Thursday, December 25, 2008

Home for Christmas

It's been quite an adventure being home for Christmas this year. I was basically done with school December 3rd (I had one online final, but I'm not really counting that). So I worked for a week and then decided to head home in time to catch Mom's birthday on the 17th. I flew home on the 15th. I left Orange County and it was pouring down rain. I'm not one who likes flying in the first place, so bad weather makes me even less excited about it. But I made it through the plane flight without getting too sick. Mom picked me up at the airport and we began the treacherous 100 mile drive home. It took 4.5 hours to get home because of the snow and ice covered roads, especially near Salem. Quite ridiculous if you ask me. But I guess Oregon isn't used to getting snow.
Look at the nice ridges of ice on the road

I spent the week freezing to death in my house. It was a whopping 9 degrees on Tuesday morning. Only about 50 degrees colder than the warm LA temperatures I'm used to. But somehow I made it through. I spent many hours sitting next to the fire place with a good book that first week. I'm on book number 5 since I've been home now. It continued to snow most of the week. We celebrated Mom's birthday on the 17th and I made her a delicious teriyaki chicken feast and cheesecake to top it off. It was good, if I say so myself.
Happy Birthday Mom

Thursday I made the dangerous trek up to the Portland airport again to pick Thomas up. I got to see Melissa on the way up there which was good. We met at the Lloyd Center and Dad and Laura ice skated while Melissa and I caught up. It was good to see her. It was a bit different from the usual lunch or rendezvous at the airport we get. We also stopped off at the temple and it was a gorgeous day out.
Beautiful Portland Temple

Laura at the temple

Me freezing at the temple because I didn't bring a coat home

We made gingerbread houses, one for each family member who was home. They get better each year. I particularly enjoyed Thomas' candy arch and Laura's instructions for how to eat her house. Laura decided that she could have a yard sale at first and let us eat the yard. Then the estate sale came a day or so later when we were allowed to partake of the rest of the candy goodness. As is tradition we went Christmas caroling and dropped off the houses to friends in the area. It was fun despite the snow and rain.
Thomas' house with the amazing candy arch

Susan's House

Steven's House

Mom's House

Laura's House

David's House

Dad's House

My House

Laura's Real Estate Note

This week has been rather uneventful. I've been slightly under the weather and taking naps several times a day. But I'm doing better now and just in time for Christmas. For a great Christmas Eve we made waffle cones and loaded up on all the ice cream we could eat. Nothing beats Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream. Then we sang Christmas Carols around the piano, much to the chagrin of some boys in the family. Then the kids went off to bed. We set the rules of no one comes downstairs until after 6:00am. They worked pretty well this year. I made an early appearance at 7:00. It was a fun filled morning as the kids were excited by presents and fun. Then we settled down to play games and have a great Christmas day together.
David, Laura and Steven thoroughly enjoying Christmas

David with his new ski goggles

The Christmas tree we cut down from the backyard

My favorite picture from this trip home. Sunrise in Oregon.More Snow on the road

It was wonderful to get to talk to John who is on a mission in Argentina right now. He is doing well and roasting hot in the 115 degree weather. I must admidt that I'd rather have 28 degree weather than 115 degree weather. But it was good to talk to John since it's been a year since I talked to him. It served as a good reminder of what Christmas is realy about-the birth of Jesus Christ and all that he has done for each of us. What a wonderful time of the year.

Greenfield Christmas Party

We the girls of Greenfield decided to stick to tradition and host a big sha-bang of a Christmas party again this year. We decided that rather than try and compete with the gingerbread houses of last year that we would try something new. Jessica has this book called Hello Cupcake and we got our inspiration from that. So we decided to host a cupcake decorating Christmas party.

We all put in some time making many of the hundreds of cupcakes we had that night. We made over 200 regular sized cupcakes and over 250 mini cupcakes. Talk about a lot of cake mixes. Our house was filled with cupcakes before the party even started. Then we broke out all the frosting, candy and other decorating supplies that we had bought and almost didn't have room on the table for everything else other people brought. But we were prepared for quite a party.

Jessica so kindly bought some decorations so our little apartment could have some Christmas spirit to it. We had a nice little Christmas "tree" and a garland for the mantle. And of course it wouldn't be Christmas without a fire in the fireplace.

Then the decorating began, even before the people began to come! We got a head start on our cupcakes before other people came and good thing because the table space was soon taken up. I would say the party was a success. Here are examples of the cupcake expertise we stumbled upon.

Someone left their phone there and we've yet to figure out who's it is. So if you are missing a phone maybe it's at my house.