Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oh my.

I think I have just a tad bit of competitiveness (sp?) when it comes to hubby. Or is it that he just makes me a little less chicken about some things. I went out for the evening ski tonite and turned around to see him behind me. We had these fancy matching headlamps on. Probably quite a site to behold! He had downhill skiis on and I had my x-country ones on. At least we both have ski poles. He decided to head up the driveway ... a thing I'm not crazy about without new snow. I followed, of course. And then being as he was with me I had this great idea to head up the road and cut down the trail through the woods behind the house. I lost count of the number of times I took my boots out of the skiis in order to stand up. And his downhill skiis are not meant for trudging up the road. He's such a trooper. I hugged a few trees on the way down ... and finally made it. That would be another one of those snow shoe treks ... not ski treks. Was great for giggles afterward. Would have been great with a camera ... riding the snowbank on the side of the road and trying to figure out how to pivot so I was heading the other way. Voi!

The temp has dipped to 14 degrees out there. I'm not missing the 38 and all the melting of snow. These icicles may be fun ... especially wondering if one is going to bonk you on the noggin when you walk out the door ... but the puddles they leave behind are threatening to life and limb.  The dropping temp also means something else.

My freezer doesn't have room for ice candles. Those were desert days ... now we wait for cold outside in order to make them. The freezer is rather full of that broccoli stuff. The porch is a tad bit warmer than the front door stoop. The candles at the front door haven't melted ... the ones on the screened porch hadn't finished freezing and what had frozen slowly melted. Now .... we once again have freezing candles. A bit late for Christmas, but we don't care. We have plenty of Christmas cookies and fudge left to eat while we gaze at glowing ice candles. Really .. who am I kidding? I'm not about to be out there gazing at them.

Countdown to Minnesota is on. 10 days to flight day. Can't wait to see everyone. I usually manage to travel incredibly light. Jari and I have been known to share one carryon bag. That is light. Almost helium light. Will have to wait and see what the weather looks like for the weekend when it gets closer. I don't think a carryon is going to do it this time. I'm second guessing the top I got to wear to the wedding. I'm good at the second guessing thing. I did get my hair cut this evening!! I have gotten very cheap about those haircut things. This is the second time I've gone for a haircut since we moved up here. Once a year seems to be the thing. :) In between times ... I have a great pair of scissors that are kept very close to the mirror.

Off to slumberland ... I'm exhausted. Between these attempts at skiing, playing tennis on the Wii (we didn't do so good this evening) and finishing my book ... I'm ready for sleep!

Missing sleepin' in

I wish I could sleep in today. Was kind of getting use to it over the weekend. This is a rude awakening to be getting up in the morning. Wait 'til next week. I'll really be grumbling. Maybe I'll actually start getting up early again and getting some scrapbooking done. Haven't touched that in a coons age!

Fred is in Minnesota for Christmas. I had several goals before he comes back. I need these little markers in life to motivate me. Saturday I got one thing done. The laundry room is clean and the piles ready to be donated for tax write off purposes this year. Sifted through and grabbed the jeans and sweatshirts that I could use for quilts. Am itching to start sewing something as well. Has to be done before April ... then I move outside to play and don't intend to come back in until fall. :) Next on the list is a closet downstairs. Full of boxes of books, scrapbooks, and all kinds of goodies. That will be this weekend's project. I'm on all call day Friday and Saturday. I do want to work. I do want to clean. A good mix of the two would be great.

I have to share with you a typical moment around here late Sunday evening. 3 kids went ice skating. Thank goodness for drivers licenses. I don't have to be carting everyone to the rink. I just have to fill the gas tank in order for it to happen. At about 11pm on Sunday evening, my phone rings. The Tahoe is on 1/4 tank and .... oops! Someone forgot to look at the gas gauge. It has had an issue with something that sucks up fuel in the gas tank for a long time. At half a tank the thing thinks it is empty. It will continue running, but will not start once turned off if less than 1/2 tank. Jari climbs out of bed and heads out to meet kiddo at the gas station. We have many of these little moments around here. Never know what is coming around the corner next!

