This is Avery.

This is Avery sporting a band-aid on her nose.

This is Lindy.

This is Lindy trying to be like Avery.

Avery loves Lindy...

... a lot.

And that makes me really happy.

fake tree

A couple years ago we bought a fake tree after Christmas.  It was cheap because it was the display tree and on clearance.   This was our first year setting it up.  We set up their Christmas train underneath it.

I thought it would be fun for the kids to have their own tree downstairs that they could decorate how they want, without my worrying about how it looked or having to water it.

Well, decorate it they did, before I even finished bending the branches to make it look more filled in.  And yes, the top part of the tree didn't light up for these pictures, but they did eventually work.

The kids found some very colorful "decorations".

And it doesn't bother me one bit that there is a game and a stuffed animal decorating the tree, because it's the kids' tree, and they're proud of it.

And I haven't even finished bending the branches.

more snow

There are a few things I really like about snow.

I think it makes winter more beautiful.

It's super fun for the kids.

And it makes for some fun pictures.

I discovered one reason to like a crabapple tree (besides it's shade).

It feeds the birds when everything else is covered in snow.


thanksgiving weekend

Lindy's blessing was scheduled for the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and Shad wasn't able to get work off beforehand, which meant we couldn't make the trip out to Colorado this year.  So when Shad's aunt and uncle invited us down to Utah for Thanksgiving, we were excited to still spend the holiday with family.

Before we left, the kids and I made our traditional turkey cookies.

A few were given away, a few never got quite finished.

The drive was beautiful.

Lindy was excited to meet her oldest cousin (and only girl cousin on Shad's side).

We went to visit Shad's grandmother who was in a rehabilitation center to help her recover from a recent break in her leg.  The kids didn't want to come into the room where she was doing some physical therapy.

Lindy didn't have a choice.

Not that she was even awake to know what was going on.

These two share a middle name.

Lindy shares a middle name with her Tia too.

Her hair looks a lot more red here.

This was the first time for most people to meet Lindy.

Thanksgiving dinner was held at a church building to accommodate everyone that would be there.  The gym was used to entertain people until it was time to eat.

Whoever set the table did an excellent job.

The tables were set up in the shape of a "U".  There was a lot of family.

After we ate, we tried to move around enough to make a little more room for dessert.

Avery kept trying to get in the shot.

There was soccer, essentially, in the gym.

There were several craft tables set up for the kids.

And Lindy slept through most of it.  Many thanks again to Keith and Reva and everyone else who helped make it such a nice family holiday.

It was fun to spend some time with Shad's family.

Avery was happily turning the pages for the book... sometimes too fast, sometimes too slow.

And we couldn't leave until we got a bunch of shots of these three pearls together.

And while we were hanging out in Utah, my brother was having his own kind of fun.

My dad, who drove out from Colorado for Lindy's blessing, stopped first to be with my brother for a day or so.  He showed up just 25 minutes after the elk went down.

And, needless to say, it was a huge elk.

And because we live in the same state as him, he brought us a bunch of nice cuts to enjoy.  Thanks brother.

Yeah for family.