December 24, 2009


Washington is a place of lichen, moss, fen and very large trees. Things that grow here grow quite large: have you seen the rhododendrons come May?

This little tree may look like it is only a bambino. Wrong. It is a very tall pine tree, with only its top seven branches sticking out from under the snow. Snowshoeing experience tells us this is so. See, when you are up snowshoeing in the Cascades with my dad things like this become suddenly clear when your leg disappears from underneath you and then you know you've stepped too close to the 'little' tree's hole.

No snow on the ground for Christmas near Seattle, but plenty of it in the mountains. We put some snow in our backpacks to freeze and then spread around on the porch Christmas morning.

This was Rebekah's idea.

Andrew liked it too.

As we snowshoed, the sun was going down behind the mountain and we were trying to get higher and higher. It was a race. As usual: my dad was winning, the rest of us were definitely losing. Remember how my dad had that problem with his heart this fall? Well, he gauges he is back to 80%. 80% means about 180% above a normal person's activity rate. I was asking my dad if I could have a look at his workout spreadsheets from the last 25 years - because yes, he has logged his exercise every day for 25 years. He does not think this is abnormal. Apparently, he knows plenty of people who do such things. Remember, this is the man who made us try out to go on vacations every summer.

One of the most entertaining aspects of being home so far is Andrew's newfound obsession with Michael Jackson's Thriller. As luck would have it, his entire middle school is learning Thriller in PE and will put on a Thriller extravaganza in the school gymnasium. Yesterday, we sat down to watch the Thriller video and Andrew narrated Michael Jackson's every move: "Swim, together, swim, jump - shuffle, back, hop hop forward, turn left, stare stare..." and so forth. Every move. I am impressed with his PE teacher (or the youtube video he has reputably been employing). As we were watching Michael's moves, one of his hip thrusts came up and my mom muttered, "uh oh." Then she asked, "Is it true that he was both a boy and a girl?" We laughed like crazy.

Fortunately, Andrew has decided to share his knowledge with the whole family. We have all been getting Thriller lessons. No, the picture above does not feature us in a Beyonce pose - no Single Ladies action there - we are in booty-bounce position, straight out of the Thriller dance.

John likes us even if the Johnson method of self-entertainment is rather strange. He comes from a big, strange family too though.

And may I say that my older sister Julie is the coolest pregnant lady I know: 7 months pregnant, booty-bouncing, snowshoeing and all - no sorry, I'm a handicapped pregnant gal for this one.


Jill said...

I have a love hate relationship with these post you do of your family. I love to see all those faces of people I adore, but they make me miss all of you so much! I hope you're all having a fabulous time.

P.S. Are you announcing something in this post? Maybe I miss read?

Emilie said...

announcing something? announcing that we are all going to do thriller, yes. and that we went snowshoeing...what else? also that julie is pregnant. love you jill.

Anonymous said...

Your photos are beautiful! I found your blog via Bootsnall's list of the best expat bloggers. :) Though it appears you no longer live in France, I will most likely be delving through your past entries, since I've been in love with French since I was 15 and will FINALLY be going there in May of this year. ! I wish you luck in your blogging endeavers!

Emilie said...

glad you found the site and hope you will enjoy my take on paris...have a great trip in may...

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