Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Eve

We started off the morning with the entire family going to see 'Penguins of Madagascar.' This was Emma's first movie and she did decent. Luke had a few good belly laughs-that alone makes the price of admission worth it. We had a mellow afternoon around the house and then that night we partayed.

Here's a pic of little 'Miss Wild Thang' at the movie theater.

The calmer side of our row.

Traditional Christmas Eve dinner with ham and the fixings. 





After dinner, the kids opened their new pajamas and we played games and watched a Christmas movie.




Luke was loving the Ninja PJs and channeled his inner ninja.





While the movie was playing we made sugar cookies to share with Santa.


"Define share…"










After we sugared the kids up, we insisted they sit still to listen to the story of the birth of our Savior in Luke 2. We had more success when we watched a short clip of the nativity that the church put out. The kids have seen this clip before and it captivates them.  I was thinking that my kids were truly grasping the true meaning of Christmas, and then Luke asked me, "Is Santa Jesus's dad?". :) 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Bryan!

We celebrated Bryan's 35th (!!!) Birthday last weekend. We love this guy.  Happy Birthday, Bryan!





We did presents, hit up Birthday Dinner at the local OG, looked at this amazing neighborhood's Christmas lights and then went back home for birthday cake. Kids did really well, so we actually enjoyed our family dinner eating out.


Pictures do not do this neighborhood justice. It is DECKED OUT. To the point that Bryan and I wonder if people have to sign something when they move in to this particular neighborhood. People park their cars and stroll the sidewalks  (or drive, as we so lazily did). Many people are in their driveways with a fire pit going. There is even a "hot cocoa van" that sets up shop. It feels like you're stepping back in time (or out of California-jab, jab) with all of the friendliness. 



The kids were extremely eager to help me make the birthday cake.

I thought the cake was fitting for my extremely outdoorsy husband.
Thank you Pinterest.













The next night we "set up" (plugged in) the fire pit and enjoyed our dinner outside.





















Friday, December 19, 2014

Luke's Preschool Party

In Luke's words, "I'M SO EXCITED that it's my Christmas Party today!" I loved going in for the last 30 minutes of preschool and watching Luke have a blast with his preschool friends. This preschool group has been one of the best things for him (and me).



Emma wanted to be dressed up for the party, hence the "princess flip flops."



The kids gave each of their parents gifts that they made at Preschool. Luke informed me that he picked out a purple ornament because he knew that was my favorite color. This kid, he is a good gift giver.



They also made this ring/coin holder.









Gingerbread Men Cookies

We made Gingerbread Men Cookies for Luke's Christmas preschool party. They were easy and turned out so yummy that I wanted to share the recipe.  







Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. butter softened
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar packed
  • 1 3.4 oz.pkg. butterscotch instant pudding
  • 1 egg
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tblsp. ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, dry pudding mix and egg in a large bowl until well blended.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together remaining ingredients
  • Slowly add ingredients from secondary bowl to the butter mixture.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour or until dough is firm.
  • Roll dough out on a floured work surface to 1/4-1/2-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to shape cookies.
  • Place cutouts on a greased backing sheet.
  • Bake 10-15 min. or until edges are lightly brown.
The only things I would do differently next time (1) roll the doll not so thin- closer to 1/2 inch thick, (2) not refrigerate it overnight. It was so hard that I had to let it warm up to roll it out. We dipped the legs in white and milk chocolate. Our favorite was the white chocolate.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Grandma Munns

My Grandma Munns passed away almost two weeks ago. My life is forever blessed because of her and my Grandpa. How do I "sum up" such an influential and incredible person in my life? She was an amazing example of service, gratitude, loving others, sharing her talents and hard work. She often bore her testimony to me about living her life and finding happiness by following the teachings of the gospel. In one of our last conversations, she shared kind words and advice with me that were much needed. She always knew the right thing to say. I already miss her. However, I'm so grateful that she is back with my grandpa and other family members. I was able to attend her funeral and felt like it was a beautiful tribute to her and her life. "Until we meet again…"


The silver lining of funerals is spending time with family.
My five brothers (and adorable niece!) and me. We span from coast to coast so getting together doesn't happen too often. Love these guys and proud to claim them as my brothers.

Citrus

One of my favorite things about moving to California is all of the yummy produce! Right now, lemons are in season. A member of our church had more lemons than she could keep up with. She invited us over to pick whatever we could use. They smelled sooooooo good! Yum! We've enjoyed them in our recipes, as fresh squeezed lemonade, even just in our water. Delicious.







Super Heroes

It is almost on a daily bases that my two favorite super heroes will appear to "save the day!"




Graham Cracker Houses

We continued the tradition of making graham cracker houses. Luke was really into it this year and did 90% of it on his own. Emma took my approach and ate more candy than actually made it onto the house. It is a loved tradition by the entire family. Luke informed me that he thought this would be a good activity for every family night.