Had a good giggle last night. Jari is trying to sell the Camry on Craigs List.  Some guy calls last night and has questions about the car. "Does it run?" "Does it have windows?" Jari tells him that it has brand new tires on it and that if he wants the car for $300 he can have it, just won't be able to take the tires. We'll take them off. The guy says, "Then how will I be able to drive it home ... oh, that's right ... it doesn't run." Mind you, every word is spaced with time for synapses to connect in his brain. "Where is the car?" Jari tells him it is in Palmer. "You said Valley in your ad ... I thought that was Big Lake ... I'm way out in Willow ... that's going to take me an hour to get there." Special, stupid, stoned? I'm going for the stoned and I'm guess he might just make a great poster child for a good marijuana campaign. It's all too common here. Sorry, I'm judging a book and haven't even seen the cover yet ... but voi etta!!!

Time to boogie. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Anniversary to us!

Today we celebrate 24 years of wedded bliss. Unbelievable that time has flown so fast. We got married on a cold day in northern Minnesota after meeting 3 months earlier. I had moved to Phoenix and the first time Jari saw me he told Ken, "There's my wife." And so it was. We were married shortly thereafter. Life has been a journey. There have been 5 blessings we call children added to our family over the years. We've had the fun of financial ups and downs, the challenges of growing and changing ourselves, the laughs and the tears of children .. the building blocks of life that make it always challenging and never boring. We have traveled every state west of the Mississippi with our children and brought there here to experience another way of life. We're so fortunate to have many friends around the globe. Hard to believe that next year on this day we'll celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary. We have learned a few things in the past 24 years and I wouldn't go back to the beginning for all the tea in China. To imagine that WE will be celebrating a Silver Anniversary is a bit over the top. (Old people have those parties!) At least I have a year to get use to the idea.

Today he brought he two dozen roses at work. They are absolutely beautiful ... and he is much more so. He's the guy who also stopped by the hospital last week to start my car so it would be warm when I left. Sometimes he downright spoils me.

It will be an absolute pleasure to spend the next 24 years of my life with him.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year

Christmas Day here in Alaska and the thermometer has read 38 degrees most of the day. A titch of wind in the air ... snow melting ... ice candles melting ... but beautiful!

We spent Christmas Eve at home with the 4 kids who were here. Alyx is working both days this year ... we missed her at home. We got plenty of game playing in. Many new games under the tree and a Wii downstairs. Will keep everyone quite busy!

Today we had Christmas Services at 11 a.m. and then came home to a delicious dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes (enough to feed an army or two) and the entire fixins. Our family is at the age where I need to start doubling the amount of Green Bean Casserole and stuffing in order to have leftovers! Amber & Ryan joined us for dinner and the rest of the day.

The clock is turning 10:00 pm and things are wound down a bit. Alyx is still at work. Brock and Tia are off skating. Anna is sitting next to me on the other computer and Blayde is lost somewhere around here. Jari is busily cooking the rest of the shrimp from the freezer and I'm Beboing, Facebooking and blogging! Bebo wouldn't let me upload any more Christmas greetings this evening. Says they don't want any spam ... would I please wait a while before I do any more?!

Looking forward to a busy day of catching up around here tomorrow ... and then another day of relaxing!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

If you're counting ... 1 day 'til Christmas Eve

A few pictures from the party. My pictures are a modge podge of little people, big people, bad pictures, silly pictures. None of the birthday girl by herself on Sunday. But what good is a get together to celebrate 13 years if you don't have a few goofy girls around?!

And then you need plenty of food ... in case you forgot to eat at the last feast you were at 2 hours ago.

You munch that jello cake down to the very last morsel ... making sure that a good share of it ends up on your pretty party dress.

Then ... being as it is Christmas time and the house is full of people ... and there is a piano ... you'll join in Christmas singing.

And then the household (he came later when nearly everyone else had gone) will play games with Michael ... who has quite the scoot going on and is getting very good with those feet of his. Looks like a pinball machine when he gets them working!

So went an evening of birthday partying.

Monday, Federal Express showed up in the yard. Huh? What on earth were they bringing?
A root beer making kit for Tia from Ken & Donna. Fun!! We quickly made root beer. I didn't get any pictures. To be honest I was doing a bit of shut eye when they started and then we had to make the process a bit speedy as we were on our way to another birthday party. The root beer will be ready for the fridge today ... and we're going to have home made root beer floats on Christmas Eve! I should have her make ice cream as well. That would be fun. (Add to list.)

