Sunday, December 28, 2014

rock climbing

On Boxing Day we went to Planet Granite, so that mom and dad could test out their climbing skills. Liesl and Sebastian also got into the act, so we had a multigenerational climbing party. It was awesome. Both mom and dad made it to the top of the wall twice; the kids made it 4-5 times each. I was so proud of everyone. :)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas, part 2

On to the family presents! First, the distribution:
Legos! Sebastian probably received 6-7 sets of Legos. It's caused him some consternation: it'll take days to build them all! But as of today, he's already finished three of them, including a 350-piece helicopter.

 The children picked out new ties for Steve - a blue striped one, and a red one with mini Santas.
My Christmas present from the children turned out to be a beautiful necklace - silver, with silver beads. It's beautiful. I love the proud/expectant looks on their faces in the picture below.
New Anna and Elsa tshirt for Liesl.  She put it on right away, and only took it off when there was a different Anna tshirt to put on.

 New earrings for Popo.
 Our present to Grandpa: new baking pans and a muffin tin!
Popo's present: a purple umbrella!
 Popo bought some very fancy pink sparkly mary-jane sandals for Liesl....

 Steve's present from my parents: a gift certificate to Cacao!
 Sebastian created a calendar at school to give to us - each of the 12 months got its own illustration.
 And then the unveiling of the annual Avery/Raab calendar!

Leg of lamb, roasted butternut squash, lemony brussels sprouts, wild rice with chanterelle mushrooms, kale - apple - coconut salad, cranberry sauce. And an almond cake for dessert, with creme fraiche and raspberry jam.

Christmas Day, part 1

Christmas Day! Our third Christmas in Portland, in this house.  We woke up at our usual time, which is to say very early, and the children were delighted to find that Santa had come in the night! Everyone opened their stockings and Santa presents, and then we took a break to eat fig bread, pears and oranges, and coffee/tea, and then the children distributed the loot from under the tree.  There were a lot of presents.  :)  We all opened presents, taking turns (more or less) until everyone started to get hungry and over-stimulated, and then we took another break to eat some scrambled eggs (and black beans, avocado, chevre, spinach... apparently opening presents is hungry work).  And then it was back to the opening!  Thank you to everyone who sent such amazing gifts of toys and books and clothes to our children and to us!!
First gift from Santa: a Brazil soccer jersey and shorts! He put them on right away!
Liesl's Christmas dress from Santa.
Santa also brought an orange My Little Pony for Liesl. She's seen this pony and its friends multiple times in various stores here and in Cannon Beach, and has always asked for the orange one. I don't know why, but it's a good thing Santa heard her request. :)  At the end of the night, she said it was her favorite present.
Frozen. It's going to be a BIG theme of Liesl's Christmas... books, clothes, puzzles, tattoos, games...
A set of four walkie-talkies!!!!  Yay!!!!  This was Sebastian's special request from Santa.  We tested them out and they work amazingly well, and at a pretty decent range - nearly a mile away.
Fig bread.... yummy.
And... back to the presents. Our Christmas elves made piles for everyone, and then surrounded themselves with their precious treasures...