Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

Finally!  It's Christmas Day :-)  I know I've mentioned this before but both my dad and my brother, Ken, are pastor's.  Ken is the pastor of the church that I grew up in; My dad was the pastor there until he "retired" a few years ago and went part time.  So our Christmas day was broken up some by heading to church which was fine after all, what is the focus of the season anyway?  (With that said, lets keep it real . .. if they WEREN'T the pastor's, well, I think we would have went to the Christmas Eve Service and then enjoyed Christmas Day as a family - we aren't all together very often!) 

We got up that morning and my parents made breakfast - cinnamon rolls and Easy Ham Quiche.  It was super yummy.  After breakfast, we headed to church.   Once we got home (we had to wait FOREVER for my brother and my niece and her fiance to get there HA!) we headed to the basement to open gifts.  It was so much fun!  We decided to draw names this year for the adults and then everyone bought for the kids and for my parents.  We did set gift limits so it was fun to see how creative people could be!!  Once we had opened all of the gifts, we headed back upstairs for a great dinner.  My mom made Ham, Cheesy Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, Corn and Caramel Apple Salad.  Plus my sister-in-law made some fantastic punch (which we are going to have on New Years Eve!) With all of that said, I'm going to post a punch of photos just to share our wonderful day :-)

The boys were showered with tons of great gifts.  They got some awesome Doug and Melissa trucks and toys.  Plus some great learning toys too.  Not to mention trains and trucks!  Nate got a Sing-a-ma-Jig and he LOVES it!  He'll bring it to me and say "Tummy Mom" because he wants me to make it sing!  They also got a Thomas the Train bath toy - they now ask to get in the bath and they play there forever.  It is so much fun to watch.  Of course, they also got loud toys because some of my sister-in-laws feel the need to give us loud toys - I don't mind at all though.  The louder the better :-) HA! 
Darryl and I didn't do too poorly either - I got a Kindle Touch as well as some great kitchen stuff and Darryl got a back pack and gift cards for a coat :-) 

Our original plan had been for Darryl to leave since he had to get up at 12:30 and head home while I stayed the night with the boys to enjoy the family but the boys had other plans.  By about 4:30 they were DONE!  Josh stood outside the my parents front door (yes, outside) and cried that he wanted to go home!!  They had had enough!!! I guess the late night on Christmas Eve, an early morning on Christmas after a rough night of sleeping somewhere strange, so many gifts and so many people just caught up with them.  So we loaded up and headed home; both boys were asleep before too long and went right to bed when we got home. 

Over all it was a fabulous Christmas - just a great time with family!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Weekly Menu - It's the start of New Year!

Can you believe that a new year is starting in just a few days?  How crazy is that??  I figure that there is nothing like starting off a new year right with planning the menu, right? 

Saturday:  Today is New Years Eve!  We are having Frozen Pizza for lunch.  Then, for dinner we are having Meatball Subs and chips.  Then, after the kids go to bed Darryl and I will have our New Years Eve snacks :-)  On the menu is Warm Bacon Dip, Shrimp Cocktail, Fruit Dip and Fruit (I'll share this recipe soon!), Inside-out Carrot Cake Cupcakes, and Lime Sherbet Punch. 

Sunday:  New Years Day!!  We are planning on a simple brunch of Eggs, Bacon, Toast and Cinnamon Rolls; Then for dinner we are planning on Beef Drips, and Fries

Monday:  Hot Dogs and Fries

Tuesday: Homemade Hamburger Helper (Mac and Cheese with Ground Hamburger), Twice Baked Potatoes, and Corn

Wednesday: Crock-Pot Parmesan Chicken (a new recipe - we'll see how it goes!), Roasted Cabbage (another new recipe!), Garlic Bread

Thursday: BBQ Chicken, Savory Rice, Peas, Rolls

Friday: Pork Loin, Orzo, Green Beans, Rolls


Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve morning, we got up and packed up.  I had a goal of leaving by 9:00 . . .we were on the road by 9:30 which I will say was pretty good.  Trying to get 2 kids and 2 adults out the door by 9:00 is asking alot when you throw in packing and gathering food!! 

My poor parents.  Their sewer system backed up Saturday morning into the basement bathroom.  When we got to their house, Darryl headed to the basement to help my dad try to snake out the problem while the rest of us headed over to my brother's house for lunch.  The one thing on the plan for Saturday afternoon was taking family photos - due to the sewer issue (which did get resolved once the plumber showed up!) it pushed back from 2:00 until 4:00 but we still got them in!  Check out these great photos :-)
This is the whole clan - acting crazy which is what we do best HA! 

