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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Wrapping up the holidays

Our Christmas began at about 1:30 a.m. Christmas morning with Tatum waking to to sounds of Santa Claus in the living room. She was standing in the hallway gazing doe-eyed at the gifts and she told me, "Mom, Santa thinks we were really good kids this year." It is one of those precious moments a parent wants to save forever - after we get some sleep. Oddly enough, Tatum had apparently interupted Santa in the middle of his delivery. Some of the gifts were still inside the fireplace! Oh, my! So, we waited about two hours to make sure Santa didn't come back because he forgot to leave something.

We started opening gifts around 9 a.m. and had a great brunch when Rick's dad arrived at 10 a.m. Our weather was very drab, gray and rainy, but apparently there were several patches of icy road between Charlie and Joe's house and ours.

Charlie and Linda were both on hand for Christmas Day. Charlie shared a big photo albumn he's been keeping of the SeaTac Airport runway construction site where he's been working the past several years. He also had several photos from taking the kids to Mariner's games the past two seasons. Linda shared photos from Thanksgiving. She had a particularly good photos of Grandpa Dick and his grandkids and greatgrandkids.

There were several big highlights to our Christmas day. A turkey dinner with all the fixin's, toys, a new digital camera, books, toys, time to catch up with Charlie and Joe, phone calls to family,clothes and more toys. One toys in particular caused hours of commotion - the tea party book and accessories from Tatum's cousin Madison. We spent hours drawing placemats, making name cards, and deciding what to serve at our tea party. We ended up having paper brownies, paper chocolate chip cookies and imaginary wild green tea.

Our evening was capped with Keeli and I taking a fabulously quick trip to the emergency room! Keeli was after chocolate and successfully pulled her stocking down from the mantle, however the brass stocking hanger came with it. The corner of the hanger caught her squarely in the middle of her forehead. After about a two hour wait, she got her little cut glued back together and a big yellow bandaid added just for holiday cheer. The cut is only about 1/2 inch and hopefully won't scar too badly.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Hungry Horse Dam

Back to our summer vacation...

Going to the Sun Road was closed on our first full day at Glacier National Park. So, we spent the day exploring Hungry Horse Dam.

This was one of those activities we ALL went on together. As you can imagine, we caravan instead of carpool!The list of family members is fairly easy to recite:
  • Jim & Joyce (aka Papa and Nana), with Sadie
  • Rick, Kate', Tatum, Rikard and Keeli
  • Shaney, Myron, Ash, Jessie, Miranda, Anne (she is a foreign exchange student from Germany) and Fred (we will visit with Fred the daschaund in a later post)
  • Brett, Tami, Madison, Michael and Charlie
  • Kelly and Bailey

This is Nana, Papa and all their assorted and sundry grandkids at a little waterfall that drops into the reservoir behind Hungry Horse Dam. It was a very beautiful place, surrounded by mountains, trees, rushing water, one of those places people shouldn't occupy for long periods of time.

Then, we started having a bit of fun. There was only one other group of tourists at the dam when we visited, so the kids climbed the waterfall, looked over the edge of the dam, skipped rocks on the reservoir, some of us walked across the dam - we just had fun.

Rick and I had a little fun with the camera! (DISCLAIMER - no children were put in harms way for the taking of these pictures, she never left his hands.)

As you can see, Keeli and her daddy really do travel well together...

Isn't the scenery wonderful?!

After exploring for the day we went back to camp and were treated to a fabulous dinner of smokin' flank steak and salad by Brett. He really does have a talent for creating fabulous meals, this picture is just to make fun of him because I can (and he'll probably never look at this anyway).

We stayed at a KOA Kampground just outside Glacier National Park. It was a really nice campground. Nana & Papa had their RV and their space is always like our home base. We all rented cabins - which were really nice. We took all four cabins nearest the RV spot and had the corner of the campground to ourselves!

