We tried something different this past Christmas.
Instead of our normal "at home" Christmas Eve and Day, we rented a home near Mt. Bachelor in Oregon and spent our days skiing.
Renee was without her boys this year, so we asked her to join us.
We did keep things festive around our house prior to our trip during the month of December.
Jenelle, in particular, had a hard time getting used to the idea of not being home for Christmas morning, but having the tree up in the house and doing some usual Christmastime baking helped her know that the holidays would still be the same...just in a different place.
We arrived in Sunriver, Oregon and checked ourselves into our nice home away from home.
It was a beautiful home.
We had plenty of room and a hot tub!!
Christmas Eve skiing was pretty cold and foggy.
We did happen to see Santa getting in a few runs before his big night though.
Michelle and Ivan
On Christmas morning we took it a bit slower and exchanged some gifts.
Santa managed to find the kids all the way in Oregon and left them a stocking!
Christmas Day was nicer than Christmas Eve.
It started out foggy, but cleared up in the afternoon!
We were finally able to see how gorgeous Mt. Bachelor really is!
Skiing on Boxing Day was even more amazing!
It was a blue bird ski day!
This trip turned out to be such a good idea!
Great memories were made!
And when we returned home, exhausted but fulfilled, we found that Santa had been at our house as well!
2/15 - Sunday Papers after the morning walk with Jenelle to Walgreens
2/16 - Sir Pounce looking pretty awesome!
2/17 - Jenelle. When did she go from little girl to little lady?
2/18 - The nasty truth of my kitchen windows. This is where Pounce sits when he wants to be fed. The spots on the left are his wet nose marks. Notice how low they are...peeking in our house even when the blinds are pulled low. The cloudiness on the right is where his dusty fur rubs up on the screen! This is embarrassing! There's a short time each day when the sun shines through these windows and makes me feel horrible...and sadly, after that I forget again until the next day!
2/19 - The skies lately are just incredible!
2/20 - An empty seat because Hannah rode to school with Jack for the first time today. Won't be long before she's driving herself.
2/21 - Potato pancakes this morning in my favorite skillet!
I'm working hard to get a few more 2014 events on the books.
It's time to live in the present, but there's a couple more things I just couldn't leave out.
I took Ivan and Jenelle to the fair again last year.
I got the feeling that the time is near - possibly upon us - when they are no longer willing to go with just me.
We had fun, but I noticed that Ivan was looking for people he knew.
Not sure if he wanted to say hi or if he was going to hide because he was with his mom.
Either way - its been fun while it lasted!
These two know how to have a good time together!
Jenelle was up for most rides this year.
She rode this stomach turning spinning thing with Ivan.
But she declined this one...
Ivan's giving the thumbs up...upside down (with eyes closed!)
She chose this nice smooth ride instead!
Ivan took some convincing to get on the ferris wheel.
Not because he was scared of it - but because it wasn't quite scary enough.
This was a rough year for fair-goers!
I almost got puked on by a kid and I saw another boy get off a ride and run straight for the trash can.
In fact, even Jenelle took part in this activity!
After all was said and done, she was ready to keep riding!
After all that hard work, it was time for refreshment!
If you say you don't like "fair food", I say you're lying!
After lunch we finished up with the candy exhibit, animals and pig races!
Another great day!