I decided this Christmas to add some pictures of Christmas.  Most of what we have today is our memories of yesterday, and days and years past.  Placing pictures of our Christmases past is a good way to remember them and to share them with you, and if you are in them, you can remember them too.  Family is very important in life, you don't pick your family, they are yours because they are a part of you.  Family should always keep in touch no matter what.  You never know when one of them will be just a memory and you want as many memories of all of your family members you can get.  Enjoy your visit here, and let me know if you want a copy of any of these pictures.


          I have separated the pictures by date so you can see how everyone ages over time.  I will eventually do the same thing for Thanksgiving, because we made it an annual event to go to Grandma Taylor's (NaNa) for Thanksgiving, and then to Grandma McCann's for Christmas.  We tried to make it a point to visit them both at least once a year, even when we moved to Texas, we still try to visit the West Coast at least once a year.

    Christmas 1993    

          Christmas 1994 was a good year, it was the first year that Shawn came to live with us.  The Jeep was Brandon's big gift; he wasn't sure what to do with it at first, after all he was only 2 years old.  I don't remember what Shawn's big gift that year was.

    Christmas 1994 was at the Duplex

on Dean Way in Folsom


          During the Christmas season for 1995, Brandon had the chicken pox and was just getting over them by Christmas day.  The pictures where Brandon has the red bumps on his face were taken around the 2nd of December.  In 1995 Brandon was 3 years old, and Shawn was 13.  We lived in a duplex on Dean Way in Folsom.  It was a cozy 2 bedroom home with a 1 car garage (storage unit) and a backyard with no trees.  We enjoyed living there anyway because the rent was reasonable and we were able to save for our first home.

  He always loves to trim the tree   As long as there is a gift for me   Waiting for Santa  
      First Computer Software   Lion King was popular this season  
          Christmas in Reno  
  Christmas at Grandma's house          



      We woke up Christmas morning and opened our presents like any Christmas before.  Then it was off to Grandma's house in North Sacramento.  We visited with family and had dinner there.  Then in early January 1996, we went to Reno to visit NaNa and Marisa's side of our family.  There I put together a table for NaNa and the kids opened their gifts.


  Christmas 1997 Coming Soon  
  Christmas 1998 Coming Soon  

          In our new home on Stoney Hill for 2 years by this time, our third Christmas at that house, we start the season by shopping for the tree.  We have a tradition in our home, nothing Christmas until after Thanksgiving.  We don't even shop for decor until the day after.  We don't want to mix or lose the feeling of the seasons.  Every year the merchants put out Christmas decor earlier and earlier.  If people would just leave them alone until after Thanksgiving, this would stop, but people buy Christmas stuff as early as before Halloween, OMG!  Where will it end?  I know where it will end up as year round Christmas decor for sale, it's already started with every mall having a "Christmas Store" OMG!!!!

      Picking out the best tree      
      Family Time      
      Waiting for Santa to arrive   He's Here!  
  Arrival at mom's   Uncle Ray wants a foot rub      
          It's a Poke'mon game Grandma  

          There's nothing like going downtown to see the Christmas decor, to get into the spirit of the season.  In 2000 we took a trip downtown to visit the K-Street Mall, and to see all of the Christmas season decorations.  It was cool to watch the ice skaters skate and listen to the orchestra play.

      Downtown Sacramento K-Street Mall      
          Ice Rink  

          This was the only year we hosted the Christmas dinner at our home.  After 2000, mom didn't want to go anywhere and so for the next few years we had Christmas dinner at mom's.  One year Josh and Brenda had the dinner at their home, we didn't get to go because mom insisted on staying home, and we were not going to have a Christmas dinner without her.  We didn't know how many more we would have with her.

  The look of Surprise   Total Surprise   Nice Bike  
  The only Christmas morning where the stocking came second       I love you Bro!  
  Hand Made gift for mom          
  And our family arrives      

Sandie, taking a picture of me

taking a picture of her

          Their old Match-box and Hot Wheels cars  

          Every year we start the Christmas season with the purchase of the family Christmas tree.  Most Christmases we would go as a family to pick out the tree.  Shawn and Brandon would always pick one that is way too big or way too expensive, come on, $85 for a tree that is cut and will eventually die a slow death.  For $85 I want the tree to be in a tub where I can plant it in the yard at the end of the season.


          It is also traditional in our home to open gifts on Christmas morning.  As a child we were too anxious to wait until Christmas morning and our parents always let us open most of them on Christmas Eve, but in this house, it is our tradition, and once in awhile we will let Brandon open one Christmas eve gift, and some times it's just underware.  After a nice Christmas morning at home, opening gifts, we head for mom's for Christmas with the family.


          We didn't travel to Reno every year for Christmas, as a rule, Thanksgiving was Marisa's mother's holiday and Christmas was my mother's holiday.  Just so we could make sure NaNa knew we would always be there for dinner.  Now that we live in Texas, it is difficult to make that promise.  Now we tell he that we will try to visit at least once a year, and it will most likely be around Thanksgiving and Christmas, somewhere in between.


          A neat tradition that got started in 2002 was the Christmas Luminaries.  The entire neighborhood was involved.  We even had a committee that purchased the bags and candles, collected the money from the residences, and delivered the materials, and even provided sand at certain locations so we could put a little in each bag so they wouldn't blow away.  Once they were setup and lit, it was great to see.

  Luminaries on Stoney Hill Drive in Folsom California  

          The year Amanda came to live with us, we decided to attend the Christmas parade in Sacramento.  There was a parade every year there, but this was the first one we had ever attended.  We don't really like crowds so we never wanted to brave the crowds and cold, but this year we decided it would be a nice thing to experience.  I have been to parades before, in fact previously this year I took Amanda and Brandon to the Veteran's Day parade in Folsom, Marisa had to work.

  Ok lets do this   Put the camera down   Decorating the tree  
  Can you untangle this mess?   Here she comes, looking for bows      
          She eats bows and wears them too!  
  An evening at the Rader's including a quiet game of Uno  
      Christmas morning      
      Awooooooo Woofff      
  Christmas morning   We'll start with the stocking      
  Coffee, lapdog and remote          
  I'm all set          
  Could there be an Air-Soft gun       A PS3 "Yes!"  
  in one of these presents?          
      There she goes again, eating bows   Taste good?  
  Christmas Dinner at the Rader's Home in Southlake  

          We attended a dinner at the Rader's in Southlake.  They invited several people and we enjoyed a delicious dinner that included Lobster Bisk, Crab legs and a few different meats.  With a green salad and a few extras, it was a dinner to remember.  Below I have posted some of the memories from that night in 2007.


          We have been hearing about several people falling and getting hurt while hanging Christmas lights, the latest being a fire fighter, who does the light hanging as a side job.  He fell 20 feet and broke some ribs, along with some internal injuries, were not sure how this one will end up.  A few years ago there was a report of 2 guys, not related incidents, where they fell and were paralyzed due to injuries to their spines.  Marisa told me she would not allow me to hang lights this year, as the area over the garage is one scary part; my extension ladder doesn't quite go high enough.  She said it's not worth some Christmas lights on the edge of the roof.  She loves me and wants to keep me around for awhile!  She came up with an alternative this year, large colored flood lights, shinning on areas of the brick, gives the house a colorful hue.  Really nice looking, better than the pictures show.

  The Reindeer   A new lighting scheme this year      
  We have way too many decorations!   Decorating the tree   Read his shirt  
      A Special Decoration   I need a twist tie!  
  Loves to hide under things   Can I help?   More memories