This is all of us for real :-) 

 My brother Ken and his family.
 My brother Kel and his family.
 My brother Jeff and his family.
 My brothers and I (and yes, they are all older!!).  They kept trying to do a serious picture but they are such goof balls that at least one of them would smile every time!
My parents with my brothers and I. 

 Josh with Nana

 After finishing up photos, we headed back to my parents house to watch the Lions game before the Christmas Eve Service. 
 After the service, we went back to my parents house for some snacks and fun.  My brother was a little tired - he's the pastor of the church and had to speak at the Christmas Eve Service.  :-)
 We had a contest for the snacks called "Who's the Biggest Dip".  Each family made their favorite dip (or dips) and my parents judged them all.  We were all STARVING and had to watch my parents snack away HA!
 And the biggest dip is . . .. my brother Kelly! HA!  The funny thing is the rest of us were working on our dips for like 30 minutes.  Kel walked in and threw his together in 5 minutes and still won!
 Here comes the judges!! 
 Micah trying to sway the judge :-)

 Breadon trying to get Grandma to make a decision!

It wasn't long after this that we divided and went to our "homes" (some of us at my parents and some at my brothers house).  Time to get ready for Christmas morning!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Weekend - Friday, December 23rd

We had a very busy Christmas Weekend.  Our festivities began on Friday with my husband's family.  There was a surprise on Friday; my husband was sent out "West" (Wisconsin) on Thursday and was gone overnight.  Due to that, when he got into the shop at 7:30 AM, they had no work for him so he got to come home Friday morning and had an extra day at home!  The down side was that he was not home on Nate's actual birthday, the 22nd.  The boys and I had a fun day but we didn't actually celebrate Nate's birthday until lunch on the 23rd so Darryl could be home too!

 The birthday boy when I went in to get him on the 22nd - he always wakes up so happy! 
 We had been out shopping/running errands that afternoon so I let the boys pick what they wanted to bring home for dinner.  They picked "'dilla's" from Taco Bell. 

One of the things we did on Nate's birthday was get Josh a haircut.  Now, that might not seem like a big deal but the boy has bad hair.  He has about 5 differant cowlicks that make cutting it difficult.  We have taken him to a barber, a stylist, and to Great Cuts . . all to no avail.  Well, I finally called the lady who cuts my hair and said "HELP!"  She stepped up to the task and did a fantastic job with his hair AND she even put green gel in it for him and spiked it.  Josh loved it :-)

 I learned recently that Nate doesn't really care for frosting so I picked up some mini-muffins - the boys enjoyed them.

Opening gifts!  You'll have to excuse the hair - they had not had baths yet :-) 

We got Nate a Pirate Ship that he can ride around.  He loves it.  (And so does Josh!) and a Match Box Car Carrier.  He is always hauling Josh's around so now he has his own for his own cars! 

Later that afternoon, we headed out to Darryl's family Christmas.  I've mentioned before that his Grandma, who is 91, lives in a nursing home so we have the family Christmas in the Nursing Home so she can participate.  Honestly, it is not our favorite place to gather but we make the best of it!  This  year, my mother-in-law reserved the activity room since it is bigger and right next to a little kitchen.  It seemed like a great idea but no one took into account that the residents wouldn't appreciate being "kicked out" HA!  One whole side of the room had windows facing the hallway so the whole time we were like animals in a zoo - the residents stood and watched us.  This year we decided to do appetizers but none of us communicated what we were bringing so we ended up with Meatballs and BBQed mini hotdogs.  Oops!  It was still fun, very hot, but fun (It's a nursing home - what do you expect? LOL)

 Darryl's Grandma and his mom's husband.
 Our niece Rachel.
 Josh and Nate playing with a new gift - if you look close you can see how red Nate's face is - he was soooo hot!  We rolled up his sleeves and unbuttoned his shirt to try and help him out!

 Rache's Fiance, Rob and Darryl's Sister.

The family - Darryl's mom is in the White Sweater - her husband was taking the photo.

The boys were so tired that they fell fast asleep on the way home.  Darryl and I stopped on the way home to pick up one gift and we treated ourselves to a shake from Steak-and-Shake.  It was a great way to end the day!

I'll share the rest of our weekend in another post or this will get WAY to long :-)