Our new way of connecting with family in Oregon, Washington, and Southern Minnesota: Yahtzee on Google Meet/Hangouts and FaceTime. We learned a few things about cameras and scoresheets and the importance of seeing the dice when we’re playing, and it was so nice to connect in a way we’re used to doing in person. I predict many more creative solutions to come ❤️
We celebrated Oliver’s birthday a bit early this year because we’ll be up at the cabin on the actual day, and we wanted to celebrate with Grandma Pam and Grandpa Jeff. We enjoyed a birthday brunch together featuring a fabulous spiced squash cake that everybody loved except for Oliver. (He ate about half the scrambled eggs instead.) Pictures below followed by two short video clips.
Blowing out his candle (and some very sour grapefruit!):
Opening Maggie’s gift:
Update: We took the following picture on the 25th at the cabin:
In preparation for Family 3.0, we decided it was time for a major upgrade to Griffin’s loft. Loft 2.0 is bigger, and is now a shared loft for both Maggie and Griffin — we always knew that Maggie deserved a special loft space too. Beneath the deck is an area for reading and building forts, with room, eventually, for a crib. We couldn’t have done it without expert assistance from Sarah’s parents.
You may also enjoy looking at a post about the construction of the original loft, built a few months before Maggie was born, and photos of the construction of Griffin’s original room in Oakland, way back in the spring of 2009.
We didn’t let a little snow and frigid temperatures interfere with our Thanksgiving Bocce game. Grandpa Jeff got out the snow blower and made us a court. The teams:
- Griffin, Nik, Alli, Pam
- Maggie, Andrew, Sarah, Jeff
We played to 11, and it was close to the very end. In the final round, 10-9, team 2 landed the clinching point. They simply had superior mastery of snow-braking techniques.
On the Roy side, the bocce tradition began at a rental house in Fort Bragg, California, on the Mendocino coast. We used to rent the place for Thanksgiving in the early 2000s, inviting friends and family for feast and fun. Here are two pictures from that era (with a slightly different climate!):
This weekend we went down to Courtland to celebrate Grandpa Jeff’s birthday and visit with family friends. But I didn’t take many pictures of all that good stuff (oops). Instead, my camera usually came out when we were outside, playing in the sprinklers, checking out the nascent tree house, and, of course, riding around on the mini-ATV from Uncle Bruce.
As always, click on the pictures for an immersive slide-show.
A true testament to balance bikes, Griffin learns to ride his new bike (a gift from Grandma Pam and Grandpa Jeff) in less than ten minutes! That is one happy kiddo:
This weekend we were at Gustavus for Grandma Pam’s birthday (and the homecoming football game) and Griffin got to enjoy his first bouncy house. He was definitely the youngest kid going into it, and Sarah and I were both worried that he wouldn’t be able to handle it. (Lots of bigger kids were freaked out.) But never ones to shy away from experimenting with our child, we tossed him in and watched.
He was in hog heaven! It was such a joy to see… he could barely stand up, but every time he fell down he just laughed and laughed. He eventually made it to the side where he could hold on and jump, shrieking with glee, but then he would head back into the central mosh-pit to be pummeled by larger kids, still cracking up hysterically. We weren’t sure if he would be able to find his way out (the entrance was covered by a flap), but after about 15 minutes he bounced over to the flap and slid right out, still grinning. We’re definitely going to do this again!
Ernie and I went to St. Peter today to run some errands. When we visited Pam (more photos to follow), she suggested that we get our shots to protect us from the flu. I didn’t know that Sesame Street characters were “at risk”, but the public health staff assured us that it was the right thing to do. I told Ernie to go first. He was very brave.
Bert and Ernie have been enjoying a glorious white Christmas up in Minnesota. They sent this picture along to introduce Griffin to the joys of snowmen: