Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas celebrations Part 1: theater and family

I realized that I have not posted anything about our Christmas festivities. We had a wonderful holiday season this year, especially because my brother was with us. He has just celebrated one year clean and sober, and his participation this year was a contrast to last year, when he was missing in action.

During the week after the Hullabaloo closed, we prepared for the holidays and took the family to see "Willy Wonka" at Northwest Children's Theater (NWCT). NWCT's resident artist, John Ellingson, appeared in the title role. We enjoyed the show, but not as much as "Annie" last year. Nick decided to go as an Oompa Loompa. I took these photos with my iPhone (before I bought my new camera a few days later), so forgive the poor quality.

Outside of the theater

Seated and ready for the show

Me and the boys

Kieran and Oompa Loompa
On Friday I crazily braved Uwajimaya, Katelyn's Closet, Trader Joe's, and Costco to buy supplies for the holidays. Oh my!

I always have such great ambitions before the Christmas season...someday I will make all my own gifts. But for now a craft project or two per year will have to suffice. This year, I covered candles with paper, ribbon, and shells, with a "Peace on Earth" message. Kieran and Nick saw what I was doing and wanted to get in on the act, so they each made a candle as well. Nick's, which went to "the cousins" (Nadine and family) said, "Hi Partner," "Feliz Navidad," "There's a Snake in My Boot," and "Peace No Earth." I told him that he'd written "No" instead of "On," and asked if he wanted to change it, but he thought it was hilarious and left it.
Some of the candles (first photo on new camera!)

Reason for the trip to Uwajimaya--homemade gyoza!
(These are the traditional pork ones)

My little helper and the veggie gyozas he made!
On Christmas Eve, we went to an afternoon service at West Linn Lutheran Church (our own church has its services during our extended family dinner). My great aunts had attended the church, and the last time we had been there was for my Aunt Evie's funeral. My cousin and great aunt and uncle also attend there. We really enjoyed the service!
Boys before church

With Grandpa--I loved the fact they had electric lights for kids...
especially because I notoriously set my hair on fire when I was little!

With my boys
The gyoza (above) were for our extended family gathering in West Linn. Previously my aunt and uncle have hosted Christmas, but this year my cousin and his wife have generously taken on the mantle. We had a nice evening, although it was tinged with sadness. My aunt and uncle (the ones who have previously hosted) did not make it to the gathering. She has been battling melanoma and he dementia. He didn't want to come at the last minute, and she couldn't leave him. So we felt very sad because of their absence.
Chris and Kieran with their second cousin Jake

With my cousin Kim--I think we look the most alike of all of my cousins!

The boys with second cousins Abby, Ainsley, and Drew

My handsome boys

The hosts Scott and Stephanie with Stephanie's brother

Mike loved the hot mulled wine (notice how he wants it in the photo?)

Mom with cousin Cori and her boyfriend Greg

Me and Nick


Chris with second cousin McKenna

More cousins!


Kid shot

With my cousin Becky

With my Christmas honey

With Mom

Steph with her adorable twins
On Christmas morning, we had my parents over for brunch. (My sister and her family came on Boxing Day and celebrated Christmas at home this year.)
Nick with his new Woody costume

Brunch--French toast casserole, sausages, fruit salad

Kid Present

Woody wanted in on the act

Dad holding up our gift to them--a canvas of the photo at their anniversary
(with all their grandchildren)

More Toy Story loot!

Mom being amused

Kieran with his Wicked tickets (can you tell he's happy?)

It was a Toy Story Christmas!

Chris learning he's getting tickets to Coldplay
Mom modeling her beautiful scarf from Olga

Coldplay Christmas for Chris

Mike learning "how to be British"

Grandpa hug

Mom hug

With my dad

Modeling the scarf my mother-in-law made
(I love it--it's so delicate!)

Nice big brother helping to assemble the lego!!
To be continued...

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