For about a week after our trip, I thought I’d lost my camera. Darling Matt, who is so different from my father when it comes to something like this, was more concerned about what images we might have lost as opposed to the camera itself. I finally found it — are you ready for this? — on the shelf in my closet where it goes. So here are a really random bunch of pictures from December that probably mainly the grandmas will care about (actually, we don’t have grandmas, only a Nana and a Granny). Except, I apparently didn’t take any photos in Utah. Seriously, there is something fundamentally wrong with me when it comes to taking pictures.
Remember my lovely flowering quince in Utah? I don’t know what it is about me and sour q-fruits, but here in Santiago, we are blessed with these cute kumquat trees. You can make jelly with them! (I hope that made someone laugh.) I mostly ignore them, but Thomas loves the pretty little fruits, even though they are tart as lemons. One day I found him out picking, which meant that he had gotten a kitchen stool, dragged it through the house, out a sliding door, across the yard and to the trees. Pretty industrious little guy.
So here’s a good game. The kids took one last moving box (so it took me nine months to unpack the last box — are you judging me?) and cut the bottom out of it. Then one of them would get in the box and close the lid. Then, someone would lift up the box. I don’t know why this seemed so magical and funny, but it kept them busy for hours.This is to prove that I sometimes make cut-out cookies, which keeps Mary decorating for hours, and the boys for five minutes (that’s how long it takes to load on the frosting and shove it in your mouth).Did you know James Earl Jones reads to my children? He can read to yours too — put this on your Christmas book list (you have one of those, right?): The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.
Mary’s last day of preschool (we missed graduation because of our trip home) with one of her darling teachers. Those minnie mouse ears are just part of her normal attire.Lovely Nana with three of her four granddaughters. Did you know my parents have 16, soon to be 18, grandchildren, and only four are girls? (But she buys enough Christmas dresses for twice that many.)Lucky Ben got to celebrate his birthday with the Oregon cousins and a piñata (is anyone else a little worried about my dad looking at that? — no one hit him!). Funniest moment: Ethan age four, who is um, a tiny bit stronger and more aggressive than the other four and unders in the family, hit the thing so hard that all of the adults roared in laughter, which made him cry because he thought we were laughing AT him. Poor little buff guy. He recovered in time to whack it some more on his next turn. (A tip: no hard candies in the piñata! I forget this every time!) Here’s Sam being treated like an adult, on a lovely evening at our Medford Temple. I mostly included this picture because of how ridiculously stylish my pregnant sister is. Seriously, Anne? Putting me to shame, even with the belly.Two of my favorite people. There were other Christmas morning pictures, but this one seemed the most sincere/least gluttonous. Nine kids opening presents in one living room turned out to be slightly obscene. Fun, but obscene.
There was lots of fun in Utah too! Dinners, games, enough snow to keep us home at Granny’s house (good thing she has a million fun toys!), visits with old friends, just no pictures for some reason. I was a little worn out by the end of our trip. As great as it felt to be home again, we’re re-thinking Christmas for next year, preferring perhaps to visit home during a more low-key time of year. Next Christmas, instead of us coming north, why don’t you all come down here and get warm instead?