Thursday, December 31, 2009


We spent Monday and Tuesday night in Portland. Monday night was the big Congdon Christmas Party at Thomas's uncle and aunt's house - wow! So many people! And it wasn't even half of the family! There was yummy food, hearty Christmas carol singing (with a Congdon orchestra), and a white elephant gift exchange.

Here are some pictures of the Christmas carol singing, and all the instruments! (all of the Christmas party pictures were taken by Thomas's aunt - thanks!)

The white elephant gift exchange:

Some of the little Congdon cousins:

On Tuesday we went to see an OMNI-MAX movie - it's basically a dome theater and the screen goes all around the room so it feels like you're in the middle of the movie... and the movie was called "Bugs: A Rainforest Adventure" ... yeah, you can guess how I felt about that! I had my eyes closed for a lot of it :)
After the movie we went out for Ethiopian food... that was more up my alley. And it was really really good.

The boys (and Uncle Steve) waiting for the food (haha look at Timo's face)... and it had just started snowing outside! My first snow this winter :)

The food when it arrived:

And not even 10 minutes later:

On Tuesday evening we were at Thomas's Uncle Jon and Aunt Harriet's house - and we had sushi for dinner! So we had a very multi-ethnic food day. And an unexpected snow storm.


The surprise snow storm:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our First Anniversary!

We went to Bandon, Oregon for a night to celebrate our first wonderful year of marriage. Bandon is right on the coast, and we stayed at a little place called "Bandon Beach Motel" with a beautiful ocean view. It was right near the edge of a cliff with the waves crashing below on the beach. We actually opened the door to the balcony off our room and listened to the waves all night! It was a little cold, but worth it :)
We took a whole bunch of pictures of the sunset and on the beach, and then we went to the "Wheelhouse" Restaurant for dinner, and we had some delicious seafood - shrimp salad, halibut (Sarah), and red snapper (Thomas). Best fish I've ever tasted! I forgot to take pictures, sadly, but it was beautifully presented.
The next morning we got up and walked around Bandon's Old Town, and had fish and chips from Bandon Fish Market... yummy! I haven't had proper fish 'n chips since I was back in England in 2007. The rest of the day was spent driving down to Portland (and picking up Robert and Timothy in Roseburg along the way).

Driving to Bandon in our new car, with the new GPS on the dashboard telling us where to go :)

The view through the glass window in our room

The beach from the cliffs above

Standing on the cliff

The two of us

Me "touching" a big rock out at sea :)

A kind man offered to take a picture of us :)

Beautiful sunset

We got a couple pictures of the beach and the town before the sun went down

There was this cool rock with a tunnel through which waves came crashing

Me about to get swallowed by a big wave

The next morning, the view from our balcony

It was warm and sunny - around 60 degrees Fahrenheit!

I thought this rock was really cool :)

Thomas took an artsy picture

We had a hard time taking a picture of ourselves - the sun was so bright we couldn't open our eyes!

10 pictures later, we finally got a semi-decent one :)

This is the little place where we stayed - we had a room facing over the ocean

We had fish and chips for an early lunch before heading out

It was sooooo yummy! I drenched mine in vinegar, true to my English roots :) Thomas thinks vinegar is nasty, and had to sit far away from me so he couldn't smell it, haha :)

Christmas dinner

We had a big Christmas dinner at Grandma's house - two of Thomas's aunts and uncles were there with their families.

The "adult's table" :)

The "kid's table"

Crowded kitchen

Yummy food :)

Kids at the kid's table

Some of the adults at the adult's table

The boys playing "10 Days In Africa"

Close-up of the game

We ended the evening by watching "Julie & Julia"... if you haven't watched it yet, go get it! It was a great movie, and I will definitely be acquiring it for my movie collection.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas morning

We got up early-ish and I talked to my family on skype for a bit before heading over to Grandma Driver's house for a yummy breakfast... and present opening! I'm such a little kid... I was bouncing in my seat all through breakfast just waiting to open presents :) Robert, Thomas, and Timothy recited Luke chapter 2 (the Christmas story) by heart... they've been doing it every Christmas since they were itty bitty. It was so cool listening to them! I'm going to have to memorize it for next year.
And then... we got to open presents! yay!

The Christmas tree, with all the presents around it

Me and Thomas

The presents from my family in South Africa - I stuffed our borrowed stockings with them and piled them on the chair :) We got some really cool African stuff!

Cute Christmas dishes set for Christmas breakfast :)

And then we opened the prezzies!
Me and the long-suffering Thomas wearing the plastic crowns from our Christmas crackers :)

Me with my new purse :)

Robert and Thomas opening presents

Timothy and Grandma Driver opening presents

Thomas was (and still is) super duper excited about his new GPS navigator!

It's suitably called a "TomTom" :)

It was a really fun morning! Next post, Christmas dinner with the Driver family :)


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