Christmas Eve

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve.  We had a great time with the W.’s, and enjoyed a delicious dinner.

Our menu included Prime Rib, zucchini boats (Mom filled them with bacon and cheese), asparagus, salad, mashed potatoes, and au jus.  Everything was wonderful – especially the zucchini boats and the Prime Rib. (I think I am going to have leftover Prime Rib tonight.  Regrettably, there are no leftover zucchini boats.)

It was so nice to have the W.’s over. We played games, baked and decorated cookies, prepared dinner, and visited.  One of the games we played is called “Blokus.”  It is one of my and Melissa’s favorites.  We had to play it, as we usually play it when Melissa comes over, and Melissa said that it wouldn’t be Christmas without a game of Blokus. 🙂  We also played a great game called “In a Pickle.”

I hope you had a lovely Christmas Eve, also.

I was planning to post Christmas and Christmas Eve together, but as I had so many pictures, I am going to post them separately.


Melissa and I had fun setting the table.  She decided that we needed full formal place settings.


Drake’s place


The table with the candles lit


Peppermint candles – aren’t they so cute?


The roast


Prepping dinner and chatting


We had some mini marshmallows by the candles for decoration.  Melissa decided to roast them over the candles with a toothpick.


Almost ready…


On fire!

Christmas Decorations and Traditions

Something that my mom likes to do is buy fun candles at thrift stores.  We have been saving some Christmas candles since this summer, and today Mom and I went to some thrift stores and found some more fun candles, most of them for Christmas.

With those candles, Christmas lights, and some leftover branches from our Christmas tree, I have been having lots of fun decorating around the house.  Of course, Christmas decorations have also proven to be quite fun to photograph.

I also cut out some gingerbread cookies today.  They are one of my dad’s favorites.

Do you have any Christmas traditions?  We have a few – outside of the traditional opening gifts and having a tree.  We usually have our big dinner on Christmas Eve rather than on Christmas day.  This tradition comes down from my mom’s side of the family.  They always celebrated on Christmas Eve, having their big meal and opening gifts then.  Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner is Prime Rib.  I can’t remember ever having anything else.

Another tradition has to do with our pickle ornament.  On Christmas morning (or whenever we are opening gifts) Dad hides the pickle, usually on the tree (although last year he hung it from a light fixture:)).  Whoever finds the pickle first gets to give the first gift.

A rather new tradition is that the week of Christmas we watch a movie series.  This started the year my grandma passed away, when my mom was out of town, so Dad and the children watched all the Star Wars movies that week.  It was so fun, we did it again the next year.  This year we aren’t watching a series.  So far we have watched some DreamWorks Christmas shorts, “Tangled,” and yesterday we saw “Hugo.”  They’ve all been good.

Something that I’m hoping will continue being a tradition is having Mr.W. and his daughter over for dinner on Christmas Eve.  Last year when they came over we had SO MUCH FUN!  It will be fun having them over tomorrow for dinner.

I am looking forward to our Christmas.  I hope you have a Merry Christmas!



Rolling out the cookie dough




All ready to go into the oven


Ready to be frosted


An ornament on our tree


I love out of focus lights


I wrapped our bunk bed with lights


More lights on our bed


This is one of the candles for our centerpiece


One candle like this will be  on each side of the centerpiece


Some of the candles we bought today


Lit for dinner


Our Family Christmas Party

This past weekend we went north for our family Christmas party.We were all looking forward to seeing everyone again, since the whole family hasn’t been together for 2 1/2 years!  It’s rather hard to believe it’s actually been that long.

We drove most of the day Saturday to a friends’ home where we stayed the night.  It was really fun seeing them again, also.  Thank you for your hospitality!

After church on Sunday, we drove to my aunt and uncle’s for the party.  We started the party off with visiting, snacks, and family pictures.  After pictures we had more snacks, visiting, and a family gift exchange.  I ended up with a Burt’s Bees set, with hand cream, cuticle cream, and lip balm.  I am enjoying it – thanks to whoever brought it!

