Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Jeanne's Birthday 2011

Jeanne had another birthday (which is a GOOD thing), she can still blow out the candles (which is an even better thing) and she still looks fantastic (which is a GREAT thing). We had a little party with, of course, chocolate cake with 7 minute frosting. Mary made the frosting and it turned out great (on the second cake - the first cake was more of a "divinity cake". Any of you whose moms made divinity candy at Christmas will know what I mean.).

Gingerbread House Building 2011

Back in Pennsylvania, the Pickett home kind of got famous for its gingerbread house parties. We made the newspaper once and sometimes had as many as 20 people building houses. It was quite a production just for Jeanne to bake all the pieces and glue the houses together. But it was fun and became quite a tradition. So, we've tried to keep the tradition here in Edmonds. This year, Jeanne's birthday doubled as Ginger Bread House day. It was a nice crowd and there was some pretty intense building competition along with a great deal of candy eating.

2011 Christmas Tree

Back in Pennsylvania we bought our Christmas Tree from the same farm every year - 17 Christmases in a row. The best farm in the whole area was 5 blocks from our house. A couple of years we didn't even tie the tree to the roof on the way home. One of the coolest things about the farm was that it "drilled" your tree for you. With a perfectly perpendicular drill hole in the bottom and with the special tree holder they sold, putting the tree up was never easier. Last year, Em and I experienced a miracle finding a pre-drilled tree on December 18th. Well, this year we weren't so lucky - so - I attempted to drill the tree by hand. Needless to say, it didn't sit exactly perpendicular but it was still pretty darn good and just added another great chapter to the Christmas Tree Lore of the Pickett home.


Getting a portrait photograph of Lucy Hickman is about like finding a Picasso at a garage sale. However, somehow this Christmas, we told Bob and Lucy to sit down for a photograph and they did it and she ALMOST smiled!!! Here it is for all of posterity to see and enjoy. Bob and Lucy Hickman, Christmas 2011.

Bob & Lucy Hickman
Christmas 2011

Biggest Pumkin I've Ever Seen

OK - maybe I've read articles with pictures or even seen something on TV that might have bigger than this, but NEVER in real life! Jeanne and I were driving home from Spokane in October on I-90. Jeanne was in the passenger seat. I saw it first and thankfully had the camera in the back seat. Jeanne was a real pro. She got the camera and GOT THE SHOT! Just thought you might want to see how big a pumpkin needs to be to fill the bed of a full-size pickup. Let me know if you've ever seen bigger (please include pics!).

Monday, December 19, 2011

Everybody Home For Thanksgiving

Can you imagine anything to be more thankful for than to have the WHOLE family home for Thanksgiving???? It was just fantastic. There are 20 of us now (soon to be 21) and then you add a few more relatives and it was a fun and memorable time - the FIRST Thanksgiving in the Edmonds house and it worked out great. Everybody had a bed, the hot water never ran out (absolute miracle) and there were lots of smiles and fun times. I love my family!

Zoey and Owen Rodger came a few days early and got to become good friends!

Of course we had to make "Mama Mae" cookies!

Despite the rain, Jake had a plan for our front yard and the "boys" got it done! Kelly got to drive the "big equipment", well for a few minutes anyway.

We had to do something to get out of the rain. Indoor trampoline fit the bill perfectly!

Hailey loved the "pit!"

There's Maren sporting one of Becca's famous knitted hats. Years from now it will be worth $1MM, for now it just keeps her warm and dry in the Seattle rain.

I decided to set up a little photo studio in the downstairs kitchen and take some family photos. Not sure what happened to Casey, Katalyn and Owen, but everybody else got some pretty good pics.



Hailey, Laney & Ella




Clay & Addison


Ella and Becca

The Youngs
Clay, Jake, Ella & Becca

The Dittos
Hailey, Addison, Kelly, Maren, Laney & Annie

The Picketts
William, Zoey & Rochelle


All the Kids & Kids

The Whole Family

The Girls
Hailey, Zoey, Ella, Laney & Maren
Tres Amigas II

Of course there was good food, including a pie making contest. Esteemed Judge Robert O. Hickman had a hard decision to make!

Casey decided this year we needed to try a deep fried turkey. He enlisted Trevor to help. Just 3 days earlier the Homeland Security Department issued a video on YouTube warning against the dangers of deep frying turkeys.
If you watch the video, you'll pretty much see what happened, EXCEPT Casey and Trevor and very safety conscious and placed the frier in the middle of the backyard dirt. Hence we got great turkey with spectacular fireworks but without disaster.

Of course there was the annual Turkey Day Soccer Tournament. A little colder and rainier than usual but still a success. The families that play together stay together.

There was also the "Every Other Year Fake Christmas" as it's lovingly referred to. On the years that we're all together for Thanksgiving we take a night to pretend it's Christmas for the kids. Everybody comes to Thanksgiving having drawn names and each kid gets one gift from another of the kids.

Winter is also a GREAT time to go to the zoo. The weather is cool, the animals are active and we have to hug each other the whole time to keep warm. What could be better? This trip was particularly good because the animals really put on a show.

Ella made friends with a penguin.

Clay is ever seeking and sharing knowledge.

I decided whoever designed the tiger in the pre-earth life, did a great job. Fast, strong, beautiful. Oh, and we found out of ALL the animals, tigers kill more humans than any other animal every year. Hmmmmmm!! He did look a bit hungry.

Bill & Casey and their families stayed a few extra days (yeah!) so we took advantage of the time to visit the Seattle Aquarium. It's true Casey stayed home and studied (oh medical school) but we had a great time without him.

Bill and Rochelle just love Ivars. Good!! That means they'll be coming to see us often because they won't find Ivar's anywhere else but around here.

I thank God for families and for the Thanksgiving holiday!