Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year


We had a pretty fun thing happen on Sunday, but I have to give you some back ground.

When Syrah turned one we had a combined birthday party for her and her sister with lots of our family. Being that Syrah was one, she was mostly interested in tissue paper, boxes or just generally overwhelmed by all that was going on. One of the gifts she got was from her Aunt Becky; it was a little white puppy dog and that was the one thing that Syrah held onto the entire day. One day turned into two, into weeks, into months. That dog was her dog and it went everywhere with her… she loved it. She would often lay her head on him or cuddle up tight with him. It was very precious. As she got older she called the dog Muffin (which was the name on the tag).

Not the greatest shot, but we captured the moment the little white puppy entered Syrah's life.

Syrah showing off Muffin to the camera (age 18 months)

Fast forward to Syrah at age three. Our family stayed down town at the Westin the night before the Jingle Bell Run 2005 and of course Muffin came with.

This is Syrah and Muffin after she woke up the morning of JBR 05'!

When we got home from the overnight; Muffin was nowhere to be found… I called the Westin daily to check and see if anyone turned him in. I figured that with all the white bedding he probably just got tucked in a blanket and out of sight. Well, that one day turned into two, into a week, into months and the realization that Muffin was gone (who would have thought we would capture the day that little white puppy left Syrah's life?). In that time, I did search for another Muffin, but no luck. Instead, I found a smaller version and although Syrah said it would never replace Muffin, it was nice to have “lollypup” to keep her company. For the first year, Syrah would talk about Muffin a lot… I mean, almost too much, but like all things that faded. Once in a great while she would bring him up and ask if there is any way he could be found still.

Fast forward back to Sunday… we stopped at a grocery store, one we never go to, not even near our home. We were taking our time because like always we were a tad early to our destination. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted some stuffed animals and I said “let’s go look at the animals”… so off we went. Only moments after walking in the direction I saw a little white puppy and I said “wow, that looks like…”, “MUFFIN” Syrah shouted as she scooped him up and hugged him like the long lost friend he is. She proceeded to look at the tag and there it was “MUFFIN”. She was glowing with excitement; actually we all were because this is quite amazing three years after the loss of Muffin one. There were three of them; each looked a tad dirty and as if they maybe had been sitting in the bottom of a box for years. The tag says:

Monday morning, the day after the little white puppy was back in Syrah's life!

And that is the end of our little story about Muffin!

Christmas 2008

We had a great time celebrating Christmas with all our many families. Christmas Eve we had even more snow and so the girls spent a good portion of the day playing in what we had hoped to be the last of the snow storm. They made two huge snow men and two little guys… they had a great time and didn't seem tired of it a bit!
Snow man and little ones (we ran out of usable hats for the tiny one on the right!)

This is their other one they made and the first one made long ago... the one Bill said would last a week - Syrah and I said it would last until Christmas and Sadie said it would last until New Years. She fell over on 12/26 the day after Christmas, but a pile of snow is still in her place today!

Christmas Eve evening we went to Grandma & Grandpa Hopper’s; what a blessing to have that entire family together considering the year behind. We had a wonderful dinner and then the kids exchanged gifts (we eliminated exchanging adults this year, which was great!). At the end the kids play a game that their Aunt Gail put together about three years ago. It is like White Elephant, but quite fun… Aunt Gail wraps up 20 gifts and the youngest opens first, then it goes in age order and you can either take someone else’s gift or unwrap your own. The first year she did this with cereal; it was a riot. The following year she had saved Costco boxes and inside was some type of candy (whoppers, skittles, M&M, etc), this year she did drinks like Gatorade, Power aid, etc in all different flavors. It is quite creative of her and super fun for the kids… they cheer each other on and give each other grief when they take from another person.

Sadie, Jake & Jeff - all three of them are months apart!!

Grandma and Grandpa Hopper - it was good to see them both home together and smiling!

The girls... I am the oldest of the grandchildren and the first with Great-grandchildren; here is a picture of all the girl cousins. Morgan, Nicole, Sadie, Grandma Hopper, Carissa, Kelli, Syrah and Kate.

This picture was taken at about midnight when we got home and the girls put on their new PJ's they were given from Grandpa Bill & Grandma Cindy in Medford.

Christmas morning we continued the tradition Billy had growing up; we enjoyed some cinnamon rolls and opened a few gifts from each other.

Sadie & Syrah gave each-other Chia pets (which are currently growing strong)!

We then headed out to Ballard to spend Christmas day with my mom and Grandma. We had a wonderful dinner, good laughs and shared some gifts… loved our time together.
Grandma Valerie & Syrah

Grandma Valerie & Sadie (this captures their relationship very well... love this picture).

