Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Season, 2015

lincoln reads to grandpa dave

The seasons just keep running together. Not so much the seasons of the weather and the calendar, but the seasons of life. The stages that we Gateses move through, they just merge from one to the next.

In my last post I left off with the time-lapse of the Christmas tree decoration. Well, Christmas 2015 has come and gone, and Jenn and I agree that this was one of our favorite episodes. Certainly not contributing to this was the complete lack of winter feeling outside. However, the relative slow pace of the family Christmas gatherings, the delaying of playing Christmas music in the house, and the overall maturing of the kids really made this a neat Christmas time.

One aspect that prevented this Christmas time from being too drug out is the variety of events that broke up the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Jenn made two non-seasonal cakes that were amazing.

Budapest WeddingHello 3

Jenn and I also revisited Mountain Horse Farm, our favorite winery (Atwater) and a few new-to-us wineries.


As usual, we shared Christmas parties with our several families.

Donati Christmas
kids christmas jammies
lincoln christmas morning

You know that moment when the kids' presents are opened and the grown-ups have more to open?


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Holiday Start-Up

We don't usually like to start thinking about Christmas until Thanksgiving has passed, but because of our schedules, our options were either to start decorating in late November, or in mid December. And because the kids are into it, we opted for the earlier start.

Old Trail School

Some housekeeping items:

Gas has even gotten lower than this!


I had some breakfast time with the kids at Giant Eagle on my day off. We played I SPY from the upper level of the grocery story. Lots to see!


The Old Trail School autumn program was a week ago, and Lincoln participated in the K-2 show. They broke up into small groups and performed Carnival Of The Animals, and it was really cute.

Carnival of the AnimalsIMG_8913

I've been logging some miles lately. The FitBit has done its job of keeping me on task and focused on fitness, and it's pushed me off my previous beaten path into some pretty beautiful areas of the national park less than 10 minutes from the house. (The photos are all from my iPhone.)


In conclusion, I'd like to point out just how interesting it is this year that all of a sudden, we're not, according to Big Media, to view the Pilgrims as evil white men who came to America to commit genocide and spread disease, but rather to take a lesson from both them and the native Americans as the first example of accepting refugees on these shores. There is a certain segment of America that never misses an opportunity to politicize what ought to be an innocuous national holiday, even if today's narrative contradicts their narrative of the past. Clearly I've given a glimpse into my own views on this matter here, but I'll leave it simply with this:

There are so many blessings that we enjoy that I cannot list them all here. Suffice it to say, though, that on this day (and every day), Jenn and I are thankful for each other, our family, the ability to work in areas that bring us enjoyment, and the ability to enjoy fun times as a result of the blessings of our work. We're thankful for a good church home, as well as for friendships, new and old. We wish you a happy Thanksgiving.

(Now bring on Christmas!)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Mid-November Catch-Up


Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve experienced…

Henry’s Symbol Breakfast at Old Trail School. A big part of the development program among the 4-5 year olds is the use of their symbol. Because the kids aren’t yet reading, they each choose a symbol to represent them, and they use the symbol in many ways during the school day. Henry’s symbol is a set of binoculars, and we made a special sweatshirt for him.

Symbol BreakfastSymbol Breakfast

Recently Lydia informed us that she doesn’t get as much play time on the playground on Fridays because she’s “busy solving everybody’s problems.”


We finished the Summit Metro Parks Fall Hiking Spree, discovered a number of really neat hiking trails in the area, and we each earned our hiking sticks. And one of my new favorite follows on Facebook is Summit Metro Parks with their sharing of many good professional and amateur nature photographers.

Henry's Birthday

Henry’s fifth Birthday came, and we now officially have a pair of five-year-olds in the house.

Henry's Birthday

We didn’t have a Halloween Party last year ‘cause we were at Disney, but we returned to the tradition this year, and we had a blast doing it. Jenn’s Minion cake was my personal favorite part of the party.


We watched as Haley played her last home match at Bowling Green. It was fun to see her play here and there over the past four years. It'll be something The Nuggets remember for a long time.

Last home match for a great @bgsuwsoccer captain, @haleyparkinson. #soccer

A photo posted by @rggates on

And between interacting with Old Trail or Buckeyes fans during games, I've been having fun with Instagram & Twitter. Here are some fun ones...

A photo posted by @rggates on

A photo posted by @rggates on

Friday, October 23, 2015

5 Years Old

We're into the Summit County Metroparks Fall Hiking Spree! Working toward our hiking sticks.


And this pretty girl had a birthday. 5 YEARS OLD!!!