Monthly Archives: December 2011

the stockings were hung…

…and the presents were piled high:


…and the tree looked really pretty:


dave got up early on Christmas morning when sam came into our room. she’d had a little too much juice and water before bed the night before and she was soaked. since dave got up, i rolled over and drifted back to sleep. sort of. but then i heard these noises. not quite squeals of delight, but almost. and then i clearly heard one phrase: “…AND DO-WA BAND AIDS!” at this point, i realized samantha and dave were downstairs opening stockings and i didn’t want to miss it. so i rolled out of bed and went to join them.


i found samantha taking things out of her stocking ONE. ITEM. AT. A. TIME. and then she had to display each item on the floor:

(turning to me, dave said “she’s DEFINITELY your daughter”)!

(sam’s contents: nailpolish, dora coloring book & band aids, candy cane ornament, smarties, goldfish crackers, fold up hairbrush & mirror, pez, stickers, gingerbread men, princess to color, make-an-ornament kit, princess toothpaste, toothbrush, princess socks, shirt, hair ties, candy canes, pig splat toy and i don’t remember what else)


dave had already opened everything in his stocking. he seemed pretty happy. and he really liked his ornament:


it wasn’t much longer before davey joined us. he thoroughly enjoyed everything in his stocking, as well, though he didn’t feel the need to display all of it like sam did. he did, however, feel the need to play with EACH ITEM as it was removed from the stocking. i think you get the idea that our stocking-opening took a little longer than i had expected!  :)

(davey’s contents: marvel superhero coloring book, toy story band aids, toy soldier ornament, smarties, goldfish crackers, pez, stickers, gingerbread men, race car to color, make-an-ornament kit, toy story toothpaste, toothbrush, iron man socks, shirt, candy canes, tomato splat toy and i don’t remember what else)


and while i was watching davey and sam, alex woke up and dave went to get her. she, apparently, was covered in some body waste and needed a quick bath before she could come downstairs to open her stocking. the other kids helped her “open” her stocking. alex was really interested in eating. she kept trying to “pick up” the picture of a cracker (thinking they were real) and put it in her mouth. she did it with goldfish crackers:

… and animal crackers:

(alex’s contents: goldfish crackers, blueberry flavored puffs, shirt, smarties, hippo on wheels, wind up ladybug, folding brush with mirror, toothbrush, animal crackers, hair ties, and more)



following stockings, we enjoyed some pretty tasty (gluten free) waffles (hooray for a tasty pancake/waffle mix by King Arthur Flour) topped with cool whip and strawberries. mmmmmmmmm! alex didn’t get to enjoy the cool whip or strawberries, but she ate 3/4 of a waffle… ALL. BY. HERSELF. i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: this girl has a HOLLOW leg!


and then it was time to get dressed and head across time for Christmas with the rest of the family.

’twas the night before Christmas…

… and all through the



lots of people were stirring…


Christmas Eve Day was filled with PREPARATION. i made monster cookies (regular and gluten free) and my gram’s fudge (mmmm!). we cleaned the house and tidied up (aka: moved most of the toys out of the living room). i cut up veggies and shredded lots of cheese. we were blessed that evening to spend the night with Dave’s


Sterling & Rachel & Amity spend every other year with the Dunkins for Christmas. Jeff & Taryn, too. and THIS year, in God’s perfect timing and providence, the whole Dunkin clan was together. even Tom was home from school! And for the final year in our home, we hosted Christmas Eve. We enjoy doing it. We’ve done it every year for years. It makes us happy. And it makes Dave’s dad’s stomach happy, too. Dave makes his chili every year. and it’s a family favorite. mmmmmmmmm!


It was a great Christmas Eve.


grandma & alex:


amity loves her tongue:


the not-so-perfect hosts:


Davey and Samantha got their new jammies on before everyone left. They LOVED them (Sam got JESSIE from Toy Story and Davey got The Avengers – Marvel Super Heroes… including IRON MAN)!


