Thursday, December 29, 2011

A happy and busy December Month!

This year December pretty much started with our Disney Vacation.  Our 10 day vacation was truly magical!  We stayed at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter and enjoyed every single day.  I loved our day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Studios), I guess in some ways I am very much a kid!  Alex LOVED our day at Legoland Florida.  He had a smile from ear to ear the ENTIRE day!  Disney's Hollywood Studios Park has a Star Wars ride and again, Alex was is heaven.  He even got his picture with none other than Darth Vader and a few of his Stormtroopers.  Alex's Mickey House hat was a Star Wars theme hat -- R2D2...

Laura got to ride many rides and I was her companion on most of them.  I had to be extra brave since I normally don't ride these crazy rides but I am so glad I did.  I even rode the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror!  The parks were all very festive in the Christmas Decor, loved that.  Just some of the highlights of our trip was  a special evening at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Epcot's Candlelight Processional, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights and a special dinner at Cinderella's Castle.   I am so grateful we were able to take this vacation.  

This year our city enjoyed a white Christmas.  Snow arrived (about 10-12 inches) on the 22nd. It sure added to our outdoor decorations.

On the 23rd we all had fun decorating sugar cookies.  During the morning, Laura, Alex and Sophie cut out the shapes from sugar cookie dough while I baked them.  This is the second year Sophie joins us during our little tradition.  In the afternoon, Lisa (Sophie's mom) and David joined us in the decorating part.  We all had a great time...spending time with family and friends has always been my favorite part of the holidays.

Laura's Cookies

Alex's Cookies - A Star Wars Theme!

Cookie decorated by Laura
The next day, on the 24th, it was a day for David and Laura to do some last minute shopping (another family tradition).  I prepared a Chicken and Sausage Gumbo  which always brings memories of our friend Cathy, who was a neighbor of our when we lived in Houston.  I remember when she came to my house to teach me how to make this gumbo.   During the evening the Wagner's joined together to decorate our gingerbread house.  This is probably one of our all time favorite family traditions.   We each decorate a ginger-person, sort of like a self portrait.

My candy cane dress in front of the house

Alex decorated an extra cookie, this is him and his friend JR playing in the snow.  David is Darth Vader!  He carved the face using a piece of chocolate and the candy cane stick is his light saber. 

Darth Vader! Yeah, Star Wars is big at my house.

My sweet Laura...she is ice skating.

Back of the house - wreath decorated by Laura

Alex created various vehicles which were used to carry the snowballs ...the snowmen are his assistants.

Christmas Day came with many wonderful gifts from our friends and family.  We spent a wonderful family day together.

On the 26th, we ALL cleaned up the house because our dear friends from Houston, Texas, the Heddens Family was coming to visit.  The kids (Laura, Alex, Zach & Jayme)  played outside in the snow for hours!   Spending time with friends during this time of year is truly a blessing.  The Heddens are now in Keystone skiing.  We will join them in Keystone tomorrow.  We are looking forward to spending time with our dear friends and ringing in the new year together in Keystone, CO. 

I wish everyone has a wonderful new year.  This year definitely had it's ups and downs.  Loosing two members of my family was difficult but we honor them by thinking of them and their loved ones. I still can't believe Robert, my brother in law who was truly a brother to me is gone.  My aunt Rosy is missed by everyone, especially by her husband Efren and her son Kristian (whom I spoke with on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve).

Although I have experienced deep losses this year, I am also extremely grateful for all the blessings our family has.  I am especially grateful for my husband, daughter and son. I am also grateful  for all the family and friends in our lives, near and far, who are so dear to us all.

Happy 2012!

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