Monday, November 30, 2009

O Tannenbaum

Saturday Night it was time to trim the tree!!  The girls all had steamy cups of candy cane lane while Mama (not in her kerchief) put the lights on the tree.  This is our first year for colored lights and I love it.  (One strand blinks slowly while the alternating strands are on steady.  Beautiful!  I feel like a kid on Christmas morning, sitting with Maralie in the living room, watching the tree awaiting the negotiated time to go and wake up Mom and Dad and show them all of our stocking booty!)  While I finished up the lights and Joel put on the star (with the help of a six foot ladder!) the girls ran around showing off the other decorations ("Take my picture by the stockings!!  Take my picture with Rudolph!!")  so I that I could put them on the blog to show you all!  Then everyone picked a special ornament to put on the tree, and the trimming began!  Amarra picked her favorite "very delicate special glass snowflake from Mimi", while Elora chose her "heart with the pearls" from Mimi and Seleia picked a star (from Mimi), but informed us that the sparkly blue one (her first star from Mimi, I believe) was still her favorite.When all was said and done we sat back, turned off all of the other lights and enjoyed our handiwork!  Now every morning everyone wants to cuddle on the couch and "watch the tree".  Fine by me!!

Tree Shopping!!

Every year we head up towards the mountains (Actually its less than 8 miles from our new house!  Ha!  We moved closer to the mountains!) to a little unadvertised Christmas tree farm that is full of beautiful, beautiful trees.  It is run by a husband and wife that sort of fell in to the tree farming business by accident a decade or so ago, and are so good at it that their business runs on word of mouth!  The girls love to run through the hills and fields of trees, getting soaked and filthy as they barrel through the trees.  All of the trees are the same price, except the giant ones that are blocking others from light....they're cheaper.  Last year we got an 8 or 9 foot tree and cut a couple of feet off of the bottom (I used the boughs to make wreaths).  This year we have vaulted ceilings, so we got a monster!  (I can be seen hugging the winner.)  After all trimming etc. Joel measured it at 10 feet on the nose! (I think this is the first year that all of the ornaments got to go on the tree!)  It took us about an hour of rambling around to finalize our choice, and for once we actually went with the first tree we had picked!  Amarra got to ceremoniously tie the pink ribbon on the tree to mark the one we wanted cut down.  Then the girls played with their dog (I think that is one of their favorite things about the farm) and enjoyed candy canes while Joel got (with help) the tree on top of the van and I collected boughs for this year's wreath making.  On the way home we sang Christmas carols and looked at the lights being put up on houses all around...we couldn't wait to decorate!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Zoo Fun

When we headed down early for zoo lights, we got to see some elk horns along the trail, see the bald eagles up super close ( I didn't use the zoom!) and play with the penguins!  (Apparently if you dangle your scarf in front of the glass, the swimming penguins will spend an eternity trying to get it!)  The lights started to come on before dusk settled in, so the girls tried out their favorite glasses. (When you look through the heart glasses at the lights you see a million light up hearts, or smiley faces, snowflakes, santas, snowmen, aliens....depending on which pair you wear.  We get a new pair every year so we've got 'em all.)  We got to stand 10 feet from the steam engine while they got it rarin' to go!  The were channeling their inner fancy nancys, so they got oohs and aahs aplenty (I'm not sure how, but tutus became a part of the  zoo lights tradition!).  Good times had by all!!!!!!!!

Zoo Lights!!!!!!

Every year our family bundles up on the day after Thanksgiving and heads down to Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo. It's tradition!  (He always turns around and waves from the gate! It's tradition!) (If you don't get that last bit in parentheses, don't worry about it!)  You would think that since it is not open to the public until Saturday, that member preview night would would be nice and laid back, but noooo.  It is actually the zoo's busiest time of the year.  But, being gluttons for punishment, we go back rain or shine, year after year!  (Somewhere in October I start hearing, "Mama, how many days till zoo lights?" )  This year we headed down a couple of hours early to beat the rush.  We got to see some animals, have a turkey sandwich picnic, and get in line for the train right when it opened at dusk.  We got on the train (which is also covered in lights) just as darkness fell (which beats the 2 hours we waited last year!!) and when we stepped off of the magical ride, we entered a winter fairyland of lights!!  We went to see Amarra's favorite (the giraffe) and then walked around for a couple of hours taking in the sights.  The girls loved their hot chocolate and popcorn, and the weather was perfect! (No rain, and it was cold but no one needed snowsuits this year!)  Now Christmas has officially begun!