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Girls (at least most) are seriously missing out…growing and shaving facial hair is great! Since early November I have been sporting my Christmas beard. Recently, my desire has been growing to be rid of this grizzly and often itchy facial feature. Finally, last night, I decided to make a change…it took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to do.

(all photos of me are courtesy of Beth Flower… ©BethFlowerPhotography)

  1. The Christmas Beard (Or the Chuck Norris Beard)

  1. The Civil War Beard

General Ambrose Burnside

  1. The “Fu-Man-Chu”

Old Dude from Orange County Choppers Show

  1. The Dirty ‘Stache

  1. The Final Product

 

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Our friends, the Martins, had a great Christmas sweater party and ginger-bread house making competition. The conversation flowed like wine and the good times flocked like the salmon of Capistrano! Here are some of the highlights.

Beth and Myself in our sweet Christmas sweaters…sorry about the glazed look on my face.

Brandon, Shannon, and Owen Capuano…Brandon, an old lady called and she wants her sweater back.

Melissa and Hannah in their glittery sweaters…Hannah actually won the competition.

Beth, Aubrey, Melissa, and Beth spreading the Christmas cheer.

And now…the gingerbread houses!

Aubrey made a S’more-Gingerbread Palace

Donovan did this one in honor of his brother-in-law, Donnie.

Hannah gave us an idea of what actually goes on inside a gingerbread home…

Scott crafted his out of home-made gingerbread logs for a nice rustic look. Melissa’s house collapsed after hours of intense labor and no pictures were taken in time.

Ken did a candy version of Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium

And the Winner Was: Beth’s Candyland Camp Ground…notice the RV on the right and the sweet gum tent.

 

Our friend, John Spring, came on down to Corona for some sweet hang-time. Here’s a picture of the guys at Bass Pro Shops…the coolest store in Southern California.

Hannah making new friends…

And Virginia Tech won the ACC championship, beating Boston College! A great reason to bust out the polyester baseball jersey!

Kale loaded the tree on top himself…Christmas Tree hunting at Target!

The Flowers, Blakeys, Nguyens, and Burns’ kids bundled up to go deep into the forest of Target to find the perfect Christmas trees.

For the past three years, Beth and I have had the privilege of enjoying Thanksgiving with friends in Corona (to see pictures: go to www.billblakeyphotography.blogspot.com).

Our Assignment: The Turkey…this year, Dos Turkeys. Here are the chronicles of our turkeys.

Step One: Thaw and Brine Turkeys for 24 hours. (Brining is basically soaking them in salty sugar-water..the brine is brown because of brown sugar, not because of bile)

Step Two: While Turkey #2 continues brining, Beth prepares the oven bag for Turkey #1 (the oven bag cooks the turkey faster and seeps it in its juices…that’s a good thing).

Step Three: Taking Turkey #2 out of Brine and drying it (then place it in fridge to sit overnight).

Step Four: Do awkward pose with headless bird.

Step Five: Carve the Bird…here is some of the leftover carnage.

Step Six: Pile the Meat on a Platter…dark meat on one side, white on the other

The full carnage

Turkey #2 just out of the oven on Thanksgiving Day (cook it Chest-down so that the white meat soaks in the juices).

Step Seven: Ladies place turkey on amazingly decorated table with many other amazing foods.

Step Eight: Gorge! (The turkey is buried somewhere under the mashed potatoes and stuffing)

Step Nine: Enjoy Days of Leftovers…turkey sandwiches, turkey wraps, turkey soup, turkey burritos, turkey and peanut-butter, etc…

This trail is in the hills right behind our house.

          

Beth was able to go to Colorado, along with Rachel, Jill and Callie, in September to celebrate her Mom’s birthday. Tim and Christine made a surprise visit.

Christine and Jill                                               Poppy and Callie Jane

All of the ladies

Poppy and Marne and Callie on their way to church in The Dude (Dad’s sweet Pick-up)

Beth and the nieces                                          Mom and with the kids

Callie Jane and Bethie Jo                                   Rae and Beth

More pictures to come from Tyler and Steph’s Wedding and our trip to Texas…

Beth and I returned from a 12 day trip to Alaska on Thursday morning at about 1:30am. We went with 8 others from our church to serve at Tanalian Bible Camp in Port Alsworth, Alaska. The scenery was amazing, the fishing was great, the daylight was long, and most importantly God worked in our hearts and used us in the lives of others. We staffed a 5th and 6th grade bible camp for 7 days. These students come from small villages all over rural southwest Alaska. Many of the villages have only 1 church (if any) and that church may only be a Russian Orthodox Church (not exactly at the top of the list of churches to attend). Many of the villages are wrecked with alcohol and drug abuse and even physical abuse. Some of the students were stuck in a brutal foster care system. With that said, these were some amazing kids. Most of them had great joy and wanted to learn more about God. It seemed that God was working in many of their hearts. And they were a ton of fun. I got to teach the morning chapel sessions and the camp director, James Walsh, taught the evening sessions. Our team members were counselors in the cabins. They led some amazing cabin times and also pursued the students throughout the week…trying to help them understand and love the Gospel.

Here are some highlights of the week…

Some of the guys

Beth and some of her girls

The view from the camp chapel

My friend Lee from Illiamna, who bought me this hat

Derek’s senior picture at camp

The entire camp

My brother-in-law, JR, getting his Cessna 172 ready

Some fruits of fishing in Alaska (Sockeye Salmon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JR with a Sockeye Salmon

Burns got a couple, but I didn’t get a picture of any of them.

Our niece, Callie Jane Gates

Our niece, Jill Lorraine Gates

On our last day, our whole team went fishing at Bird Creek. It was a lot of fun.

Brandon got stuck…

Caeley got a silver Salmon

And I got one too!

Here’s the whole team from Northpoint

 

 

Day three with Maddie, Kale, and Avery was another fun and busy day. Church in the morning, lunch, naptime, pool time, dinner time, playground time, root-beer float time, and then bed-time (it may have been a bad call to do root-beer float time before bed time…we’ll see).

Here are some of the highlights:

Here’s day two of hanging with Maddie, Kale, and Avery.

Baking a cake…(Scott, Kale is wearing an apron, not a skirt)

Happy Birthday to Mom…from Maddie, Kale, and Avery!

The cake was nummy

Two very important events happened today.

Before… we have Maddie’s tooth about 5:00pm.

After…we have the tooth and another empty spot in Maddie’s mouth (about 8:00pm)


Also today, I (Ken) finally lost my dead toenail! In January, my ski boot killed it. It finally fell off at the end of April.

Before: Halfway there:


After: (It’s the big toe…the second toe always looks like that…it’s a mallet toe)