By Eileen Majors

   I knew what we were in for when we visited the Lake Almanor home of Ryan and Josie Gibbs and their two boys, Carson and Reece; Their family business is Buffalo Chips Pizza in Westwood.    

   I knew we were in for a treat for I had experienced Josie’s holiday hospitality many times. Josie’s mom, Dee Ann Newton joined in the fun. And fun it was when Molly, Melissa and I showed up on a Sunday afternoon for the photo shoot. It was easy to capture Josie and Dee Ann relaxed and having a good time. Spending time in the kitchen together is nothing new for this pair and something that delivers many fond memories for both of them. Both have an incredible knack for putting things together for a spectacular presentation. Dee Ann lives nearby in Durham so they travel back and forth often and still get to spend lots of time planning those holiday celebrations. It’s a big thing in their family, from the menu to the decor.

When we arrived, it was like the familiar carol, Jingle Bells; Josie and DeeAnn were in the kitchen working on a batch of almond toffee and laughing all the way. Dee Ann had worked her holiday magic around the room, all in a winter white theme, including in the kitchen window sill display (left). I learned that one of Dee Ann’s many talents is arranging flowers. Even though we were a bit early for the holiday season, Dee Ann had added several beautiful holiday “touches” to the room, all in the winter-white theme.

   The family’s new kitchen was designed by Kenny Hill of Kenny Hill Cabinetry in Westwood. Josie describes him as an artist who followed every attention to detail. While she had plenty of ideas of her own, she admits, many of those were inspired by her mom.

Some of the intriquing features in the Gibbs family kitchen include the large, corner, counter-height cabinet with plug-ins. The whole morning coffee ensemble tucks back inside the cupboard after use.

Next to the large farm-style sink, a very large, smooth-sliding drawer holds the garbage can.