Finally, holiday highlights

These are a few of the memories I will keep from the last two weeks of 2009.


This was our fourth Christmas in our new home. I wonder when a home isn’t new anymore? Anyway, we put our tree in the same corner as the first year–next to the “elf shelf”. I like it there. NOTE to shelf: Take a photo of the elf on the shelf next year! (arghh)

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I found this toy catalog full of what I assumed were “I want this” flags. I was wrong. Chase had flagged all the things we wanted to give to his brothers and sister. There were notes by each item.


Assisted primarily by Taft and Addie, we constructed a gingerbread house. A few minutes after completion one side of the roof came off. We decided that since we forgot to cut out a front door, we would just leave it this way — easier for munchkins to get in and out!


Took this photo on Christmas Morning at around 1:45 am. Geoff had gone to bed and I just wandered around, feeling absolutely blessed and at peace — nothing more I could do except anticipate. Love that.


A sofa full of teenagers. Frankly, they can be a huge pain in the buttocks. But I still love it when they choose my house as a hang out.

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Attending the annual creche display at a local church where there were hundreds and hundreds of nativity scenes accompanied by good music. One of my nativities sits directly outside our master bedroom. When I left the lamp on (which I did most nights) I was greeted by the scene early in the morning.


Having my kids home — they make me laugh!

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Ahh … visits from friends you don’t get to see very often. Jenna and Deric came home for the holidays. Everyone who comes over gets to guess how much candy is in the jar by our front door. Deric had to come back and claim his prize. He guessed 276. The correct answer 274 — not bad!


New jammies on Christmas Eve and the reminder that not even Christmas Eve can coax a smile out of Taft.
Just after taking this photo, I took several in low-light so I adjusted my ISO (I’m a total dork when it comes to photography) and then didn’t set it back. All of my Christmas morning photos are …


totally grainy. YUCK!
But this boy … totally yum. So happy that I spoiled him and got plenty of positive feedback. Notice the Nixon watch on his wrist.


We took a self-timer group shot with the group gift we got from Darci’s family. She gave us an afternoon of sledding. Now if it would only snow!


Mom and Dad drove over on Christmas day in time for dinner. They stayed the whole weekend and we were able to relax and talk and play games and relax and talk some more.  I loved every minute.


This is most of us standing on top of Liberty Lake. What a freaky feeling to stand where you normally swim!

Be sure to check out the Write. Click. Scrapbook. gallery where I posted 12 favorite photos, selected in 12 minutes on New Year’s Eve.

I’m so happy I allowed myself to completely and totally relax with my family and I’m so happy we are all getting back to a routine.
Happy Tuesday.



  1. Oh Stacy, your photos are just gorgeous! You may have a few grainy photos but you always capture the neatest expressions on your family’s faces. I can feel your pain about the grainy photos though, as I have done that before myself. My saddest Christmas was the one when I accidentally erased all our Christmas photos on my camera before I got to download them on the computer. I was sick to my stomach for days. I too have a teenage boy who doesn’t like to smile in photos. My teenage nephew doesn’t either. Must be a teen thing. I agree with you that a bunch of teens hanging out at your house can be a pain, but along with you I am grateful that they choose our house too. I can keep my eye on them that way. LOL. They’re pretty good kids so I don’t need to do much, just have a house full of food and pop.

    Your house looked beautiful for Christmas, and I love the monogram idea for the stockings. Very elegant.

    Take Care… and have a great New Year!

  2. What great pictures. Looks like you had a wonderful time. I’m glad you did and that you had all that time with family and friends.

  3. Wow-your mom looks so beautiful (and your dad, too). How lucky to live within driving distance of some of your family. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great pictures Stacy! I love the one you took at 1:45 am. I do that too on Christmas Eve…walk around quietly and let the whole Christmas experience fill me with peace and joy. I take a beautiful tree picture after Santa’s visit and the stockings bursting at the seams before anyone else sees it. Unfortunately, I was at my In-laws (in Spokane) for Christmas and my mother-in-law doesn’t decorate as I do, so it was a different (still good) feeling and atmosphere for me.

    I’m loving that photo of Clark and his new slippers! What a great shot. (But I have to tell you though, my 13 yr old has him beat in shoe size…he just got a pair of men’s size 13!!) I will be looking forward now to a house full of teenagers because he just turned 13 over the holiday.

    Happy New Year!

  5. Christine H says:

    You know, there is nothing smellier than 5 teenage boys crammed into a 10×10 bedroom playing some X-box something or another……but the things I learn as I hang out in the next room (my office/scrapbook room)…..yes, I do eaves drop, regularly and shamelessly….it’s good to be the hangout place.

    Great pics, by the way or I guess that is BTW!

  6. Aww, Chase is so sweet that he flagged gifts for his siblings. My 6yo DD wrapped up some trinkets from her room to give to her 8yo sister, who was so touched. Glad you had a great time with your family. We had an uncle, aunt and their 2 kids up — lots of adventures.

  7. Happy New Year!
    I did the same ISO mistake once- hopefully never again!! But- I did find a free download that reduces the noise in photos- it’s easy- and it works!!
    Scroll down to the end- you can download the “Community StandAlone edition”- then you don’t need Photoshop.

  8. We made a gingerbread house this year too… But I have a secret that I’ll share with you… (If you don’t eat the gingerbread house, and it’s just an activity to do then a decoration for the holidays…) We used Hot Glue to assemble the house itself… Took like 3 minutes to dry, and set… Then we could decorate the rest with icing and candy. No falling apart houses this year! Woo Hoo! (and no bored kids waiting for the icing to dry) hee hee!

    Thanks for sharing your family christmas… Lots of fun. ;)

  9. Stacy, Seeing your boy hold your baby girl is just “priceless”! :O)

  10. I have the same grainy Christmas morning photos as you do! Getting out of AUTO mode is wreaking havoc on my photo collection

  11. Amy Anderson says:

    Just a quick note for you – if you want to spend the time (and we’re talking mere seconds per photo) you can download a fantastic free program to take out the grain. It’s called Noiseware Community Edition (can’t remember the actual website but I’m sure Google can help.) I’m a pro photog in WY and a dedicated scrapper and after all these years I still forget to reset my camera on occasion. But using this fab program I have salvaged many a grainy photo, both for my own use and for clients. Hope it helps!

  12. Thats separate all good fighters from great fighters. WAR BJ

  13. dana burton says:

    Happy New Year, Miss Stacy! And thank you for sharing the story of Chase and the catalogue. It is so touching. His heart is so LARGE! Gotta love that guy. Bless his heart.

  14. I cannot believe this is true!

  15. Sometimes it’s really that simple, isn’t it? I feel a little stupid for not thinking of this myself/earlier, though.

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