Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve!

New Year's Eve was pretty special this year.  Because of Jeremy and Katee's wedding gift being a trip to Disneyland, Kim, Carrie and their children were all coming to Southern California and due to arrive at our house before midnight.  Joanna took the kids to the beach in the early part of the day (Heather had had stomach flu through the night, but recovered quickly), and after dinner we hung out, Face Timed with Aunt Michelle and kept a toasty fire going.  Sariah even helped with the wood and cozied up next to the fire when it wasn't being stoked.  Around 11PM, the rest of the family arrived:  KC and Liz (Kim's oldest), Kim and her two youngest, Connor and Nick, Carrie and her kids, Brody and Brook, and Aunt Margie.  Grandpa Ron was already here, and we had a rip roaring ringing in of the new year!  We had a blast visiting and being silly before heading to bed.  All of the kids, except for Heather, slept on the living room floor.  We were tight on space, but huge on love.  What a great way to ring in the new year!!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Joanna, Kasey and Cole for New Year's Eve

Joanna, Kasey and Cole arrived late Sunday night to stay through New Year's Day.  We had taco dinner that night, and Jenna enjoyed having Kasey around to artfully paint her nails.  We enjoyed a restful day on Monday and hung out for a bit in the front yard while the kids long boarded.  Monday night we went to Super Mex for dinner.  Heather stayed home to rest, and Jenna and Cole had fun decorating each other with crayons.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Jeremy and Katee's Wedding

Aren't they a beautiful couple?  Jeremy and Katee Fitzsimmons were married on Saturday, December 28, 2013.  We were invited to attend the sealing and reception, but it wasn't meant to be.  Our car rental was planned as well as accommodations, but on our travel morning, I wasn't feeling too great.  I figured it was because the girls and I spent the day after Christmas cleaning and cleaning to get the house ready for company that would come when we returned from the wedding.  I tried to get up and shower, but went back to bed for just a few more minutes of sleep.  I had no idea how I was going to drive to Northern CA that day, but I figured I'd get my energy shortly.  Kelly came in to tell me the car rental place had no cars left, and I confirmed that with a phone call.  The corporate office only sent them one of the 7 cars needed that day.  I was relieved not to have to get up and go get the car right then, but nervous about the trip...how were we going to get there?  By the time they called to tell me there was a car available, my dad had come down with the stomach flu.  I was a little queasy as well, and I assume that's what I had.  Jenna had had it on Monday, Kelly on Christmas Eve, and I guess it was our turn.  Heather came down with it on Sunday morning.  My dad and I were the ones who were scheduled to drive up that Friday, so in a way, the car rental hiccup was a blessing in disguise.  I can't wait to see the pictures and hear about the wedding when Kim gets here next week!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sariah - Week 11

Sariah is continuing to grow at a rapid rate.  We are true puppy lovers as evidenced by the holiday collar she had to have.  She is exploring the yard more and less skiddish when she hears birds, other barking or loud car noises.  She got into the unwrapping of her gifts with great gusto.  We are discovering her intelligence as we've taught her a few tricks that she picks up on the first day she's trained.  She can sit, shake and come.  She's pretty smart about the potty training, but she still has at least one accident a week.  This breed is definitely motivated by food, and Sariah is most attentive when she knows there is food in your hand.  Her walks are more successful when she remembers we have treats.  She still loves to snuggle and play and when she's not nipping at our pants, we have a great time with her.  Her vet visit on 12/17 had her weighing 15.7 pounds.  She was 8.4 just three weeks ago,  which verifies what we're seeing.  She is expected to be full size by 9 months.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

All the decorations in the quiet moments before the storm

We usually shoot photos of the girls coming down the hall.  Love the difference between the 11-year-old and the 14-year-old this year.

 Sariah's first Christmas - opening her stocking and playing with her toys

 The girls' sacks from Santa - Heather just discovered her Steampunk goggles, and Jenna is happy to discover a new jacket in her favorite color.

Face Time with Uncle Kevin and Aunt Beth from the Big Island.  They watched us open our gifts from them while we talked.  I especially loved my Downton Abbey jewlery!

 Our small dinner party

Kelly and puppy spending time together after a long day

Our outside lights and porch decor

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

Kelly made another batch of cinnamon rolls today so we could enjoy them tomorrow morning.  Santa doesn't get cookies at the Peterson's house; he gets a cinnamon roll and milk.  At least he has variety as he travels the world, right?  The decorations are all up, and the presents are wrapped.  Our stockings were not hung by the chimney until tonight because we couldn't bear to think of the puppy tearing apart Carmen's handmade stockings.  The puppy is asleep in her kennel, and the stockings have finally been hung by the chimney, with care, of course.  When the house quiets down and I'm the last one up, I love to sit in the living room with no light other than the tree.  It gives me a chance to take a deep breath, soak in the beauty and reflect.  Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Tree Decorating & Carolers

The Christmas tree has been decorated, and looks great!  Better late than never!  So far the puppy isn't interested in the decorations, but we modified our normal decor for her.  The red garland and silver beads are not up this year, the tree couldn't support the heavier ornaments, and we didn't put a lot of the ornaments down super low.  It's a different looking tree for us, but it still looks pretty great.  I never thought I'd say this, but my favorite ornaments are the ones that the girls have made at school over the years.  I love looking at their cute little faces which I don't see on a regular basis anymore.  We had a nice surprise caroling visit tonight from the Holbrooks which is always a treat.  

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Piano Recital

It was just Jenna performing this year for our family.  Heather's schedule has prevented her from getting to a regular piano lesson and practicing regularly.  Jenna did a great job for the limited practice she put in.  Her teacher and I would LOVE to hear what she could do with some concentrated practice.  Why is it that when a child has a natural talent with something that they often don't like or want to pursue that avenue?  We will press on with our music education and hopefully have great things to report in the future!

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Heavens

Sunset on 12/2

 Sunrise on 12/3

 The moon on 12/16

 Sunrise on 12/17

 Morning storm clouds on 12/19

The heavens required a post of their own this month.  Sunsets, sunrises, full moons and storm clouds were simply amazing this month.