This is the beginning of a period of time that will lack pictures taken by me.
My good friend Cliff, and his charming brother-in-law and new Vallian Randy, and I decided to take a trip down a local river. After a vehicle juggle we were unloaded and ready to put into the rain-swollen river.
This was our putting in point. See that bridge maybe 100 ft down the river? It just so happens that the channel under that bridge had been choked by logs and whatnot, and in the narrow gap that remained, there were a number of large retaining rocks just under the surface.
The gents went ahead of me in their kayaks, and I followed in the canoe. 3 seconds later the front of the canoe caught one of those rocks, pivoted, and flipped. I went in up to my armpits, and didn't get any dryer wrestling the water-logged canoe to the bank and saving the contents of our snack cooler.
We then enjoyed a lovely 3+ hours of paddling down the river, pushing a heron ahead of us, almost getting sideswiped by the beavers diving out of their burrows in the banks, and seeing many turtles.
None of which I have pictures of, as my phone had been in my breast pocket.
It wasn't as cold as it could have been for early December, but it still made for a chilly day of damp paddling. The company, and wildlife, made up for it.
Caspian received the Character of the Month award for December, and we went to the celebration breakfast.
Our little man.
This little girl woke up one Saturday morning and decided it was time for some Christmas Spirit! She decorated herself, hung the stockings, and spent an hour trying to get her brother to dress up as santa before giving up and coming to me with a fake beard for me to wear.
There's a picture somewhere of her decorations on one of the mirrors, I hope it turns up.
We dashed to town to make the Christmas parade.
Which was the usual fun small town spectacle, and then came home to sort through the loot.
Apparently I read the paper one morning.
Alexe and Caspian took a selfie on the upstairs porch.
I made a relatively healthy lunch for Alexe and me on her day off.
We put together Caspian's catapult kit.
I was reading on the hammock one Saturday afternoon, in the middle of December, when I was startled by a splash. Looking up I saw both of my kids had stripped, and jumped into the pond next to me. After a warm bath they rejoined me on the hammock in their jammies, slightly wiser about water temperatures in the winter, despite a warm afternoon.
A sunday brunch at a friend's house, where a large crew decided to walk to our house through the woods to visit the animals.
Followed by a jam session on the porch after we returned to the party.
Caspian chopping down his first tree. He stopped only to come gather an audience, and then stuck with it until he got to yell "timber!"
Alexe put up her new led Christmas lights.
I have no recollection of Leah and Chloe coming over, but it looks like they did.
Annaliese started a fan-folding project, and no paper in the house survived.
Caspian is suddenly reading. At a good clip.
A little time to go playing in the woods. Tractor, trailer, chainsaw, son. Check.
Practicing gun safety with a pellet gun.
The annual Christmas Cookie Bonanza. While Alexe works the first half of Christmas Eve, the kids and I cook as many cookies as we can before she gets home.
The kids decorate bags, and then we stuff them with a wide assortment of fresh cookies.
And as soon as Alexe gets home we head out with an old station wagon full of cookies, and deliver them on our way to the Christmas Eve service at church. Some of our friends in town aren't in on Christmas Eve.
But most are.
Home after church, for our annual fondue, and the challenge of falling asleep before Santa arrives.