Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Merry Christmas Day!

We made a plan this Christmas.We'd never done that before.  But we wanted to go to a movie at 11:50 and Talon had to go to work at 11:30, so we made a plan.  The plan was to open presents at 8am.  At first Taz and Cynjyn were mad because it was so LATE...Talon and Tanner were mad because it was so EARLY.  But we made the plan anyway.  I woke up at 7, just because that's when my eyes popped open.  Cynjyn set her alarm for 7:30 just because she's Cynjyn.  Tanner was stirring around 8 because Cynjyn and I were talking by the tree which is by his room.  Talon and Taz had to be WOKEN up!  We let them sleep until 8:30.  Garry just goes with the flow.  Santa came and filled the stockings.

The kids have always been able to open their gifts from Santa (these are in their stockings) right away.  So Cynjyn did this.  She got a gift card to Starbucks and some decorative keys.  (She's always had a thing for keys??)
Tanner got a racoon and some skinny ties and a Taco Bell gift card
Taz got a set of rings (three) to wear and food gift cards.  Talon got food gift cards, but didn't open them down here.  He took his stocking to his room after it was over.
Then we had them open their name draw gifts.  (Every year they draw names amongst themselves).  Cynjyn had Taz and Taz had Cynjyn.  Cynjyn got some eyeliner, head bands and necklaces from Taz.  She got up and hugged him!
Taz got a hair brush and a video game (He wanted a girls spiky hairbrush because it itches his head as he combs his hair.  He had one last year, but Cynjyn ended up using it and got "Hair" in it, so he stopped using it and was begging for a replacement).  He went over and hugged Cynjyn. 
Talon announced from the beginning that there would be no hugging involved!  He got a video game from Tanner. 
Tanner got Van's from Talon and was happy as a clam with the no hugging announcement.
We opened presents and had to get a picture of this announcement from my mom.  She and my dad get the kids coins every year for bday's and Christmas.  She had a request/homework assignment for the kids this year to log their coins and send her the info on the coins they had ASAP because it's getting harder to remember what everyone's gotten and she wasn't keeping the best track either.  We all got a good laugh out of our homework assignments. 
Taz's favorite/coolest gift was the air gun he got, and the new robe and his watches (He got 2, an everyday one and a more decorative one), and the rings.
Tanner's favorite gifts were the rings, watches and the racoon.
Cynjyn's favorite was her Stilinski shirt (From Teen Wolf) and her torn jeans.
Talon's favorite was his Nike fuel band and video games and coins.
It was a fun morning and simple, yet nice and relaxed.  Cynjyn immediately tried on her outfits.  (She got mainly clothes).  We didn't even have to ask for a fashion show and no I got not a single picture!
The aftermath wasn't too bad.  Garry usually has a garbage bag to gather the wrapping in, but he didn't do that this year!  His favorite gift was a 49's shirt from Talon and mine was a ring I got from Talon.  Our favorite joint gift was a game (Splendor) from Randy and Traci.  We played it 4 times that day.
 We met the Hill's, Jenkins and Tatum's at the theater to watch Unbroken at 11:50.  Taz and I had read the book and we so excited to see it.  We had planned it for 6 months every since we heard it was opening on Christmas day. 
We had tri tip and cheesy potatoes and red roasted potatoes and broccoli salad for dinner and spent the rest of the day playing games and hanging out.  It was a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Eve

I scrapped our Christmas Eve festivities. It was a fun night, filled with a lot of laughing and bonding.  Mikel was a trouper and played as many games as her shoulder would allow.  Everyone was disappointed that I didn't have the pie eating contest that I had last year.  I guess next year we will have to do a "best of" games/competitions since it is becoming increasingly difficult to think of new group games. 

Here is the journaling on the scrapbook pages: (If you click on them, it inlarges them and you can see them better.)

