End-of-Year Highlights

December 31, 2011 at 8:43 pm (Just Photos)

With a trip out of town and 2 weeks off of school, December has given us lots of family time. We started the month with a visit to Minnesota to meet a brand new nephew/ cousin. JJ thought the baby was great, but wrestling with the other nephew/ cousin was better. I couldn’t get a shot that wasn’t in motion.

We got home with plenty of time to get a tree from a local farm. Right next to a horse pasture, Panga wandered over to check it out. She’s so tough from this side of the fence, all woofing and pouncing around.

Yikes, someone got too close.

We don’t get a lot of snow here in Oregon, but the mornings have been frosty this month. The nighttime fog is beautiful frozen onto the landscape.

No matter the month, every time we wake up to frost out the windows, the kids cheer, “It’s Christmas!” I guess that’s the conclusion they make from every Christmas book, picture, movie, or show they see. Christmas equals snow, so any whiteness resembling snow on the ground must equal Christmas.

It started to look a little more like Christmas inside the house as we got our decorations up, including two impromptu stockings Elia fashioned for the rats.

She asked Santa to please fill the stockings for the rats, too.

An evening trip to the zoo meant no animals, but plenty to see.

The live animals go in for the night, and the light-up animals come on display.

Hot chocolate is a must when waiting in line for the night zoo train.

A little surprise we discovered inside our tree. What kind of creature did this belong to?

It wasn’t this little friend:

Cookies gets cozy in JJ’s sleeve as she eats a small treat. We did send her into the branches of the tree to climb around for a while and see who might be living in there. Spiders galore, but no small animals in the nest.

My favorite part of the holiday is Christmas eve dinner; soup from scratch and homemade bread. A simple meal that we eat by candlelight and remark on how much goodness and joy we have in our lives. All year round, our lives are rich with the essence of Christmas; it’s nice to take a quiet evening to reflect upon this. Of course, we also share our excitement in giving each other gifts the next morning.

Elia made this candle from scraps of modeling wax and a piece of string. I love it.

JJ enjoys a snack by the Christmas tree, while someone discreetly tries to make her presence known.

Hm, can I get any closer? Or focus my eyes more intently? Maybe I can perk my ears up higher to let you know that I’m very interested in what you have.  That, what I’m staring at. I want what you have.

As this season of reflection draws to a close, I am looking toward the new year. We’ve spent so much time at home this month, it will be sad to get back into our regular routine again next week. But back into it we will get, and I have plans, lots of plans. Can’t wait to see you all again in the new year!


  1. Tonja Howrd said,

    Kelly, thanks for sharing your journey! Such great pics of the fam! Happy New Year to all of you! See you in 2012. 🙂

  2. Susan Wilberding said,

    Kelly I really enjoy reading your articles! I absolutely LOVE the pictures you took too! Gorgeous!! Happy New Year to you and your family!

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