Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Christmas from the Ewalts

Wow!  I can't believe that it is Christmas time, the end of another amazing year.  As usual, life at the Ewalts has been full of joy, excitement, disaster, grief, love, family, and travel.  We started the year off celebrating Orson's first birthday, first with my family in the beginning of the month and then with Matt's at the end.  Unfortunately the actual day and time with Matt's family didn't go quite as expected, as the night before Orson turned one we were all in a major collision with a drunk driver.  We were graced with a miracle and everyone lived through the accident but Matt ended up in multiple hospitals and several months of therapy to fix a shattered tibial plane (in his knee) and a shattered pelvis.  He had his last surgery just before Thanksgiving and amazingly is walking completely on his own with full range of motion in all of his joints!  Other then recovering, Matt has also been very busy at work (a big blessing in this economy) and playing with Orson.  I have also stayed busy caring for Orson (and Matt), going back to school for some classes in Emergency Management, crafting, cooking and gardening.  The main star of the Ewalt house is obviously Orson :)  He is busy growing, keeping up an active social live, learning to talk, walk, skip, jump, ride a bike (or Good to Go as he calls them) and learning about every kind of vehicle with wheels!  
    As usual (since our families are so spread out) we have been traveling here there and everywhere.  In the states we have been to Yosemite (to celebrate Matt walking without any aids) and many other spots in CA, Oregon (for Thanksgiving), Iowa (for a wedding), and Texas (for the MS 150 and Christmas).  Orson and I also got to spend a month in London with trips to Cambridge, Bath, and Belgium and a long weekend in Oslo which Matt joined us for.  
      Also, as usual, we have been constantly reminded of and thankful for the family and friends that support and love us all over the world.  God has truly been good to us and has looked out for us through everything.  Matt and I take such great joy in our son and hold each other with such love that we know that whatever comes our way, we will be able to take it in stride.

Below are some of our favorite pictures from the year:


Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Party

Everyone came over for our playgoup Christmas party today. It was tons of fun! Orson is blessed with so many great friends here in Sacramento, and I am too. To see all of these kids running around, playing nice (mostly), learning to share and talk, it so amazing. It is hard to think back to last year when they were all just barely crawling!

I made dough ornaments before everyone came over and then let the kids paint them to take home. I am going to put a picture of Orson on the one he made for our tree.

We all brought a handmade or used gift to share with each other. Here they are under our tree (I figured this will be the most presents under it this year, so I better get a picture)

Before you see this year...here is last year, so different!

Gift opening pictures (I wonder what everyone got?)

Utter chaos and so much fun!

Everyone brought such great stuff to eat! I had some of requests for the recipes I made, so I thought I would post them here:

Carrots, apple and goat cheese pie
* 1 Whole Foods Gluten Free pie crust
* 2 cups carrots
* 2 green apple (Granny)
* 1/4 lb butter
* 2 cloves garlic
* I big log of goat cheese (probably around 8 oz)
* 1 tbsp curry powder
* 2/3 cups cream
* 2 eggs
* pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degress.
2. Grate the carrots and apple.
3. In a pan, melt butter. Add curry and garlic. Heat for 30 seconds.
4. Add grated carrots and apples
5. Heat for 8 minutes over low heat.
6. Beat cream and eggs and 1/2 of goat cheese. Whisk thoroughly to homogenize the mixture. Add some pepper.
7. Put carrots and apple in pie crust.
9. Crumble over the remaining goat cheese.
10. Pour cream + eggs.
11. Bake for 30 minutes.

Muled Wine in the Crook Pot
1 bottle cheaper red table wine (slightly sweet)
2 Cinnamon sticks
1 lemon (sliced, rind on)
1 orange or tangerine (sliced)
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tbs of nutmeg
pour everything into crook pot and let simmer away till warm (then turn crook pot to warm and enjoy).

I love Christmas and the holidays...and, as I was cleaning up, I realize that even if you have nothing else better to be thankful for this year, you can always be thankful for living in the era of vacuums and dish washers!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Catching up on Orson, Thanksgiving and Life :)

So, I owe everyone quite the catch up...we've had Thanksgiving, Birthdays, snow, Christmas decorating and general fun since the last time I posted.  

Orson is currently into putting words together into sentences, snorting (when he laughs, when he says Hi, all the time), riding his "Good to Go," colors (coloring) and as usual, trains.  He now says "Bless you" instead of just bless when we sneeze, fart, cough, make a strange noise he doesn't recognize.  He must be working on his back molars because he has started trying to bight again and he is into pushing as many boundaries as possible, just to see what happens. 

Now for a whole bunch of pictures:
 We took our first big drive since the accident to Portland for Thanksgiving this year.  The pass was covered in snow and ice and the snow fall was some of the biggest I have seen since leaving the North East.  We went slow and steady and everything went well.

 Apparently having a hybrid engine means our car never really got warm enough to melt the ice forming on us...we got lots of strange looks from people driving by us (which really freaked us out until we saw this).

Little man spent many hours in the car over the week and got most of his naps in it as well.  We drove in lots of circles to aid in the sleep, since he refused to nap most of the days we were in Oregon.

 He was really into three things at Grandma's house:

the goats
his cousin Romie
and "his" car

 At Grandpa's we spent a lot of time hanging out and having fun.  He also discovered what ice was...rocks didn't quite do what he expected :)

 We took an afternoon to visit the Portland Children's Museum...Orson loved it.  He was really excited to get to run around and see other kids his age.  He sure misses his friends when we go away.

 Playing with clay and driving the ambulance
 Music time
And the awesome dig pit made out of recycled tires (I think this was his favorite) but
the water room came in a close second.
 Bob lives in NW Portland, so Orson and I got to ride the train a lot and even more exciting (well for me) every restaurant we went to had GF options.  My favorite was the night we snuck out after O went to bed and had dessert at Papa Hayden's!

 Then we headed back home, enjoying more snow :)

 In the above picture you can see the door hanger I made for Orson so he could have access to his toys on the drive, he loved it and it is still working really well.
 By the Monday after we got home, Orson had a hankerin' for more trains, so we headed out to the train museum.  He got on the train that sways and climbed straight into a seat so we could go see Grandpa Jones.....
 Lu came over Tuesday night (Matt watched them both while I was at Orchestra) and you would have thought they hadn't seen each other in years!  When she came back on Thursday it was rainy outside, so we set up a tent and had fun in doors.
 We also went to Art Beast for the first time in a long time....Orson is finally the right age.  He loved painting, coloring, making a bird feeder, playing with the instruments and in the kitchen.

 And we also have put up the Christmas decorations.  I taught Orson how to lay under the tree to see the lights.  He prefers sitting in the window seal behind it and seeing it reflect into the glass.

 He is in love with baby Jesus and I constantly find him trying to hind him all over the house :)
 Last but not least, we went to Penny's birthday party over the weekend (boy have we been busy).  The theme was coloring and its hard to tell who enjoyed it more, Matt or Orson.
 Penny got a trike for her birthday and all the kids loved it.  It has a back step, so two could play at once!

Orson pooping a balloon :)  Can you tell Mat was in charge of pictures?

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  We are off to Houston for Christmas with my family!  I cannot wait.