Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday Fun: Concerts, Parties, Gingerbread Houses!

December is such a fun month filled with concerts, parties and fun family traditions.  For the second year running we held our ugly sweater party.  Lee looked at Goodwill for some sweaters for us but couldn't find any.  We stopped at our little local thrift shop and hit gold!  There was a whole rack of them!
Dec 10 2015

There were so many good choices that we bought sweaters for next year too!
Dec 10 2015 (2)

I don't go to the thrift store very often, but when I do sometimes I'll find some fun little gems.  I picked up these cute items that same trip.
Dec 10 2015 (3)

The night of the party arrived!  People brought yummy treats, we visited, and then had a white elephant gift exchange.  We took another group shot this year by leaning my phone against some gifts.  A test shot.
Dec 11 2015 (2)

The real shot...not much better but we got everyone in!
Dec 11 2015

For my white elephant gift I ended up with a pregnancy test and a bottle.  It was pretty funny.  And I wonder why no one stole them from me?!  You better believe I am re-gifting this next year!
Dec 11 2015 (3)

We got a couple of different pictures.  I love that Lee and I found matching turtlenecks and similar black sweaters.
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Lee brought some glasses from his office for people to wear if they wanted a special picture that night. Accessories make all the difference, right?  Ha ha. We had a great time and were so glad that lots of our friends could come!!!
Dec 11 2015 Ugly Sweater Party

The next morning we were up bright and early (before 5am) to head to the temple.  We dropped the kids off at Lois and did sealings.  We swung by IKEA and Aldi on the way back to her place.  The rest of the day we hung out at her place, enjoyed a little party for Blake's birthday and helped Lois get ready for her ugly sweater party that night.  We stayed for an hour of her fun party and then headed home.
Dec 12 2015

The next day was Sunday and after church the boys had their Christmas piano recital They both did a nice job.
Dec 13 2015 Piano Recital

Dec 13 2015 Piano Recital (4)

If you so desire you can watch clips of their performances here:

For a Monday night family home evening our friends the Aidukaitis' invited us over to have dinner with them and make gingerbread houses.  Erik shared a neat Christmas message and what Christmas was like for him as a child in Brazil.  Santa comes during the day there (well, when he was a boy anyway).  While the kids would play outside parents of neighboring houses would say they saw Santa and all the kids would come running to see, but would barely miss him.  And the kids that lived at that particular house would just stay there for their Christmas dinner and gifts, and the rest of the kids would go off and play while waiting to find Santa at their house or another friend's house.

Rebekah makes sugar cookie houses and "glues" them together using melted sugar.  She puts sugar in a pan and just melts it on the stove, nothing else.  It was pretty neat!  The kids had fun decorating houses, and loved being at their house.
Dec 14 2016 Aidukaitis' house FHE (2)

Dec 14 2016 Aidukaitis' house FHE (3)

Dec 14 2016 Aidukaitis' house FHE (4)

Dec 14 2016 Aidukaitis' house FHE

One night I made sugar cookies for a young woman activity.  Haley spent some time filling putting flour in this snowman, trying to get it perfectly leveled.
Dec 15 2015

We had another concert, Clark's winter band concert.  It was nice and short!  The 6th graders play by themselves and then the 7th and 8th graders play together.  It was pretty funny hearing the 6th graders play verses the older kids.  Maybe that is mean?  I just kept thinking of Professor Herold Hill and the first time his "band" played.
Dec 16 2015 (2)

Dec 16 2015 (3)

Not the greatest pictures, but here you go.
Dec 16 2015 (4)

Lee was chuckling at Clark sitting with his friends at the table.  Have you ever seen the Phone Call?  Lee commented on how Clark was sitting with guys from the "Brass" section.  Not sure if his friends really are in the brass section of the band, but either way, it was funny.  Maybe this was a you-had-to-be-there-to-make-it-funny moment.
Dec 16 2015 (5)

We also had our Elkton Eyecare Christmas party!  The past couple of years we've been going to a local Italian restaurant.  There aren't a lot of team members so we don't ever do anything big, but it's still fun to go out and have a fun night with whomever can come from work.
Dec 17 2015 (2)

I didn't like the picture of us from the restaurant, so here is one that night at home.
Dec 17 2015 (3)