Christmas Eve tomorrow ... around here that means we open gifts tomorrow evening. Oh my goodness.

The girls are frosting cookies today. I really want to still make haystacks for Blayde. Will see if I get it done. Still need to make a grocery list for dinner on Christmas Day. We're replaying Thanksgiving ... have a turkey in the freezer ... we're eating turkey. :)

I do have to share this picture with you. Jari has been busy again. And I absolutely love the fact that my living room now has room for living.
The entertainment center made its way downstairs ... the final move. Love it. Love it. Love it!

So I cheated a bit .... one more picture. I flip a lightswitch and the trees light up. Ain't he just a handy fella?

I have other fun ones for you, but I really must go. We are having a potluck at work today. I'm not bringing anything nutritious .... I am introducing them to prune tarts and pulla ... with a few kiss cookies and a bit of fudge tossed in there. The tarts need to make it into the oven before I leave.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The family picture, Sunday School Program and Birthday

It was quite the weekend ... and I like to sleep in a bit now that I don't have to get the kids up for school. That means that I'm not on here as much as I like to be in the mornings. I'm snoozing soundly on my pillow for an extra hour instead.

We tried the family picture. The girls were in attendance. We had one boy. Then Boy #2 came outside and Boy #1 went inside. Jari had a screeching headache and wasn't in the mood to be smiling for pictures. So here is what we got.

Beautiful family, aren't they? :)

Off to the Sunday School Program. I really didn't get to see it.

I was hiding back there behind the cover of the piano. I tell you the piano is a treat to play. Was nice to have a program in the afternoon, not only for the daylight coming in the windows, but for the loooong evening still available afterwards!

Garrett narrated the program. It was mixed with a lot of congregational singing and was beautiful. This is the entire Sunday School.

The confirmation students, the Annas, read the Christmas Gospel.

The girls waiting to perform a musical piece ....

and doing a marvelous job! Next year I'd like to see them practice for Sylivan Joululaulu or something like that.

Don't they look just thrilled to be up there?!

Unlike this group of littles. Aren't they just the sweetest ever?! They could carry their tunes flat as a pancake and they'd still be darling.  We had a meal of pizza, salad and desserts afterwards ... with plenty of visiting upstairs.

Then off to the next shindig at our house. We tried a few more pictures ....

and came up with a few of these .... (I really can't remember if anyone was standing on tippy toes in this one or not.)

We certainly weren't in this one!

We had a fabulous evening with a houseful of visitors ... and right now I don't have time to share those with you. Maybe later ... tomorrow ... some other day. Work is calling.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

This really isn't our world today ...

this was last week, but I hadn't shared the picture so thought I would.

Home from the Hospital's Christmas Party. Little things make me just glad to be here. Like an invocation at the start of the party. Part of the beginning of that included a line that went something like this: "some places they prefer to say Happy Holidays, here we still say Merry Christmas!" I hope it makes your heart as glad as mine.

The food was delicious. We will make every effort to attend this party from now on. I also won a $50 gift card this evening. :) Yippee!!! We went straight from the party (which is still going strong I'm sure) to WalMart and promptly spent it and more. It certainly was appreciated and came in handy. We should now be ready for tomorrow. Except for one major thing. The birthday gift. Why can I not find what I want???!!! Frustrating beyond belief. I suppose I need to try and make another run tomorrow to some other place.

My house heats up so fast from the oven going. The second cake is nearly done. Doesn't help to put nearly frozen chocolate chips into a cake. Sort of increases the baking time a tad bit. One jello cake ... we're going to have a houseful of littler people tomorrow ... and one decadent chocolate cake for the bigs.

Family pictures are slated for 1:10 p.m. Do you think it'll get accomplished? Bummer that the wind picked up a bit today and sort of put a damper on my bright idea. Will try it anyway. I decided I'd be nice and let everyone wear jackets. I might change my mind. It is a whopping 17 degrees out there ... might just go jacketless!

Ice candles are freezing. Realized a bit too late that I should have dumped out most of the water and let the bottoms freeze a bit thicker. So much for the second round that I was hoping to put out freezing tonite. So much to do ... so few hours in a day!

