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Welcome! Lenkaland shares my adventures in creative photography, raising kind children, writing, living with chronic illness, raising a daughter with dyslexia, and swimming with mermaids. Hope you have a nice stay!

The New Year with Family

The New Year with Family

My brother and his family visited from San Diego last week. Last year, we didn't get to visit their way because of unemployment and my injury. So it was an extra-special treat to get the cousins together (and for me to see my brother and sister-in-law!). We walked around town and visited the local bookstore. The Book Seller is an independent bookstore with a downstairs for children. All bookstores need a reading cave with a fish tank!

We lucked out with sunshine so we brought them all to the park, where we met up with my youngest brother and his family. My niece got a bike for Christmas! My niece from San Diego, Alexandria, was a good sport riding the big wheel :)

I haven't seen Alexandria for ages. And I have never made a fairy with her. We sat together with my many supplies and I let her choose anything she wanted. She hadn't sewn before, so the needle and sequins were a novelty. "I don't need glue!" she said with wonder after stitching the first sequin on the hat. "Look, Mom, no glue!"

She created a lovely fairy!

We celebrated another Christmas together because we love Christmas around here. I found these awesome pajamas for the boys from the Gap. The boys embraced their secret identities whole-heartedly. They staged elaborate shows for us where they fought strong, fast foes and threw the bad guys out the window. But not until they had been knocked to the ground about fifteen times.

The evening ended with cuddles and matching pajamas. My poor niece, Mila, was sick so she missed this photo, but she felt better by the next day, hurrah!

We met the next day for traditional Oliebollen, a Dutch treat. My mom is an expert making these, frying the not-sweet dough full of currants, then dusting with powdered sugar. They bring good luck to the new year (we say) and they were gobbled right up. They taste a bit like a fritter, all crunchy and warm and delicious.

The boys, however, found Cool Ranch chips equally delightful. I made a movie of them saying yum and yummy and appreciating this bowl of chips like a fine delicacy. Ah, the beauty of childhood :)

And the family.

And the cousins! Best friends, the best of times!

Wishing you a day of togetherness wherever you are! I am back to work so I better scoot. Here's to family!

By the way, I did feel my Grandma with us during our gathering. She always loved times like these. Thank you for your kind words here, on Twitter, and Facebook. I appreciate all of your lovely sentiments :)

We All Fall Down

A Farewell for the New Year