Thursday, December 31, 2009

Playing in the Park with Lauren

Jolene's brother Gregg and niece Lauren came to visit from Redding, CA for a few days over New Years. Gregg spent time riding quads down on the Pismo Dunes, while Auntie Jolene hung out with Lauren enjoying the park and playing games.
Lauren liked hanging out at the park,
while auntie Jolene was entertained by her imaginative play.
New Years Eve we all joined Greg and Ranel Larsen, visiting from Placerville, around their campfire on Pismo Beach and enjoyed conversation, food and the occasional illegal firework.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day 2009

Cheryl and Ivan, Jolene's parents, joined us for Christmas. Following breakfast, rather than sitting around the Christmas tree, we were drawn to the sunny and warm outdoor patio area to open our gifts.
Add ImageWe joined the Kale family for a potluck Christmas dinner hosted by our neighbors, the Burnseds.

Hayden & Carly provided a lovely after dinner violin & piano concert, after which those so inclined played table games (Pit and Taboo).
A very enjoyable Christmas day finished off with relaxation and conversation around the home fire!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Rittenbach's Christmas Visit

Jon, Gaile and the kids took the time to drive up to see us during their Christmas visit from home in Walla Walla, WA, to see family in the Loma Linda area of Southern California. It's a 4+ hour drive with Baby Julia and the boys, so we really appreciated the effort!
Since we last saw her Julia has taken to walking!
Matthew and David took us up on our offer of a backyard tent bedroom. Julia would have liked to join them, but mom and dad thought it wise to wait a few years.
After breakfast the next morning, it was off for a walk to the playground where Matthew and David tried out the teeter-totter.
Jon, Gaile, and the boys attended closely as Julia took her first slide...
and first swing on the swing set!
David got mom to give him a push on the swing!

Soon it was time for the Rittenbach family to head back to Loma Linda, to spend Christmas with Gaile's family. To break up the drive and give Case and Jon some "play time", the boys all flew the first leg of the trip in the airplane. Mom and Julia flew lower, in the SUV. Their relative speeds meant the boys had time for an air tour of Pismo Dunes, Avila Beach, Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant, and Morrow Bay before they buzzed down to Camarrillo Airport just in time to meet mom and Julia.

Thanks for coming to play with us. We had fun!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Walla Walla, WA Christmas week

We took a spontaneous Christmas trip to Walla Walla, WA to see family. Aunt Gail's home with flocked Christmas tree and warm fireplace was a comfortable place to spend time together.
Grandma taught Jolene her favorite game of Skip-bo and challenged her to a couple rounds!
Hanging out with Aunt Gail, spending some quality time,
while uncle Gary entertains us with stories and adventures.
At age 90, Grandma Rittenbach is energetic and ready to get out and go anytime we are!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Case's 47th Birthday!

A calm peaceful few minutes break from the computer to celebrate Case's birthday. The last 10 days or so Case has spent his free moments slaving away, digging up invoices and receipts for the IRS. Nothing like a tax audit to help celebrate the holidays. Ebenezer Scrooge (pre- his visit from Jacob Marley's ghost) is alive and well at the IRS...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Warms the House

One of my favorite things...
with holiday...
Christmas music, candles and sitting around with family and friends with something hot to drink!