Have a good nite! I hope to be back tomorrow evening with a sneak peak at the family picture as well as pictures from the Sunday School Program. Will be a fun day!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

1:40 p.m.

Whew! Missions nearly accomplished.
  • First 2 pans of pulla are in the oven and the dough looks like it will be yummy
  • Should even out the Christmas stockings, but the rest is done
  • I have something to wear this evening. I will be all in black ... but the clearance rack was the place for me. Let's hope it looks okay. I can't wear short sweaters. I can't wear square neck things. I don't like anything clinging to my pulla rolls. Ugh!!
  • The girls are working on their bedroom.
  • Now I need an idea for a salad for tomorrow that can go with pizza. I really don't like these kinds of decisions. I really, really don't. Can I just go green with vegies?
  • Another trip to the grocery store tonite after the party. By then I should have managed to accomplish a food list to get through the next 2 days.
I need a nap.

The time says 10:21 a.m.

Why does life have to run by the clock? Or why do I make it do that? The clock is now shrieking 10:21 a.m. at me. I'm an hour late on the schedule this morning. :(

I got up bright and early. Is 7:00 on a Saturday bright or is it early? It certainly wasn't bright outside and it didn't feel early. Got the pulla dough rising, laundry sorted and started putting ice candles outside to freeze. I'm tearing apart a wreath to add to the ice candles. I'll try take pictures later and show you what I'm doing. Anyway, I was on ice cream bucket #3 when the power did the flicker and shut off thing. I really didn't have time for a power outage today. Not only did water running for ice candles stop, but the pulla dough! Have you ever baked it on a grill? I felt around for a lighter, lit some candles, got me a headlamp and went scavenging downstairs in boxes. I got these nifty candle holders in the things from Martta. I knew they were down there somewhere. Whew! Found them and we had plenty of light around here. Jari got up and stoked the woodstove. I started wondering what I could do by candlelight. Mind you ... my eyesight is post 40ish in age.

Here's what I came up with. I cleaned my purse, started going through receipts and hauled out the weeks' worth of mail.

And the power came on. Yippee!!

So now the mail is sorted, the pile of bills is horrendous, the money supply certainly doesn't equal the bill pile ... creativity must flow today. The pulla is nicely rising. I'm off to pick up the last 2 Christmas gifts and try find something to wear to a Christmas party this evening. I have the black pants and shoes. That part I'm good with. It's the top part that is the problem. Topless? Kind of cold out there at 4 degrees ... and I do have to work with these folks on Monday. Wish me luck. I detest clothes shopping. I really do. It is miserable. Especially when you HAVE to find something. And in the interest of economic feasibility ... it has to be all purpose. It must work for the Christmas party this evening, the Sunday School Program tomorrow, Christmas Day church and the wedding in Minnesota.

Gotta run or the pulla is going to flow over the edge of the bowl before I'm home.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy 13th Birthday Tia!

I think I understand how the youngest always stays the youngest. We would like to capture the innocence of youth and preserve it ... as long as possible. We'd like to keep them from experiencing all the struggles and triumphs of life that make us who we are today.

Today we celebrate the official start of the Teen Years for our youngest. Well, we really aren't celebrating it today. Today it is happening. Sunday we plan to celebrate after the Sunday School program. Should be enough weekend to make me a zombie on Monday ... but it'll be fun!

I have so many wishes for her as she starts these fun, but most challenging, years of her life. I hope she always stays as bubbly as she is today.

And ... it doesn't matter if we're still celebrating her 60th birthday many years down the road (if we're around to celebrate with her) ... she'll still be our baby. I don't think she minds too much. It comes with it's own set of perks. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I took a nap tonite ...

and almost, I mean really close to almost, didn't go outside.
But I did when the clock was nearing 9:00 pm.
I'm so glad I did.
Anna laughed her head off when she saw me heading out the door in my getup. I called her when I was done and invited her to the mudroom door to catch me coming in. :)

