While I Was Taking Down the Christmas Lights…


Listening to Owl City while taking down the Christmas lights by myself.  🙂  This happened.

And it helps that we live down a dirt road and our cars are almost always dirty.

So, Owl City mixed with just a little cowgirl.

Hello, Seattle!


Christmas, and Other Things

Just need to clarify something real quick:  my last post is dated December 25th, but it sounds as if it was written on the 24th.  That’s because it was posted at 12:02 a.m. on Dec. 25th (or something like that).  It was written on the 24th.

We had a wonderful Christmas.  We don’t get up at the crack of dawn to open presents any more.  We get up, eat breakfast leisurely, some people get dressed (I am done with being in Christmas pictures in my pajamas), and then people gather to open gifts.  This lasted for a little while, and then we just…chilled.  Nothing really all that exciting.  I took a 2 1/2 hour nap or something like that.  I was working on getting over a cold (and I am still working on getting over it).

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” concert on Friday was WONDERFUL!  Mom and I made a whole afternoon of it and had so much fun.  The concert was great, and I was SO glad that I got to be there.

We arrived at Powell a bit early, so I asked Mom if I could take some self-portraits out in front of Powell.  It was snowing, and the sign was so pretty.  So we walked from where we parked, over to the front of Powell (a walk of several minutes).  I didn’t wear my jacket.  I did not want it in the self-portraits.  (Of course, right?)  When we were standing there, Mom realized that she had left her cell phone in the car.  We were already planning to take my camera back to the car, so we would grab it then.  Well, when we walked back to the car, we forgot to grab her phone.  We remembered it once we got all the way back in front of Powell.  So we turned around and marched right back to the car.  I think we made the round trip from the car to Powell Hall and back 2 1/2 times.  Just burning calories, right?

I was without my jacket throughout all of this.  Completely by choice, though.  Yes, call me silly.  I know. I know.  Snowing, and I am without a jacket.  But, hey, I didn’t want to manage it inside Powell.

It was funny once it was over.  And it was a little funny while it was happening.

Oh, and I REALLY enjoyed a Caramel Brulee Latte from Starbucks.  Thank you, Mom!  It was AWESOME!

The rest of last week was mostly spent in doing things around the house – ironing, for instance.  And healing.  This cold is holding on.

I didn’t take that many pictures on Christmas.  Or any other day, really.  So here are a the few that I took.


We had two candles burning while we were opening presents.  As you can see, in the middle of opening presents, the outside of the candle also caught on fire.  We put it out and lit just the wick again, but in a few moments, the outside had caught fire again.  This really wouldn’t have been that much of a problem, except for the fact that it smelled quite strongly.


Self-portraits  🙂





Can you believe that this is the last day of 2012?  It seems to have gone by so fast, yet when I think back on it, it almost seems as if enough happened to fill two years.  But last Christmas seems not all that long ago.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Are you doing anything for New Year’s Day?  We aren’t.  We have never done a whole lot.  🙂

‘Tis the Night Before Christmas


I hope you all had just as lovely of a Christmas Eve as we did.  We continued our tradition of having the W.’s over.  We had an awesome time! We talked, played a game, and stuffed ourselves with ate our traditional prime rib dinner.

I love our Christmas Eve tradition.  It is so fun, so laid back, that there is very little stress involved.  It makes for a great time.

Melissa and I decorated the table, which we did last year.  This year Mom had purchased a new candle centerpiece.  (I’m not sure where I was going with that.  But we’ll just leave it there anyway.)

Before the W.’s got here, I pulled the gingerbread cookies out and frosted them.  I must confess that I *sigh* ate a few.  *Sob*  I will try better next time. 

Voice #2:  BUT IT IS CHRISTMAS, right?  Do I get ANY cheating around Christmas?

Voice #1:  If you hadn’t been cheating as often, yes.

Voice #2: BUT…

Voice #1:  Oh, don’t even go there.

Voice #2:  Just…whatever.


Never mind. Sometimes these things just happen.

