Monday, December 31, 2012

No turning back

Well, I just burned my boats.
Eugene, here I come.
I might throw up now :)

Christmas 2012

After staying up late Christmas Eve (bells ended around 9:30 p.m. and then we had chili at Eryn's), Christmas morning came quick.

We were up and at Mom and Dad's house by 7 a.m. Look at all that loot!
I was way too tired to take many pictures, but here's a few...

Brad with his new toenail polishes!
Then to Ma and Pa's house by 10 a.m.
Brad's new leopard-print slippers. Fancy!
Then to Brad's fam's house in Vancouver for more!
Lame pictures but a really great day :)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Eve snacks and bells

Since he was a child, Brad's family tradition has included Christmas Eve snacks. The annual event has evolved over the years as kids grew up, obligations changed and family members came and went.

I play in the NFC handbell choir each Christmas Eve, so snacks now happen early in the day before I have to get dressed up and drive to Newberg. This year, we hosted at our Tigard house. Jill was in town from NYC, and Uncle Dick and Aunt Louise, now Newberg residents, joined us. 
LOVE Dick's socks. It's especially funny because he's an avid hunter and probably wants to shoot and eat those little reindeer :)
After food and gifts, it was time to head to NFC for our 3:30 p.m. call. A little rehearsal with the other ensemble before the three services.
It's makes for a really long day (and short night!), but we love it.

Ready to ring:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Weeks 4 and 5: Done!

Between the last week of school and Christmas craziness, the past two weeks have been a blur.

But I have been working out and diligently prepping for my upcoming half marathon.
I set out this afternoon to do 6.2 miles at 10K race pace. Under a beautiful, high-overcast sky, I ran through the park and over to Tualatin. It was perfect running weather.

And I got all dolled up in my new Christmas running gear: Adidas jacket and capris from Kari, Vicki, Kayla and Jessie, gloves from Eryn and florescent socks from Mom and Dad. FUN!!

Here's the recap of Weeks 4 and 5:
Sunday: 3.24 miles - 5K Race
Monday: spin class
Tuesday: 3.6 miles - speedwork
Wednesday: 3.5 miles
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: 3.06 miles
Saturday: cross-country skiing

Week 4 Total:  13.4 miles
Sunday: 4.05 miles
Monday: 8.21 miles
Tuesday: Christmas - Rest Day!
Wednesday: snowshoeing
Thursday: 5.0 miles - speedwork
Friday: 3.1 miles
Saturday: 6.35 miles
Week 5 Total: 26.17 miles


Fun with white elephants

To get into the holiday spirit, we invited a bunch of friends over last weekend for our annual white elephant party!

A good time was had by all, I think - even Lindsey, who got stuck with the enema kit :)

Random, poorly snapped party pics:

Visiting Grandma

Because of other family obligations, getting together with the McKee clan wasn't going to happen this Christmas. But since Uncle John and Aunt Nancy were driving through town, a few of us had an impromptu visit after church Sunday.

We gave gifts to Grandma in her room at the Friendsview health center:
The brothers:
My photography skills are really slipping...
I'm sorry that we missed the big gathering, but it was really nice to have a short visit with Grandma and Grandpa and John and Nancy.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Barlow Road (12/22/12)

We couldn't resist the call of several feet of fresh snow on Mount Hood!

With most of our holiday chores done, we set out the Saturday before Christmas to cross-country ski at Barlow Road off Highway 35.

We'd never been on that trail, which opens about 1 mile in to a gorgeous meadow:
The weather was spectacular! Warmish with sunbreaks and no wind.
It was a great trip, though it was cut a bit short after my clumsy first-ski-trip-of-the-year legs took one too many falls, and I ended up nearly doing the splits and stretching my groin far beyond its capabilities!

I'd love to go back once I remember what I'm doing out there :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chewy Molasses Cookies


In my quest to make a ton of different treats for students, parties, families, etc., I decided to try Chewy Molasses Cookies from The Sweet Life Online.

It was easy and simple and tasty, but they did not turn out chewy. In fact, they are kinda brick-like. 


The recipe called for 2 T of canola oil, and I fear that I might have put in just one. That could be the difference.

Before I give up, I will try again and make sure the oil is right. Hopefully they will be chewy and perfect.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

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 fiancĂ©e, 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

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas cookies = Christmas miles

You may have noticed recent postings about Christmas goodies. Well, we've been indulging!

I believe wholeheartedly that the holidays are a good time to splurge, but I also believe wholeheartedly that it's no time to slack on the workouts. Gotta fit it in!

Yesterday I did some miles in the drizzle.
4.05 miles at a 10:09 average:
Because today's weather looked more promising, I put off my long run until this morning.
In Santa socks, of course!
8.21 miles at a 10:08 average:
Now I must get ready for Brad's family to descend on our house for the annual Christmas Eve pigout. I'm ready!! :)

Track Santa on his Christmas Eve journey!

Click HERE for the NORAD Santa Tracker and follow the big guy as he makes his way around the globe!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Celebrating in (CE)2

My Santa-hat twin:
Craft time! Making holiday cards:
I love it when my students play with me :)