Ethel M

We went to the Ethel M Chocolate factory tour.

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They gave us a chocolate coin as we exited the tour. I got dark!
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The guys ate theirs!
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Then we went outside and walked through the cactus winter wonderland lights. It got prettier and prettier as it
got darker outside!
I asked the guy who and how they put these on and take them off. He said that they use a stick with a nail on it. Huh?! Well, as they say, where there’s a will there’s a way.
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Girl Time

Rita gave me the luxurious gift of a manicure and pedicure at a salon in Vegas.

It was the best salon mani/pedi I ever had; mainly because it was not rushed but also because it was very relaxing to know that Peter and the guys were having fun too.

Thanks, Rita!
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Cooke Family China

Rita and Ken were given Grandma Cooke’s china.

We ate Christmas dinner on it. Later through the week, Kurt and I drank tea from it. It is in perfect condition and a pattern that I absolutely love. It was purchased in 1961 while Kurt’s Grandpa (and family) were stationed in Japan.

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Christmastime Part 2

At Mom’s house we all brought our gifts for each other. We filled up the room.
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Here are some of my favorite ornaments on my Mom’s tree:

This angel is painted on the inside.
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Ignore the price tags (no they aren’t new) – These are so my mom.
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This beautiful pristine white
angel is older than me. Not broken or chipped. Perfectly clean. With such a beautiful face. I love her.
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This little delft boy and girl by their house… Mom’s heritage. This reminds me of My grandparents and that makes me happy.
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Same here.
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This is the table setting for my 6.5 year old niece and my 2.5 year old son. So pretty and fun!
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Now, onto the presents portion.

First, not to be lumped in with Christmas, we celebrated Christie’s birthday (which is the 24th). Happy birthday Christie (beat Jesus, in a good way!)
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Sally is showing her iPad2 to Peter and Grandma. So rad.
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My fella and I Christmasing together.
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Peter is opening his train tent. WOOOOO!
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Sally is the present!
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Kurt got John Hodgman’s newest book.
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Christie recieved the Lauren Conrad collection of books. Happy Christie!
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Blair got his iPod nano watch! Happy Blair!
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I got Croc mary jane’s.
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Whistle blows! Half-time, NAPTIME!
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My beautiful post-nap niece, Sally! she couldn’t be sweeter.
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We ate food and food and food… It was excellent.

Here’s my magnificent Mom… Thanks for an awesome celebration!
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For more see part 3…

Christmastime Part 3 (and 3.5)

This leg of Christmas began with a 5 hour drive to Las Vegas.

It went a little something like this:

Open Road…
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Sun glasses
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Peter’s iPhone 3GS (that is his iPod Touch)
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We arrived, gave hugs and loves and started right up with presents. Peter couldn’t wait! (He
already knew the procedure.) Peter got so many cool toys he loved instantly. A frog blanket, blocks, train puzzle, pirate ship…
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All the while, Grandpa was cooking the Cooke’s Traditional Christmas meal of Braciole, garlic bread, pasta, sauce, meatballs and salad. A feast that is amazing. Here is Ken eating his sandwich and stirring the sauce!
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Peter was getting acquainted with the doggies, Katy and Roxy.
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Here is Peter in the office “working” and you know, making some follow-up calls to clients.
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He borrowed Grandma’s swim cap and goggles… he was ready to go… (they did go swimming but not today!)
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We ate the aforementioned feast (not pictured).

Serving dessert in the desert. 😉
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The family.
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Kurt made some libations. Just, you know, some festive cheer… Grenadine, apple pucker and goldschlager.
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Kurt and his Grandma.
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And then, Christmas 3.5 — MORE presents!
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It was a wonderful Cooke celebration!

But there was more…

Christmastime Part 1

Christmas Eve we baked cookies for Santa, and set out some milk and an apple for the raindeer (oops, no carrots left in the fridge!).

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We posed in front of our tree in our least Christmassy outfits (e.g. Batman and blue stripes).
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Santa swung by while Dad and I were watching Scrooged. He couldn’t finish the cookie (he said it was too rich) and not only did he finish the milk he cleaned the glass. What a guy! Also, Kurt offered him a Guinness and he accepted.
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We did take pictures of opening presents but they are standard… here is an action shot of Peter’s new LOOP. Which was a HIT.
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Then we got in the car and headed over to Grandma’s house for more merriment. Here’s a shot of “Santa” saying, “Ho, ho, ho, merry Christmas!”
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Catch more action in Part 2…

Marines

We got up quite early and headed over to drop off Peter at Grammie’s house.
See, the sun was just coming up for the day and little Peter was bundled up in the back!
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Then Kurt and I went over to Mariners to meet our life group.

We carpooled to CAMP PENDLETON!

Then we were given our assignment and started to decorate. We decorated the Santa Claus/presents room. This is where the kids would line up later to see SANTA and receive a present.

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There are SO MANY Marines at Camp Pendleton. Soooo soososososososos many. This is certainly not the only Christmas party for the Marines and their families. I know how many people there were at our party JUST to decorate and there were just as many during and after the party. I hope that the Marines and their families could feel our support through a few hours of party prep. With anything I am involved in, I always aim to leave “things” better than I found it. I know we accomplished that with this room. It went from “dance/workout” room to Santa’s little Camp Pendleton office. We didn’t even take any pictures of the other areas of the actual party… But it was a huge place they expected 250+ families.

Beauty in Nature

We spotted some examples of God’s beautiful work in the sky.

Sunset over the Spectrum in Irvine.
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The rainbow over Hoag on a rainy December day in Newport Beach.
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First Movie in the Theatre!

We went out for an awesome afternoon date! We ate lunch at Johnny Rockets and then we went to the movies!!!!

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The day after Thanksgiving we decided to skip the crazy shopping and go see a movie. Yes, you’d think we were crazy considering Peter was 2 years 4 months and 18 days old. Nope, we knew he would be fantastic. He sat in my lap and then to Dad’s and then back to mine. That was all the squirming. He whispered like a champ. He watched the whole thing. All we had to do was get popcorn and m&m’s for a
little help (bribe).

We saw the…
MUPPET MOVIE
Muppet Movie 2011
Movie poster

Making Things

We have been making things.

Kurt and I made these. Well, I only helped with the very last step. He is the real champ in making these!
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My Mom and I made this snowflake wreath. I got the inspiration from a similar one on Pinterest.
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