Citrus season in California.  Oh man, California has it's issues, but amazing produce is NOT one of them.  Our lemon tree produced a good amount of lemons this year.  We were able to make quite a few batches of lemonade (doesn't seem right that lemons are winter fruit, when it's summer time that you want lemonade the most!)  We have quite a few members in our ward and neighborhood that hand out lemons and limes all winter, so we really never run out.  It's awesome.
 The scene I came down to one morning.  The kids making lemonade.

 I bought a one-burner table top induction cooker, so the kids could cook with me.  They put it on the bench at it's just the right size.   
 It's been a couple years since we've been home for Christmas, so we haven't had a real tree for a few years.  This year we were staying put, so we were able to get a real Christmas tree again. 
 Searching for our perfect Christmas tree.

 Found our tree.

 Caught Noah doing some business in the bushes.
 Snow capped mountains.  So happy with how much moisture we've been getting this winter.  Our cabin has had over 50" of rain since October, our house 23", and Tahoe and Shasta are covered in snow.  Boating season should be awesome this year.
 Trimming our tree.  I'm amazed at how much control I've been able to relinquish over the years.  I don't even care who puts the lights on anymore (I know, those that know me, know what a big deal this is - don't worry I still give pointers).

 Grant is very particular about how it's done though.
 I have about 100 pictures of our ornaments - 90 of them are blurry.  :)
Adam was at a King's game, so the kids and I went out and looked for Christmas lights.  We walked around one of the "Christmas light neighborhoods". 

Ward Christmas party.  Wish I got a decent picture of the decorations, it was EPIC.  Overkill, IMO, but it looked nice.  Adam was the MC for the evening and did a great job (he also sang in the program).  I was a contestant in the musical chairs competition. :)  I lost.
Another thing we haven't done for a few years is get presents for each other since we've been away, so the kids had to come up with their sibling presents.  I told them they could use their own money to buy something, or make something.  Grant made Ava a 'sleeping bag' out of an old pillow case for Ava's big stuffed cheetah (it sleeps on her bed).  We used scrap fabric to sew on the name 'Jack' and some stars.
Grant and Ava went in on a gift for Noah.  They (Adam did most of the building) made a wood box for Noah to store all his 'treasures' (AKA junk) in.  We actually ended up putting all his stuff that he wants to save in it (old pinewood derby cars, awards, letters from Charlotte). The babies used my wood burner and burned his name into the lid.  I think we only got one small burn. :)
Ava bought Grant a giant shirt for his giant bear (shirt says 'I don't give a quack'). 
Noah made chore coupons for Grant (i.e. I will make your bed.  I will fold your laundry.  I will feed Nala, etc.)  He thought it was a great quick idea, but now that he's had to start paying up, he's not liking that gift as much. HA!!  We have to tel him multiple times that you can't take the gift back. 
 Noah made Ava (with a lot of help from me) this awesome book about how she traveled the world.  We photoshopped her into lots of different places and told a little story about each place.  Here's some of the pictures. This one said something about Ava going to Africa and running with the cheetahs, and how she won because she was so fast.
 This one said something about how Ava did some boonie gas on Easter Island in Chile and her gas tipped over some of the Maori heads.  I'm too lazy to go get the book to see exactly what it said.
This one was about how Ava climbed Mt. Everest to put a Christmas tree on top.
In the middle of busy December my car started acting weird and died on me twice. Ugh!  The last time we ended up having to get it towed.  Grant got strep at the same time. :)
Helped in Grant's class for his Santa's breakfast.  This is his best friend, Freddie.  He talks about him ALL the time.  Mainly about what an awesome drop kicker he is.  That's what makes a best friend, I guess.

A note I found from Ava after getting mad at her for something.  Luckily she didn't actually go too far (she was hiding in the back yard).
 We invited anyone who didn't have family or other plans to come over for Christmas Eve.  We had a house full (30+ people), ate lots of yummy food, sang songs and had good conversation. 
 Ran out of space so we had to put the drinks and dessert in the entryway.  The best table of the night.
 After our guests left, we opened our Christmas P.J.'s and books.
 Aunt April makes their P.J.'s every year.  She awesome!
 Christmas morning - I LOVED Christmas growing up, but being a parent on Christmas is WAY better!!
Ava loved her book from Noah.
Noah loved his box from the babies.
Ava's favorite Christmas present was this microphone and speaker.
Grant's loot. BB gun, soccer ball and headphones from Santa.  Roller skates and legos from us.  Electric toothbrush, invisible pens, astronaut ice cream and chocolate in his stocking.
Ava's loot. New bike and that remote control dog from Santa.  Books and microphone from us.  Jump rope (all the kids have loved the jump rope - who knew!), astronaut ice cream, electronic toothbrush, invisible pens and chocolate in her stocking.
Noah loved this present.  It's a sand table that makes designs with that marble.  You just turn on the power and you can make different designs by adjusting the knobs.
Noah's loot. BB gun and the sand art from Santa. Telescope and Harry Potter books (he's already on book 5) from us.  Electronic toothbrush, invisible pens, selfie stick (for his camera), astronaut ice cream and chocolate in his stocking. 
Adam got new tools for the cabin and I got a robot vacuum for the cabin. 
We looked like a bunch of hillbillies heading to the cabin. We went to church on Christmas morning and then packed up and headed to the cabin.  I loved having Christmas on Sunday.  Really make the spirit of Christmas more meaningful. 
Grant target practicing.  He claims to have shot 2 birds already.
We had a steady flow of visitors all week at the cabin.  It was so much fun!  We didn't see any of the kids until it was time to eat.  Tried to go to the look out, but we ran into snow, so we had to stop.

That tiny 'fire look-out house' on the left mountain was our destination. 
We spent one day at Mt. Shasta playing in the snow and sledding.   The kids had a blast.

Got my baby fix with little Cooper for a few days.
My kids were in heaven with all the friends around to play with.

Ha, watch out for that bush, Grant.
A LOT of snow was eaten.

I tried the big hill ONCE.
Showed the Edwards one of the McCloud falls.  So cool to see this in the winter. 
Summer time.
Went to the headwaters of the Sacramento river, filled up our water bottles and explored the park a little. 
Noah likes to color the snow yellow. :)

We got to have 3 families up there over the Christmas break.  Lots of fun had by all.
Lots of illegal riding in the back of the truck to get to places.
After this trip Ava kept asking for a sister. :)
Checking out the lake.  Right now it's even fuller!

Adam does NOT sit still at the cabin.  He thinks he has to be working all the time, so this was an unusual site for sure.
Adam and Shaun built a tire swing. The kids love it.

When our last round of visitors came we tried the overlook again.  We made it to the top this time.  We had an entire week of amazingly warm weather (rains a ton up there, so very unusual to get an entire week with no rain) over Christmas break.   The views from the top are breathtaking.

Usually you can see giant Mt. Shasta from up there, but it was covered by clouds.

Such a fun week with great friends, at a place we love to be.
New Years Eve.  Had some friends over for dinner and then we watched the ball drop in New York and then called it a night.  I know, real party animals ending at 9.  We're old.
Grant put together his Christmas legos all by himself.  He was very proud.  We seem to have a problem with poison oak.  The last few times we've been to the cabin the boys get terrible rashes from poison oak.  Trying to figure out a solution to fix/cure this. Hmmmm   Part of it is my fault because I thought since the leaves are off the poison oak, the bushes wouldn't effect them until Spring.  I guessed wrong. 
There you have it.  Busy and fun December. 

1 comment:

Mary said...

What a fun December. I like to see your kids playing in the snow even if Noah yellowed it a bit. Can't wait to see the cabin in person.