We had a great time at our Christmas Eve festivities.  We started off with a dinner of sliders, cheese fries, grilled pineapple, onion rings, waffle fries, mini corndogs and mozzerella sticks.  Then we played Goblet of FIre.  The teams were me, Taz and Talon against Garry, Tanner, Cynjyn and Mikel.  She had just had shoulder surgery, so she was a handicap.  We then played a different version of the candy bar game with a big wrapped box and tossing the die.  When a six was rolled, we put on the gloves and started unwrapping.  It was amazing how bad Taz and Talon wanted to get to that little present in the final box.  I ended up with it, two Burts Bees chapstick!  Then we did the Minute to Win it games.  Tryuing to “blow” cups off the table with balloons, seeing how many marshmellows we can get into a cup with chopsticks, pitching marshmellows at a cup on Mikel’s head, a relay with banana and orange, and shooting a marble down a pool noodle to knock over PVC pipes set up.

After those, we did the annual gift draw that we do.  Cynjyn went first and got a game!  Ironic for her since she’s the only one that hates games.  In the end we all ended up with what we brought except Mikel and Garry, they got each other’s.  Mikel was no too happy with her jerky and measuring cup.  After that was over, we tried the gift Taz bought...freeze dried ice cream sandwich.  It was pretty good, then we played Talon’s game: Hollywood Game night.  And we finished the night with a hilarious game of Balderdash.  It was great to be all together and have nothing but time to spend with each other.

On a side note: Goblet of Fire is played where everyone puts a selected number of names (famous people, fictional characters etc. we chose to do 5 names each) into a bowl.  The first round is played by one person trying to get their teammates to say the name on the card by saying anything.  The second round is played by getting your teammates to say the names on the paper by only saying one word.  The third round is played by getting your teammates to say the name on the paper by acting it out only.  The same names are used the whole time and you go thru every name in each round.  We gave each team 30 seconds.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Great Burger Challenge

Taz watches this YouTube show called Good Mythical Morning.  It has some pretty funny moments.  One episode they did a Burger challenge.  We decided to do our own burger challenge.  We set up the table with divider boxes so we couldn't see each other's side.  We cut blindfolds for everyone and gave each person a plastic glove and paper and pencil to record their answers. 
It is very nice to have 5 driver's in the house.  We gave everyone cash and all set out to get different burgers and meet back.  Talon went to Carl's Jr.  Tanner to Wendy's, Taz to Burger King, me to In and Out and Garry to Mc Donald's and Jack in the Box.  We all got home at about the same time and cut the burgers into 8 pie shaped pieces.  We also got fries from each place. 

We took turns feeding each other the bite of burger with the team tasting blind folded.  After we ate, we wrote down where we thought it was from.  Then we fed the other team.  When we finished the burger's we did the same with the fries.  After thinking back on it, the fries were pretty cold and it was hard to identify them.  We should have done the fries first. 

This is the after math of the eating. 

We tallied it all up and Talon got all 6 burger's correct.  He was the Burger King!!  Most of us got about 3 correct. 
I was the fry queen with 4 fries out of six correct. 
It was fun to do this challenge and we also got dinner out of it.  We actually got two burgers from each place and after we did the taste test, we cut the other burgers and ate them too.  We all decided that the weirdest burger to taste blindfolded was the one from Wendy's.  No one really liked it as we were tasting it.  The favorite burger of most (except me) was Carls Jr.'s burger.  The easiest fries to identify were Mc Donalds. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

December's a WRAP!

We got a lot of rain this month. I loved it and it made it feel more like winter.
 I have an obsession with gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.  I see more sunrises than sunsets since I walk every morning.  Here are a few I captured on my walks. 
 One day coming home from church, we saw a vertical rainbow.  This was very subtle and went straight up in the air.  No arc.  I loved it. 
 I was taking Cynjyn to school a few days later and there was a vertical cloud.  I had to stop and take a picture of it.  Cynjyn's gets annoyed when I do that (I do it often taking her to school)
This is what a typical evening looks like at our house.  Everyone together, but doing their own things.  Cynjyn got a lot of love on her birthday from friends at school. I am amazed at how thoughtful her friends are to remember her on her special day.  I need to be more like that with my friends.

