This post is mainly a reminder for me of the pages I plan to put in my JYC album, so the journaling is not complete.
For a post on traveling/visiting during the holidays:
Interstate Highway 5 is a long, boring straight road that cuts through the middle of California, but it's the most direct route from our home to Southern California where both of our families live. This year we got up at 4:00 a.m. and trundled sleepy kids into the car, which Paul had already packed for the trip. The kids and I work up around 9:00 a.m., and we were already on the outskirts of the Los Angeles basin, going over the Grapevine. The ride is so much more pleasant when we sleep through most of it!
For a post about Dec. 23 and the family baking party:
Our first stop in Southern California was at my sister Cordelia's house, where everyone gathered for our annual baking party. The tradition started the year we needed an excuse to meet secretly (away from our mother) to put together a surprise tribute scrapbook for mom, so we told her we were going to get together to bake. We enjoyed the baking so much, that a new tradition was born. We had a wonderful time. Henry in particular had a great time playing with his two year old cousin, Cristina, who referred to him simply as "the boy," since all the other cousins are girls.
I'll probably have two posts from Christmas Eve. The first will be about our visit to the cemetery to visit the gravesite of my parents:
I brought some roses to place on my parents' grave. The cemetery had already put out the flags which had been placed there on Veteran's Day and Memorial Day (and which they saved). Henry and Clara were intrigued by the visit, and Clara said that next year she wanted to bring a lot of Christmas decorations to put around the gravesite, like many of the other ones she saw there.
The other Christmas Eve post will be about spending time with Paul's side of the family, and I'll use this picture:
Paul's parents have had this salt and pepper/ sugar set for as long as I can remember, and it comes out every Christmas. We spend our Christmas Eve with the Fassinger side of the family at his sister Anne's house. Highlights this year included a fun white elephant gift exchange, singing Christmas carols, and watching Henry and Clara play with their second cousin Chase, a delightful three year old who thought the big kids were incredibly fun!
Paul's parents wanted a family picture with everyone. The one taken with my camera cut off folks at both ends, but it's still fun to have most of the family members in it: