Happy New Year’s Eve

It’s 10:30 pm and Nathan and Ethan are playing a game and Isaac and Audrey and I are watching Frosty the Snowman. For some crazy reason, we agreed to let the kids stay up late. . . I’m feeling very sleepy. zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Our plans for the evening changed when the friends that were hosting us for a NYE party ended up with sick kids. We volunteered to host instead. So the families that weren’t sick were able to get together. It was 6 adults and 6 kids. A manageable amount. We yummy food and played Forbidden Island and Ticket to Ride.

I tried out a new recipe that was in a book that I just finished reading. It turned out really well: Bacon-Wrapped Dates. It is not something I would have come up with on my own, but they were very good. The perfect easy food to bring to a party.

Because it was a party with families with young kids, everyone came at 6:00 and everyone was done partying and on their way home by 10:00pm.

I’m surprised Audrey and Isaac are still awake. We may regret this tomorrow, but we’re making memories!

Merry Christmas

I think Nathan took one picture of Isaac with one of his gifts 🙂

So, this will be a picture-less post.

Yesterday we went to Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb

We hardly ever go to the theatre as a family because it is so expensive, but we decided to do it as a part of our Christmas gift to each other. It was fun. Everyone enjoyed it and it wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be.

We went to a Christmas Eve Eve service on Tuesday night. So, we didn’t have any church plans last night. We were invited to a friends’ house, but ended up staying home because Audrey said her tummy felt funny. I didn’t want to risk getting anyone sick. We opted to stay home. We played Ticket to Ride and watched Muppet Christmas Carol.

The kids were up early today ready to open presents. There were lots of gifts because we had gifts from us to the kids, gifts from both sides of grandparents and some other family gifts and the kids all bought gifts for each other (with their own money). Ethan, Audrey and Isaac have been happily playing all day. It is fun to see them so happy.

We’re planning to eat ham and pie at some point, but we’ve been eating toffee all day and no one seems hungry 🙂

I hope you all had a wonderful day of celebrating!

 

Christmas Party Weekend

Saturday was our third Christmas party since Nathan started this job.

It was at the Music City Center in Nashville. It is a lovely venue.

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We were supposed to arrive at 4:45. It was a crazy, crazy, busy day. Nathan had snuck over to the Music City Center first thing in the morning because, as a surprise for the evening, all of the finalist bands from the battle of the bands were set to perform Christmas songs. It was a secret. Everything about the party is a secret until the moment the party starts :-). Anyway, Nathan was there for a quick mic check and then he had to run over to the church to run the sound/music cd for the kid’s Christmas musical dress rehearsal.

Where was I? We arrived at 4:45, took the escalator all the way to the fourth floor. And we were there. There were about 5 photographers ready to take photos of the couples as they arrived.

There were wait staff walking around with fancy food for us to snack on as we waited for the doors of the ballroom to open.

There were men doing ice sculptures.

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 As is my tradition, I failed to get a photo of Nathan and I (we’ll have to post the professional one when we get it), but I did pose with some friends.

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Yes, my hair is darker 🙂

There was some music in the lobby while we waited.

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 Then the doors opened and we found our table and saw the gorgeous table settings and menu.

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The three different bands each performed their songs as the evening progressed, there were highlight videos, and other fun things.

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And then, at the end, Dave announced the gift they decided to give to the team members: a certain amount of money in gift cards from Southwest Airlines, Marriott Hotels, Sandals or Sixthman Cruiseline. They gave everyone passport books to fill out how much of the gift we wanted to go toward each things– for instance, we are choosing to use ours on Southwest Airlines and Marriott gift cards. They were also given an extra 2 days of vacation for 2015.

We had lots of fun and we’re thankful for the generosity of the board of directors.

 

Christmas Musical Performance

Tonight was the big performance. The kids performed in their first Christmas Musical- The Bethlehem Project!

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 Ethan was Gabriel. Audrey was a Bethlehem kid and Isaac was a shepherd kid.

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 Ethan remembered all his lines and entrances and exits. Audrey and Isaac were awesome too. They all worked so hard. I am so proud of them!

More Christmas Cheer

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 The kids had fun decorating reindeer and sleighs. They didn’t last long. Those poor little guys were tasty!

Christmas Baking Has Begun!

Apparently this is named “Christmas Crack” because it’s addictive and it’s made with crackers.

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It’s super easy and so yummy.

  • Saltine crackers to line the bottom of your cookie sheet
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup topping (M&M’s or whatever suits you)
  • Parchment paper to line your cookie sheet

Melt the butter and brown sugar together in sauce pan. Boil for three minutes. Pour over your saltines (which you have laid out to cover the bottom of your cookie sheet).

Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and put back in the oven for 1 minute

Take pan out of the oven and spread melted chocolate to cover the entire top.

Sprinkle on topping.

Let it cool.

Put it in the fridge or freezer to set.

Eat.

Portion out into containers to give away to get it out of your house so you don’t eat all of it 🙂

Our Halls Are Decked

Our tree is decorated and our Christmas decor is spread throughout the house.

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We let the kids hang almost all of the ornaments themselves. We’ve discovered that the secret to a lovely tree is to have lots of lights. Everything else is just frosting on the cake (or tree… heehee).

Let the advent season begin.