Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Leavenworth 2013

Grandma and Grandpa blessed our family again this year by giving us another trip to Leavenworth! A couple of days after Christmas we all head out to Smallwood's Harvest and take over their three, sweet, little "cottages". We stay at Apple Blossom Inn, the main hang out where everyone else comes and goes at their leisure. We put together puzzles, drink hot cocoa, watch morning cartoons, played the Wii in the big kid's room (whoever is Toad has to wear the mushroom hat!), read magazines and eat.

Emma also brought along her Christmas present, Luna the hedgehog! We were so excited to meet a real hedgehog. She was pretty scared at first but she warmed up after a while and came out of her prickly ball shape. Pella and Kivi loved holding her in her little flannel sack.

There wasn't really that much snow, but Dada figured out a way to get both Opal and Jasper aquainted with skiing down the little hill we usually sled on. It was mainly ice, but he just held onto them with a luggage strap and walked/jogged behind them. Eben and Kivi skied the little distance down the hill and then walked the skis back up. Pella enjoyed sledding and Berg stayed warm inside with cousins and Aunty Tonya.

One of the more memorable things we did was drive into Leavenworth proper and take a walk along the ice with Grandma and Grandpa. All of the paths were covered with about 3 inches of ice. After we made a complete loop along the river and back up through the town we decided to wait for Dada to get the van so we wouldn't have to walk down the extremely steep hill where we had parked, but Dada never came to get us. We realized he was stuck and couldn't get the van back up the steep hill. So we all walked, very slowly, down the treacherously slippery hill to see if sitting in the van would give the van more traction. Nope. So, we took the same, very icy, slow walk back along the river and up through town because we couldn't even walk up the steep hill which we were trying to drive. Uncle Chris came to the rescue and brought us chains while we had lunch at the ginger-bread house looking restaurant, (which for a cute, kid-friendly looking place has nothing kid-friendly to eat except cookies and we didn't get those). However, the chains worked, we were able to wait in a warm place, and get back to our Inn.

 The whole Johnson clan posing for the traditional Leavenworth picture.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Christmas Day 2013

We started off our Christmas morning by singing, "Happy Birthday" to Jesus while coming up the stairs and letting the kids blow out His candles, this time on Dada's homemade, super yummy cinnamon rolls.
We read Luke chapter two while Nonnie and Poppie followed along via web cam and lit our advent candles and the Christ candle before we ate a delicious breakfast of Dada's rolls, and quiche. 

After everyone had their fill, Dada handed out the stockings. The kids love this part and loved getting all the little treats and necessities like individually wrapped fruit snacks and toothpaste. I'm so glad they are grateful no matter what the present. They just love the excitement and the fun this day brings. We went slow so that Grandma and Grandpa could join us and open their stockings too.

We decided to make it feel less chaotic and each child feel more apprieciated by all stopping to watch what every person opened. It made the opening part of the day much longer! But we were able to see what everyone got this way and take time for thank yous in between.

Dodie and poor, sick Mr. Steve joined us along with Uncle Chris, Auntie Tonya and all three cousins!

Dada sent us on his traditional scavenger hunt for the last, big gift. We got stumped at the wise men clue because we have so many nativity scenes around the house, but we finally found the last clue and then the presents in the van! The kids got a (free, hand-me-down!)Wii. (The first video game system is entering our house!!!) They played downstairs on the MamaDada bed for the rest of the day! Dada also surprised me with new, orange plates! A fun twist to our dining experience and we don't run out of little plates now.

Dada also decided to hydrofoil in the freezing water of our little lake and was pulled (or shall I say left in the water to freeze for a really long time until she got the boat figured out) by Shmee. Those of us who were not in the water really enjoyed it!
It was happy and sad. There were exciting parts and boring parts of the day. Lots of love and some arguments, too. It was family near and far altogether. It was a celebration of life, death and new life, of love coming down to earth. It was Christmas.