Saturday, December 26, 2009
We go to the the Oakland Temple on Christmas Eve and see the beautiful lights. We watch the Nativity movie and walk around the visitor's center, then we head home for dinner. We usually have Cornish Game hens on Christmas Eve and just have left over on Christmas Day so I don't have to spend all day in the kitchen, making food the kids don't like and Dave doesn't want to clean up...but this year, since we were in the city and I wasn't home to cook, we had our New Year's Eve tradition of fondue early (so I guess I'll be cooking Cornish Game hens at Tahoe for New Year's Eve!) I did a three course fondue dinner (cheese, buillion, and chocolate). Yum!
I love having everyone open the presents from the kids on Christmas Eve so they don't get lost in the Santa shuffle the next morning. The kids are always so thoughtful. Then, we read The Christmas Miracle of Jonathon Toomey, one of the best Christmas stories ever, and we take turns reading from Luke 2 in the Bible, just to make sure we all remember the reason we celebrate Christmas. I tucked the kids in bed, then began a long night of thinking, "why didn't I do this earlier" and finally went to sleep at 3:00am. What a wonderful day.
On the 24th, Dave went in to the office and I checked out of the hotel and got the kids some breakfast, then we all went to the California Academy of Sciences. Alaina and I went on her field trip there last year but no one else had been before. We had a great time and everyone loved the rainforest, aquarium, living roof, and planetarium. We ended up getting a family pass for the year so we can come back later and see the rest. Look at the spiderman frog and the colorful little bird. They are so cute!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
We stayed at the most incredibly decorated hotel in the world, the Hyatt Regency. It was fabulous!
We saw the Macy's windows, with the live puppies and kittens and I bought a $5 tin of delicious chocolates to support the SPCA. Well, it is Christmas, right? And we happen to love chocolates!
The kids love picking out their ornament at Macy's and I love to see more Christmas trees. They had beautiful displays this year.
Last year we discovered this treasure in the lobby of the Westin St. Francis hotel at Union Square and added it to our San Francisco Christmas tour. A 12-foot tall gingerbread house with 30 rooms, and made only of edible ingredients: 70 pounds gingerbread, 300 pounds of royal icing, 40 pounds molasses, 60 pounds flour, and 100 pounds of hard candies. Whew! This is totally worth a trip to the city to see.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Somehow I got behind this year and made the gingerbread house pieces really late. Usually I make several really large ones that I bring to the sisters I visit teach, but all I had time for was one for each of the kids. They all built their own and they wanted to make them different. The sugar glue I usually make just wasn't working well this time, so we had to use a hot glue gun. What a great new tradition! It was so much easier! Andy's was more of a futuristic house. He and Ryan don't like frosting, so they just put their candies on top of the gingerbread and ate them. Alaina made a traditional house with beautiful traditional decorations. Becca decorated one side normal, then hot-glued a "no trespassing" sign on the other side. Notice how she hyphenated tresp-assing!
I never know what to expect from these four :)
Friday, December 18, 2009
I love Christmas trees!
We didn't make it to see the Macy's window display, but the Saks 5th Avenue windows were great. And of course we had to visit the shoe floor again!
Monday, December 7, 2009
The kids were in heaven with Cabo there. It was his first beach experience and he wasn't sure if he was supposed eat the waves or not. He had a blast running on the sand with 54 other dogs...yes, the kids kept a count of all the dogs they saw!
My mom took the dreaded Christmas photo this year. One of these made the cut...can you tell which one?The guys all went to a Sharks game in San Jose and the girls were on our way home to start Thanksgiving food preparations when my van suddenly found the Gilroy Outlets! So, we spent a few hours there, then we all met at home and had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner outside. It was a beautiful day! I am so thankful that my parents could come and spend time with us.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Isn't Marcia beautiful? I love this picture of her. It is always so fun when they come to see us.