Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Welcome to the Hellum Homestead.
The year 2011 was one of good memories, great moments and fantastic family times.  When thinking back on the whole year~ it was hard to really go month to month.... or even to have one main focal point of the year.... but we did do things. we did learn things.  we did have things happen.  Bryan and I found that this letter can be summed up in 4 words.  SNOW. DECK. PUPPY and CHICKENS.

This past winter we took trips to the mountain~ and the boys learn to ski and snowboard.  Both kids loved the slopes.... Bjorn, who is fearless, took skiing on with full force.  All you had to do was dress him in his coat, point his ski's downhill.... and he did the rest.  He was like a torpedo.... at full speed.  Odin, who was focused more on technique, was so skilled at snowboarding~ he spent some time in the halfpipe and considered himself the next Shawn White.... (even if the only air he got was to clear a stick).

We are always doing something to our house.... Bryan says my Honey-Do List seems never ending, but I know that if I didn't have a list... he'd be bored out of his mind (at least that I what I tell myself).  This year it was working on our backyard.... we tore up a deck that was 20+ years... with dry rot to almost 90% of it. So we saved up for years~ and I drew up the plans.... and Bryan got out his saws, his tape measure and drill.  We then began the long process of building an amazing 800 sq ft. deck complete with an awning, full length stairs, and bench seating.  When the whole things was finished~ we spent every sunny moment out on it.  This summer we even hosted a rehearsal dinner for some friends~ with the deck all lit up with lighting and candles.  Click HERE to see pictures.

Late last year our two dogs, Sergei and Stumpel both died within a month of each other.  It was a really sad moment for Odin~ who had loved these two dogs his entire young life..... so after a winter without a dog in the house, and spring rains almost finished we began the hunt for a new member of the family....  We soon found a gorgeous puppy, who had been rescued with 3 other litter mates.... and brought her home when she was 4 months old.  We named her Cider and she is a yellow lab, husky, german shepherd mix.  Her disposition is amazing.... she is gentle and protective of Bjorn, and is playful and hyper with Odin.   She loves long walks on the beach and constant affection.  She enjoys fetch, wrestling and running up the neighborhood hills with Bryan. Click HERE to see her.

and finally
yes.  you read that right.... We got chickens.  We got them early in the spring and thus began our experience of raising birds.....  the COOP OF GOOD FORTUNE was mostly built out of recycled wood from our deck  ~ and we have given all of our birds Chinese food names.  Our first dish of birds were named GENERAL(Tso), MANDY (Mandarin), SESAME, and SWEETIE (Sweet and Sour).  Mandy passed over to the Stir fry in the sky early on, and General and Sesame were Hes and not Shes... Roosters are not allowed within the urban boundary, and our neighbors wouldn't be so happy either~ so the birds were returned.... and new ones were brought in.  These new birds we named KP (KungPao), MUSHU, and KEVIN ( I know, its not a Chinese name... but a female pet named Kevin just makes me smile!)  Eggs were in full supply at the end of summer.... and we are loving the experience..... Click HERE to see the girls.

Bjorn~ is in first grade now, and he is loving school.  He takes a bus to his SCC classroom and spends half of his schooling mainstreamed with other first graders.  He loves reading and writing.  His books of choice are the "If You Give...." sets.  He spends much of his time building with blocks, playing with his bunny, and playing his guitar or drumset.  We have had great progress with his therapies and started him with a natural-path Dr. who has found his allergies to Gluten Casein and Egg.  With the dietary changes his little body has started to grow, his brain has developed and he is beginning to build on his cognitive skills.  Awesome progress has been moving us forward with him.

Odin~ is in Third grade.  He is awesome in school..... he says he is getting and A in recess and in lunch (but I know he likes to read and write as well).  He also has an O in class clown.  He loves to be silly.... and we dont go a day without a practical joke or some sort of trick being played.  He has been involved in swimming and hockey throughout the year, as well as, science classes after school.  He likes to build legos, ride his bike, play Wii Resort and play with Cider.  He says he want to own a coffee shop when he grows up (so that he can make me coffee) and he wants to be an archaeologist in his spare time.

Bry is working at the same place.... still playing hockey and bass guitar.  I am enjoying the homestead here and crafting while the kids are at school.  You can always find us here on the blog....
We want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2012.
We Love You!

::to my readers:: I am on a technology break for the rest of 2011 and will be back in 2012
have a Merry Christmas and see you soon.


  1. Happy Christmas Tif..I hope you all have a good one and a great 2012 too! :D

  2. Merry Merry Christmas and Happy Technology Break!

    (also: coffee shop owner over archeologist is an interesting choice)