Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Blue Jeans Week 52

Lots and lots of pictures in this post.  Last week was a great one!  I officially am the mother of an 18 year old.  Crazy!  When did that happen?  We had some great friends visit before Christmas and then had a wonderful Christmas Eve and a very relaxed Christmas day.  Love it!  Take a look at our week...
Ben and I actually do play the piano but with 4 kids who also play, it is a rare thing to get the piano unoccupied.  We have an easy Christmas duet book we like to play from when we have a minute or two.  

Had some great friends come and visit for a day earlier last week.  It was fun to see them and visit.

And this amazing girl is now 18.  This is her before picture on her birthday.  As one of her gifts I got her an appointment to get her hair cut.
And this is the after--so cute!  Love the layers.  She looks so much more grown up!

And her birthday cake was really just 5 different kinds of ice cream.  Yum!  
Early during the day on Christmas Eve my kids practicing their music for our Christmas Eve night.  Love it how the music fills the house!

The kids enjoying the food Christmas Eve

And the kids' song became extra special because our friends brought their violins and we actually had an orchestra play for us on Christmas Eve!  Awesome!!!
Our Nativity re-enactment on Christmas--the Angel telling the shepards about the baby.
And the wise men coming to see the Christ child.

The kids on Christmas Eve with their new PJ's.

Christmas morning!!!
Mr J's favorite present :)

Sibling gifts are always a big deal!  They are so excited to have each other open the gifts they got for them!

Miss A favorite gift--getting ready for the college thing--laptop here we come

Miss E excited about her mini basketball hoop to put in her room.
And Miss O loving her new headphones.
but probably Miss O's favorite gift was her new (to her) car!  A 1992 Oldsmobile 98 with 88,000 miles on it.  Pretty awesome :)  She loves it!

So we must have been good because Santa found us and left us some good stuff!  But we so enjoyed the season and being with family and just relaxing!  So grateful to have this next week off too!  

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and have a very Happy New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2015

2015 Daily December 25

Signing off on my daily December today.  Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas
from our family to yours!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 Daily December 23--an adult

I am officially the mother of an 18 year-old adult.  Gulp.  When did that happen?
Sure love this amazing girl of mine, and all she has become.  So excited to see what the future holds for her because I know it will be good.  I am so grateful to a Heavenly Father who trusted her to us and had her bless our lives each and every day these last 18 years.  Sure love you Miss A!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015 Daily December 22--Week 51

So, so glad this last week is over!  So glad break has started!  So looking forward to Christmas!  But before we get there, take a look at our last week of crazy. . .
I think all of us are just so tired!  Miss E fell asleep really early by the Christmas tree tonight.  One tired out girl.

Gingerbread cookies are a must at Christmas, and I found time to fit them in this week.  So yum!  I use Mel's Kitchen Cafe recipe here.

Ben got our outside Christmas lights up, and they look awesome!  You can see a part of our huge tree in the living room window.

Had a fun experience to go Christmas shopping with the high school marching band.

This whole group invaded Wal-mart at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.  They had saved their money from marching in parades in the fall to buy Christmas presents for 10 lucky kids.  I went around with Miss O's group to buy for a little girl.  It was a neat experience.

Our 4th and final school Christmas program of the season--middle school band and jazz band.  Miss E in up there playing the trombone in her amazing jazz band.

Enjoying our tradition of reading a Christmas story each night--Miss O reading with Mr J looking at the pictures.

And we finally hit the weekend!  Yeah!  The kids needed to wind down and enjoy some relaxing time and played some games.

Hope you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas!  Thanks for visiting!

Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 Daily December 21--A Christmas gift

This made me cry.  Love the spirit of giving there is at Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

2015 Daily December 20--a favorite book

Love this book that my sister-in-law gave us a few years ago.  We are going to try and read it this week to really remember the reason for the season.  Now that school is out, and we have a break from basketball I am looking forward to more sleep and more family time reading around the tree!  

Saturday, December 19, 2015

2015 Daily December 19--favorite games

We love games at our house.  We always get at least one new one for Christmas, and I can't share what that one is now, but will later because someone might see :)  Anyway, wanted to share a few of our other favorite games in case you needed a last minute gift--these are all good and have our stamp of approval :)  Enjoy!
Jenga--can you get more class that that?  After Thanksgiving the big and little people all loved playing this.

Q-Bitz--this game is kept under our Christmas tree because we like to play it all the time, and you can play it really quickly or for longer periods.  Lots of fun-- no reading required so any age can play.  Miss E played Q-bitz Extreme at school and says that is even better--maybe on the gift list for next year.

Settlers of Catan--a classic board game we love.  Miss A just had a group of high school friends get together and play this for a few hours.  They all loved it!  Several went home and ordered it right after they were done.

