Posted by: bree1972 | January 1, 2012

Christmas Fun – Part I 1/2/2012

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2012!

I was wondering today if I’d ever been away from my blogs this long before.  I’m sure I’ve taken a week off at some point in time over the last three years, but I think nine days without posting just might be a record.  Hmm . . . maybe I’ve forgotten how to do this!  Just kidding.

Seriously, though, I tried really hard to stay away from the computer for the last week and a half.  I checked email and Facebook once a day, then shut it down – for the most part anyway.  I needed a break, AND I wanted to enjoy family and friends without worrying about anything more pressing than making sure everyone was comfy, fed, and having a good time.  Ted and I thoroughly enjoyed the holidays.  We’ve had family come here, and we’ve gone to family.  So much fun!

It will take today and Friday to show you all of it, so tonight will be Christmas with the Hortons and the Lewises, and Friday I’ll take you even further south for Christmas with the Hortons and the Hewitts – at the beach!

December 23 - Our first fire of the season. Peace on the ri'vah.

All was ready and waiting on Christmas Eve. The only thing missing was Blake, who arrived late that afternoon.

Blake had already enjoyed one gift opening session at his dad and step-mom's, so we all decided to wait another day until Jason and Blair arrived on Dec. 26 to have the big family gift exchange. The only ones to open gifts at our house on Christmas Day were Bear and Maddie. Bear got to carry his squirrel toy in his mouth approximately 3.2 seconds. Then Maddie swiped it and destroyed both his squirrel and her bunny.

When Jason, Blair, Beyla (their Bernese Mountain Dog) and Casey (their 15-year-old Maltese) arrived, we wasted no time getting right to the gift giving.  By far the gift that was used the most for the rest of their stay was a camera Jason had requested for Christmas – a GoPro Hero.  It’s only about 2″x 1 1/2″ and shoots high definition movies.  It’s popular with extreme sports fanatics and takes amazing still photos also.  The rest of the photos on this post were shot by Jason with his new “toy”.

One of the options on the camera is shooting in "fish-eye". Jason used that option on all the still shots. It made everything appear much BIGGER than normal, but got some really unusual photographs.

A great angle on Beyla.

The front of our house. Can you see Bear looking out the window from the kitchen?

Early morning on the sun porch. Blake reading the paper, Casey and Maddie enjoying a sunbath.

Looking into the sun porch at night. That's Blair and Blake chatting on the sofa - and I'm hidden there behind the lamp.

I  I love this! With a camera the size of half a deck of cards, Jason got our deck, all our backyard, the boathouse, the lake, and part of the park next door. Amazing technology!

High-flying flag at the end of our dock.

My absolute favorite photo of the weekend! Jason set the timer, then ran to get in the pic. Nobody's eyes are closed, and even the dogs posed.

Jason, Blair and their pups went home to Atlanta on the 27th, and Blake left on the 28th for Chattanooga to represent his company at a conference.  We loaded the truck a little after he left, took Maddie and Bear to the kennel (they were not happy at all with THAT turn of events), and off we went to Florida for Christmas with the Hewitts.  Come on back Friday for Christmas mixed with the ocean and the beach!

See you then!



  1. Well, let me be the irst to say that I missed you and your blog! But I am delighted to hear that you had a good Christmas with your family. You certainly deserve a vacation from the blog occasionally, only, please don’t do it very often! Happy New Year!

    • Awwww . . . . thank you, Barbara!

  2. I missed you, too – had to do all my ‘Island sleuthing’ by myself!! 😉 But I’m so glad you had a really nice family time! Jason’s camera does put a different and interesting perspective on things!!
    Happy New Year!

  3. I love the way the camera can take a picture. Neat perspective.

    I think that it was terrible that Maddie destroyed Bear’s gift, she should have given Bear the chance to destroy it.

    I also love the family photo, it is so beautiful.

    Happy New Year!!!

    • Poor Bear, Judi. He would NEVER chew up a toy. He loves stuffed animals, but can’t have one because Maddie destroys them all. I keep one special one up on a shelf and give it to Bear occasionally when Maddie is outside. Poor baby. He does love his tennis balls though, and she can’t destroy those :).

  4. The lifetime of stuffies in our house used to be about 3.1 seconds (at one time we had 3 Jack Russells). Now, the only remaining gal (at 16 years old) finally allows them to live. She actually has a pile of them that she carries around and stashes here and there. So Bear – perhaps when Maddie’s REALLY REALLY old, she’ll allow you to have a stuffie! Sounds like you all had a fantastic holiday Bree. Happy New Year – looking forward to 2012 posts.

  5. Very happy that you got to spend time with family and a well deserved break from the computer and blogging, but also VERY happy to have you back, you were MISSED! Love Jasons new camera! The pictures are very cool. My son Jason 🙂 also has a GoPro Hero that he uses on his snowmobile helmet when he goes on his snowmobile trip to the UP, but it doesn’t do the fish eye pictures. I’m pretty sure his is an older model, but it takes video and pictures so we get to see some cool videos of his trip. Anyway, did I say that I love the fisheyes pictures? 😉

  6. Love all the pics, Brenda, but I have to say my new favorite is the one of Bear in the hallway. Dog perspective is amazing!

  7. Brenda, I’m looking into my crystal ball for 2012 and I think I see a GoPro Hero in your future. Think of the possibilities for its use on the island!

  8. Happy New Year Brenda and family! Lovely photos!

  9. Happy everything. Glad you got to see all the babies both human and furry.

  10. Loved all the pictures, Bree! Happy New Year!

  11. Brenda,

    Although I know you deserve a rest from blogging, I still miss your blog and I’m glad you’re back. Needless to say I sure enjoyed this one, but I think I liked the family picture the best. That’s one for the memory book.

    We had a nice little snow storm yesterday here in south central Michigan with 3-4 inches of snow, but I can’t say I liked the strong winds. It was COLD! There was a lot more snow in western Michigan. I’m not sure how much the Island got out of it.

  12. Happy New Year! Wow-those photos have sold me on the GoPro. My husband is waiting for one to come in as they are so popular here that they get sold as soon as they arrive at the stores! Sounds like you had a very restful, wonderful holiday. Glad that you got to spend so much time with the kids.

    I started buying stuffies at garage sales when I had my big dogs. My Clio’s record was 5.6 seconds to totally destroy a teddy bear. Our current dog, Pixel is like Bear, he loves his toys and very rarely chews them. He does play us songs with the squeakers though-he’s quite musically gifted!

  13. Glad you are back and your holiday was great. As always, enjoyed the post and photos. Very interesting photos!

  14. Very, very, nice photos and family!!! I found it loking for pictures of cameras in google, but i can´t resist to stay watching your blog. Congratulations, its amazing.
    By the way, i am a graphic designer from argentina.

    • Welcome Virginia! Wow – I’ve gone international! The camera – GoPro – is an amazing little device. My son Jason is enjoying it a lot. If you enjoy this blog, please check out the one I write in the summertime from Mackinac Island in Michigan We live there from the middle of May through October.

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