Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas 2012

Our Christmas Holiday began with Melissa's visit on the 22nd.  It was great to see her.  Unfortunately, Roby and the kids were not able to come.
Like Wow!  Melissa cut off and donated 12 inches of her hair.  I love that kid.

By Christmas Eve, the rest of the gang was here.  
Hope (now 14 months old) is walking and talking ... make that babbling.   She loved wearing her antlers.
Old friends joined us ...
as did new ones.
We had a very (very) casual dinner and a very (very) intense game of Pictionary.  The west team won.

Christmas morning brought Dad in his traditional Christmas pants,
Helen's California Eggs Crackle, Aunt Nancy's pinch bread and a marathon gift exchange.  Fun photos were taken ...

  including the Spy Sunglasses photo.
As it ends up, you really can see behind you with $2.98 spy sunglasses.

After an exhausting day, Christmas night allowed the guys a chance to relax and visit.

It was a blast having everyone together.
Thank you for joining us.
Merry Christmas 2012.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Decorations - from Classic to Kitsch

Since 2010, we have been the lucky recipients of various exterior Christmas decorations from our neighbors.  Thanks to their generosity, our Christmas decorations have gone from Classic ...

to Kitsch.

Somehow, the wreaths don't seem appropriate anymore.

PS.  The candle power around here is soooo bright ...

that Tommy had to don his shades.

Lucky for him, somebody brought him some presents to put under his Tommy Tree.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Topeka High School Madrigals

Every year the Topeka High School Madrigals continue to impress and amaze.  Under the direction of Steve Eubank, these guys are good.  Last week they attended the THS Alumni Lunch and provided us with a small sample of their upcoming Holiday Concert.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

AFS - International Desserts 2012

Today marked the 14th year that we have hosted the AFS International Desserts Holiday Party.  This year there are 6 AFS foreign exchange students attending our local area high schools.
They each told friends and host families of special holidays celebrated in their home countries,
and then... we got to taste their homemade international desserts.
(Thanks to Granddad for the box of chocolates.)

We also discussed the origins of AFS ... a brief blip of which is below:

AFS Intercultural Programs began as the American Field Service (AFS), which had its origins in 1914 shortly after the outbreak of World War I, when young Americans living in Paris volunteered as ambulance drivers at the American Hospital of Paris. AFS participated in every major French battle and carried more than 500,000 wounded during World War I. By the end of the war, 2,500 men had served in the American Field Service with the French Armies.

For more information about the transition of AFS from an ambulance and camion service in World War I to the present-day international student exchange programs, please see the descriptions of our archival collections

You can learn more about the history of AFS at

Mega thanks to everybody for sharing their culture, their desserts and their warm smiles with us.  A special thanks to Ebba, who in apparent anticipation of Jake attending, brought a Swedish Princess Cake.