Wednesday, December 4, 2013

November Highlights

November brought a lot of goodness!

Aside from Jon and I celebrating our 8 year wedding anniversary, we got to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends here in California. Bethany's friend Christopher came all the way from England to celebrate the American holiday with us. When I came home from work on Wednesday, Christopher was giving Kate a personal piano lesson. I was very impressed with what she had learned:

On Thursday we slept in, made candy turkeys, ate delicious snacks and visited my parents. Kate wore her adorable turkey dress from Grandma Chris, and when I tried to get a picture it went really well!

Total meltdown.

Everybody should appreciate seeing that Kate is not a perfectly happy angel all the time, although she seems to be.

I finally got her to stop crying long enough for me to hold her and get a non-blurry picture of her dress!

She was a little bit happier after that :) Oy... toddlerhood is starting.

Back at home we had a beautiful table set up with our candy turkeys at each plate. Jon named his turkey "Frank, The King". You can see him pictured to the right wearing the candy-corn crown.

On Black Friday, I went to work and Kate got to hang out with her Aunt Beth... Not sure what they were teaching her!

That night after work we went to Old Sacramento where they had a performance of The Night Before Christmas along with a tree lighting. Jon's siblings were with us, (Beth, Mike and Dave with the exception of Steve) since they were all in town for Thanksgiving. We wandered some shops and then ended up at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. We let Kate pick out her own 30 cent piece of candy. She chose the milk chocolate Santa Claus, and then bit his head off, foil and all! (Don't worry, we pulled it out of her mouth before she swallowed it.) She loved having a piece of candy all to herself. I wish I had a better picture of the reindeer hat she was wearing, but I'm sure she'll have it on again sometime this December :)

Christopher brought Kate her very own Mr. Blobby plush doll all the way from England for the holidays. She loves carrying it around and playing with his bowtie!

On Saturday we went up to Little Bear Creek Tree Farm in Alta. It's a tradition of Jon's family since he was a baby. This is Kate's second year now.

Me and Kate in 2012:

Beth and Kate 2013:

Kate kept pulling her hat off, leaving her hair funny and flat, but I loved how she just looked like Larry from the 3 Stooges.

We had a great time walking around and looking at the trees even though the whole family got ahead of us and we lost them. After trying to follow them down the mountain for half an hour, we turned back and waited for a truck to just drive us back to the gift shop :)

Jon's family always brings chili and animal cookies for lunch. Kate really enjoyed eating a roll all by herself!

We sat by the fire and picked up some homemade rocky road and fudge from the gift shop. Even though we didn't get our own tree this year, it was still fun to participate in this Christmas tradition!

That night after work, we went to Jon's 10 year high school reunion (woah!) We were so back and forth about going over the years. I'm glad that Jon decided at the last minute to dress up and buy tickets for it. Overall the night wasn't super eventful, but it was still fun to see some people in person that we hadn't seen in years. Oh, and about half of all the women there were pregnant!

On Sunday, Kate wore a fancy dress to church.

I loved how she looked like a puffy cupcake!

After church we ate lunch and Kate was trying so hard to pull the bib off over her head! It was squishing her face and would pull her eyebrows way up. She makes us laugh all the time :) Silly girl.

Sunday night, we helped Christopher experience an American delicacy... SMORES.

Apparently they don't have such things as graham crackers in England.

Jon prepared a delightful fire in our gas fireplace as it was freakin' freezing outside!

Beth showed Christopher the clip from The Sandlot where they explain the construction of a smore. This seemed extremely helpful. We (of course) helped improve the flavor even more by using Ghirardelli chocolate. OH YES.

First bite anticipation!

Even though Beth has this weird idea that your mallow should be burned so that it has a charred outer flavor, Christopher still had a fantastic time making his smore and we're assuming this toe-thumb approval is a win!

We also had smores with bacon strips on them, which is AMAZING! Although it sounds a little odd at first, Sarah and Beth both tried it with me and Jon and agreed it was superb. Christopher, however, does not believe in American bacon. He says it is too rubbery and fatty. Uh... that's why it's delicious! Either way, he agreed to TRY the smore with bacon on it, but was only able to make it through one bite before being totally grossed out. Disappointment.

On Tuesday after work we took Christopher, Beth and Sarah out to Claim Jumper so that he could experience the delight of ENORMOUS American serving sizes. Steph ate her entire Widow Maker burger in one sitting. Proud mama, right here.

Christopher entertained us with stories from his younger days in York and we had a fantastic Mother Lode cake for dessert. No trip to America is complete without a completely ridiculous meal with way too much food that you could never realistically consume yourself!

After dinner, Jon and I went to see the newest Hunger Games movie. We made it RIGHT as the movie started so we were in the very very front center. It made the experience of watching Katniss, Peeta and Gale run across the screen very interesting. But we were super happy with this movie compared to the first one and we even liked all the music they played during the credits! Way to go movie makers for working with Coldplay, Of Monsters and Men and The Lumineers. Triple Win.

That night we said good-bye to Christopher since he is headed back to England on Thursday.

We will miss him bunches! But hope he will travel to California again soon :) Otherwise, we may just be making our own trip out to England.

We really enjoyed Thanksgiving and seeing friends and family. It was fun to see Dave and Meg even though we didn't end up with any pictures of them. Beth will be back for Christmas, and I'm sure we'll have many more fantastic adventures to share!

1 comment:

Christopher Howell said...

This is great. The Englishman sounds spiffing, although The Katherine is still the best.