Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Recap

And We're Back... I took a little blogging break for Christmas, but I'm ready to go again, so here goes... We decided to stay home again this year because we really want to establish our own traditions with the kids. I missed my family so much and did shed some tears about it, but in the end, it was the best decision. The Christmas Eve service was particularly difficult for me because I have so many fond Christmas Eve memories from my childhood. But that is why we stayed, so Alice and Will can have the same type of experiences we did. Typically we would visit family right after Christmas, but we are going to see them in January when we head to the east coast for the inauguration.

We kept the crafting to a mininum over Christmas in an effort to keep things a low key and relaxing as possible, but we did do a few projects. We used pictures of Alice's friends to make elves. She enjoyed making up stories about her elf friends. These are a few we made...

Our friend Kay invited us to her house for Christmas Eve dinner and she loves penguins, so we decided to make her an ornament from her tree. I got the idea from Just for Fun. We used a potato to make the body and arms.

In typical fashion, Alice got a little carried away with the paint. She called her painting "penguins at night."

We made Rolly Polly Santas and Trees for Santa. It was a little bit labor intensive because you have to roll lots of little balls and stick them together. Alice enjoyed it, but not as much as eating the dough. The dough is made up of about 80% butter. I have to admit, I ate my fair share as well.

These are some of the highlights from Kay's house. Alice loved it there. Every nook and cranny is filled with penguins and she even let her take one home. She had penguin games to play, and just searching all the rooms looking for all the penguins had Alice amused the whole time. Will was busy trying to knock over candles, pull ornaments off the tree, and scattering his food all over the floor. I hope we get invited again next year, but I won't hold my breath! Kay made 5 different kinds of soups, which was perfect for such a cold night.

Here are Santa's cookies. He would have really enjoyed them if he hadn't had a migraine! Because I had such a bad headache, Brad took over the Christmas Eve duties. It was so sweet. I have no idea how long he stayed up wrapping all the presents. Our Santa gifts growing up were not wrapped, but apparently his were. He said "it's all about presentation." And a presentation it was, complete with decorations and little notes from Santa. Before I went up to bed, Brad and I were sitting in his chair looking at the tree, and he said, "What is that in the tree? I think there is something in the tree." When I got up and looked, there was a present in the middle of the tree for me. He got me a digital video camera!! Just what I wanted and in time to tape Christmas morning. I am still so excited about it. It's a Flip, which is about the size and weight of a cell phone and you don't need a cord to upload videos to your computer. I am still working on trying to upload a video to the blog. We'll see how it goes.

These are some pictures of the kids on Christmas morning. The biggest hits for Will were the Elmo live and his construction truck. And for Alice, her stroller, pajamas, and her American Girl Doll Mia.

Brad got several books about wine, which he spent most of the day digging in to.

And we can't forget the food! I made Santa pancakes, Rudolph waffles, and as is traditional in my family, we had sugar cake and sausage balls.

We had Dallas, Laura, Gus, and Nash over for dinner. Brad made a delicious pepper-crusted tenderloin. I made balsamic sauteed mushrooms and garlic mashed potatoes. It was a yummy feast. We just sat there eating and drinking wine while the kids went crazy in the other room. Luckily, having been at this parenting thing for a few years now, we are all able to tune out chaos!

It was a very Merry Christmas at the Andersons and we are looking foward to another exciting year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fun in a Box and a Gingerbread House

One of my major complaints about Christmas is all of the boxes, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts that arrive daily at the house. The kids do not share the same opinion. Will loves to try to eat the peanuts, and Alice loves to pop the bubble wrap, and they both love to play in the boxes. That's what they did all morning. Alice had the luxury of being able to get out, but Will did not. He was her prisoner. She dressed him up in her tutu and surrounded him with her toys. He enjoyed it for the first 30 minutes or so, and then began to protest.

After I rescued Will and put him down for his nap, Alice and I started working on the Gingerbread Village. Today we assembled the kit we got from Michaels. Later in the week we will make smaller houses from graham crackers and milk cartons. We'll get to the bottom of which is easier. Alice had so much icing. At one point she took the icing bag and began squirting it in her mouth. As you can tell, it was not assembled according to the package directions and it's not the world's most beautiful gingerbread house, but she is very proud of it. Brad refers to it as the "gingerbread hut".


I'm a finalist in Tip Junkie's Christmas Tree contest! If you are reading this, please, please go to and vote for my kitchen veggie/fruit tree!

As I've been telling Alice, remember, Santa is watching. I'm sure good deeds such as voting for a friend will be rewarded handsomely!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More Christmas Fun

What a weekend. On Friday night Brad went to the Link Strategies Christmas Party at Riverside Resort and Casino. I was supposed to go, but I had strep throat and felt horrible. Will was also sick and even though Steph can totally handle it, I couldn't leave him. Brad actually came home with more money than he left with. The craps tables were good to him! Here is a picture of some of the gang. Can you guess who the guy in red is? Yep, that's Charlie Daniels of The Charlie Daniels'Band. So funny!

Alice passed the time by "ice skating" in the kitchen using waxed paper.

Here are some of the cute projects Alice made this month in her art class. I am always impressed by the adorable things she brings home.

This is the ornament her art teacher made for all of her students!

We were supposed to go to KS to visit my Aunt and Uncle and cousins, but we just couldn't expose all the babies to the plethera of germs we are carrying around. I finally started feeling better yesterday afternoon and we went Sunday Night Dinner. As tradition has it, there was a white elephant gift exchange and Teresa was in charge. That means everyone plays by the rules! The kids exchanged gifts first starting with with youngest, Nash. He was most interested in eating the package and Will was most interested in the wrapping paper. Patty gave the girls matching headbands with their names on them. Alice loved hers so much that she slept in it last night. Graham and Carter got I-tunes cards and were quickly off to use them.

I was thrilled with my gift. I ended up with a travel Scrabble game, which is perfect for me and my love of games.
The girls spent the rest of the evening changing between PJs and leotards.