December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

To celebrate New Year's Eve we decided to take a little day-trip to Santa Cruz to visit one of our favorite beaches at Wilder Ranch state park. The beach has a beautiful sea cave dubbed "The Fern Grotto" due to the lush ferns dripping from the cave roof. It's a bit of a hike out to the beach, but we all enjoyed getting some fresh air and exercise after indulging in too many goodies over the holidays. We brought along a picnic at Lillian's request and had a little family picnic on the beach. Nathaniel seemed to enjoy his time at the beach, he had some tummy time on the blanket and even managed to stay awake and happy almost the whole time we spent at the beach.

December 24, 2011

Fun with Grandpa Terry and Grandma Betty

Lillian's Grandma Betty and Grandpa Terry got to spend the week before Christmas visiting with all of us. Lillian had the week off of school and got to take her grandparents to visit a few of her favorite haunts like Happy Hallow Amusement park and Zoo and Hidden Villa Farm.  Here are a few scenes from their visit. Thanks Grandma Betty for taking so many wonderful pictures!

December 19, 2011

Gingerbread Princess Castle

After last year's gingerbread pirate ship, and the humble cottage produced the year before, we decided to create a more extravagant gingerbread creation. At Lillian's request we constructed a gingerbread fairytale princess castle. Eric was inspired to use ice-cream comes to make pointed towers with bubble gum pennants, gingerbread people inside and a green moat. Lillian helped add some decorative touches. The results are pretty impressive!

Christmas Show

Once again, we were treated to a display of extreme cuteness in the form of dancing and singing trees at the holiday show at Lillian's preschool.

December 11, 2011

An Early Christmas

This past weekend, for the first time since our wedding we had the pleasure of hosting both sets of grandparents. Grammy Elaine had been here helping us all out with the new baby for the prior five weeks. Pop-Pop Tom came out to visit at the end of Grammy's stay. A few days later we were joined by Grandma Betty and Grandpa Terry. Since we had a couple of days overlap with all the grandparents in town, we decided to do a Christmas celebration a few weeks early. We started the day with a visit to the Christmas village in San Jose and then had a nice dinner followed by a gift exchange. Lillian was the star of the show, unwrapping the abundant haul of new clothes, books and toys brought by the grandparents. Nathaniel enjoyed having four grandparents eager to snuggle with him, as he wanted nothing more for Christmas.

December 5, 2011

Saint Nicholas is coming to town

This past weekend our friend Britta had a party to celebrate Saint Nicholas day. The German tradition says that Saint Nicolas visits houses on December 6th with his list of good deeds that each child has done and delivers a small gift to children who have been good. Lillian was initially terrified of the man in the big red suit (her usual reaction to anyone in costume), but she got over her fear and patiently listened as he told her what a good big sister she was being to her new baby brother. Later she got to sit on his lap and tell him what she wanted for Christmas. She asked Santa for a beautiful baby doll. Santa might be able to make good on that, we're just glad she didn't ask him for a kitten like her friend Jessie did!