Friday, December 23, 2016

2016. Raw and Unedited.

Since I have semi-given up on Christmas cards, my new favorite holiday tradition is cleaning all the crap photos off of my phone to create a visual story of our year.  These aren't the framers, and probably aren't the ones that have already been plastered on Facebook.  These are the daily details of 2016.   Because, as we all know, as fabulous as that Hawaiian sunset family photo is, that is just one moment in time.  Reality happens every day, and is sometimes even more interesting than the photo-shopped version.  Here's a random selection of our moments in 2106...

We introduced our little people to bowling.  As you can see by this photo, they thought it was ok.  Turns out 2 hours of bowling and a pizza are still good family entertainment, even in 2016.  Bonus: Bowling alleys are now non-smoking, the computer keeps score for you and the lane bumpers go up and down automatically depending on which player is bowling.  Modern technology continues to deliver the awesome.

We did a little adventuring.  This is the Hedge Creek Falls trail, where we realized we probably should invest in a selfie stick if we want to squeeze five people into a photo.

In March, we had the opportunity to host two members of the Watoto Children's Choir from Uganda. They taught us how to peel a banana upside down and we taught them how to play Hullabaloo.

Also in March, we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a wonderful weekend in Mendocino.  Here we are visiting the Point Cabrillo light house....again making it painfully obvious that we need a selfie stick.

We did our civic duty and replaced our front lawn with bark chips and drought-tolerant landscaping.  Our August 2016 water bill was exactly $1.06 less than August 2015, so I can't really say it was the financial savings that motivated us.  Mostly I think Nick just wanted an excuse to rent an excavator for the weekend.

I continue my part time job with the Shasta Early Literacy Partnership.  We do a lot of good work helping parents and teachers raise proficient readers.  We give away a lot of books and occasionally I recruit my mom to help with my sweat shop book sorting and distribution.  My most fun day at work was our giant book drive where we collected over 6,000 books in one day.

I love this view, directly across the street from my daughter's school.  I love the McConnell Foundation.  I love the fact that they preserve open space for walking trails. And I love taking walks with my kids to see the cows that visit in the spring to graze and "fertilize" the land.

These kids.  They got my light brown hair, my pasty white skin, and my blue eyes.  Pretty much everything about their appearance points to me. But their heart for speed comes straight from daddy.  They both love fast cars, the louder the better (as long as they have their ear muffs handy).  We hit the drag races, a few car shows and the monster trucks this year.  Motor head heaven.

Hubby started getting crafty!  He's been dabbling in metal art and woodworking, and even opened a little Etsy shop.  He is the dreamer/creator and I am the photographer/copy writer/shipping department. If you need any welding or wood work, he's your guy.

This. Is there anything better than the magic of your baby learning how to read?  Nope.

Friends.  If you haven't been to the Sandwichery in Redding, please do yourself a favor and check it out.  I went for the first time this year, and it did not disappoint.  It's kind of a hole in the wall, and they don't take credit cards but what they lack in modern conveniences they make up for with awesome sandwiches.  This is HALF of the sandwich I ordered.  And it was so good I had to stop, snap a photo and send it to my husband.  Because, you know....who doesn't love to see a picture of his wife's lunch?   

We did a little weekend road trip to Virginia City, NV.  If you haven't been...I highly recommend.  Especially if you have kids and/or are a history buff.  Lots to see and do.

Oh yeah!!  Hawaii!  We loved every minute of our week in Hawaii...ziplines, snorkeling, hiking, shopping, luau, boogie boarding, sand castles, fish tacos, and spam sushi.  Best.  Vacation.  Ever.....

...except this.  Hey Hawaii, how about let's just charge $2 for the $2 jar of spaghetti sauce, OK?  Thanks.

My baby started kindergarten!!  And I love a lot of things about this photo. 1. His first field trip was a float trip down the Sacramento River.  2. Me and his daddy both got to come along for the ride. 3. He's still wearing the pink life jacket without complaint.

Somebody turned 8 and got her own room.  Which means that somebody else also scored his own room!

I promised you raw and unedited, so here it is.  THIS is how my daughter and I feel about birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese.

This is from a hike in Lassen.  Can someone please identify the source of this giant excrement?  It's been bugging me.  And I don't want to delete the photo off of my phone until the mystery is solved.

We got a kitty.  Her name is Nia and she is perfection. She told me so herself.

We hosted our very first Art Show at our house!  Our young artist in residence decided she wanted to make some money so she made a bunch of art (and I mean a BUNCH), put together some snacks and drinks and invited her friends and relatives over to purchase her art.  She pulled in $58 in less than 2 hours.

And Christmas cousin sleep overs with matching PJ's for the win!

So there you have it.  That's my collection of random from 2016.  We wish all of our friends and family many blessings for a wonderful new year!

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