Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas in Portland (Hillsboro)

Julie and I went to Hillsboro, Oregon to celebrate Christmas with Julie's family, including her mom Joan, her sister Sue, Sue's husband Marty, and the three daughters, Kelly, Laura and Jacki. Yes, the last one seems to be a spelling error, but she goes through phases on how she would like her name spelled and this is the current one. Oops, can't forget the dog Buddy and the cat Midnight.

In addition to our normal gorging on food and beer, we did celebrate the Christmas holiday in more appropriate ways. On Christmas Eve, we headed to the local Catholic church for the kids' sermon. These are always my favorite!

You just can't have a Christmas play without a bunch of tiny kids. They didn't get speaking parts, but did get to dress up as animals for the manger scene. I would swear they were wearing Ewok costumes from one of the Star Wars movies. They even walked liked little wobbly Eowks.

They invited all the kids at the service who weren't in the play to come down front to watch. This girl was interesting for two reasons. First, she seemed wonderfully attached to her big (but little) brother. Whenever he moved, she was right there with him. You can see she has her arm around him. However, the reason she caught our attention was that she apparently gets her hair done exactly like Posh Spice. If you want something similar, check out

Now this little girl took a different approach at fame and fortune. Apparently she wasn't invited to be a part of the play, so she patiently waited until it ended. Then, while the priest was giving his sermon, she wandered up and followed him around, answering any rhetorical questions that popped up as part of the sermon.

Ah, the real reason we were at this sermon. Kelly (in the red dress) was one of six singers invited to perform at the service. Very nice!

On to Christmas.

This is Jacki modeling her stylish Christmas fashions.

The package frenzy begins, although not with nearly the energy level of a few years ago. When the girls were little, you needed to step back or risk losing a hand. Much calmer now and they remember what they got at the end.

From left to right, Joan (mom), Sue, Julie, Kelly and Laura.

A nice shot of mom in her festive wear.

Although the day started with the traditional Portland drizzle, it actually started snowing. The last time Portland had measurable snow on Christmas day was 1937. Unfortunately, none of this stuck so we didn't break the string. It did seem a lot more Christmassy though.

Even Buddy was getting into the Christmas spirit. In this photo, he is enjoying his new treat from under the tree.

I wish I had more pictures of this activity, but too often I was in the scene instead of observing it. Can you tell what she is doing? She is boxing with the new Nintendo Wii. If you haven't seen one of these, you should. The game controllers recognize movement, both speed and direction. To play the tennis game, you swing the controller just like a racquet. In this case, Jacki is practicing the boxing game by swinging both fists with a controller in each hand.

I wish I had taken some pictures of the Christmas dinner. Sue did a wonderful job and it was delicious. We used dinner to celebrate my 46th birthday. Made it through another one. AARP, here I come!

As I type this, we are back in Park City. We have had snow showers today and the temperature hammered up to a balmy 15. We would consider skiing, but there are so many vacationers on the slopes and we are quite spoiled.
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