Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

We had a lovely Christmas Day. With Christmas being on Sunday this year, it made for a little bit different schedule than usual but it was a very nice day. I got the boys up early--at least they thought so--although not nearly as early as they used to get us up when they were younger. I made breakfast for everyone and then we opened our gifts. I had come across hot chocolate with CWU, Clark and Army labels on them so I couldn't resist getting them for the boys for this photo op. They advertised them as red, blue and gold on the labels but I didn't truly believe it until I opened one to make some. It really was gold hot chocolate.

I got Chris another Clark College sweatshirt, a book by Kissinger that he wanted, and the big gift was a ride along with the Vancouver Police Department that I had purchased at an auction. I'm not sure it is a good idea but Chris does have an interest in law enforcement so a friend recommended that he do a ride along. A few days later, they had one for auction at the Rotary Gala. It was perfect timing and I was as excited to buy it for him as he was to get it.

Tom and I are going clothes shopping today for his Christmas gift from us. But he got a beautiful Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl jersey from Maddy and he has been wanting a cookbook that Grandma Bev has for cooking some meals at school--so that is what he got to open yesterday.

After we opened gifts, we went to church with Grandma Beverly. It was a fun service with the focus of the service being on the children and the children's story. They played a great video of "The Christmas Story" as told by some pre-schoolers from Portland a few years ago. It was hysterical. And the kids in church were pretty funny with what came out of their mouths as well.

When we got home, Chris took off in search of a homeless person. The youth group at church purchased items and put things together to give to the homeless. Chris spent about $70 on various things like food, socks, hats, gloves, handwarmers, etc. He found a man named Michael to give his gift to and they prayed together.

Tom gave us "The King's Speech" as a family gift. It was a wonderful movie to share with Grandma Beverly to watch together in the afternoon. Then we had a lovely lamb dinner and watched the Packers beat the Bears.

It was a wonderful day to be together. This Christmas reminded me that it won't be long before we won't all be together for Christmas. I suspect Tom will probably be able to come home for Christmas while he is in Pensacola next year--but probably not much after that. I must try to remember to cherish all my time together with him over the next few months before he goes off into the Air Force. While seeing him infrequently while he is at school has eased me into it, I am going to miss having him only a few hours away.

Hoping you all had as nice of a Christmas as we did.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Big Horn Brass Concert and After Party

The past two years our friends, Steve and Jeannie, have recommended that we see the Big Horn Brass Christmas concert and have invited us to the party that they give after the concert. It is always close to the time Jeannie has her birthday so it is sort of a combination birthday and Christmas celebration. Last night was actually her birthday. The concert was very good with a lot of Christmas music--two hours worth plus a half hour intermission. There was a vocalist by the name of Karla Harris that really rocked the house on the four songs that she sang with them. We even sang Happy Birthday to Jeannie after the intermission.

They wanted me to take pictures of their trees and of them in front of their tree so I happily obliged. Their tree is actually three trees all together in the same corner and it was amazing with huge bulbs and lots of lights. It was definitely a stunning tree display. It was so tall I couldn't take a picture of the whole tree from the front--not enough room to backup and get the whole tree in the picture. The only way I could get a decent picture was going upstairs and taking a picture looking down at it.

Last year they had the Dickens Carolers sing and I was so disappointed that I didn't have my camera. I wanted to make sure I had it this year to take pictures. They were there again this year and sang three different sets of music. After they were done, three doctors got together with the piano, a bass and a trumpet and played more music. So it was fantastic listening to three different groups play music all in one night.

We had a wonderful time!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Reason for the Season

The Grotto in Portland has held a Festival of Lights for many years. I have always thought it would be a fun holiday thing to do but have never gotten around to going to it. This year we decided not to go to the CAA holiday party and just spend the evening on our own for a real date. So I asked Bill to take me to the Grotto to see the lights.

It was a very nice experience. It truly is one of those Christmas displays that are about the true reason for the season--Jesus' birth. The lights were beautiful and many portrayed the Christmas story. In the Grotto itself, they had a life size nativity scene. We listened to an amazing girls choir in the chapel.

Afterward, we went out for a bite to eat and some drinks to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our church wedding. Between the Army-Navy game, the Grotto and Applebees--we had a very nice day together.

Army Navy Game Party

Bill and I made our usual appearance at the Army-Navy game party this year. It was held at Big Al's in Beaverton for the second year in a row. Usually we go with our friends, Jeff and Julie, but they were out of town so we went on our own. As usual, Army lost again--tenth year in a row. But at least it was a closer game than usual. Hopefully they can win next year.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Gala

Bill and I went to the Festival of Trees Gala tonight. It was a fun evening. The economy must be doing at least a little bit better this year. The last few years have been very painful trying to get people to raise their bids. This year they were able to raise a lot of money. Several trees even sold for close to $2000 or more. I was so excited to get one of Christopher's Christmas gifts in the silent auction. It is something that he really wants right now so it will be hard to keep it a secret until Christmas. Bill arranged to have Ken Daswani donate a suit to the auction so he had a lot of fun all week planning what to do with the mannequin. He photoshopped a bunch of guys' heads to put on it through out the evening. I was able to get a few pictures of them with their mannequin pictures. I loved when Nancy went to give "Eric" a kiss. And as always--the trees are beautiful.