When all the gifts had been exchanged, it was time for piñatas.  My aunt makes a piñata for almost every family get-together. Next was dinner.  We had Portillo’s beef (from a favorite restaurant) and pizza.  Now for the most exciting game of the evening – Family Jeopardy.  My aunt had collected questions about the family, falling into these categories: Random Facts, Famous Quotes, Holiday Memories and Traditions, By the Numbers, and Family Vacations.  It was so fun, recalling memories and hearing stories we hadn’t heard before.

We wrapped the evening up with dessert and more visiting.  It was a lovely time, and we all enjoyed it immensely!

On Monday we went back to my aunt and uncle’s home and visited some more.  We then went over to my grandparent’s home for lunch before heading home.  It was a quick trip, but wonderful.

Merry Christmas!


All together again




Snacking and visiting


My grandparents – Pop and Grandma


During the gift exchange – my mom and my aunts


Getting ready to hit the piñata




Playing “Double Double This This”

Through Him Who Strengthens Me

About three years ago we started using Foxe’s Book of Martyrs with our history curriculum.  It was one of those books I would get lost in – read some, do the assigned reading, and read some more.  After reading all those stories of the cruel torture and deaths, I began pondering, “If I was to be persecuted for my faith, would I hold fast?”

Thinking about suffering torture and death often made me shutter, and I hoped that I would stand fast.  I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to pain, though, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t hold fast.

This past Sunday at church, our pastor mentioned Philippians 4:13 in his sermon, and said that Christ would strengthen us in persecution (and more).

I memorized this verse years ago, but when I was thinking about persecution, it never occurred to me that this verse applied to that, too.  So if I were to be persecuted, even tortured, I wouldn’t have to be worried about standing fast – His grace would be sufficient for each moment.

So whether being persecuted or just dealing with those little daily trials, he strengthens us through it all.

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

-Philippians 3:14


This past Saturday Mom and I went to a concert given by a local youth orchestra.  There were three age groups – Primo Strings, Cadenza Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra.  I really enjoyed the concert, especially the pieces that the Symphony Orchestra performed.  They played the Nutcracker suite (I’ve always enjoyed the Nutcracker), another piece I’ve never heard of titled “Egmont Overture” by Beethoven which was very pretty, and the National Anthem.  “Egmont Overture” and the “Nutcracker Suite” were very pretty.



Primo Strings


Cadenza Orchestra


Symphony Orchestra – tuning



The Books on my Bookshelf

I haven’t posted about my books for a while, so, being the booklover that I am, I decided that it was time to write about them.

Here is a run-down of a few of the books on my bookshelf:

I am not reading all of these books right now.  I haven’t even started all of them.  Some (Confessions and P.I.G. to the Civil War)  I started a while ago and need to finish them.  I’m sure you know what I’m talking about – too many books. too little time.

The one I’m really focusing on reading now is Slow Death by Rubber Duck.  It is about dangerous chemicals in everyday things.  So far the authors have discussed brominated flame retardants, perflourinated compounds (Teflon), and phthalates.  I’m currently in the chapter about mercury.  It is a really good book, and the writing style keeps you interested.

Are you reading anything interesting right now?

First Snow

I woke up this morning and had this feeling that there was snow outside.  I peeked through my blinds and, sure enough, there was a light dusting of snow on the ground.  Although it continued to snow most of the morning, most of the snow melted.  I still got to run around with my camera and get some photos, though!




Little kitty paw prints










Do you see the snowflakes?







I love the month of December leading up to Christmas.  All the different things that come with this season: Christmas music (which is playing right now), Christmas lights, Christmas tree, hot cocoa, sweaters, warm, cuddly pajamas, chilly weather, and the chance of snow.  Something about all that gets me excited!  The way it gets darker earlier and having the heat on makes the house feel warm and cozy.  Just think how fun curling up in your favorite pajamas under a fuzzy blanket with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book by the fire would be (not that I do that regularly).  It makes me feel all warm and cozy inside.  I am looking forward to our first snow!

What do love about this season?