Great-Grandma Connie & Sadie

Great-Grandma Connie & Syrah

Friday was the quite day although Billy ended up in bed not well at all. The girls and I headed out to do our grocery shopping and found that pushing a card on half rutted ice is not so fun. A very nice man came to help me and Sadie (as we were trying to LIFT the full cart) and he proceeded to fall very hard. I felt horrible, but he hopped right up and brought the cart all the way to our car… total blessing because I wasn’t sure what I was going to do!

Saturday Billy continued to get well in bed and by late afternoon was feeling well enough to join us while my Dad and Kelly came for dinner. By this time I forgot about my camera, so I apologize for the lack of pictures. We had a good food, played some cards and then we introduced them to Rock Band, which from the pictures you can see they enjoyed! We then enjoyed some more cards until very late hours.
Dad, Kelly & Billy jamming out to Rock Band.

Sunday we went over to spend some time with Bob & Lorene Jansson, they were gracious enough to have us for dinner, it is great that we get to celebrate Christmas with them too.

We hope that the rest of our family and our friends had a blessed holiday and that the memories of this Christmas will be cherished!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and to the government will be on this shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Welcome Winter???

I wish that I could say my welcome was with joy and happiness, but at this point, it is with reservation and concerns! With the first day of winter upon us today and with a blanket of winter here before the day officially arrived, we were not so excited to see another 6-8 inches today! I truly do not feel the pictures do this story justice. What I do know... everyone that lives in Seattle and the surrounding areas all ready have a memorable winter for 2008!
This is our bird house; with the slope and the wind, this isn't all we have seen, but a great picture!
With the snow drift you can see that our porch is now level with our lawn... there were two steps down!

With many people taking snow days last week and with many who have obligations; I know tomorrow will be a long day for those in the area. Please be safe, keep warm and try (even if it is getting a tad old) to enjoy the beauty of it... hopefully it will be a memory soon.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Day

This morning we woke up to the snow we had been waiting for yesterday. The girls were very excited and so I thought it would be fun to document our snow day!

This is what we saw when we walked out the front door, it was beautiful!

This is the start of our igloo that was an all day project.
Girls working on the foundation of the igloo

pile of clothes #1 drying by the fire

What do you do after hours of playing in the snow? Play games, drink hot cocoa and wait for the coffee cake to come out of the oven!

After coffee cake we made these felt ornaments! Syrah and her creation.

Sadie and her ornament!

The creations found a perfect spot in the house!

Then back outside for more snow fun!

pile of clothes #2 drying by the fire.

Sadie then finished up a project for school (even though they aren't' going back until next year)!

And some pumpkin bread was baked!

When daddy came home we took a walk up to the store!

Then we worked on completing the igloo!!! Tomorrow it will get a roof!

pile of clothes #3 drying by the fire.

After dinner the girls made chocolate covered pretzels.

Sadie made white chocolate!

Syrah made dark chocolate!

And I made chocolate covered candy canes; perfect addition to a cup of hot cocoa or coffee!!

Looks like we are in for another snow day tomorrow!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happenings in our small piece of the world...

This year we participated in the Jingle Bell Walk for the fourth year, by far this was the coldest year we have experienced and with weather that carried a warning of “don’t leave your home unless you need too” many of our team was with us in spirit this year. However, those who braved the weather and came out to walk with us had a great time. The general crowed seemed to be smaller this year and the first half of the walk was intensely cold, but the further we got the more we warmed up!

Sadie & Syrah early in the morning day of JBR 08'

Part of Team Sadie's Star's before we bundled up for the walk!

Here is a bit more of our team, now all bundled up and ready to go... if only you could see the many there in spirit that day!!!
The hats that Sadie, Syrah and I are wearing were made by our dear friend Samuel; check out his site at Etsy where you can purchase his hand made creations!!

Syrah walked the entire walk by herself (first year w/out a stroller) and Sadie walked the ENTIRE walk. We stayed in the back of the pack, but it was quite an accomplishment for her considering this is the first time she has been able to complete the walk.

After the walk we took a few moments to enjoy the downtown carousel with her cousin Carissa who has been doing the walk with us each year! We also enjoyed some free hot cocoa from Starbucks!!

When we got home we had fresh snow and the kids could not wait to play. Since we were all bundled up from the walk we added some snow gear over our layers and the kids played and played.

Syrah in the snow.

Sadie with the start of a snow man!

Sadie and Daddy working to keep the snow man together.

They made this snowman and over dinner we can view it from the window… we each predicted how long it would stay around. Syrah and I both said until Christmas, Sadie said until New Years and Billy said it would stick around for 1 week… so we will see.

As we approach Christmas, my prayer is that this time of year will be a reflection of the gift of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. I pray that each one us finds renewal in our hearts and that our lives will be transformed by Him in order to do His will.