Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas in AZ

Christmas morning I woke up super early thanks to Mia. Daisy, my parents cat, wakes up at about 5:30 in the morning everyday and meows really loudly until someone gives her canned food. The meowing wakes Mia up and she whines until I wake up. You would think that in a household without any little kids we would sleep in on Christmas day, but in actuality we wake up WAY earlier than most people who have kids! Me and Erika got the new Samsung Galaxy SIII phones for Christmas. We have officially entered the world of smarty-pants phones! It was a fun gift exchange. My mom asked for a new rice cooker (we're Japanese so we have fancy schmancy rice cookers) She had a 5 C one and wanted to get a smaller, 3C one with a shrinking family size. HOWEVER, when my sister was asking her about what kind of rice cooker she wanted at Thanksgiving she thought she wanted a BIGGER one. SO...I ordered her a 10 C rice cooker! She was a little shocked when she opened it! However, it doesn't look overly huge and fits on the counter top just fine so she decided to keep it. Plus, it can still make small amounts of rice and if she ever needs to make a large amount she can. Its also super fancy schmancy ;) Grandma and Grandpa came over for Christmas dinner. We made steak and grilled shrimp, baked brie, herb bread, dried apple chip salad with feta cheese and candied pecans, fruit, chips and roasted corn salsa, and blackberry cheesecake for dessert. It was delicious! Baked brie is now my official extremely easy and extremely fancy go-to appetizer. Pastry crust, wheel of brie, raspberry jam, and almonds=YUM!

Me and Grandma! I love this woman so much! Even with all of her trials with cancer she is such a positive and strong woman.
Delicious dinner with the group

The day after Christmas we went skiing up in Flagstaff at Snowbowl. It was snowing and super cold that day so the slopes were practically empty and there were no lines. Even though it was cold, it was so much fun to have such an empty mountain! Favorite moment? One of the lifts goes all of the way up to the top of the mountain where there are only black diamond runs. However, you can get off at a midpoint where there are blue runs but the midpoint ramp is a little steep and scary to get off, especially because the lift doesn't slow down at all. My mom got a little anxious and grabbed onto my sister when it came time to get off. My sister pushed my mom away, and then my mom had to jump off of the lift in order to get off (it wasn't too far). She ended up falling down the ramp and losing one of her skis-she wasn't hurt-and then proceeded to army crawl faster than I have ever seen her move to get out of the way of the next people getting off. Me and Erika were LOLing majorly. The next time we went on the lift my mom was pretty anxious and asked us over and over how to get off of the lift. We kept repeating to just stand up and slide down. When the ramp came into sight she screamed and said "asoko kirai!" translation: I hate that spot! I don't know why but it was really funni. Another funni moment happened getting on the lift. My mom started going to loading spot too early and I, without thinking, follower her. I ended up getting hit by the chair and got knocked over. Maybe you had to be there, but I promise we were laughing! 

We also did a lot of hiking (as always) We did Peralta with my Grandpa and some of my cousins and aunts and uncles followed by Five Guys and Zupas for me and Erika (I'm so glad they have Zupas close my parents house now!) Jade got a cactus thorn stuck in her paw and it was really sad :( I pulled it out but she was still limping pretty badly for the rest of the day. Luckily it happened in the last quarter mile so she only had to hobble for a little bit. Me and Bret also did Camelback with Erika and a bunch of her high school friends on New Years Eve. Me, Erika, and my dad hiked Flat Iron with Mia. It was super fun! Lots of climbing and rock scrambling but it was great. My dad had to carry Mia at one spot because it was too steep for her to get up and she looked so miserable it was cute. She hates getting picked up and will usually get mad, but she knew she needed the help so she just looked extremely sad when my dad took her up in one arm. After Flat Iron we went to Wildflower Bread Company where I got to talk to Stephanie Nielson from the nienie dialogues. She was really nice! Bret's brother Eric was in a band with her husband in high school so it was fun to make that connection. 

 Peralta and Weavers needle. Erika carried Sam on the way down. What a trooper!

Camelback with Erika and her friends

 Flat iron!  You can see in the upper left Mia trying to get down one of the steeper places. We actually went to the very top before going over to flat iron and could see out over the Superstitions. It was beautiful!
We went up to Payson for the traditional New Years Eve celebration. We didn't stay the night with everybody else, but still had fun visiting (not a huge fan of sleeping on the floor). We had a gingerbread "house" contest. Our team made a nativity scene. Other creative ideas were a rock climbing wall, a laptop, and a tower. It was snowing up there and cold! 

 Grandkids (with 5 missing) with Grandma and Grandpa!
Grandpa and Bret bonded over a nap on the couch. Lydia was loving the frosting (lower left)

One night we had Grandma and Grandpa, the Quain's, and Mark's family over for Indian fry bread. Great food, Great company. Sadly the Kimbler's and Schouten's couldn't make it. Somehow both Jonah and Bret fell asleep! Mia had a lot of fun playing chasing baby Sam around and stealing trains from him!

We also had a lot of fun with the Martineau family! We did a gingerbread "house" contest with the grandkids. Bret and I were the judges :) They were super creative-especially with the super glue! 

 Tenery worked with the older girls and did a pretty awesome job making the girl from Brave. Susan got a set of bells for Christmas and the kids played songs on them.
Susan got all of the grandkids presents from Mexico!

We did our traditional adult dinner and gift exchange with the siblings. Reed and Emily were with Reed's family in Georgia, but it was fun to hang out with everyone. Ray ended up with the night gown this year! I may get in trouble for posting this picture, but its just too great. Can't wait for the picture with Santa next year.

We met up with Reed and Emily for some chicken and waffles before we left. They wanted to introduce us to some Southern cooking so went to Lo-Lo's in Scottsdale. It was actually really good! The sweet and salty was a nice combo, but I didn't really like the thick kool-aid, or "drank". 

If you're still reading this, I'm a little amazed. I was going to break this up, but then I realized once school starts again I probably won't have time to blog so I'm doing it all in one shot. Thanks for bearing with me!

We also got to meet up with some friends over the break. One night we did a game night with Tess and Ryan, Nicole, and Brianna with her new baby. We played Logos, a trivia game about different companies, that was really fun! 

Chase and Sammy live in Phoenix now so we got to meet up with them for some Pita Jungle and Bahama Bucks. It was a little cold for shaved ice, but still delicious! It was so fun to see them and to see how big baby Colton is getting! He loved sharing my coconut shaved ice with me :)

You can tell Chase and Bret have missed each other ;)

One more cute picture to round these things. Daisy is usually a pretty stand-offish cat. She loves people, just not cuddling with them. But one day she came up right next to my head and started playing with my hair. It was super cute, and kind of weird. Love that kitty :)


n8'swife said...

How cool, you met Stephanie Nielson!!! I read her book and read her blog. We loved seeing you guys and everyone else!

Sara said...

Wow you guys did so much traveling! Sounds like fun though! And awesome you met nienie!