Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Catch-Up 2011 {Part 2}



Christmas Eve

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a present was wrapped, not even a blouse.

Cookies were baking in the oven with care.
In hopes that once I took them out, I would forget they were there.

Our child was fast asleep in his bed,
With visions of toy cars racing through his head. 

While I was dreaming of hiring someone to wrap all of our gifts.

Exhausted, so ready to nap,

Thinking to myself, Santa really doesn’t do crap.


When all of a sudden I smelled a slight burning,

“Our cookies are still baking!”

The timer must be broken, only now I’m learning.


I leaped from the couch, as fast as I could.

They were pretty brown, but still really good.


With a glass of red wine, wrapping paper and tape.

I got it all done, with no time to waste.

I gave myself a high five, and called out to exclaim,

“Now, that’s how you do it, exhausted and all. I can’t wait to see the look on their faces, tomorrow morning when they’re having a ball.”








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Christmas Morning


Confession #1 – This picture is not from Christmas morning.

….But I felt the need to show it to you, so you would understand what a cute sleeper he is.

I swear to Santa, I didn’t move his hands.


From now on, it’s the real deal. Christmas morning and all it’s glory. Promise.


Our Christmas morning tradition is as follows:

- Make sure everyone is awake.

- Everyone goes into the living room.


Check out what Santa brought:

This year it was a work bench, full of tools.



And his very own gas station!


That even came with his own debit/credit card. So he can pay for his gas. 

(Which is obviously a must these days.)


- Another big part is checking for evidence.


Examining how much milk is left, and exactly how many bites of the cookies have been eaten.


- We all see what’s in his stocking.


- Then adults make breakfast, while our little man plays with his new toys.


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With the hope that each gift will be noticed, at least for a good long second.


We feel like opening everything at once, doesn’t give you a chance to appreciate each gift.







It also gives us Ryan a chance to put together any big gifts that say: ‘some’ assembly required.





Breakfast Is Served


We ate. Then we ate some more.

Then it was time to open the rest of our gifts.


Last night during my wrapping session, I was reorganizing the gifts under the tree – trying to make room for more, when I noticed one of the wrapped presents was leaking a blue liquid.

The tag on it said:

To Shane – Love, Dad & Mom

I immediately thought of the movie, Christmas Vacation.

You know, the part where they notice one of the gifts meowing, and one is leaking. Their poor old aunt Bethany had wrapped up her cat in one box, and a Jell-O mold in the other -  (that you find out later in the movie, has cat food in it).  Classic.

Knowing that probably wasn’t the case, my next guess was maybe blue printer ink.

I was wrong.

IMG_2500Turns out that it was an Axe shower gel bottle that had some how came open and leaked all over.


Either way, even with the leakage,  I think he liked it better than a Jell-O mold or some printer ink.


Confession #2- Our dog, Aza (short for Arizona faith), LOVES to open presents by herself.

So much so, that she will steal other peoples gifts and open them.

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We all went in a circle opening our gifts.

Sometimes our little man did two at a time because he was just so excited.


  Basically, we took our time.


Savoring each part.


No quick Christmas in our house. It’s an all day event.

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The rest of he day consisted of enjoying our family, our blessings, and just being thankful for everything we have.

Confession #3 - (last one)  Although we missed seeing our family and friends back in Arizona. We’ve were really lucky to have [my side of] the family all together this Christmas. Being so far away during the holidays was definitely not easy for me the past couple years. This year was hard, but this Christmas was so good.

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Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Fa la la la laaaaa…


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Catch-Up 2011 {Part 1} - Making Reindeer Food




[December 23rd, 2011 -  The day before, Christmas Eve]

This year we started a brand new tradition; making food for Santa’s reindeer. And of course, sprinkling it outside on our driveway, so they’re sure to stop at our house.

IMG_2287 I must have heard the question: “Wait, what are we doing again?” about a million times. 


But after it was all done, I’ve gotta say, I think we will be making this a yearly tradition.


It was silly, and kinda was corny, but it was also a memory maker.

And who doesn’t love that?


First I set up a Reindeer Food Buffet table. 