I saw Dragon fruit at Winco.  I bought it, we tried it, we liked it.
Taz single handedly ate a whole apple pie in a matter of days.  Gotta love him for that.
Garry's sister Ruby and brother in law Mike came into town and we met up with them for a visit.  We took them to dinner at Fiesta buffet. 
Then they came back here and we took some pictures and visited.  Ruby brought a CD with childhood pictures of them that we looked at. 
We hadn't seen them in 13 years.  Cynjyn was about 6 months old last time we were together. 
We vowed to not let that happen again. 
Cynjyn with her after school snack of OLIVES.
Talon turned 25 this year.  Mikel took him ziplining for his birthday.  Then out to Lucille's for dinner.  I bought his favorite ice cream...peppermint crunch for his "cake".  I got him this controller he wanted. 
Danny McCracken came into town from Yakima for a visit.  They all got together here for an evening of catch up.  (Josh Davis, Danny, Grady Thatcher, Sean Borla)
Tanner came home!!!  He arrived December 18th!  We are all happy he's home.  He is too even though it doesn't look like it. 
Taz had an egg drop project due the last day of Christmas break.  He and Garry worked on it over a couple of days.  It survived and he got some extra credit for the most creative design. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas is here, bringing good cheer!

 Our December was filled with the Christmas spirit.  We started off by hosting a progressive dinner for Enrichment.  The theme was Angel's Among us and I found these cute little angels that we mass produced.  We made 200 of them for the women to take home and as gifts from the RS.  I hosted dessert at my house and that is where we had the angel's set up. 
 But we started off at Andrea's house for Cesar Salad and angel hymn and story. 
 Then off to Amelia's for Angel hair pasta and rolls and marinara and alfredo sauce, and angel hymn and an angel story. 
 Finishing at my house with angel food cake with strawberries, whip cream and a mint sprig, an angel hymn and an angel story (Mikel did the angel story at our house.). 
One Sunday evening, we went to the Cactus Garden at Ethel M's.  Mikel had never been before.  It was beautiful and festive.
 I wanted to try some bokeh photography with my tree lights and so I took some pix of some decorations we had. 

 I love how they all turned out and I had fun editing them too!

 Pixie week was Wed, Thur, Fri and we gave these little gift jars.  The first night the snowman, the second night, the Santa believe jar,
 and the M and M's the third night. 
 I got these from my visiting teachers.
 This is what we got from our Pixie's the Hills.  The first night Taz was determined to catch them because it was the only night he was going to be home.  He opened the front window and sat on the chair by the door.  He was going to hear them if they didn't knock.  They finally came at around 8, he went a running and saw no one.  He thought he heard rustling by the bushes in our yard and so he didn't want to play hide and seek, he wanted to he just jogged around the block, sad...
 Popcorn tin night two.
 Book night three.
 Our ward Christmas party was on the theme The gift.  We were asked to bring some wrapped boxes as centerpieces.  Garry, Cynjyn and I wrapped these for our display.  They turned out really beautiful. 
 My Christmas piano recital was December 15, I had 17 students.  I made them little elf jars with M and M's. 
 We had our usual spread, but had to do it in room 1 since it was the singles ward Christmas party. 
 I got these pretty flowers from one of my students.
 I participated in Cannon's spirit week:  Ugly sweater day.

 I wore festive pink elf hat for Christmas head wear day and added a glittery pin to it and wore my two infinity scarves I got from a piano student.

 and wore my elf sweater for extreme Christmas wear day.
 Cynjyn delivered some presents to her friends at school. (Scent pods)
 I made a fuzzy sock cupcake for a girl at school who has type 1 diabetes.  She talks to me every morning and gets sad when Rita brings sugary foods on Friday for the classes as a  treat.  So I made her a "cupcake" for Christmas.  I also made Rita a year of quotes frame where you change out a different quote a month. 
 And lastly, I wore red, white and green on the last day of school as it was spirit day and 6th graders wore green, 7th white and 8th red.  It was such a great Christmas season and I really enjoyed December even though it feels like it flew by.