More later...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Electric Personality

Keeli recently visited my office, where she received many lovey-huggys from all her friends. There was some powerful contact between herself and a wool scarf, causing about the worst hair day a blonde-haired baby can experience.

The new look is adorable. My opinion may be biased, but who cares?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Glacier National Park

Our summer vacation ...

You may wonder why I'm talking about our summer vacation now in December. We purchased ourselves a new computer and we can now view, download and use the photos from our digital camera!

Our summer vacation was a fabulous week spent at Glacier National Park. We stayed in the U.S. side of the park, drove Going to the Sun Road the day it opened for the season, saw fabulous scenery, steered clear of all the bears and makes some great memories with our family.

We found this classic National Park sign on a the road to Running Eagle Falls, also known as Trick Falls. As always, I made Tatum, Rikard and Keeli pose for a photo. We hiked the mile into the falls - the kids love the hiking sticks we bought at the park souvenir store. The falls really are a sight to see when the water is running high. Here we all are in front of the falls.

From Trick Falls we drove around the southern end of the park. We couldn't skip the Goat Lick. This is a natural mineral lick along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Tatum was completely nonplussed at seeing "wild goats," however the next day she asked if we could caputer some to add to the herd we have at home. The scenery at the Goat Lick was fabulous.

This is a small tributary that feeds into the Flathead River at the Goat Lick. Below you can see the goats walking along the cliffs to access the minerals and the river as it winds away from the mineral cliffs.

Stay tuned...we still have stories of the marshmallow shoot out, Going to the Sun Road, bike riding and tossing Keeli over the dam!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Crying Fowl!

Dead chicken walking!

Don't laugh, this is a true story. Friday morning when feeding my chickens I found a clump of long tailfeathers near the coup entry. It could only have belonged to the chicken we affectionately call "Big Rooster." He's a 2 year old Plymouth Barred Rock rooster - the ruler of the roost (pictured here).

This morning, my fabulous hubby found the rooster roaming the back yard. He told me that when he went out he saw a ghost - oh, my! It was Big Rooster.

Big Rooster's appearance will never be that of his glory days. His tail feathers will grow back, but his coxcomb and wattles (those red things on top of his head and under his chicken chin) were partially torn off and one of his leg spurs was ripped off when he fought whatever attacked him.

We're glad he's okay and relieved now that he is again safe in the coup.

Waffle Cookies

We spent the afternoon making some great little holiday cookies. The kids can (almost) cook these on their own.

Waffle Cookies
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 cup melted butter (don't use shortening or margarine)
12 Tablespoons cocoa
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Blend all the dry ingredients together until well combined. Make a well in the center and add eggs and vanilla. Slowly pour melted butter into mixture as you stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Batter will be thick. Drop batter by spoonful onto hot waffle iron and bake 2 minutes. Batter will burn quickly so watch cookies closely. Allow cookies to cool. Frost with cream cheese or white chocolate frosting.


Friday, December 08, 2006

A December to Remember

Tatum performed with her 2nd grade classmates in "A December to Remember" Friday afternoon.

Her class performed the final two songs of the hour long performance. Maybe her cousin Madison will notice a familiar little black dress in the photos.

The 2nd graders sang Santa Claus is on His Way and Nice, Nice Christmas.

The stage behind the performers is decorated with paintings by the 4th and 5th graders. The paintings must follow the theme of the program. Here are pictures of some of the more interesting works of art:

The 3rd graders sang a song titled: Hot Chocolate.

It was hot, hot, hot...chocolate. Ho! Ho! Ho! The steam coming off the chocolate is very realistic, but what caught my eye was the way the marshmallows line up so perfectly inside the plastic bag.

Tatum's class sang the closing number, titled Nice, Nice Christmas. Isn't the fire in the hearth inviting?

The little 1st graders sang Decorate the Tree. Isn't it classic the way the ornaments only hang from the tips of the tree branches! And, are the snowflakes welcoming Christmas day or stars twinkling in the night in the background?