Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Eve

We have had a wonderful Christmas season. Our Christmas present was part of our airfare out here, and we feel so blessed to be able to be here with family. Last year we both felt a little sad that we were alone, even though it was still a nice little Christmas. This year was so much more about the boys and helping them to feel excited about Christmas. Asher definitely understands a little better what's going on with all the presents and Santa, but not so much about why we celebrate Christmas. That's our own fault though... all the times we spent talking about that as a family, the kids were in bed already. Next year, we need to make more of an effort to do a nativity and help him understand about the baby Jesus, and what a blessing he is in our lives.

Christmas Eve was filled with...

~Last minute train buying... Asher has been saying over and over that he wants a big train for Christmas, and it didn't dawn on me until Christmas Eve morning that maybe we should get him one, since we didn't really get him anything because they were getting a lot from grandmas. But I got super excited about it once I decided to do it, and found an awesome deal on a great train at Toys r us, that just happened to be in stock in our local store. We were basically meant to buy this train! ;)

~Lots of food preparation and cleaning,

~delicious food (ham, scalloped potatoes, salad and homemade rolls),

~extended family,

~and of course, our annual trip over to Aunt Jeanie's where we continue to eat and talk with cousins we don't get to see very much.

~We ended the night with the opening of new pajamas, the reading of the Christmas story in Luke, wrapping stocking stuffers and setting out all the presents in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

~The Christmas tree surrounded by gifts with the house lights all off, always one of my favorite sights.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Goodies

This year I made my toffee and peppermint bark, and it turned out divine, if I do say so myself. I had to get them done really early as we left on the 4th, but I really wanted to give some to our neighbors and security guard, etc, so I pushed myself to be on top of things.

This year I experimented quite a bit with the peppermint bark to see if there were any shortcuts I could take with the recipe I use, or if there was a different recipe that was just as good. The conclusion I came to is that if you are going to use the epicurious recipe, then you need to follow that recipe and not deviate. It works and tastes and looks best with 3 layers, and with the soft truffle center. I have also come to the conclusion that that recipe is far superior to others that I have tried, that just have you melt chocolate and be done with it. Also, I made some at my mom's house and she had milk chocolate that she thought was dark... it wasn't, and it did not taste very good. Don't use it. I updated my Chocolate Kitchen blog with some other tips, mostly so that I can remember them for next time I make it, so check it out if you want to make it anytime soon.

The cute finished product...


Before we left NY, I really wanted to take the boys to see the Santa at Macy's. We went last year so I knew how it was set up, and that I could handle it by myself, as Nate was really busy with end of the semester stuff. It was actually a wonderful little trip for me and the boys. We got there early so there was no line, although we still took our time wandering through "Santa Land" to make sure that we saw everything there was to see. I absolutely love this holiday outing. I just think it is so fun and magical, both for the kids and the adults. The Santas and elves have always been so nice and taken their time with us and made sure we got all the pictures we wanted.

The boys loved the huge train display in the center, of course, and Asher was so excited to see Santa. All of the North Pole stuff was fun for him too, as he is getting more acquainted with Santa and the north pole and Santa's sleigh, so I think it's been fun to see those things come to life a little more. Asher loved Santa and told him he wanted a big train for Christmas, and Sayer would have nothing to do with him.

After we saw Santa, I attempted to look through Holiday Lane to pick out some new family ornaments. That was a mistake. But I did manage to get Sayer's ornament and a Christmas gift, so it was successful. But a store filled with virtually ALL breakable things is NOT a good place for a 3 year old to be without a stroller! Now I know for next time.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Thank goodness for growing up!

This picture has nothing to do with this post, but I thought it was cute. This is actually one of the pictures that Asher took with my camera. It's his new hobby, unfortunately.

So I am in Sacramento for the holidays. You know what that means... Galena Christmas Videos. Today was Holiday Tapestry 1996. Wow. All I have to say is that I was such a terrible dancer back in those days. I mean bad. I was also really ugly and scrawny. Watching that video made me really sad because I was so bad and awkward, what with my sickled feet and badly placed arms. Ugh. It was hard to watch. But then I remembered that I grew up, learned how to dance and actually control my body, and actually went on to be a BYU Folk Dancer. So I had to have gotten better, right?! No, I know I did. It was just such a sad video to watch. I am so grateful that I got better at dancing, got my braces off, did something with my hair, and gained a little meat on my bones. Thank goodness for growing up, eh?!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Playing catch up

Well, as you can see, I have a huge backlog of posts that need catching up on. I have been doing them in steps... first I went through my pictures and decided what posts to do, and gave each one a title and then saved it. Then today I finally uploaded my pictures and put the correct pictures in the correct posts. Now, one by one, I am going through and adding commentary. Awesome. I need to get caught up though, because we are leaving this Friday (me and the boys that is) for UT, then on to CA, and will be there until Jan 8th, so I need to get it all done so all the new stuff can start piling up! ;) We are leaving so early because folk dancers are having a big 50th anniversary reunion show and breakfast, and I really wanted to go. Plus Nate has tons of writing to do, and our being gone will help him to be much more productive! So all you Californians, we have plenty of time to get together and catch up. I really am so excited!! Not so much for the flight with 2 boys, by myself, but that is a mere 5 hours... I can handle it. Anyway... I still have several more posts to do, I just don't feel like it anymore. Soon though, soon.