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Winter Has Arrived

Finally we are looking at a wintry wonderland for the first time this season. It would have been nice if this had happened at Christmas and up until just now, we have had a very uneventful winter this year! La Nina didn’t sock us into multiple snow storms like last year and I am kind of glad because I am driving articulated buses now and they are horrible in ice and snow. This wintry weather is supposed to last the next four days and I am not looking forward to going to work tomorrow!

Our Holidays were nice. We hosted Thanksgiving at our house and our friends Larry & Lynette hosted Christmas. So it was a family affair on both occasions. For New Year’s we headed up to our long time friends the Hillstroms in their brand new home on San Juan Island. They have a beautiful waterfront home overlooking the sound. We have always loved the San Juan’s and Friday Harbor and have thought about maybe retiring there among the other places that we consider. Well we have taken the first step into making that possibility a reality. We were walking about and found a wonderful smaller home we are calling “the cabin” for sale. We contacted a realtor we know there and had him come open it up and show us. We decided it was a deal we couldn’t pass up and made an offer a few days later after we returned home. After some offer counter offer volley, we came to an agreement with the seller and are now moving through the financing process. Until we have the keys in our hot hands, I hold off on providing the details until later but we are very excited!! I am also working on possibly what will start out as a side career that I am hoping flourishes into something I can do full-time! Again, I’ll hold off on the details until I get a better idea on how it is going to work out but I think 2012 is going to be a great year…..(knocking on wood)!

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Happy 2011

The Givens Family Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well another years has passed us by. This was the fastest year yet for me. It seems like we had just put the tree and decorations away from last year just a few months ago and here we were dragging it all out again. For that reason, I was not very prepared for this Christmas. Debbie, on the other hand, gets excited no matter what. She loves the Holidays and loves giving. Our great friends Larry and Lynette hosted Thanksgiving and we had Christmas Dinner at our house. The day after Christmas we went down to Tacoma and had brunch at the Hob Nob with the sisters and their families. This has become somewhat of a tradition at the Hob Nob. It makes it a lot easier on everyone to just gather together at a restaurant and have our brunch and gift giving right there. The staff has become used to us taking over the dining room!

We had a wonderful Christmas. It was also Cordell and Patience first Christmas and they both enjoyed the company over. I think Cordell got a little stressed at all the fuss, especially while gifts were being open. He went off on his own and spent some quiet time by himself. We were very proud of both of them! Speaking of gifts, Debbie and I got some nice gifts this year! She got a Nikon D90 digital camera and I got an IPad! She is taking pictures of just about everything. I have left the photo editing to here as I can no longer keep up with the avalanche of photos she is ripping off. I love my IPad and it is really cool using it during my breaks on the bus (what few I have these days). It is an awesome gadget and I can hardly put it down. We are very blessed.

 

The Snowy Estate

Not soon after Christmas, we got our second snow storm of the season! They had predicted a rough winter for our area and so far it has been pretty wild. It made for a beautiful wintry wonderland right at the Holidays but also made my bus driving job not very fun. So now we have had two very big winter storms and we have a lot of winter left. I wonder how many more of them we will see this year. Everybody is doing well in our tribe. Alex is still working at Milgard Windows and is also a volunteer firefighter. His wife Mo is teaching and loving it. Her kids love her too. Ryan, after being laid off for awhile, now has a new job he likes better. He is still doing HVAC work, but is now with a different company and they are treating hime well. He recently moved to downtown Seattle and has his own space finally and loves it. It is quite a nice bachelor pad if I say so myself. Now we are looking forward to a new year and new adventures. We hope your upcoming year will be bright, prosperous, and wonderful!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Holiday Recap