But better than the food, the jammies, the Christmas goodies… was the time together as a family. Aunts & Uncles galore. Grandpa & Grandma. Cousin Amity. It was wonderful.


so we went to bed that night feeling the calm of Christmas

wash over us. well, at least i did.

“brown paper packages…”

“… tied up with string,

these are a few of my favorite things!”

these pretty packages are already in New York. they’re under a Christmas tree and they are waiting to be opened. hopefully my family, John, Babi, Liz, Kate & Wendy, will be thankful for the contents.


but until that moment when they’re given to the recipient and they’re ripped to shreds for the contents… until that moment, they are beautiful. brown paper. red & white bakers twine. homemade salt dough ornaments hand stamped with the recipient’s name.


there are more packages like these under my own tree (with different names on them, of course). as silly as it may be to some of you reading this post, i LOVE the way i’ve wrapped these gifts. it’s exactly what i envisioned. and it’s rare, REALLY RARE for one of my visions to become a “perfect reality.” so these packages make me extra happy. and i’m just as excited about the CONTENTS of the packages… I LOVE to give presents!

pre school songs

i never thought i would swell up with pride over some songs with motions. but i did… TWICE.

on sunday evening, davey joined his pre-school sunday school class in singing “Away in a Manger” up on stage with the big kids during their Christmas program. he was NOT thrilled about being awakened from his nap to do so. but once on stage, the little guy was great!


the second time was less than 2 hours ago. our whole family was able to enjoy davey’s pre-school class as they sang about 8 songs (complete with motions AND jingling of jingle bells!). dave has some video and i snapped some stills. it might be awhile before i gain any access to the video segments, but in the meantime, here are a few photos of my little guy…



singing “way up high, in the sky…”



what kind of “good” mom would i be if i didn’t include the required NOSE PICK shot?!

and i watched those kids. i think my son was the ONLY nose picker. thankfully it was short lived near the end of the program and i was able to distract him quite quickly. whew!  :)



i wanted to have a picture of davey and his teacher, Teacher Leslie, and her amazing Christmas decor… a tree decorated with stuffed animal BEARS, a fun train (that works!) and that cool carousel (or merry-go-round…. depending on what you call it). i took two photos…. this was the best one (because davey was…. you guessed it, PICKING HIS NOSE!, in the other one).


many, MANY thanks to Teacher Leslie of My First School in Lynden!

another computer junkie

yep. it’s true. there’s another (cute) computer junkie in our family. and sometimes she’ll even leave a hat (like this cute, pink, baseball cap that belongs to her big sister) on her head…. but only sometimes.


hard at work with Baby Smash (called Alpha Smash on my iPhone):


“what? why are you interrupting me? can’t you see i’m working?”


“oh dang it! something slipped under the laptop again.”


happy (almost) sunday. just one week to go to Christmas!

decking the halls… one last time…

while battling various ailments (davey was coughing up his lungs, samantha was struggling to get air INTO her lungs and alex was just plain sick), we’ve still managed to drive around and look at Christmas lights, pick out and cut down our Christmas tree, set it up and decorate it, watch Christmas movies, drink hot cocoa, shop for presents and stocking stuffers, wrap gifts, send packages east and more. there’s still plenty to do for this Christmas season…. our last in our home. no, it hasn’t sold yet. yes, it’s back on the market. (i had planned on keeping it off the market during the holiday season but after a month’s reprieve, we had to put it back on the market).


in fact, not only is it our last Christmas in our house. the only home we have known as a married couple. the only home our children have known. but it is our last Christmas in Washington. come January (the week of my birthday, no less), we’ll be moving down the country a ways….


to Mesa.




which is in Arizona.





just south east of Phoenix, to be more specific. it was not an easy decision to make. but it wasn’t a difficult one, either. (feel free to insert all appropriate “awful weather in Washington” jokes and comments here). i’ll share more details later… but i wanted to let you know that we are alive. we are doing well (despite December sicknesses and dave’s job stress and moving stresses).


and we are thankful, most of all, to spend one final Christmas in our home. and with Dave’s entire (immediate) family. hooray!