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This is one spoiled dog.  He loves the fireplace but he thinks he is freezing all the time.  He was laying by the couch (only about 15-20 feet away from the stove) and got up almost in a huff to sit closer to the fire with the fan blowing full blast straight on him.  The house was about 75 degrees at the time.  The other day he actually got too hot and had to cool off in the other room…panting.  He was only away for about 20 minutes before parking himself in front of the fire again.

Zoe's Snowman

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Zoe 6 years Toby 4 years

Our first snow was about a week before Thanksgiving.  Not much but enough to cover the ground and allow Zoe to make her snowman.  She made a snowman and a snow dog appropriately named Zoe and Toby.  She was adamant about doing this one herself.  She raided the winter bin and I love that the gloves she picked out were mismatched and the baby hat fit perfectly.  I was so glad Toby was there to play this day especially.  I had no interest in playing in the snow and the boys didn’t either but, Zoe and Toby spent a few hours running and playing.  I was actually surprised he wanted to be out there.  He is usually more the fair weather type.

Tree Hunt 2010

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This years tree hunt took us into the trenches of our back yard.  We have a row of trees in the back that I love having for privacy but they are planted a little close now that they are quite a bit bigger and need to be thinned out.  Even before we bought the house Greg saw these trees as future Christmas trees.  So, on a frozen morning we bundled up and headed out.

These trees obviously wouldn’t fit into the house whole so we were going for a Home Alone thing and just going to take the top.  It’s really hard to see what the TOP of a tree looks like when it’s tall and crammed in with others.  We did our best checking to out from all sides and committed.

We usually have this “tradition” where everyone gets a turn cutting the tree with the HAND saw.  This year we started a new tradition…chain saw!  Greg was not about to put hands on a hand saw when we’re at our own house.

And down she came in record time!

The man with his kill…I mean tree.

Greg, Zoe 6, Zeke 2

Aren’t they a sweet bunch.  This is the part we kept.  A little different close up.  And one thing I would recommend (if you should ever find yourself cutting large Christmas trees from your back yard) don’t do it when they are frozen!  We lost a couple of branches when it came crashing down.

Oliver 1

This is what Oliver thought of the whole process.  He does not like being cold and despite my best efforts this is how he felt when we got back into the house.

Here she is all decorated.  A slight Charlie Brown resemblance.   I asked Greg if we could glue in a few extra branches but being the practical one that he is he assured me they would die.  Honestly I did not like the tree at first but it is growing on me.

The Start of School

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This year we started school with a bang (don’t worry, this was back in September!).  We piled into our friends van and headed down to the zoo.  We were even on it enough to print out packets for the kids to work on on the way down as well as some questions after the zoo.  We had just recently been to the Portland zoo but the one thing we missed seeing there were the lions.  That was the main thing on Zoe’s agenda and they did not disappoint.  It seemed they knew an anxious little girl needed a good look and were ready and waiting when we arrived.  We were joking it looked like a wedding photo.  The groom lovingly gazing upon his new bride.

Ezekiel’s favorite part was the orangutans.  We spent a while hanging out in this area but when the other kids were ready to move on we had to coax him out of there.

We picked a great day for the zoo (maybe it was the rain) it was the first time the bird feeding house was empty.  We had run of the mill of the place and the birds were excited to have some treats.

This is as close as Ezekiel got to holding a bird.  He was close a few times but would freak a little (OK a lot) when they came to him.  Trying to hold Oliver, take pictures, and help Zeke proved to be a challenge.

Oliver was a great trooper hanging in the stroller most of the day.  At the end of the trip we headed into the Zoo-nasium to let the kids play.