Thursday, December 31, 2009

Traditional Wood Christmas Eve

Brad's family always gathers on Christmas Eve for snacks. In recent years, we've met at Barb and Gene's Newberg house in the afternoon before I had to scoot off to NFC for bells. We paused briefly before digging in to the goodies Donna made:
After we were sufficiently stuffed, we opened some gifts. Barb looked chic in her trendy NYC scarf from Jill.
Gene did not model his new undies!
I scored a Santa Mickey for my collection!
And Steve took home some cargo sweat knickers.
After, my mom, sis and I played with our handbell choir in three candlelight services at Newberg Friends. When we finally left the church about 9:30 p.m., it was foggy, frosty and gorgeous!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Surprise snow

Brad and I got away for a few days to my aunts' new Sunriver home. We hoped for some fun in the snow - and we got it! But we were shocked to hear that it was snowing buckets at home, too. Eryn took this little video so we wouldn't miss it. In case you missed it too...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

Galations 4:4-7

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tracker: Santa's journey has begun!

Santa's one-day journey around the globe has begun! Check out the NORAD Santa Tracker to see where he is and when he'll get to your house.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lunch and crafts

Brad's mom invited Eryn and me up for lunch and crafts with the fam. So while Brad toiled at work, we had a fun day with Steve, Donna, Jill, Grandma Wood, Debbie and Jordan.
I made a couple magnets with flowers on them.
Cousin Jordan made one for his girlfriend. Jennifer will love it!
It was a fun way to spend a vacation day!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Silent monks present the Hallelujah Chorus

Thanks for sharing this, Jan!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jill's here!

Brad's sister, Jill, went to NYC's Columbia for grad school and never looked back. She's a city girl now, but every once in a while she returns to her roots. She flew in Thursday for a Christmas visit.
Mom and Dad are happy she's home!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas time in CE2

Since CE2 is one big family, Christmas time is really fun. Some highlights:

Sue brought in a raclette grill for a fun staff lunch. We melted
raclette cheese and ate it over potatoes, bread, tomatoes and sauteed veggies. It was heavenly! Viri's mom, Alejandra, spent two days cooking in the CE2 kitchen for Thursday's holiday enchilada feast. Lots of staff and students pitched in to help. Then we ate! What a fabulous way to learn about another culture during the holidays. Alejandra is wonderful - such a blessing to have her share her gift of cooking!

CE2 staff members exchanged gifts. I bought Snuggies for Sue, Andy and Christian....
Christian, a botanist, gave beautiful house plants. And Andy, who really loves to eat my brownies, gave me this awesome Perfect Brownie Tray... as seen on TV! I think he just wants me to make more treats :)
Fleece shirts were donated for each CE2 student and staffer. We were thrilled, and some of the students posed for a thank-you photo.

Merry Christmas from my CE2 Family!

Pretzel Yummies

This is one of my specialties - a fun one for Christmas time. It's easy but time consuming to make the homemade caramel.

  • 2 cups walnuts (8 ounces)
  • 1 cup peanut butter-flavored pieces
  • 1 cup milk chocolate pieces
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 25 pretzel rods or one 14-ounce package whole Bavarian pretzels


1. In a food processor combine walnuts, peanut butter pieces, and chocolate pieces. Cover and process until mixture is coarsely chopped (or coarsely chop nuts, peanut butter pieces, and chocolate pieces with a knife and combine). Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.

2. In a small heavy saucepan combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sweetened condensed milk. Return to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 236 degree F, soft-ball stage (should take about 10 minutes). (Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.) Remove saucepan from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly thickened.

3. Dip each pretzel into caramel mixture, covering about 2/3 of the pretzel. Let caramel drip off slightly. Spoon or roll some of the crumb mixture onto the caramel, pressing crumbs lightly into caramel with back of a spoon. Let stand on nonstick foil until caramel is set. Store in an airtight container between layers of wax paper in refrigerator up to 4 days or freeze up to 1 month. Makes 25 pretzel rods or 15 whole Bavarian pretzels.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Christmas snow?????

I know a lot can change in a week+, but Intellicast is forecasting snow showers on Christmas in the Portland area! Could it happen three years in a row???? WOOHOO!!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What's your favorite Christmas song?

I write simple questions on the board in my classroom to get people talking and mingling a bit. Last week it was "What's your favorite holiday tradition?" - and there were many different answers. This week a student picked "What's your favorite Christmas song?" I had to think... I have SO many. I decided it's "Oh Holy Night" - but I love so many more.

