Holidays of 2006 & Beginning of 2007

The Holidays of 2006 and beginning of 2007 were filled with family, laughter, and time spent together as well as sadness over the death of Don’s father.  We are thankful for the special time spent together before his unexpected passing on December 18th.  We were able to celebrate his 60th birthday at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse with extended family and friends.  We also celebrated Thanksgiving at our house with a much better tasting turkey than last year.  We followed the "Good Eats" recipe from the Food Network and brined the turkey.  It was pretty good.  I’m just happy that all the food was warm this year.  I’m learning as it seems that Thanksgiving at our house is the trend. 
 
We are especially grateful for the time we were able to spend with Don’s dad the day before his passing.  We went down to Federal Way to visit Don’s parents.  This was during the time of the wind storm that left us without power for 4 days.  We all sat around the dinner table bundled in coats.  Don’s parents unexpectedly gave us our Christmas presents.  Don’s dad had purchased a special toy helicopter especially for Caleb.  Don spoke of this incident in his talk given at the funeral: 
"Over the last few years, I saw my dad as the man he truly was…endlessly charitable.  Over the last 6 months, if you asked my son "What did you do today?" 90% of the time, his answer would be "helicopter."  In the beginning it was probably because he didn’t know too many other words, but mostly it was because he really loves helicopters.  My dad had been talking to me for months about a toy helicopter that he wanted to get Caleb for Christmas.  It seemed I would get an update every week.  "I saw it on sale at such and such place."  "I ordered it."  "It came in the mail."  I am so glad that the night before his passing, he was able to give his gift and see the delight on his grandson’s face.  This is the true heart of my father."
 
Don’s dad’s funeral services were very nice.  Don gave an outstanding tribute to his father.  The police escort to the cemetery from the funeral home was sure to have been enjoyed by Don’s dad as he looked on.  We feel comfort in knowing that we will see him again and that he is in a better place free of the illnesses that have ruled his life over the past 15 years.  We miss him and love him!
 
We spent Christmas in Salt Lake City with my family.  My parents had just completed building their new home.  It was fun to see their beautiful new home and visit with my family.  Caleb had a fabulous time playing with his 10 cousins.  The 10th grandchild decided to come early on Christmas Day, which was a shock to all of us especially Jeremy and Jeni.  I was secretly glad because we got to see the cute little guy before heading back to Seattle.
 
We decided to make Gingerbread Trains for our neighbors, family, and friends this year.  We followed a pattern that we found on the internet, which stretched our skills.  We probably should have stuck with the first design we saw in a "Family Fun" magazine, but nonetheless, we had a great time making the trains and everyone enjoyed them.
 
We celebrated New Year’s with Don’s family including his sister, Nakyong, and boyfriend, Alex.  We went to Bainbridge Island to visit Don’s aunt, uncle, and grandma.  We, of course, did the New Year’s bowing ceremonies with both of Don’s extended relatives.  Caleb even participated this year by bowing to Don and me as well as Nakyong.  It was really cute!
 
Don and I celebrated our 4th anniversary at Leavenworth and went snowboarding/skiing at Steven’s Pass.  We had a great time!
 
For Valentine’s Day, we continued our tradition of making gifts for each other.  Don made me candles, and I made him a chicken wing dinner.  I also put paper on the kitchen table and had Caleb decorate it with paints and markers.
 
My sister, Rochelle, came to visit over President’s Day, which was a lot of fun.  We went to the temple, children’s museum, and ate out a lot.  It was great to have her visit.
 
We are now preparing for our Panama Canal cruise in April and trip to the Bahamas in June.  Wahoo!
 
 
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