We have snow, snow and more snow!
Today the hospital sent all "non essential" personnel home early because of snow. The snow plows can't keep the roads clean. One lane going to and from Anchorage. I am so very grateful I don't work in town!
Last night I think I plowed 8 inches of fresh snow in my trek around the yard. Almost feels like snowshoeing at some points. I've been setting my timer on my cell phone for 30 minutes once the skiis are on my feet. Then I go, go, go. I'm unbalanced, unused to this whole thing ... but having a ball nonetheless.
Tonight I plowed another 8 inches in the same spot. Takes at least 2 loops before the track is halfway decent. Either way ... the exercise is awesome and it feels great to be out there!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jari went to the post office yesterday and brought in a nice size pile of mail last night. I'm almost embarrassed to tell you that I ripped open the electric bill faster than anything else. We've been doing the winter money juggle again. We decided to try something new this winter. Jari picked up one of these I heaters ... well maybe he didn't pick it up. They were gracious enough to deliver to Alaska for us. We've added more insulation downstairs and wanted to see if keeping the basement a bit warmer would help with not running the heat upstairs as much. The wood stove certainly goes through wood, but the heater would still kick on in the middle of the night. Now it doesn't. Once in a while I have to turn up the dial in the morning for a bit to warm it up in here a titch, but this thing is working. We've had a cold spell lately as well, so it hasn't been a balmy 30 degrees out there. Anyway .... the electric bill was down about $100!! I'm thrilled!! We have to finish paying for this one and then we're getting another one for the cabin. Still running space heaters in there that are probably using incredible amounts of juice ... one mountain at a time.

Our beautiful Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Made stringing lights a challenge and ornament hanging even more so! Ain't she a beauty? Jari and Brock plucked it from the side of the driveway. :) For some reason there were ornaments on the floor yesterday. Hmmm. Do you s'pose Oreo has been in the tree? No one has seen her in action, but am guessing she has been busy when we're not paying attention. I was going to start putting a gift or two under the tree ... and I will ... I'll just have to make sure that they are well wrapped. Oreo loves paper. Kind of like having a little kid in the house who can't wait to open things!

I appointed this little lady on my tree as Guardian of the Tree Angel. I'm not sure she's doing her job tho'. She does look like she has a bit of the "get after the cat" attitude, doesn't she?

In other great things. As long as I'm being a bit positive today. (I'm really working on the positive thinking here. When Jari replaced the alternator and battery in the VW last weekend ... I reminded myself to be happy we had a car ... and thrilled to be paying insurance on it.) This other thing is really great. I mean REALLY great. Carolyn, a lovely coworker, brought me a pair of cross country skiis last week. I can't remember if I told you that or not yet. I put my feet into the boots on Sunday and did some spins around the yard. It felt soooo good! I've been wanting to start skiing since we moved here. Thank you Carolyn!! Yesterday I had this urge to set the timer for 30 minutes and take my usual nap after dinner. Not an every day occurrence, but quite often I find a quiet place to close my eyes. Probably only end up sleeping 15 minutes but wake up refreshed. I moved right past that urge and down to the basement. Put the boots on, locked into skiis, attached a head lamp to my hat and set the timer for 30 minutes. As often as I can, I am going to grab 30 minutes and go for it. We had fresh snow and the snow was falling as I circled the yard ... over and over. Talk about energy afterward. Baked cookies and only taste tested one of them. Got the bathrooms and living room cleaned. Straightened out the laundry room and ran a load of laundry. All to the joyous sounds of Christmas music with candles lit. We have company coming over this evening ... I hope I have a moment to plow through the yard first. I have a fair amount of this yard practice to do before I dare go anywhere else ... even up the road.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Colony Christmas in Palmer

After Friday night's late one, I didn't get an early start like I'd have liked to on Saturday. And ... I was down to 4 eggs in the house. Can't do much with 4 eggs. I got a single batch of pulla going and started hauling out Christmas decorations. I'll share pictures of my tree. Maybe even the tree stand. It is going waterless. We're saving the water for the shower and the coffee pot. :)

Denise came over with a couple girls and I took a few of mine ... and we headed to Palmer. The temp was a wee bit frigid. Denise forgot the long johns. Tia forgot the mittens. You see where this is going? Thank goodness we hopped from one craft bazaar to the next keeping inside for the most part. The idea of walking to it all was quickly nixed. It was downright chilly.

