...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


christmas 2010

Finally! Christmas morning - and the kids didn't know what to expect. With their one gift exchange last night - and how much they cherished the thoughtfulness of handmade, I was afraid I'd spoil their appreciation this morning with more wrapped gifts of new toys... So we shared with them that because they were so generous in giving to everyone else, the presents they see under the tree are from Mommy and Daddy - for them to play with in the new year...

xmas morning

opening gifts

opening gifts

opening gifts

opening gifts

opening gifts


Of course, they didn't forget about the stockings! When all was quite and the kids peered over the scattered floor, I said out loud, "Wow guys. Look at all these new toys. What do you say?"

Noah: "Thank you."

Ava: "Thank you God!"

And their priceless responses - were our gifts, and we couldn't be more happier. So without delay, we got right down to playing... These new sandbox playsets are wonderful {well... not so much for our rug} but still, a fun indoor activity, where miniature scenes take place over sand. Noah got the construction set complete with bulldozers, shovels and pails to dig and move rocks with, and Ava a princess dreams set - where she could bury jewels and ride a chariot.

playing with new toys

princess moment

Ava didn't waste anytime getting dressed for the day... as sleeping beauty... and Noah practiced using his remote control police car while Aaron and I prepared for dinner....

Thanks to Nana and Aunt Jen who helped me in the kitchen - dinner was perfect! We made chicken with goat cheese, ziti with roasted zucchini, heirloom squash farrotto and greek salad.

xmas dinner

The ziti was a hit with Noah - but it was Ava's turn to come down with a cold. So Aunt Jen painted her toe nails bright red... and then brought out gifts...

painting toe nails

Ava gave Nana & Papa their ornaments and Noah explained which candlestick he worked on for Aunt Jen...

gifts for nana & papa

aunt jen

The kids opened up new puzzles and much needed computer games from their Aunt Jen and Nana & Papa gave Ava the Toy Story Lotso bear she wanted and Noah a brand new basketball hoop!

opening gifts


The holiday rounded out so wonderfully - a week's worth... no, much longer... maybe since Thanksgiving? Where it has been a marathon celebrating every day with fun holiday outings, elving gifts, baking, cooking, starting new holiday traditions... and of course, battling the seasons colds! - my little family is exhausted. And I guess that's to be expected on Christmas isn't it? Where by evening's end - we wrapped ourselves by the fire and sat for a long chat with our loved ones. Thank you so much for making this holiday finale so memorable for us all Patenaudes! 


  1. I love your pictures. My son loves trains too. :)
    Happy New Year to you.

  2. "Beautiful photos". How sweet to see your children coming out to the tree and holding hands. Sibling affection is so adorable. It makes my heart sing when my children give each other a hug and a kiss (which they often do).

    Wishing you a very happy New Year filled with peace, love, laughter and good health.

  3. holding hands! what an amazingly sweet picture. your family's love jumps off the screen. all the best to you in 2011. let's get our families together very soon and catch up. xoxo, Michelle


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