2018

Christmas Straw Ornaments

This year, I wanted an elegant tree in the front room. Since the girls wanted a real tree, I’ve got some Scandinavian straw ornaments in October. The tree looks very pretty with the red, silver and green balls and the white light. It’s lovely and peaceful with the crackling fire in the background. I can’t wait for the arrival of Yuletide/Christmas.

‘Tis the season to be jolly

2018

Christmas Lights 2018

Kevin worked on installing the Christmas lights around the house, today. Sara sat on the roof and helped him with the extension cords. Once the first chains of lights were installed, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I shopped for a Fraser Fir tree. We also got some more Christmas decorations. Kevin will finish setting up the lights in the frontyard, tomorrow.

More photo of Christmas lights will follow as soon as everything is installed and set up.

2018, Travel/Vacation

Travel Journal, Day 1: From Santa’s Present To El Paso

December 24, 2017

Santa did a test run with his sleigh and the reindeer the night before Christmas Eve. While he does his test run, he delivers the presents for a handful of children. I guess, Katelynn and Sara were selected for early delivery this year. When we were getting up on Christmas Eve morning, the presents were under the tree. And a letter from Santa was in the tree. He explained to the girls, why the presents arrived that early. πŸ˜‰

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Santa wrote a letter to Katelynn and Sara

Once the presents were unwrapped, we packed the luggage, the cooler and got activity games, DVD player, and coloring books together, before we put everything into the van. The neighbor’s daughter knew about our plan, so she could take care of our pets while we were gone. By 9 am, the tank was filled and we were on the road to the west.

While we were driving through Texas, Sara was fascinated with the oil pumps out in the fields. Katelynn was busy watching Bugs Bunny cartoons. And I told Kevin, how interesting it was when the vegetation changed from cotton fields to cacti and later to these yucca palms the further we drove towards El Paso. In El Paso, we drove to the motel to rest for the night. We still had a long way to go to get to California.

… to be continued …

2017

Christmas Day

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„

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“HO-HO-HO! Merry Christmas!”

Merry Christmas!

May your holidays be happy days,
Filled with love and laughter.
And may each day bring joy your way
in the year that follows after!

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„

2017

The First Christmas Present

Kevin and I met in a club, 17 years ago. He was with a couple of friends, who were friends with my friends. After a couple of drinks we got into a conversation. When I was ready to go home, he gave me a ride to my apartment. Since he knew where I worked, he had shown up the next day. Usually I don’t give people my phone number unless they ask or I ask for theirs. But when Kevin was standing in front of me, I said: “Dude, I forgot to give you my number last night. If you want to hang out, give me a call. Maybe we can do something for Christmas together.” Kevin agreed, folded the note and left. The same night, he called me. And we were talking over a beer in a bar.

The next day was Christmas Eve. I was on vacation leave for the remaining days of the year. Months ago, a friend of mine and I planned a small Christmas dinner for the night before Christmas. I asked her, if it was okay I bring a friend over. She said: “Well, it’s Christmas. Nobody should celebrate this special holiday, alone.” Kevin picked me up from home. When I sat in the car and we talked a little bit, he opened the glove box and handed a little present to me. I shook it, to hear what might be in there. Kevin screamed: “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” Later on I found out, why he did that. Well, the little elephant lost part of its trunk, when I shook the little box. Even when the elephant doesn’t look perfect anymore. But it is a story worth talking about. πŸ˜€ It was very sweet of him, since we knew each other for a couple of days. And it was the first gift, I’ve got from Kevin. I still treasure these three wooden elephants to this very day.

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These wooden elephants were the first Christmas gift, I received from Kevin back in 2000.
2017

A Peanuts-style Christmas

Kevin always wanted an outdoor Christmas theme with the Peanuts. Several years ago we looked for a Charlie Brown Christmas pre-lit yard decoration, with no success. We found Snoopy and took him home, instead. The following year, we had much more success. Finally we found Charlie in a local home improvement store. Since then we decorate the front tree with some lights and one Christmas ornament. We call it “our personal little Charlie Brown Christmas Tree”. Maybe we will add more Peanuts characters in the future.

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It seems like that Santa has to fix Snoopy, again. πŸ˜‰
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Ha, an elf must have shown up to fix Snoopy and the lights at the boxwood bush, when we were asleep. πŸ˜‰
2017

The Christmas Tree Ball

One particular Christmas ornament caught my eye over the last few weeks. And I always wanted to photograph it. Tonight I was bored watching the same comedy episodes, again.Β  And it rains like “cats and dogs”, anyway. I pulled out my camera, and started with my little project. Now, I’m happy I’ve got that done.

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I finally captured a longtime exposure of this Christmas ornament, I was eye-balling throughout the season.
2017

One More Week Until Christmas

This week will be busy in our household. We planned a trip to Disneyland in California, a while back. Katelynn visited Disneyland in 2006. But it will be the first time for Sara. Wow, it is very hard to keep this a secret for three months. But we did good so far. It will be a big Christmas surprise for both of the girls.

Today, I wrapped the presents. I still have to get a couple of items for the pets, and then we are good to go. Tomorrow, I’ll start with the food and the packing lists. Some laundry still needs to be taken care off. The girls get early out of school for the holidays, this week. I still want to do a little Winter Solstice celebration at home. So, everything needs to be done before Thursday afternoon. And Christmas is only one week away. πŸ˜‰

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Santa Snoopy says: “Merry Christmas, everyone!”
2017

The New Dining Set

Kevin and I drove to a furniture distribution center in Arlington this morning. It supposed to be a surprise. But Kevin was too excited and told me, I’m getting the dining set I saw in a local furniture store for Christmas. The girls knew it. And they kept it a secret. “Oh Daddy, why did you tell Mom about the secret. It supposed to be her Christmas present from all of us?” Katelynn asked Kevin, while she had the look of disappointment written all over her face. I played it off, saying: “Yeah, we’ll get the set this morning. But don’t tell Mom! It’s a secret! πŸ˜‰ ” She had to laugh.

After Kevin put the table together, we both agreed it needs place mats and a nice fruit bowl as a center piece. So we had to go shopping, again. The girls need some more presents under the tree. They grow out of their clothes so quick. A couple of shirts and pants will do. And these cozy, fluffy sock are the hit in our house in Winter time.