Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Escape to relaxation!

After all of the hustle and bustle of Christmas, John and I decided that it'd be nice to plan a little escape to a cabin in the woods! Off we went to Gordonsville, VA! The week prior the area had a snow storm that left 24 inches of snow in its wake! Some was left over!
View from our deck
Lake Issak from our cabin's deck.
Looking up at the parking area from our cabin.
Ian lobs a snow ball at Arrick who is trying to avoid the "momparazzi"!

Ian unpacks and Arrick avoids the "momparazzi" once again!

Ian checks out the ginormous bathtub/jacuzzi that really should have a ladder!

Arrick vegged out by the fire.

John making dinner while Ian checks his fan mail!

A barn that I think is cool not too far from our cabin.
Off we went to visit a "dead guy's house" in Ian's terms!
The drive up to the house.

The front of the house.
The back and side of the home. The kitchen is on the ground floor.

I love how the museums decorate for the Holidays!

The Monroe home grounds.
servants quarters..
James Monroe penned our country's first real foreign policy.
He also didn't die in poverty like most of our founding fathers.
Hey! There is Arrick!
Ian....watching his brother...
I saw this as we were leaving and just thought it was clever! lol

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmastime in the Old Dominion!!

Christmastime is a holiday that reminds John and I of our home states, Washington and Idaho. Sometimes we drone on and on to the boys about our most favorite memories of Christmases past and other times we wish we were there. One fact remains, no matter if we are all together or far a part Christmas is a time of year we hold our families and friends near to our hearts.
With lighted candles and hand crafted decorations,

from friends and families, ( Scott Oman made these hand turned ornaments for us this year! so lovely!)
and ornaments from our favorite countries, (this is one of our ornaments from Germany)
Some that just make us feel more festive,

more hand crafted decorations,
and others that are more shiny!

Like this ornament that holds potpourri to hang on the tree and the Queen Anne Tea pot from Williamsburg!

Others that were hand made by the boys in years past!

Not always is our family together on Christmas or in the same country! The past two Christmases, John was at sea. This Christmas, we're all together, all healthy and anxiously awaiting to enjoy this holiday season as a whole family!

The large orb is a tie dyed ornament made by a dear artist friend, Kelly!
Some traditional ornaments from Williamsburg.

Every Christmas Eve, since Ian was in the stroller, our family has made the trip, about 50 miles, to Williamsburg, VA to participate in the Candlelight caroling and the lighting of the community Christmas tree! Each year, the buildings are creatively decorated to reflect the season as well as the service or business they provide to the colonists!
Pineapples are the symbol of hospitality and were quite a luxury in colonial times!

Some drums for sale in the open air market in Williamsburg.

Outside of the Powder house in Williamsburg!
This business provided tack and supplies to the colonists for horses

A trip to Williamsburg wouldn't be complete without a visit to the candy store!
or the wine cellar...
Hot cider is always a must especially on this particularly frost Christmas Eve!
Anna, Arrick Zak and Sandy stop and sip!
The garden and its shop is one of my favorite stops all year round!
I love these hot houses ....
The garden is always full of herbs, fruits and veggies and they have plants and herbs for sale too!

More wreaths decorated, all of the buildings windows and doors.

Ian, John, Gabe (in the elf hat) and Scott are waiting for the fife and drum corp to pass by!
Colonists fire off their guns in celebration of the Season!
The Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corp!
Crowds gather at town hall to listen to the "Night Before Christmas" around bon fires just before the candlelight caroling begins.
After a lovely evening walk in the brisk air, we're off to share a meal with friends then make our way back home in our toasty cars. This year we shared a glass or two of wine with Scott and Sandy in their home before we went home to settle in for a long winter's nap and await Santa's arrival!
Christmas morning, Eva woke the house as she found the toy Santa left for her complete with squeaky!
Arrick is sporting a festive shirt for the Holiday!! Rock on Dude!!
Eva with her new toy!
John in his new sleeper pjs! He's always cold after being in the tropics, he comes home and freezes in the winter! Santa was lookin' out for him. Now he'll be warm!
Grandma and Grandpa Bell got the guys jackets with their air soft field names embroidered on them! Arrick says they are really warm too!!
Ian loves his new gloves that have "batman like molded knuckles" that he'll wear playin' airsoft or just around to look cool!
Even Whisker's was content with his catnip toy Santa left in his stocking, the same stocking that was dragged out from under the tree, across the room where Whisker's finally was able to free the toy! Someone may need the 12 step program in a few weeks! Just sayin'...
Grandma Bell painted a picture for Kim! This is the gazebo in Battery park in Charleston, SC. Such a pretty park and a beautiful structure!! The painting reminds us of all our wonderful memories there in Charleston!
We hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas and that the new year brings you peace, happiness and good health! Our family will be separated for half of the new year, but in our hearts the time we spend together is precious filled with wonderful memories to last till we are together once again!! Merry Christmas everyone!!!!