The cookies were for us,  - just in case we got hungry during the making of it.

We need to eat too ya know.


We had four different ingredients in our reindeer food.

1.) Wrapping Paper (a glitter substitute.)

2.) Magic Oats

3.) Swedish Fish

4.) Red & Green Sugar


First I added wrapping paper pieces. Truth be told, this should have been glitter. That’s what the recipe called for, and obviously what reindeer prefer.  But, sadly I was all out.

Ring the alarm, there is no glitter!  This mama has really been slacking I guess.

I actually sent a text to my husband that said:

“Having a glitter EMERGENCY, please call me ASAP!!”

Most men would have completely ignored me after that sentence, but not my husband.

He called me back to say:

“What are you talking about a glitter emergency? Did someone die by using too much glitter?”

(obviously, our definition of the word “emergency” differs quite a bit…)

Me: “No, I’m just all out of it, and I really need some right now.”

Ryan: “Yeah okay, you glitter junkie.”

Me: “I’m being serious, I really need you to pick some up on  your way home.”

Ryan: “Haha, yeah… I’m so not doing that.”

Me: “Plllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaassssssssssssssseeeeeeee, it’s really important.”

Ryan: “uuuuggggggghhhh… fine. I’ll go to Wal-Mart. I hate you, bye.”

Me: “THANK YOU! - Love you, bye”  =D


First of all I would like to say that I really love my husband for putting up with my crazy craft habits, but guess what?

Wal-Mart has NO glitter. WTH?!    So he ended up coming home empty handed.

That = me being frustrated.

And me being frustrated = me using wrapping paper as a substitute.


That’s when I said to myself:   “The reindeer really aren’t gonna like this.”  

(After I had already cut up the wrapping paper into tiny pieces, my friend Katie suggested I use sprinkles- which also would have worked… Oh well, what’s done, is done. It was a good idea though.)


Then we had the Magic Oats.


These are crucial.

They are what help the reindeer fly. I would highly recommend adding a lot of this.


Nobody wants to see Rudolf doing a downward spiral over New Jersey, because little Johnny in Vermont didn’t add enough Magic Oats.  


[Plus, who wouldn’t want extra bit of magic?]


Then we have Swedish Fish.

Who knew reindeer would love these so much?   They are pretty yummy though.

These almost make up for the whole adding the wrapping-paper-instead-of-glitter thing. 


IMG_2291 Then last ingredient, that really ties it all together, is the red & green sugar.


1 part packet of green jello,

1 part packet of red jello,

and 1 part sugar.


If you don’t have this, it’s pretty much no good.




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And that my friends, is what reindeer food is made of.




Putting it all together


Buffet style, the whole family just went down the line.

Adding just the right amount of each ingredient.


My little man had his own special cup. It lights up and everything!


Everyone else just used Ziploc bags. Not as magical, but it got the job done.


Once everyone was done filling their bags/ cup, we set them aside, and waited until the next night for the fun to begin.



[December 24th -  Christmas Eve]

With our reindeer food all ready to go, we grabbed our winter coats, our gloves and even a few blankets to try and keep warm during the distribution.


Huddled up together, shivering with big smiles on our faces, we walked out the front door and headed for the end of our driveway.


Our hearts were light, filled with what can only be described as child-like imagination.


Once it was sprinkled all over the top of the cement, we said loudly: “Alright Santa, have the reindeer come get it!” and we quickly ran back inside.


The only thing left to do, was wait.

Wait for evidence they were there.

[Hopefully in form of hoof prints, or the food disappearing, – not a gift on the front lawn.]

I can just see them thinking: “Ha, that’s what I think of those pieces of wrapping paper in our food.” 


While we waited I may or may not have looked into a glitter/ craft supplies rehab program.



Coming Soon:   {Part 2} of our Christmas Catch-up 2011 - Our Christmas Eve & Christmas Day.




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P.S. – Did you see the The beautiful snowflake name card holders? They are courtesy of The Favour Shoppe. I absolutely LOVE their products!!  Their shop is definitely the best place to go and buy party favors from online!


& The Reindeer printables that I used, can be found HERE.

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