Well, we had a good Christmas, and now it's all behind us and the New Year is coming right up. Time is marching on like always, and soon enough it will be 2013 and we will be patiently waiting for warmer weather. We celebrated Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve (our tradition), which works so well for us. That way we have time for church and opening gifts with the other side of the family on Christmas day, and we get to celebrate my brother's birthday at the same time as our Christmas celebration. Poor guy was born on Christmas eve. We opened gifts at home on Christmas morning before church and then rushed off to our very first service in our brand-new church. It was a blessed day.
I have been hanging around at home, taking it easy and recharging after the rush that inevitably happens every year right before the big day. The kids are home from school for a week and two days, it's gotten insanely cold outside, and a lot of us have been battling a mild cold, so we've been cooped up inside spending time together.
We got out of the house on Friday (miracle of miracles) for a fun day out. We had a late lunch at Natalia's house with my other sister Julia and her husband Yuriy, who are in town from WA. We had salmon chowder, cucumber garlic sandwiches, salad, and pumpkin pie, and it was all delish (thanks, Natalia!). It was nice to be hosted by someone else; I always love when that happens. It feels sooo good to eat a meal you didn't have to cook! Anyone with me on that? Or am the only one here? :) Then we headed to Winter Garden Aglow to check out the botanical garden all decked out in lights.
It was such a cold day, and I knew the kids would have a hard time staying out there long enough to see everything we wanted to see, so the barrel fires they had set up every so often were a real lifesaver. We'd unthaw a bit in front of one and then head back out in the cold to explore some more.
Afterwards everyone came back to our house to soak in the hot tub (except me; I just ran around with water bottles and towels and such), which was a little insane since it was 21*F outside--big difference between the water and the air. Everyone came out steaming and red, like boiled crab, we got the kids in bed, and got to sit around and chat with Julia and Yuriy before they left for McCall the next day. They better take me next time they decide to come to town and get a cabin somewhere, that's all I gotta say about that.