Oh my gosh, where to begin.

From way back...We'll take a look at the Breckenridge/Banks/Peils Christmas gathering. We got together on the 17th, bright and early at 9am. We spent a good chunk of time together and really enjoyed ourselves! Oh, and we ate way too much food. Now, because I'm trying to catch up on oh-so-many missed posting opportunities, I'm going to post only a few pictures [I'll try, anway-usually I get carried away].

Um, so this is me really working to distract Nate from his video games. It didn't work all that well. He got irritated for like two seconds and then decided that it wasn't worth it:] Oh how I love him! Dad makes fantastic pastries, which Stella quickly, QUICKLY figured out.

Like I said before, Mom and Dad were the gracious hosts, through breakfast, lunch, and lunner [lunch/dinner? one or the other!]. We got together on the December 17th to allow everyone enough travel time to get to California for Christmas Eve and Day.

Ivy is still freakin' adorable! This picture cracks me up...She looks so small in Tom's arms. And yet she's huge...Seriously. Oh, I made these for the girlies. I'm proud of them:)

Grandpa and Grandma Mac showed up for some dessert in the late afternoon, and then Nate and I headed home. We had piles of "stuff" to do before the next day...We had to clean the kitchen, take out all the trash, pass the cat off to some caretakers for the following ten days, finish the laundry, pack our suitcases, and pack some weather proof bins with presents. The next morning we were supposed to connect with Ricky, Nate's older brother, to load up his Toyota Tundra and make the long drive down to Fresno, California. Ricky had plans to come over by 6am, but that didn't happen...which turned out to be a very good thing! The weather was super if-y that morning, fog and potential ice on the freeways. Ricky arrived around 8am, he and Nate loaded up the truck bed, and then they took the truck to Les Schwab to get two new front end tires. We hit I-5 South at 10am. It was great timing!

We arrived in Fresno at Grandma and Grandpa Moser's house (Nate's Mom's parents) at right around 10:30pm. Yeah, we made excellent timing...and that was with, like, 5 stops. Nate and Ricky spent the next four days painting Grandma and Grandpa's house. Karina (my cousin...check out Reenee Roo's page, which, by the way, is way outdated, Karina. I can say that because I'm updating mine right now) picked me up on Tuesday morning and drove me down to Visalia (my Aunt Suzi and Uncle Lonnie's house). The Peil family arrived on Thursday the 21st, Dad and Mom flew in on the 22nd, and Nate's brothers dropped him off that Friday as well. We spent some time hanging out and finishing Christmas shopping, and then celebrated on Christmas Eve. A freakin' huge amount of folks showed up for the festivities! I don't think I have any pictures that do the gathering any justice, but I'll try. Yes, well, we had 21 folks sitting around the dining room for dinner. Does this give you an idea of the magnitude of what we all accomplished???

And then we all fit ourselves into the living room, along with the hundreds and hundreds of presents. Man, Karina was soo organized. She had the presents in stacks, catagorized by who they were for; she had the little kids pass out presents (often interrupted by, "Where's MINE?!?!" in total panic); before the little kids could open their presents, she had them put all the trash in huge bags, which they did in order to earn their next present. Paper was flying...we made it through the presents in no time at all! I can tell you now, though, that it's going to take quite a bit of effort to gather pictures from everyone who was using their cameras. I'd love to post more pictures from that Christmas but because this isn't my computer, it has some weird tweaks that I can't figure out. I can't find a way to rotate pictures so that up-and-down photos are sideways...This is one of my favorite neices, working really hard to crack me up:) No, just kidding. But she makes me laugh! Actually, at the time this picture was taken, she was driving Rae Ann crazy. She wouldn't sleep to, literally, save her own life. She came down with pnemonia while in Visalia. It was caught early, though, so she was doing okay within a few days. But the sleeplessness was specific only to her sickness. Check out Rae Ann's blog and read more about the munchkin's stubornness. Oh, the house picture is from a very cool store named Good's Goods. They're in Visalia, just ten minutes from the Powell's house. It was the house used in the "Son-in-Law" movie with Polly Shore. On Christmas Day, Karina drove Nate and I back down to Fresno to spend the next few days with the Banks family at the Moser's house. Stephen drove up from LA, so that was fun to see him again! Right when we got to the Moser's, we celebrated Christmas with presents and the made the drive over to Raymond and Tammy's house (Karen's youngest brother and his wife) where we had brunch. The next few days were spent relaxing, with some good ol' shopping mixed in:)

We all loaded up and drove back up to Oregon on December 28th. Ricky and Stephen headed south to LA, Nate and I loaded up in Karen and Rick's car and drove the 12 hours home together. We arrived home right around 8 that evening. The next day Mom had her knee surgery...on their 26th wedding anniversary, no less. On the 30th, Leslie and Adam came over to celebrate our own little form of New Years! Yes, yes, we had the wrong date, but Les and Adam are from Pendleton, one of the craziest, snowiest places in Oreogn. So they had to attempt the drive home before the weather got so bad they were stuck in Portland. SO! We played some fantastic games (Friend's SceneIt and Balderdash) and we ate dinner and exchanged gifts. That was Christmas number, let me think, five. Or maybe six. I can barely remember. It's ridiculous, though, how many Christmas we celebrated this year. Okay, so then for New Years, Nate and I went over to Tom and Rae Ann's, along with Mom and Dad, and watched movies and played a nice, friendly game of Clue. I love, LOVE games and look forward to New Years to finally be able to play games...Nate isn't a fan, so he avoids them any other day of the year. Oh my goodness...I think I made it through everything I wanted to write about. IT'S A MIRACLE!!! Oh, one last thing, I've been wanting to post a picture of our fantastic twelve foot tree, so let's see if I can make that happen.


*FARMERS* said...

cute pics rob...i thought i would leave you a comment since you were sad :) see you soon!

bean & sprout's rep. said...

did i mention that i love your tree! it's so beautiful!

so... how about an update?

Jeff & Necia said...

you are so much better at this whole blogging thing than jeff and i! it is fun to see all the pics and hear the stories. it was fun to see you guys a few weeks ago. we'll have to get together again soon. :)

hart of harts said...

Now Robin, I'm am so freakin dissapointed that you didn't even mention us in your detailed (not so) account of your Christmas trip. HUMF! HISS! Huh, some cousin you are. Speaking of which, I'll send you any pics I have of your visit.