Sorry, no before pictures, but thought I'd throw in a little project I started on the night before the ugly sweater party.  Why do I start projects right before people come?  Well, I know why.  It's because pending arrivals of guests motivate me to get stuff done around the house.  So I primed this little upstairs hallway Thursday night.  I caulked it Friday morning.  I had to wait awhile before I could paint because the caulk needed to dry.  I dragged this project on long than necessary and finally finished painting it all a week later.  It looks so much better though and flows nicely with the girls' re-done room!  The doors were brown and the paneling was brown. It looks so much better!
Dec 17 2015 (4)

Dec 17 2015 (5)

A cute art/writing project I spied in the hallway at Elden's school. He wrote: "If I were an elf on the shelf I would jump on the trampoline."
Dec 17 2015

We enjoyed our ward Christmas party at church too.  I went early to help but didn't do hardly anything as our friends had everything basically set up.  They did a great job!  For a little while Haley laid on stage pounding her hands while Shanna did cartwheels over her.  It was kind of funny.  A little pre-entertainment. It reminded me of some weird 70s interpretive performance.  Though I've never been to one...ha ha.  I'm thinking of an old church movie "Are you the one" or whatever it's called. I think my siblings know to what I'm referring.
Dec 18 2015 (4)

They did cute decorations that night and I love how they strung snowflakes across the room.
Dec 18 2015

Yes, more "gingerbread" houses!  The 5th graders do some pretty cool gingerbread houses, with graham crackers. 
Dec 18 2015 Cal 5th grade house (2)

Dec 18 2015 Cal 5th grade house (3)

Dec 18 2015 Cal 5th grade house (4)

Dec 18 2015 Cal 5th grade house (5)

Dec 18 2015 Cal 5th grade house (6)

Dec 18 2015 Cal 5th grade house (7)

I got there too late to help set up, but I helped a little bit during the house building.  Cal was determined to do a second story and did a great job!
Dec 18 2015 Cal 5th grade house (10)

And last of the season, Elden did gingerbread houses too!  Haley also did houses, but I never snapped a picture and I already threw away the house remains.
Dec 21 2015 (2)

Dec 21 2015 (3)

So, the night of the ugly sweater party I wanted to put some pinecones on a fake piece of garland.  Cal went to the park to find some for me.  I told him I wanted little ones, and we talked about which size I wanted.  Well, this is all he found.  These teeny tiny pine cones.  I am surprised he even saw them! It made me chuckle.
Dec 21 2015 (6)

Every year I like to get a picture of the kids in front of the tree.  Next year Clark will probably be taller than the tree!  He's grown a couple of inches since this summer!  It was super crazy getting the kids in front of the tree and we were pushing our luck on arriving to church at a decent time.  Lee is now in the bishopric and it's up to me to get the kids out the door every Sunday.  They are self-sufficient so that part isn't too bad...once they're awake.  My problem is getting myself up!  We got to church about 8 minutes before the meeting started.  Not great but at least we weren't late. (15 minutes prior is my goal, and normally we are there about 12-10 minutes prior.)
Dec 20 2015

To cap off all of the parties and celebrations, my friends dropped off their kids at our house so they could go on a anniversary getaway.  It was their first evening by themselves since having kids!  Their kids are sooo good.  They had lots of fun playing at our house, visiting the elementary school, and reading books.  My friend, Risa, actually was my next door neighbor at Rick's College.  How amazing is it that we both ended up in the same ward years later, and we both have twins?!
Dec 21 2015 (5)

Oh, we also had Tim Tam Slams for an FHE treat.  Elden was already asleep so he had one the next day. YUM!
Dec 21 2015 (7)

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Elden said his didn't work but I had him pose for a picture anyway. 
Dec 22 2015 (29)

Something I love about the Christmas season is cards!!!  I love sending out cards and I love receiving cards.  Remember the cute red container my neighbor gifted us with goodies inside?  Well, I am going with a gold/silver theme in the dining/living room.  I didn't know where to put the cards and letters--we have the pictures from friends and family hung up.  Then I remember the red container.  I didn't know what do to with it so set it aside, deciding to make that decision once the holidays were over.  Well, I got the idea to spray paint it gold!  Looks great! Maybe next year I'll jazz it up with a star or something on the front.  But it's a great place to hold all those fun cards and letters.
Dec 22 2015

I can't believe it's almost Christmas!  We are so excited around here!!!  Happy Holidays everyone!

1 comment:

Deb B said...

The concerts looked so fun, and I love the gold container! My favorite, though are the boots you got for Shanna and Haley. I need to get some for Makenzie!

I'm glad that you found "the one for you" as well!