Montana - Christmas 2014
December 24, 2014 - January 1, 2015

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This was the closest Eric & I have come to spending Christmas together in many years.  We usually each go to our own family homes, which we did again this year, but I left on Christmas night in order to join him in Montana on the 26th.  I arrived in time to attend the baby shower for the much anticipated Lilly - the first Casazza great-grandchild who is expected at the end of the month.  We had a great visit with family, poor Eric caught a cold, and then we were blessed with a visit from our friends the Silvas.  We stayed with them when we went to China in 2013, so they returned the favor and spent some time with us.  It was great!  
 I swiped these two pictures from Rebecca's FB.  Here, Eric is the 
 life of the party as usual, while Larry & Dallas enjoy a chat by the fire.
Grandpa Dan with baby Hanna 

The family circled up for Bible reading and gift exchange
  Cooking out - Casazza-style

Using the excavator as a crane - the brothers and others helped Dan
with the trusses for his house.
  Cami holds Hanna as we prepare for Ashley's baby shower

 Two more pics from Rebecca - Some of the nieces and Mary Beth holding baby Hanna 

 Madison and Cami, pretty as always Another "as always" is the amazing way Rose can set up for a party
 The cake table with Rose's good china ready for action The beautiful cake Tracie made for the shower.
Jeb tries to crash the "for girls only" party.  (He just wanted the snacks!) Lovely nieces Madison, Rebecca, and Katie
Jodi with her handsome man (who was allowed at the party) Colt Preparing to play 'balloon-belly-Twister', but not Ashley of course! 
 Madison and Cami didn't last long!  Kaitlyn and Rebecca wore each
 other out.
Rose's beautiful cat with the lovely decorations
 Later that night, the Larry Casazzas and Dan Casazzas (partial family)
 visited our house for a nice visit.  
Looking out the living room windows
The barn looking pretty in the snow The living room, complete with the new tables.  We exchanged the first set.
Eric and I finally hung the mirrors in the master bath The shower - very nice!
 Master closet  The photo display I hung in my office, it makes me smile 
 The mud room / laundry room - extremely handy in Montana! The entry-way as seen from the side
A fish-eye lens view of the powder room and my bird decorations This was a view from the drive to Kalispell
Our friends have arrived!  It was so nice to see the Silvas again.  We got home in time to watch the sunset, which was lovely.

Sunset on the mountains, and Dan's build site




 The mountains toward the north 

Eric bundles Rebekah up for her first encounter with snow She looks great! 

Later on, watching Eric play the Labyrinth game

A clear and beautiful sunrise met us the next morning

 A closer view of the chute  Taken out the front side of our house
 The kids enjoying the snow


Lena and Caleb checking things out and getting a picture taken
That evening I drove around town for some different sunset pictures.  This is looking north toward Canada.


The white, jagged mountains on the left side are Canadian Rockies - very beautiful in the sunset glow.
Too bad about the trash piled up between me and the mountains! 


A clearer shot of Canada

 Two views of the amazing sunset we had that night


With the Silvas at a gathering at Larry & Mary Beth's house
  Eric, tormenting Gus.  Eric says,"I have a food plate and you don't."
Gus says, "He has a food plate and I don't."    I apologize for using this "mouths full" picture of the Leonards, 
but I never got a better one of the two of them that night. 
 The whole gang, swapping stories Another beautiful sunrise, complete with a bird for scenery
It's impossible to get anything done in the early mornings - except take pictures, that is.  I couldn't choose between these two views of almost the same spot. 


 Now for some excitement - taking the kids to the ranch to feed cows Eric, checking out some tracks by the frozen stream
Rebekah, braving the cold like a trooper   The kids in front of the barn

The man and his cattle truck, they've been through a lot together! 

It was about 18 degrees out that day and Dan doesn't wear a thing on his ears.
He's a tough man. 

 Dan welcomes us to the barn lot  
First they fed the horses, then Caleb took a turn in the tractor Off to feed the cows

Now it is Rebekah's turn in the tractor - and what a nice tractor!
It's the best one they've ever had on the ranch. 
  Look at her eyes!  I think she was dubious about all of this ranch work.  
A view of our house across the frozen lake as seen from Dan's place


 Dan's house is progressing fast!
This shows his view of our house out the living room windows - we'll be able
to keep an eye on each other! 
 The ranch in snow, really pretty. Our house and drive in the snow. They got a LOT more snow in the next 10 days.
This Okie girl didn't know that her house number job would be so 
short-lived in the cold weather.  In Oklahoma the numbers stay stuck!  
The Silvas, standing on a frozen Costich Lake.
I never do get used to the idea of walking on a lake, no matter how much
ice is on it.
Caleb examines his snow angel.  
 Eric, happy to be almost over his cold. Beauty
 Wild turkeys at Jeb's house Katie and Rebecca give Caleb and Rebekah a ride
 Eric has pity on poor Gus and gives him a ride too. Now the Silvas are driving about - exciting! 

The view of Canada from Larry & Mary Beth's land


The Silvas from our side porch

The three oldest boys - Dan, Eric, and Larry

I had told Lena earlier about how some of the Casazza boys were light 
(blonde and fair skinned) and some were more dark (with brown hair.)
Now I see that over time, they've all evened out to be about the same color - white!  
Lucky for them, they're still handsome either way.  (Whew, did I get out of that one?!) 


 The Silvas went on to have many more exciting adventures and made many
 friends during their time in Eureka.  We're so happy to have had such a 
 great visit with them and with our family.  It was a treat! 

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