Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve....Goodbye 2017

It's seriously cold out there. Seems like Mother Nature is doing what she can to restore balance and pay us back for the warm weather we've been enjoying. I will admit, even though we are freezing our bickies off, I'm feeling relieved. I was starting to think that we had turned the corner on global warming and this summer we'd have to move underground to escape the heat. 

Maybe we have another couple years, after all.


We aren't really "party people".  We prefer a countertop full of snacks, a few good friends in their pajamas...


and a puzzle...because we're a old and tired and we don't want lots of noise or tight clothes that stop us from getting more chips and dip.


The kids were happily gaming away.


or playing soft, quiet pillow games so they won't be banished to the basement.


We munched and laughed right up to the minute!


Happy New Year!


It's going to be a good one.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Playdate

Sometimes, even the big boys need to get out of the house and burn off some energy.


We found Ethan a perfect playmate.




Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Day 2017

1. Up at 6:30. Too early, but not completely unreasonable.

2. Kids lay out their blankets, establishing their gift unwrapping territory.

3. Kids largely underwhelmed by the stockings this year. Looks like Santa ran out of money, energy or both. 

4. Let the materialism begin!


Ethan.....so much weaponry. (airsoft) (not real) (we don't want to be a Dateline special)


Mathew... so much gaming. He loves the Switch. And it loves him right back.


Megan....received our family's FOURTH ukulele. But the best reaction was for her very own copy of  The Outsiders. Stay gold, Pony Boy!!


Laney finally has access to her own music and a couple (pre-approved) movies. She can veg out and join the ranks of those who can legitimately claim that they can't hear me calling them up to do chores.


Anna got a Nutcracker! She's been asking for one for years. I finally gave in and she's pretty thrilled about it.


Everly loved the castle! She loved all the sparkly parts and immediately started playing with all the Frozen characters and converted furniture. I am so glad it worked out!


Mark and I failed to capture each other in any pictures....which isn't that surprising. Mark bought me several thoughtful gifts. My favorite was three fruit trees to be delivered in the spring: a Pink Lady apple, Grand Gala apple and an apricot. I'm so excited!!

Mark got lots of stuff for his garage gym...all Rogue, of course. And some new jeans (which are technically a gift for me...wink wink)

We packed the kids up after our late breakfast and went to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. It's the first time we've gone to the movies on Christmas and it was really fun! The kids are getting older and able to sit through a movie.  I think it will be something we do again.

Back home again and the all scattered. Some doing art, other's playing video games or setting up airsoft guns.

I got to work on my new Christmas puzzles. Mark came by now and again to help me work my way through the huge box of Aglamesis chocolates.



A wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve 2017

Well, how about that?....a Christmas Eve miracle!

SNOW!!!


Which means....all the snow gear. Every one of our boots, snow pants, coats, scarves and mittens....

Out. 

Surely there is something in those boxes that will sufficiently bundle each child. 

For five minutes. Just long enough to go out, make a few tracks, lick the snow and remember how COLD it is!



Megan started to shovel our 1/4 an inch....


And she really stuck to it!


Anna discovered that soft snuggly mittens aren't that good at keeping your hands warm or dry.

Not cool.


It's been so long since we've had snow. It felt magical!


It was a pretty quiet morning. No last minute primary preparations!

So I tied on my fancy new Christmas apron and got the turkey ready so I could toss it in the oven after church. Kaira made my apron and I love it! Especially the sparky jewel and the little pom poms!


Before you know it, we were frantically putting kids in the car and busting it to church. We were almost late! I suppose having meetings and choir practice every week can be annoying, but at least it gets us there on time!

Mathew sang a solo in church...well, technically it was a duet, but they never sang at the same time...so that's a solo. And he did so well! It made me go into the ugly cry. I think I even made a sobby sound. The bishop gave me a goofy look because I was crying so hard. lol 

I was so proud of him. 


We only had sacrament meeting, so we came back, got in our comfy clothes and played a round of Yahtzee....which I played with exquisite technique. I was poised to win the whole thing when Megan rolled a Yahtzee on her last turn and ripped the victory from my grasp.


Megan set the table for dinner. I love the ribbons!


We had our friend, Johnny, and his daughter, Charisma, over for our meal. It was nice to see them and they left pretty quickly to have their own Christmas Eve.

We sat down and played a sweet game of BINGO to determine who opened up their Christmas Eve jammies first.

It was me! I was the winner!

And I got the softest blue stripey pants ever made...with some bunny slippers. Yippee!!

I failed to take photos of the jammies this year, but you can check them out in the Christmas pictures.

Mark made a single impressive trip back to the wrapping closet cave with all the empty boxes.


Christmas Eve is finally here!


Thursday, December 14, 2017

DIY Frozen Castle

Everly wants a frozen castle for Christmas.

Have you seen the choices out there? The are either huge and meant for Barbies, expensive and cheapie looking, or crazy expensive and just out of our budget.

So I saw a pinterest post that sparked my creative juices. Somebody else had taken a large barbie house and redecorated it to look more modern.

I can do that for Everly's little Frozen characters!

So I popped over to Maj R Thrift and found this beauty for 1.50:


It's just right. It's missing a top piece, but I figured I could work around that.


I gave it a wipe down and used my countertop scraper to remove all the stickers.


I found a good "frozen" blue spray paint at Hobby Lobby (40% off coupon!). Just make sure it works on plastic. I sprayed it down outside, but carefully brought it in to dry because it is so cold outside. Soon it was ready to decorate! I love doing this stuff...


Luckily, Everly konked out on the kitchen and gave a about an hour to work on it.


I used this "Bling on a roll" I got a Walmart for tons of stuff! I just cut the rows apart and used them to outline and make everything sparkly!


Hot glue gun is the way to go.


A little silver paint and glitter paint to paint and accent. 



My favorite part was making new banners out of sparky silver ribbon. 


I just went to town! Made is as cute and fun as I could...I think she's going to love it.


I decided to go dig out a few pieces of our miniature doll furniture and remake them in the same style. Most of these are from a Rapunzel tower or thrift store finds.


All done!


I can't wait to give it to her!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Candlelight dinner

Sunday is the perfect day to have our candlelight dinner. We just put some sausage potato casserole in the crockpot and popped off to church. Megan put a batch of rolls in the bread maker right before we left. I love big kids!

After church we had the realization that Mark is now in the bishopric. Well, we didn't just realize this...only the part about having to stay late most Sundays in November and December to help with tithing settlement. It's also FAST SUNDAY and everyone is very anxious to eat dinner. So....it was looking like he would miss out on the candlelight dinner.

Lucky for him, I have never quite figured out how to convert this recipe from oven to crockpot. Is it on high for 4 hours? Low for 6 hours? High for 2 hours then low for 2 hours? 

I'll tell you what....we now know it isn't low for 5 hours.  We walked in from church and the potatoes were still crunchy and the milk/flour and cheese had not yet formed a yummy sauce. 

Looks like Mark is going to make it after all!

It seemed like a perfect time to break our fast and make the snowflake tortillas that we missed earlier in the week. 


And right around 8:30, we finally heard Mark come in and we all sat down for our long overdue dinner.










It always makes me smile that a few stubby candles can turn a regular dinner into a magical Christmas tradition!