Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snow walk

Heavy snow showers fell as my mom, dad and I enjoyed a Christmas Eve eve walk.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all!

About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told!

Luke 2:1-20 The Message

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa Tracker

Where's Santa? When will he get to your house? Track him with NORAD!


McKee family Christmas

A portion of the McKee family gathered Sunday evening to visit and celebrate Christmas. Because of the crazy weather, Uncle Don and Aunt Cindy decided not to drive up from Arizona. And Uncle Dave, Aunt Pat, cousins Jon, Kristin, Reilly, Paige and Peter didn't make the drive from Eugene.

But our family, Uncle John and Aunt Nancy, cousins Mike, Kris, Charis and Aiden and Grandma and Grandpa McKee made it for a simple dinner of chowder and panini sandwiches.
John wore his traditional Christmas Hawaiian shirt. Nancy had some nice, warm coyote boots.
On our way over, we passed friends Jacob & Lindsey walking to the store to help cure a bad case of cabin fever. We invited them over for free food and entertainment. No one stepped up when it was time to open gifts, so Lindsey played Santa.
Good times :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

UPDATE: You're invited!!

If you're looking for somewhere to be on Christmas Eve, please join us at Newberg Friends for a music-filled, candlelight service! My handbell choir (including me, my sister and my mother!) will be playing before, during and after the services.

UPDATE: Because of the weather, we are holding two services: 5 & 6:30.

NFC is at 3rd and College in Newberg, just off Highway 99W. Click HERE for directions.

Hopefully inclement weather won't cancel the special time! Before heading out, check the Web site to make sure we're still on.

-Liz :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Destruction and beauty

The snow and ice buildup got the best of the giant trees surrounding our home. We awoke with a start early this morning to the unmistakable sound of a limb breaking under the pressure and crashing toward the ground. Later, I watched from our bedroom window as an ice-laden branch destroyed half of our large plum tree. Last night, a different limb sliced our very tall laurel hedge in two.

More limbs hit the house as Brad skied to my parents' house to borrow a saw. We spent the next several hours clearing a lot of the damage and cutting some of laurel that was bending under the weight.

The photos don't do it justice. The poor plum.

The poor hedge.
With the extension ladder precariously placed, Brad cut some top branches off the hedge in hopes of preventing a split.
Time to borrow the parents' pickup to haul off the debris.
But despite the destruction, the ice provided some amazing beauty!

This is why those fir branches are falling... this stuff is heavy!

-Liz :)

Not as fun

It's still beautiful here with inches and inches and inches of new snow. But it's a little less fun with 8-inch fir branches crashing down all around us. One last night destroyed part of our massive laurel hedge and one this morning took out half of a large plum tree. Two smaller one have hit the house in the past 15 minutes.

Brad's skiing to my folks' house right now to get a saw. It could be a long day.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mountain fun right in our own back yard!

Usually we have to drive 2 hours to Mount Hood for this action. Last night, we strapped on our cross-country skis and glided across the Tigard High School sports fields, down to Cook Park and across the river to Tualatin Park. There, we found these picnic tables piled high with fresh snow.
Incredible! When we got home, Brad made some tele turns in our own cul-de-sac. What a perfect Christmas treat.

Earlier Saturday, we carefully drove to Brad's parents' house in Vancouver to see Jill, his long-lost sister from NYC!
Her weather-delayed flight had finally arrived at 3 a.m., so she was really pooped. We'll see her again on Christmas... after she's caught up on sleep :)

-Liz :)


Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow week

They made the call later this time, but school officials have canceled classes for the fifth-straight day. I'm disappointed to not see my coworkers and students at all this week... I have Christmas cards all ready for them and we had some fun holiday activities planned. But what a treat for everyone to have an extra week to enjoy the snow and the season!

We woke this morning to a layer of fresh snow on the house and garden:

I hope you're all enjoying the snow!
-Liz :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Since I've been off all week, most of my waiting-until-the-last-minute Christmas chores are done. So I returned this morning to my old stomping grounds, Medical Teams International, for some volunteer work.

Luckily for me, it's toy drive day! I spent about most of my day sorting toys from the KGW Great Toy Drive to go to local agencies. There was a massive pile of Les Schwab bags filled with toys. Each agency had a request sheet with the number of toys needed, broken down by age and gender. Some needed 50 toys and others needed 1,600. It's a really fun project, but harder than you'd think :)

What a great way to spend a day off!

-Liz :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"A" for effort

After fighting the crud for 2+ weeks, I was anxious to get back on the workout wagon and burn off some of those Christmas-cookie calories. But then the snow/ice hit. I clocked some miles walking to see family the first couple snow days, but my heart and lungs are yearning for more. Brad suggested we hit the THS stadium this evening to run some stairs, so we bundled up and drove over.

Unfortunately, many of the stairs are still covered with a slushy, slick layer of ice ... and there were no lights to illuminate our path. So we decided to give ourselves an "A" for effort and return home with our spinal cords and skulls intact.


Monday, December 15, 2008

I LOVE snow brunch!

Monday, Mom, Eryn and I walked up to Ma & Pa's house for snow brunch.
After getting our fill, we headed for their sledding slope, which has always been a source of snow-day fun!

Whose idea was it to plant a garden at the bottom of our sledding hill?!?!

Eryn made it all the way to the filbert tree... the record for the day:
Missing the holly tree:
Not a bad way to end a day of sledding :)
-Liz :)

Snow day!!!

My first snow day as a school employee... yipee!!!!!

Last night we walked to mom & dad's for dinner and tree decorating. Now I'm all bundled up and headed on foot to Ma & Pa's house for Snow Brunch!!! There might be some snowy hot tubbing, too :)


Sunday, December 14, 2008

White elephant

Any excuse to decorate the house and make some food...

Linus posed nicely for Brad:

Do I have enough Christmas Mickeys??

My awesome bosses at CE2 gave me this cupcake stand for Christmas. Thanks Sue & Andy!

Soon, our guests arrived for our annual white elephant Christmas party.
Unfortunately, I was too busy having fun to take any pictures of the action, which included "I Love Meat" stickers, a giant Scooby Doo, Easy Cheese, flashing Christmas earrings and a Fleet enema kit!

-Liz :)