Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Yes, that is a big hunk of meat....

...and yes, it was our Christmas Dinner, and yes, it was DELICIOUS!
For the past several years, the Freston Christmas Eve tradition has been to eat a prime rib dinner. My Mom cooked it to perfection and it was sooooo tender and flavorful. She cooked in in a coating of herbs, rock salt and flour, which hardened to a stucco-like substance she literally broke away with a hammer.

Then there was this little reindeer:

Yeah, those antlers didn't stay on very long, but they sure are festive.

A couple of months ago, my parents bought a horse, and of course, if there's a horse at the Grandparent's house, the Granddaughter should get a ride.

Notice she is practicing her rodeo queen wave.

This Little Tykes Kitchen was by far the hit of the gifts for Lana. She couldn't hardly be convinced to open anything else once she started playing. She's so cute when she's frying up breakfast on the stovetop, or washing dishes in the sink, or micro-waving a hotdog. This little kitchen has taken up permanent residence in Lana's bedroom. In the mornings, she won't hardly hold still long enough for me to change her before she runs down to start cooking.
Thanks Mom and Dad. We really had a great time. Next time, I really do need to take more pictures.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Christmastime Lynden Trip

This year we ventured to Lynden before Christmas, unlike years previous when we would go after Christmas. We hung out with family and saw quite a few friends. On the way there, we stopped in Bellingham so Lana could get a picture with Santa Claus. The Bellis Fair Santa was much better than the cheesy Wal-Mart Santa from last year. Lana wasn't scared or anything and even smiled for a few pictures.

A few weeks ago I found this beautiful Christmas dress for Lana. Even though it was an informal event, I made Lana wear it to the big Lenssen Gathering on Saturday. Most kids were wearing jeans and sweatshirts, but our girl was dressed to the nines. Don't worry, it didn't slow her down at all. She ran around and got into mischief with the other 3.4 millions little kids in attendance.
On Sunday afternoon we had a lovely Christmas lunch/dinner and opened presents. Lana finally figured out how to open presents and had a grand time doing so. All the cousins were so sweet and good with her, letting her play with them and follow after them and making sure she got up and down the stairs safely. At one point, Lana walked up to her Aunt Angela, politely said, "Up Please" and was promptly obliged. Lana is so lucky to have wonderful aunts and uncles who love and adore her!
One of the best things about Grandma Sue's house in the organ. Sue and Lana could play together on that thing for hours and hours.

I failed to take pictures of us out and about, visiting friends. On Saturday night we went to an Ugly Sweater Party where we were instructed to wear horrible, tacky Christmas sweaters. You know, the kind with the bedazzled snowman or flocked evergreen tree. Well, we didn't have that much time to hunt down the ugliest of the ugly, but Dan did well, running to the second hand store and picking me up a brown and orange number that flattered nobody and a two-sizes-too-small striped sweater vest for himself. We didn't win the sweater contest (the bedazzled snowman took that prize) but we fit right in with the rest of the Tacky McTackerson's.
Our Lynden trip was only 4 days long, but we definitely crammed our days full.
Merry Christmas Lynden (and all the Lynden-ites). We love you!
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Yup, that was my Daughter

So, I know, I shouldn't be surprised that my 18-month old likes to explore, open doors, crawl into odd places and get into mischief, but this weekend in Lynden, sweet Lana brought with her some new kinds of mayhem. Confess, we must:

-If you were dining at the mexican restaurant in North Bend on Friday, and saw a blond toddler alternate between waving and saying 'hi' to you and throwing bits of her taco on the floor, yup, that was my daughter.

-If your name is Grandma Sue and you wonder why your little sparkly silver tree is crooked, yup, that was my daughter.

-If you kindly invited us over to your house for a party on Saturday night and witnessed un-capped magic markers strewn about and a little person down in the basement, standing in the cat's water bowl, munching on cat food, quite content to do so, yup, that was my daughter.

-If you were at the big Lenssen Gathering and saw a little girl in a fancy Christmas dress run full-speed into the dessert table, yup, that was my daughter.

-If your name is cousin Grant and you wondered why your farm set looked like a tornado kept blowing it apart, yup that was my daughter. If you wondered who kept chasing your remote-controlled jeep around the house, that was my daughter too.

-If you work at Bob's Burgers and Brew in Birch Bay and you had to clean up french fries, fish sticks and tartar sauce smeared all over the table and squished onto the floor, I apologize. Yup, that was my daughter.

-If you are a nursery worker at Third Christian Reformed Church and you got sick and tired of putting a certain little girl's red flower back in her hair, yup, that was my daughter. My daughter was also the one who refused to keep her shoes on longer than 0.2 seconds.

-If you're named Uncle Dean or Aunt Lyndsey and you believe your basement was ransacked by hoodlums, never fear, it was just my daughter. (Okay, so it wasn't all her doing, the other cousins helped, but pound-for-pound she was probably chief mess maker.)

Thanks everyone for your patience, humor and understanding. Apologies to all. If any mess turned out to be expensive, send us the bill and we'll take it out of Lana's college fund.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

To my Lana Jean

Hi sweet girl! Mama can't hardly believe you are a whole 18 months old, but you just keep growing
and learning and changing. You're starting to become a little girl and less of a baby every day. I'm not sure I'm ready for that, but I guess I don't have much of a choice in the matter, do I?

New this month for you: Pigtails! Finally, finally, finally, you have enough hair for me to actually do something with.

Also new this month: NO and MINE. Sigh. You are definitely showing me just how headstrong and independent you can be. I know that develpomentally this is normal and to be expected, but it really seemed to sneak up on us. Please be patient with Mama and Daddy as we learn how to set boundaries and negotiate the wide world of disciplining a toddler.

Right now you have some very clear preferences. You like tractors, Minnie Mouse, climbing on furniture, sitting in the toy box or any basket or box, reading books with Mama and Daddy, singing Wheels on the Bus with the correct hand motions, eating cheese, playing in the mud, putting on makeup with Mama in the mornings, enthusiastically greeting Daddy in the evenings, and getting squashed in big family sandwich hugs.

I love you so much Honey Bear, and it's so fun to see you grow up, but it's really okay to slow down a bit, I won't mind, I promise : )
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scenes from our Christmas House

1. Victorian Christmas Village 2. Precious, old-school Nativity 3. Dan's pheasant tree ornament 4. My crafty button wreath 5. Merry Christmas banner from Angela 6. Happy girl playing on her new bean bag chair.

We're all decorated and ready for Christmas here at our place. Last weekend Dan and I put up the tree and made the house festive while Lana napped. When she got up she was very surprised and took us around, showing us exactly what was different, as if we didn't know.

We're planning on doing lots of visiting within the next couple of weeks, so Lynden friends and Oregon friends, we'll be heading your way soon. Give us a ring if you want to meet up. We'd love to see you!
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

I'm Lovin' It!

Right now I'm lovin' me some olives. Well, actually, Lana's the one enjoying the olives, but I'm lovin' the finger-by-finger eating.
I'm lovin' me some gorgeous blooming Christmas Cactus. This plant has exceeded all expectations and has just kept blooming and blooming, despite being knocked over at least twice by a curious little one.
I'm also lovin' me some Christmas decorations. Yesterday we put up the tree and the little village and all the decor from the plastic bins that stay stored away for 11 months.
But more than olives, decorations and flowers, I'm lovin' me some tiny blonde pigtails. Finally, after 18 long months of fruitlessly trying, I can now successfully put little pigtails in Lana's hair. They're so stinkin' cute I just want to eat them up.
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