Hubby promptly got to work shoveling my mom & dad's deck. Mom might be horrified if y'all thought she asked him to do that, so I'll tell you that I suggested it and he jumped at the chance! He would much rather be doing "real work" outdoors on dry land than at sea!
Hubby putting his new boots into action, he loved the ones I picked out, thankfully!
Finn and Loch got their wish of being able to do a Gingerbread House, even if it was a kit! Mom and I kind of gave each other that look when Loch said he wanted to "bake" one... HA! But I totally respect the heck out of you moms that have the patience for that!
Loch found the bag Santa had dropped into the backyard.... he took issue with the gas fireplace and wasn't fooled for a minute that Santa would use a "fake" fireplace! The kid is a wood snob already...
I really liked what showed up in this photo, it was by accident since I was only going for a shot of the snow. Taken from my mom's front window, you can see the Welcome Home sign for hubby in the front yard along with her Blue Star flag in the window for my brother in Afghanistan and the candle in the window for their safe return. I think the candle thing was unintentional, but it made for a great photo!
Who remembers my obsession with Cheese Curds? I went down to the local Creamery (yep, the actual creamery has a shop!) on Christmas Eve Day and was pleased to see that not only were they open, I had to park way up the street in this tiny town and walk in... what a crowd! Lots of people picking up fresh curds for parties and gifts. Lots of people were back in their hometown for the holidays and it wouldn't be the same without curd from the proclaimed "Cheese Curd Capital of the World"!
This is my youngest brother... all I have to say is "really"? LOL....
This photo made me laugh since I remember my parents tsk-tsking the commercialism and piles of presents under some trees when I was little.... HA! Look what happens when you become a grandparent - you need to trim the branches several feet up I think to fit all that stuff under there!
Gosh it's hard to tell that Sprocket is a dog in every photo I take of her! She is one strange speckled specimen. Here she has her knitted neckwarmer and new stuffed loon she got for Christmas :)
These are most of the usual suspects on my dad's side on Christmas, my brothers and cousin are missing, I guess I am too - I was taking the photo! Mom's on the left in the green shirt, dad's on the far right in the fleece vest.
Random but very cool... near my parents' house, there is a guy that taps into the artesian wells on his property at Christmas and then spotlights them. You have to drive way out into the sticks, then you round a bend on a gravel road and WOW! This covers about 2-3 acres, I was only able to get this much from my angle.
I was in soup heaven all through vacation. Dinner at my brother and wife's house included delicious soup and homemade bread. It was very yummy and my brother is a pretty good cook, who knew?
Nothing matches the beauty and coziness of an older home during the holidays. It helps that they don't do tv or have electronic devices all over the place, their home is so welcoming. I probably looked like a child wanting a puppy while we were getting the grand tour!
A "real" kitchen! I fell in love with this, it had a great farmhouse feel, and they have red countertops which were fantastic.
And who wouldn't drool over this? This is the pass-through from the dining room to the kitchen, a lovely walk thru pantry with built ins and glass cabinets.
Complete with a nook under the eaves for playing, and built-ins.... oh, this place is lovely, and I think they will be very happy there.
Finally, the first part of our vacation ended with a great shot of the cousins. This is it, as my brother and myself are the only ones on mine or hubby's side with kids right now. They boys think she is the greatest thing ever and I can tell they are going to be looking out for her when they get older!
Part Two to come soon, that's the part where we left family behind and headed "north-er" to have our first vacation that didn't involve the rest of my family. I felt bad about cutting our time short with them, but we really needed to have some self-planned time with the kids and the outdoors. If you are military you know what I'm talking about, every vacation is a whirlwind of driving and staying in your parents' house all the time and we rarely get to just go somewhere "for the heck of it" because it means using up your leave time and sacrificing family time. Luckily, my parents were a military couple too so they understand. We just decided to combine the two, and it turned out great!