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Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas in Spokane!

Disclaimer: blog post by Kelson.

On the 23rd of December we drove from Baker City to the Spokane area to visit with Judy, Barbara, Dixie, Chris, and my sister and her little daughters. Jehana and the girls drove in from Seattle on Christmas Day.

We slept out in the camping trailer during our visit, and we used up all of the propane keeping it warm during the sub-20 degree nights. It was actually a very comfortable stay. We even had our own little Christmas tree next to Sarah's crib to keep festive. We awoke on Christmas Eve to find a nice fluffy blanket of snow. It didn't stick around all day. It was just cold.

This was Sarah's second Christmas, but the first one in which she was really aware of her circumstances. She was very interested in undecorating Judy's beautiful Christmas tree. We had to restrain her.

Or put her in time out on the couch - with her new Christmas puppy. She was all bundled up in jammies and her fluffy winter coat that Judy made for her.

The family was very thoughtful towards Sarah this Christmas, and she loved her gifts. She has a new favorite fluffy blanket that my mom knitted that she does not like to be without, day or night.

And she got her second stocking in a week! She was a fan of the situation, and of other people's stockings.

Emily made some Disney costumes for all of the girls.
Top: Sarah (Rapunzel), Emily (Super Emily).
Bottom: Julia (Tiana), Dixie (Elsa), Leila (Ariel), Jocelyn (Belle). 

Here are all of the costumes Emily made for nieces this Christmas.
She made a superhero costume for Emmett (pictured below).

Elaina (Elsa), Emmett (Super Emmett), Holly (Ariel).

And we'll end with a Sarah photo, for good measure.

Now that Christmas is over this year, time to start on Christmas 2015!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas in Oregon 2014

We had the wonderful blessing of getting to visit both sides of our family this Christmas. We took a red-eye flight from Hawaii to Boise, which was lovely because Sarah slept through most of it. It was a bit of a shock stepping off the plane into winter, but it definitely felt a lot more like Christmas. Katy picked us up at the airport, and we headed to Baker for some pre-Christmas celebration.

 Our first night in Baker, we all bundled up and went to see Christmas lights. We went to what we grew up calling the "grinch house" because of the big cutout of the grinch they had on their roof. The man who lives there has dozens of painted wooden characters in his yard at Christmas time, and you can walk through to look at them. 
 Sarah got to meet Clifford. It was an exciting moment.

 My grandpa and his new wife, Beverly, were in town to celebrate Grandpa's 80th birthday and Christmas. We were excited to see them and celebrate with them.

 Lighting 80 birthday candles all at once is a little bit intense. It was pretty much a torch by the time we were done.

Since we were all headed different directions for Christmas day, our family had Christmas on Sunday. Anne's reaction when she opened the princess dress I made her was "It's so beautiful!". That makes an aunt feel good.
 Sarah thought opening presents was pretty fun, especially pulling things out of her stocking.

 Her favorite present was the baby doll Grandma bought her. She loved it instantly and has been carrying it around everywhere and giving it snuggles. It is adorable.
 All dressed up for Christmas Sunday. 
 I love my little Christmas baby! However, taking pictures of this little whirlwind was a little tricky. These are the ones that turned out the least blurry.

 Sarah found a peppermint patty and managed to unwrap it and eat the whole thing. (Except for the part smeared all over her face and hands, that is.) She was pretty delighted with herself.
 Trying to take a selfie?
Kelson and Dad went out to my grandpa's house to cut down dead trees and shoot guns. It was a very manly day. 
It was fun having some time with my family to do Christmasy things even though we didn't actually get to spend Christmas with them this year. This was just the beginning of our holiday adventure. More to come!

Thanksgiving Hawaiian Style

Since this was our last Thanksgiving in Hawaii, we decided that it would be fun to do something unique and memorable for the holiday that we won't be able to do back on the mainland. Rather than a traditional Thanksgiving meal at home, we opted to spend the weekend camping on the beach with our friends the Oliveras, who are originally from Uruguay and Brazil.
 We cooked the food at home and then brought it all nice and hot to Bellows Beach, where we set up camp and then enjoyed a fabulous Thanksgiving feast. Our friend is a chef, so we were pretty excited to have him cooking for us. He did not disappoint.
 Sarah agreed that the food was delicious. Her favorites were the bread and the sweet potatoes.
 Sarah enjoyed having so many people to play with her all weekend.
 We played a couple of rounds of mini golf. Hitting the ball while wearing Sarah was a little tricky.
 Of course, we spent lots of time on the beach. It was a little on the cool, windy side that weekend, so Sarah preferred to stay on the beach. She had fun pushing her stroller all over the sand.
Eating the sand is also a favorite pastime. 

 Daddy took her out to see the waves.
 Just doing what she does best-being absolutely adorable.
 We did some really fun boogie boarding. I got to try it for the first time, and  I thought it was great. Kelson is an old pro.

 Our little family on the beach.
I quit one of our beach outings early due to a jellyfish sting. Ouch!
It was definitely a Thanksgiving to remember. I'm glad we took the chance to do something a little different and make some great memories. We truly have so much to be grateful for.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Scenes

We had such a fun time decorating for Christmas this year. It is one of our favorite ways to bring the Christmas spirit into our home. Here are a few of the scenes you would find if you walked into our home right now:
 We had fun picking out new outside decorations at an after-Christmas sale last year. I love how they turned out!

 We gave pineapples tied up with pretty bows for our neighbor gifts this year. Our friends received a festive, Hawaiian gift, and I didn't have to spend any time baking. Double win!
 We bought the Little People nativity this year, but Sarah wasn't quite old enough to play with it yet. She will enjoy it next year. In the meantime, Mom and Dad enjoyed it.

 Right in the center of our living room is a reminder that Christmas is about Christ. 
 Our Christmas tree looks a little bit awkward this year, since we had to move all of the decorations at least 3 feet off the floor. Sarah actually didn't bother it nearly as much as I thought she would. She is fond of stealing the Belle ornament off the tree, though. 
One morning, Sarah decided it was time to be awake at 4:00. The sun was still sleeping, and the only light in the room was the Christmas tree. She was entranced. Watching her look of wonder brought happiness to my heart. It almost made it worth being up hours before dawn. I can't wait for future years as Sarah learns the joy and excitement of Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hindmans in Hawaii

We were lucky enough to have my parents and my sister fly out to spend a week with us right before Thanksgiving. What a great way to celebrate Katy graduating from college and finishing her internship! Sarah loved having her grandparents and her aunt at our house to visit.
 We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, and Kelson and Dad tried their hands at spear throwing in Tonga. They both did surprisingly well.
 We had no idea who this super hero was, but he was pretty awesome.
 Of course we had to spend plenty of time at the beach. We all did lots of snorkeling and swimming. Sarah and Grandma had lots of fun together.

 Grandma helped Sarah practice her new walking skills. She took her first step while our family was here! (post to come)
 Since we had babysitters, Kelson and I got to dress up all fancy and go to a church formal dance. 
 Just hangin with Grandpa and Aunt Katy. 
What a fun visit! We can't wait to go visit them for Christmas!