As I was saying, *cough* I decorated the cookies today.  I was trying to be artsy and creative (which, although I can be the latter, I am NOT the former by any vast stretch of the imagination).  I tried several different things (swirlies was my best), but then I got stuck on words.  Words are so fun.

I kept trying to write “twinkle” on a small star-shaped cookie, but all that would fit was “twink.”  I tried to get it to fit twice, but only ended up with “twink” both times.  Later, as I was looking at them, I realized that I had gotten confused as to where the “i” was, and had dotted the first stroke of the “w” both times.  So I ended up with “tiwnk,” or probably more like *tries to find letters that look like what she wrote* nope.  They don’t have the letters I was using on the keyboard.  How did that happen?


Wow.  Maybe I should write my posts this late at night all the time.  It might make things a bit more interesting.

And who knows what I will come up with?

Maybe it is better that I don’t.


So I had lots of fun with words.  You’ll see in the pictures.


Do you see how long (and how many interruptions – FROM MY OWN BRAIN) it took for me to say that?


Anyway, now for the pictures.



Like you really have to write this on a cookie.


This too


Again, this was pretty obvious


It turns out, “yum” is really fun to write in cursive in frosting.


I started thinking about Christmas carols, and thought about “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”  Well, when there is white, it is often on a tree, right?  So I put white on a tree.

Sometimes I’m not sure that I make a whole lot of sense.  Or that if I do, it is a rather silly sense that I make.

Whatever that means. 

(I really should write my posts this late at night!  I’m much more fun!)


When I showed this to Melissa, she said that I should have written “wish”  on it (when you wish upon a star).  I completely agree.  I will have to do that next time.


Again, another very obvious one.  But I think this one is quite cute.


An M&M!  Love those things.  Have you seen the Chocolate Mint ones?  Anyone tried them?  I haven’t, but they sure sound good!


This next set of cookies was inspired by my sister’s piano theory book.


They often have things to decorate with notes, rests, and such, and they tell you which thing gets which symbol with numbers.


Kind of a “decorate-with-music-symbols-by-number” thing.

(I am sure they have a more official name, but, as has been previously stated, it is late.)


So I decided to try decorating cookies with musical symbols.  I should have tried to do the bass clef over again.


But treble clefs are just so much more fun to do.


They fit really well on the tree cookies.




I then started writing the titles of Christmas carols out on cookies.

(Ding Dong Merrily on High – I am going to put what each one is, since they are all not super easy to read.)


One of my favorite Christmas songs (When Love Came Down)


Christmas doesn’t fit on one cookie, or at least I didn’t think it would.  I didn’t try.  I might have ended up with something similar to “twink.”

(Sing We Now of Christmas)


I love doing exclamation points!


(Joy to the World – with an exclamation point!)


(We Wish You a Merry Christmas)


And my grand masterpiece…


This was SO FUN!

Thank you for putting up with all the cookie pictures.


Our Christmas Eve table


The centerpiece






Beauty on a plate (what else can I say?)


Oh, and one more thing…



Merry Christmas!  May you all have a lovely, lovely Christmas!


Much love to you all,


Christmas Day

On Christmas Day, everyone was up by around 8:30.  Daddy made waffles and plenty of bacon for breakfast.  We opened gifts after eating breakfast and doing the majority of prep work for food after church.  After we opened gifts, it was time to get ready for and go to church.  We went to a friend’s home after church, along with another family, to eat dinner and to fellowship.  It was a rather simple day, very full, and fun.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

“ ‘ For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ‘ “  Luke 2:11


The tree




Meiling drew a picture for Dad


Meiling with her new school book, coloring book, and stickers.


A moose munch bar from Meiling for Mom


Noah with his pocket knife from Drake


Drake with one of his geeky t-shirts.  He had to put it on not long after he opened it.


Drake with his other geeky t-shirt, which Meiling and Noah gave him.


Meiling was quite happy with a set of metallic pencils from Drake.


Dad and Drake with their geeky t-shirts, holding Dad’s new beer glasses.


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”