Before it gets too stale, well it may already be stale, let me post a recap of our Holiday season. I thoroughly enjoyed the holidays because we hosted nothing!!!! It was kind of nice for a change and less work! For Thanksgiving, we were invited up to our friends Larry & Lynette for the turkey feast. It was wonderful as Lynette is a great cook. The only other family member that was there was Ryan. Mo and Alex went to her parents for Thanksgiving. This is what happens when the kids get married off. Time has to be shared with the in-laws!  Then came Christmas and again it seemed to come way too fast! Alex and Mo hosted their first Christmas in their new house in Gig Harbor. Larry, Lynette, Mariam (Lynette’s Mom), Ryan, Mo’s parents and brother and sister joined in the festivities. We had a fantastic dinner and opened gifts! By the end of the evening, Alex knew what it was like to host a family gathering….. allot of work! This year, our gift giving was toned down a bit! We exchanged small gifts between ourselves because we got big gifts earlier on! I had California Closets installed in her closet in our bedroom! That was her big gift! We also had bought a 52″ TV for our downstairs family room and called that a gift to ourselves. Between the two, that was plenty! Since Gig Harbor is quite a drive from our home in Snoqualmie, we had reserved a room in a nearby hotel for the night! It was convenient also because the following day we met up with Deb’s sisters and their better halves for brunch at the Hob Nob Restaurant in Tacoma! This is an old Tacoma establishment and looks to be an annual thing for Deb and her sisters to do at Christmas time! New Year’s Eve was fun especially since I got the day off unexpectedly!!! We went to a bash at the Queen City Yacht Club where Larry & Lynette are members! We also stayed at a hotel in the  University District so we wouldn’t be on the road afterward!! It was a fun time and we hung out with some boating people we had met on one of our voyages! So that was the holiday recap!! Look to the right under our Flickr photos for links to the pictures!!

The new year will be an exciting one and hopefully without the disasters that befell us in 2009! We have some awesome vacations planned for this coming year! We plan on returning to Best Friends Animal Society for our third visit in April!! We are looking forward to seeing our animal and human friends again there! In September we have booked a two week cruise to Alaska and I am busting with anticipation for this one!!! I can hardly wait! We have also possibly planned to rent a boat in July and cruising with Larry & Lynette up to Canada, but that one is still tentative! I am a little anxious about getting on a boat of that size again and cruising around on it, but I will have to get over the hump and just do it!!! Well, that’s it for now will be back soon!

What It Looked Like Christmas Day

While it does snow here in the Puget Sound Area from time to time, we rarely have a white Christmas! This year not only did we have one heck of a white Christmas, but we’ve had snow for weeks! Record snow fell in Seattle and surrounds the last half of December and it is just now beginning to melt away! These are some images of our home and neighborhood Christmas morning:

Thanksgiving Blues

So how was your Turkey Day? Did you loosen your pants after the big feast? Undo a button or two on your shirts/blouses? Enjoy the football games and yeah the Packers are 10 -1!!!!! My day was just another day. Debbie took off to La Center, WA to visit the sisters and I stayed home with my buddy Simon. Actually I had to work, over 10 hours at that, and at night! Do you have any idea who is riding the buses on Thanksgiving night? Well let’s see……… quite a few kids (mostly Asian), a few Hispanic gentlemen coming home from the few places of employment that were open, many East Indians who probably have no idea what Thanksgiving really is, and a whole lot of just dregs and losers. One such female loser freaked out after watching her bus to Renton pull away as we pulled into the Bellevue Transit Center. She was pissed and rightly so, but yelled that if this bus was on time then she would have caught hers. I casually shot back that I was actually early! Stupid bitch! If she had asked me to call ahead and hold the bus, I would have. After driving public transit for almost 10 years, I am so tired of dealing with stupid people with no common sense. I have figured out that around 70.7 % of humanity walk around with their head firmly inserted up their assholes. How do they survive in this complicated world? The answer, government public assistance and our tax dollars that’s how! Yes, I am a public servant and I am paid by tax dollars, but the ignorance I see out there is sickening. Please keep your bleeding heart liberal comments to yourself, because I am not interested in hearing it!

Anyway, my Thanksgiving dinner consisted of a Marie Callendar’s turkey TV dinner. Feeling sorry for me? Not expecting you too, but I hope you enjoyed yours! I am thankful though for my lovely wife and the life we have together. Can’t get any better than this…….well unless we could not have to work. Now I have to go do just that!!!

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