Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!

So, for my Christmas Eve post I figured it was about time to post some pictures of our Thanksgiving trip. We traveled up to Central Oregon where most of my extended family lives.
A couple of years ago I drove the kids up for Christmas and hit the mountain passes during one of the worst storms of the season. I figured this year we could miss a couple of those storms and travel for Thanksgiving instead. Ha!
We headed right into a nasty, early winter storm. Ugh! Thankfully I had Phil to drive us this time...he did great even though it had been a long time since he had driven in the white stuff.
We also had the advantage of having a four wheel drive vehicle this time...what a blessing that turned out to be!
Our first stop was Mount Shasta where we had breakfast at the Original Big Bear Diner. It is a favorite of Phil's family and so we got up ultra early to make sure we made it to the diner for breakfast. Hot cocoa was in order since we were now in snow country.

As I mentioned before, we were driving through a snow storm. I had one daughter that was wearing flip flops and the other was wearing a tank top.
Come on are making me cold!

One of our favorite places to hang out in Sisters. And, on a snowy day? Even a nicer place to be!

My parents live a few blocks away from the Sisters Coffee House so we typically walk down for a nice cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate. Inside it looks like a beautiful log lodge and the fire place is always ablazing.

This year we found a wonderful rental down in Sunriver which is south of Bend. It is a very nice resort and this house was suitable for all of our extended family.
It was my parents, my brother and his family, and my family.
Nathan came down for a couple of days and the young lady that he is courting came up by train to spend some time with our family.
Then, my brother and his family left and my sister and her family came down.
What a wonderful time we had....but, we sure missed having Peter and Becca around.

Not only did we drive through a snow storm we also enjoyed quite a few days of falling snow. One clear day the kids got out and played in the snow.
Uncle Phil took some time to build a snowman with our nephew and Joe.

After a long day out in the snow it is nice to enjoy the fire in the stove...and play computer games?!? Yep, Nathan was trying to show Brown Sugar how to play a game...

...and then, Brown Sugar shows my nephew how to play the game. Yikes! Did Nate know what he was doing?

Daisy and M (my sister's daughter) are really like sisters. We helped take care of M for years while my sister worked as a single mom. She is dear to our hearts and these two are very close.

We played Pictionary. Now, this is a fun game and our family loves to play games but, I have to admit that I was a bit intimidated. Why? My brother is a graphic designer and an amazing artist. It was the girls against the guys...the girls held there own and in fact we won. Well, only because we were ahead for awhile and decided that we wanted to end the game when we saw the guys were winning.

Bundled up for some fun in the snow.

A snowman that made by the girls.

Sunriver lodge...with all this snow it really felt like Christmas not Thanksgiving!

Gorgeous snow covered waterfall at the resort.

We decided to enjoy a one horse open sleigh ride through the meadow at Sunriver. M, Miss M, Daisy, Nathan, and Carrie (the young lady that Nate is courting) are all waiting for the next sleigh.

My dad (Papa Bear) holding my nephew as we wait for the sleigh.

My giant little brother (I am twelve years older than him) and his lovely wife. I am 5'9" and my brother towers over me at 6'5".

Inside the Sunriver lodge...beautiful!

After the sleigh ride and a walk around the lodge we walked through a Gingerbread House display. It was fun to see the creativity.

The cousins!

This is the house that we stayed at. Such nice accomodations! In fact, I think we are coming back in the summer for some bike riding, kayaking, and hiking.

Nothing like a visit from Santa...

What better thing to do in the winter than ice skating. Brown Sugar is quite good on skates. They all had a wonderful time going round and round the rink.

Miss M enjoying a couple of hours of ring around the rink.

My niece all smiles.

Foley with his new hat and his big smile.

Brown Sugar and her new hat.

Nathan had to get back to the base he is stationed at after a few days. We all said our good-byes (mine was a teary good-bye) and prayed that he would make it back through the snow and ice in safety.

Papa Bear with his little Brown Sugar watching a holiday film together.

We had a small fake, lit tree at the rental house. To decorate the tree we made some sugar cookies and frosted them.
What memories we built as we played games together, watched holiday movies, and ate some great food. Hanging with cousins and siblings and playing in the snow added to the festive occasion.
We even had the privilege of attending a wonderful community church while in Sunriver.
All in all it was a wonderful Thanksgiving.

We have a lot to be thankful for...
We got to hear Baby Olsson's heartbeat again and poke around feeling where the baby's head, bum, and legs are. The baby is gaining all that fat underneath the skin now...plumping up for his/her birth day.
Baby continues to move and stretch. I love how as soon as I eat the baby starts moving around and usually gets the hiccups as well. I am loving all this movement.
It is getting harder to move around and the bathroom and I have become good friends!
We are now at 31 weeks...yeah, a little more than two months to go before we see and hold Baby Olsson!

The rest of the family is doing well. We are finally seeing some of the house become more organized and yet there is still so much to do...but, we are very happy where we are.
Nothing like Christmas decorations, music, and cooking to help make a house seem more like a home.

Tonight we enjoy a wonderful, big dinner, watch "It's A Wonderful Life", and open one gift that always happens to be a new pair of pajamas. I mean, really, it is nice for the photographer for all of the photo subjects to be wearing new pjs for all those Christmas morning photos!

We pray that you have a wonderful, blessed Christmas in your home.

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