Tenzi--a super fun dice game, and I would suggest when you buy it you get the "77 ways to play Tenzi" card pack to go with it.  So much fun!  We got the 6 pack of dice for our family.  

What games do you like?

Friday, December 18, 2015

2015 Daily December 18---Christmas lights

Our outside Christmas lights this year.
It always makes me happy to drive up to my house at night when it looks like this.  Huge thanks to my Ben!  He did a great job and you can see a part of our huge 12 foot tree in the living room window :)  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

2015 Daily December 17--Band sub-for-Santa shopping

 I had an awesome experience yesterday morning.  
I got to go shopping with these kids.  This is our high school band and they are just awesome.  Miss A and Miss O are in there somewhere.  The band earned money from marching in parades this fall, and they spent that money yesterday to buy Christmas for 10 lucky little kids.  The cute lady in front was the amazing checker that helped us get all those Christmas gifts checked out.  She was so cute with all the kids!

This was my group finding some clothes for the little girl we were shopping for.  

And these are what we got for Christmas for our little girl.  I think she is going to be very happy.

Everyone getting checked out.  Wal-mart was great to work with us, and we had an amazing checker helping us.  It was fun to be with these kids and help other kids.  It was a great experience!  What Christmas is all about--giving!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2015 Daily December 16--peppermint oreos

I love oreos.  Any time I see a new flavor I have to buy them and try them out.  They are a favorite.  About 4 years ago I found this recipe for peppermint oreos and fell in love.  They are sooooo good!  So much better than the ones you buy in the stores!  The frosting is thick and yummy with the crushed candy cane and peppermint extract in them.  If you want regular oreos, just leave those two things out.  The perfect holiday cookie!
Peppermint Oreos

 For chocolate cookies:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 large egg

In the bowl of electric mixer add flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Mix well.  While on low speed add in the butter and then egg.  Continue mixing until the dough comes together in a mass.

Preheat oven to 375. Place rounded teaspoons of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.  Flatten the dough balls slightly.  Bake 7-9 minutes until the tops look cracked.  Cool completely.

Peppermint filling:
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 crushed candy cane or 5 small candy canes

Place butter in a bowl and cream.  Put on low speed and gradually add sugar and extracts.  Once these are mixed in turn on high and beat for 2-3 minutes until the filling is light and fluffy.  Stir in the crushed candy cane.  The filling is pretty thick.  If you prefer regular oreos, just increase vanilla to 2 teaspoons and leave out peppermint extract and candy canes.

To assemble, spoon frosting onto inside of one cookie and top with another.  

Makes about 15 cookies so I always double it because that just isn't enough :)  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

2015 Daily December 15--Week 50

What a week.  December is really giving me a run for my money.  Crazy.  If we can just make it through this week, then school is out and we have Christmas break and have nothing scheduled.  Can't wait!  Just a few more days.  But this last week was full of fun stuff--another Christmas program (#3 of 4 for the season), girls' lunch out, Miss E finishing up basketball and a princess tea party--take a look. . .
Sunday evening Mr J picked this Christmas book to read before we went to bed.  It is one of our favorites.  So fun with so many little extra things in it.

Girls' Lunch Out--man I can't tell you how much I love these ladies.  They keep me sane.  What a blessing they are in my life!

Christmas program #3 of 4 for the month.  Mr J singing his heart out while playing the drums for his program.  Their African Drumming Circle is just awesome!

This cute boy and I did some Christmas shopping after school today and decided we needed a A&W root beer float to celebrate we were done!  Yum!

Thursdays is my volunteer day at the schools, and guess who I found sitting in the hallway?  Yes, that cute girl in the middle is mine.  Miss E sure enjoys how her school has gone to chrome books this year.

My cookie making helpers :)  Had to make 60 cookies for a princess tea party for Saturday.  These funny girls helped me decorate them.  

The Forensics team had a princess tea party as a fundraiser to get ready for their season.  Miss A had fun being Snow White.  The little girls who came loved it!  So fun! 

And Miss E in her final basketball game of the season.  She had a great year and played really well, learned a lot and is excited to play high school ball next year.  So one basketball season is over just as the next one (Miss O's) starts.  More basketball here we go. . .

Thanks for visiting.  Come back soon!

Monday, December 14, 2015

2015 Daily December 14--Why we need a Savior

What would the world be like if we didn't have a Savior?  This video shows us and really makes us think.  We are so very blessed because we do have a Savior that loves us, that suffered for our sins and that died for us so we can live with him again.  Enjoy!  #ASaviorIsBorn

Sunday, December 13, 2015

2015 Daily December 13--12 Days of Christmas scripture countdown

 I found this 12 Reading Days of Christmas last year.  It has a family home evening lesson that goes with it.  We are doing it tonight.  I really liked doing this last year as it focuses so much on the Savior and the different things he did.  It was a good reminder of the real reason for the season.  Enjoy!