I also really like "Sleigh Ride" - especially the swing part toward the end.

And "Joy to the World" is always a great classic.

Oh, and "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"...

and "Jingle Bells" by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters ...

and "Carol of the Bells" (the David Foster version is awesome!) ...

and "Silent Night"... OK - I love them all!

What's your favorite??

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mountain locator beacons and rescue costs

You probably know that my husband is a mountaineer and would rather be nowhere else than on a mountain or rock or trail somewhere. And he drags me along on moderate adventures.

You probably also know that a couple years ago, he and two friends were in a climbing accident on Mount Hood. They slipped in icy conditions and fell about 500 feet on the south side of the mountain. Everyone survived with varying degrees of injury. Brad is the only one of the three who still climbs.

So when I hear about accidents and missing climbers, it really hits home. And because of our first-hand experience, we often get into discussions about requiring mountain locator units and charging for rescue costs. Brad and I are against both. Portland Mountain Rescue (involved in most Mount Hood rescues - including Brad's) deals with those same questions and issued a response this weekend. If you've also wondered about those things, please read it - it's a great explanation.


Sweets, treats and enemas

Friends came over yesterday for our annual White Elephant Party, so I had to prepare a spread of treats just for the occasion.
After opening gifts, we posed for a group shot. We're such a good-looking group! (I know, I always say that) Poor Christine started with the best gift and ended up an enema kit - double pack ...
Baby Jesse made his first appearance at the Wood house, donning the cool hat Brad bought for him. The boy figured he'd add to the image by flipping us the bird!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


We watched all week as the storm approached - the magic mix of arctic air and precip that would bring us up to 4 inches of snow today! I even wore my tried-and-true snow sweater. Yet when I woke this morning, the ground was dry. The darn system headed east and missed the Portland area. They say we could still see some flakes today... I'm not holding out too much hope.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Have you made the penguin fly?

A student introduced me to the coolest game ever. It's easy and fun and very addictive! I spent much of yesterday afternoon earning points as I taught my penguin to fly. Try it - you won't be sorry


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Official NORAD Santa Tracker

Are you ready to track Santa? Follow his journey around the globe on Christmas Eve!!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tree time!

Saturday was our annual trek to Bell Road in Newberg to select and fell our family Christmas trees! Cramming three trees in the back of the truck (and securing them!) is always a challenge :)
Because it's been dry, we immediately took ours inside and decorated.
Sunday, my mom's community band held a holiday concert at Tigard High. Good thing the electricity came back on just before the event started! That's her standing in the back with the timpani:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Kids talk to Santa Tracker

I was looking for NORAD's Santa Tracker and stumbled on some funny YouTube videos for kids calling the hotline on Christmas Eve to locate Santa. Very cute :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Magic tree!

Co-worker Sue picked up a Magic Christmas Tree for me... it's sorta like a Chia Pet... sorta. I was thrilled to assemble it, add the magic potion and watch it grow!
The goo immediately started wicking up the tree trunk and out the branches. Soon, tiny crystals began forming.
A couple hours later, the needles were really coming in.
When we returned to work the next morning, our little tree was full grown!
Kinda creepy... but really cool! If you want your own, click HERE.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Alice in Wonderland Mash Up

I just found this on the K103 Web site and thought it was worth sharing :)

Valley snow?!

Some forecasters are predicting possible snow Friday in the Portland area. Click HERE to read the alert.

I might have to get out my snow sweater. Watch out... it's VERY powerful!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Birthdays, cowering cats and shopping fun

Mom celebrated the big 5-3 last month with a big plate of ribs at Claim Jumper.

Poor Linus had to take a trip to the vet, where he always turns into the cowardly lion. He refuses to get out of his carrier, so I have to take it apart. Then he cowers in the corner and pretends we can't see him. So pathetic.

My alarm went off at 4 a.m. Friday, and I jumped up to ready myself for a day of bargain hunting.My first task was making sure that Eryn was awake. She was after my flash went off!
By the end of the day, we were getting really goofy. We found this hat for Dad to wear next year:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Beach retreat

Earlier this month, we spent a weekend at Twin Rocks Friends Camp at Rockaway Beach. It was the annual Newberg Friends all-church retreat, something I look forward to all year. I was too busy having fun to take lots of photos, but here are a couple:

Kiddo colored during the larger gatherings:
We had lots of fun hanging out with Sarah!
Ping-pong tourney: