before I left with the 2 little ones to head home. Since there was really no warm lodge close by for me and Cole to watch from and Bo (as the picture would portray if closer) was finished after only 1 time down, we decided that the tubing was going to have to be a "big boy" activity.

And more sledding took place throughout the weekend right out the back door. Golf courses make for good sledding runs in the winter-time. The boys spent a lot of time together enjoying the fun of the snow.

Lots of fun, quality family time, beauty all around with no one else in sight - you can see why we love it here! Happy 2009.

A Very Merry Christmas

We enjoyed the beauty of a White Christmas this year as well as enjoyed all staying the night at grammy and papas house so we didn't have to travel back and forth in the snow and ice. We told the kids they couldn't wake up before 7am...they did pretty good, making it all the way to 6:15 before us adults caved and let the festivities begin.

Stockings are one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning. They always have been, even as a kid. Our stockings were hand knitted and personalized when we were kids and my mom has continued the tradition for each of our children with their own, special knitted sock. Plus, I guess I just love all the small, wonderful treasures and surprises. Cade was immediately in love with his U of O cap.
Tyler sports his new Portland Trailblazer hat as he digs in his sock for more treasures
While Bo was impressed with his blue spiderman watch, he was focused in on the candy right away. It didn't take him long to get his m&m candycane open.

While we always try to remind the kids that Christmas isn't all about presents, it is always still such a joy to see them so excited over their gifts. Tyler loves games - this one was top on his list. He was also thrilled with his new bakugans, baseball bat and pogo stick.
Cade is fun to give clothes to, because he really does appreciate them, even at age 8. He loved his new winter coat. Especially since he'd been layering up under his raincoat for the past week in all the snow because he had grown out of his old heavy jacket. It was hard to not break open the gift for him early...but all worked out, no frostbite was suffered, and he was very excited with the gift. Other favorites of Cade were his motorized scooter and new bakugans.
Bo can now watch Blazer games like a true fan and scrimmage his brothers as Brandon Roy. He also loved his cowboy gear, pop-up dinosaur book and Kung Fu Panda movie.

From books, to puzzles to boxes and bows - Cole was interested and overwhelmed with all of it.

I guard the camera closely Christmas morning so that I don't end up in any of the shots. I think that may have to become a long enforced Christmas tradition. But even without pictures to prove it, it is easy to believe that my heart was full of joy this Christmas day. I feel like the luckiest and most blessed woman and mom alive. I am surrounded by fabulous family, I have 4 almost 5 beautiful boys that warm my heart, an incredible husband that I love and adore, and a deep love of my Savior and all he is to me and my family. Life, like this wonderful holiday, is truly magical.

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

...and all through Grammy and Papa's house...
Our crew and the Cowarts joined to celebrate with my parents. We made our way through the snow for the "big" dinner that always happens on Christmas Eve. The kids looked so great all dressed in their Christmas best. The food was wonderful, as always and the usual thrill and excitement filled the air on this night before Christmas.

Cole helping out with the dishes
(he is in his "dishwasher phase" that all my kids have seemed to go through - when the appliance is open or in use, he will be there, removing soiled silverware or scaling his way to the top rack!)

Our Christmas Eve traditions of course include the narration and acting of the Nativity Story. The kids are really beginning to learn the parts and are getting a little posessive of certain casting positions. Cade as Joseph, Madi as Mary.

Brinley as the angel. Bo (very serious about his role) as a shepperd. (As long as his part could include a staff, which is close enough to a "sword", he was game to participate)
Tyler and Drew as Wise Men, our little crawling Cole with the sheep sign on his back, and Baby J as Jesus

The whole cast after the show

This is the only night of the year that the kids are anxious to get pajamas on (since pajamas mean bedtime and bedtime means Santa will be coming) and we wind them down with Grammy reading a Christmas Story and singing Christmas carols. Cade took his turn behind the piano accompanying us with Jingle Bells.
As the kids are all tucked into bed with faces beaming with anticipation, and the house grows quiet after a wonderfully busy day, we are reminded that the MAGIC of Christmas is children. The JOY of Christmas is family. And the PEACE of Christmas is in our Savior Jesus Christ.