These aren't in any semblance of order. Blogger just isn't user friendly with multiple photo uploads anymore. If someone knows how to do this easily ... please let me know.
We did go view the Nativity Display at the LDS church sometime during our day. Wow! I should have asked them how many nativity displays there were. All individully owned from what I gathered when I asked. Not necessarily individual individuals, but not church owned. Amazing. There had to the thousands of them. Photography was nearly impossible. For some silly reason, I was using the long lens and it doesn't do much for taking close quarter photos when you need to be a mile away.
The wonderful thing was that all these things were free. The stinky thing was that it was downright cold. This would have been super fun to do ... get a ride on the horse drawn carriage, but to stand in line ... we'd have been icicles.

I really must read the history of Palmer and see where everything was. This area where folks were getting a different kind of ride use to be the town square of Palmer, according to what I overheard. We attempted to get into the Chamber Orchestra concert only to find out that we needed tickets. Next year a must do on the list.

The gingerbread house display at the Pioneer Home.
I believe that this was titled something like "The reindeer got away".

This was one of our favorites. Check out the candy corn bonfire. Wintertime Alaska camping with a moose off to the right.

The Salvation Army guitar concert was quite interesting. Whether they were pulling our legs or not, I have no idea. They could have told us oodles of tales about previous concerts and I wouldn't know. Had never been to one before. This one had 3 guitar players playing Christmas songs. The sing along was rather interesting ... the building was warm. :)

We headed over to find something to eat. Dairy Queen with a warm burger sounded kind of good. The parade started at 5pm and as long as we were still around ... may as well brave that as well. Fireworks scheduled at 6:30. Ross was going to join us with the rest of the kids and Jari, but his keys were in Palmer. They don't live anywhere close to Palmer. Figured that one out. Then headed to Starbucks. Aah. So reminiscent of Prescott Parade days. Freezing cold and going for hot cocoa or coffee.

We missed the parade. We got there for the last entry. People everywhere. Were going to try and outrun the parade and catch parts of it, but the people push (especially a man pulling a child behind him on the sled down the sidewalk full of people) didn't allow progress. We did get to the fireworks. Somewhere in there we even ran to Pom Pom to look at everything that was 40% off. I walked out with my complimentary cup of coffee and nothing more. :)

As seems to be a daily thing around here, I got a call from Jari while at Pom Pom. Blayde had been in the parade holding a banner for Charter College. The VW has had issues with starting and it wasn't starting. He was walking to the 4 way blinking light in Palmer and was freezing. Hmmm. I found him. We warmed him up in the Tahoe. The guys showed up for fireworks. Fireworks twice in one month!! Who needs the display on the 4th of July?! Blayde and Jari went to work on the car. It was moved to a safer place than a busy intersection and they called it quits 'til morning. No wonder Blayde was freezing. 2 sweaters, 2 tee shirts, a jacket, mitts and hat. Not bad so far, right? He even had boots on! The problem was the legging part. The long johns were in the washing machine when he left ... and he wore dress pants. Aaach!!! 2 degrees out there ... although he calls it "subzero". Either he needs some seriously warmer clothing or his blood just isn't going to get use to this stuff.

We finally made it home Saturday and it was actually early enough that Jari & I headed to Walmart. The kids headed to hockey. I got prune tarts in the freezer, the tree got trimmed ... was good! Still no Christmas picture. Now I'm aiming for next Sunday!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Adult Christmas Party

With great numbers of little people (babies) present and big people wall to wall.

Singing Christmas hymns.

We had gift exchanges. The guys bring White Elephant gifts and the gals brought either a coffee cup, socks or ornament. There were 55 gifts brought and not all brought gifts. As evidenced by the shoe pile ... there were a lot of of us there! Next years party may need some extra planning. I think we're outgrowing houses, but a home is such a warm place to be together.

Eric & Katrina visiting with Kelly.

Little Miss Photographer was a busy girl!

Alisa and her little love.

I would have loved to be standing outside the window listening to the singing. It had to be absolutely beautiful. I brought along some Finnish Christmas music as well and some of us gathered around the piano and sang. It completes any evening for me. To me, not much sounds more beautiful than Christmas songs in Finnish.

Miss Vivian finds a perch on Aunty Ambers growing shelf in which is growing a little playmate for Vivian. Mom Renae looking on.

We ate until we were beyond full. Riisi puuroa, bars, fudge, salads, crockpot meats, deserts that begged you to come back while the waistline complained.
A beautiful way to start the Christmas season festivities.