Thursday, January 26, 2017


We had Christmas Eve at our house this year. I always like to do Minute to Win It type games, but with Mikel being so sick with her pregnancy, I tried to keep them low key and not too physical as in years past.  I asked her to bring the dessert and she made these adorable santa hats.  They were yummy and went fast.  She brought another dessert too, but these were the hit!
We gave Talon and Mikel one of their Christmas presents air fryer, so they could bring it for our dinner.  We had both fryer's going and it still took quite awhile to cook everything up.

After dinner, we started our festivities.  I had warned everyone about a month earlier that we were doing lip sync battles as couples for Christmas Eve.  Tanner and Cynjyn started us off and they did Katy Perry Firework..they had props and everything and it turned out so stinking adorable! 
Garry and I dressed in our best 80's garb and did Human League Don't you Want me Baby. 
Talon and Mikel finished off with Spice Girls Wannabe.  It was really fun and we may have to make it a tradition!

After that we continued as partners and did a relay to see who could pick up the most mini marshmallows with chopsticks and put them in a bowl in one minute. (T and M of course.)
Then we did the chocolate bar game with the dice and hats and gloves.  It got intense!
Then we went back to partners and everyone had 12 candy canes and they could put one in their mouth and had to hook up the 12 on the table and transfer them to the bowl only using the one in their mouths.  (T and C won)

Then we did our gift exchange.  This was the first year I only brought my gift!  Everyone was responsible for bringing their own.
Talon ended up with a blanket, Mikel a trifle bowl, Cynjyn with Car scents from Bath and Body Works, Tanner with a rechargable screwdriver, me with a daily calendar that comes with a color page and Garry with two super cute throw pillows. Everyone was happy!
This year, Christmas was on Sunday.  We have church at 11.  So we decided to open our gifts after church.  So no one was in a big hurry to get up that morning.  I was the first one up, about 8:00 and snapped of photo of the presents and tree this year.
It was also weird that Santa only had to fill 4 stockings!
I had contacted my cousin Jennifer Madsen in October about crocheting me a mermaid blanket for Cynjyn.  We had initially told C and Tanner that they weren't getting much presents because of our trip to Canada that we will be taking in April, so she wasn't expecting anything.  She was surprised and liked this gift. 
She also got some Eeyore pajamas.
She got a Slytherine sweatshirt and now Tanner and her can match in their appropriate house sweats.
Talon and Mikel came over at 12:30.  We opened presents (Tanner and Cynjyn already had them sorted and handed out) and then later had dinner.  
We ended up having tri tip and twice baked potatoes and turkey and mashed potatoes, and gravy and rolls and stuffing.  We had a small turkey breast roast left over from Thanksgiving, so every one voted to have that along with our tri tip.
Everyone except Mikel and Cynjyn got games for Christmas, so we spent the rest of the day playing.  Talon got Suspend and Cynjyn and Mikel actually like it!  They played it a alot and it got pretty intense.

We ended the day with a shot of us in our Korea shirts that Taz had sent back in October, but I held onto them for Christmas and so everyone had a gift under the tree from Taz!
Luckily, we had gotten to SKYPE with him Friday night.  He had requested that I invite all his friends.  So Lyric, Ryan, Andrew, Charlie, Marcus and Michael came and spent a few hours with us.  They got here a little early and we had a nacho bar waiting in case anyone was hungry.  We got to talk to Taz for 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Then the gang all stayed after and visited for an hour or so and ate more nachos.  So all in all it was a fantastic, different, calm and quiet Christmas.  We ended up face timing mom later Christmas night and got to hear all about their quite day too.  I'm so thankful for this time of year and for all the modern conveniences that allow us to connect with loved ones far away.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

December Little Things

Cynjyn was so excited, yet nervous to take her drivers license test.  The night before she and Garry spent filling out forms and recording driving hours. 
She did a few things wrong, but enough right to pass on her first try!  We were all so very excited.  It was really weird the next morning as she drove herself to seminary and home from school.  She is my baby, so it is bitter sweet that I will never have to do a carpool again, or pick her up from school, or get her to a friends house, but boy is it nice that I will never have to do a carpool again, or pick her up from school, or get her to a friends house! 
Now that it is basketball season, she has been performing at a lot of the half times.  This one, they wore a really cute Santa suit and danced to a Christmas song.  It really was super cute.
December brings cooler temps, so we actually experience fall here.  I loved the trees in the are finally changing color!

I made treats for my piano recital to give to the students. 

I thought they turned out cute.

The Spanish Branch in our ward doesn't have any one that admits to playing the piano or organ.  So I have been going to their ward during our second hour and playing the piano for their primary. I started about last September basically and committed to playing for them through their program which was in December.  Since I was already going to be there, they asked me if I could play the organ for sacrament meeting too.  I said yes and practiced a lot.  I was really not confident at all, but I did play the opening and sacrament song.  Since I was already at the piano at the end, I just played the piano for the closing song. 
Beautiful sunset!
Garry changing the bulbs in the kitchen.
My holiday recital.  We didn't have a lot of people this year.  It seemed like people ended up leaving early.  So we had a lot of leftovers, but it was another successful recital.  I am taking a break this spring from duets.  This December one about killed me because the kids just weren't practicing enough and I really didn't thing they were going to pull it off, but then managed to.
We made some chocolate muffins for Cynjyn's dance secret sister.
I loved getting Taz's old MTC name tag.  I turned it into an ornament and tried it out in a couple of spots on the tree before I found the perfect look.

Cynjyn kept up her hair cutting skills and cut Tanner's hair before he headed off to San Francisco for his old roommate Mac's wedding where he was his best man.
He flew out Friday morning and the wedding and reception were all day Saturday and then he flew back Sunday.  He was supposed to fly out at 9 am, but all the flights were delayed or cancelled due to bad weather in the midwest.  They told him the soonest flight they could get him on was Tuesday morning.  He went on stand by and finally got a 6 pm flight home.  It was a long day for him.

Cynjyn and Kayla had a grand time picking out and buying gifts for the people in their group of soccer friends.

Beautiful rainbow that lasted all day and was a double rainbow at times.  I couldn't stop taking photos of it.

I went to Talon's house on his bday to say hi.
Garry helped him install his ceiling fans.  We helped him with two and then he easily did the rest.
Got to see my cute little pets, Bagherra and Bentley.

And that's what I want to remember about December.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ugly Sweater 2016

Jay and Andrea hosted their annual Ugly Sweater Party again this year.We scoured the internet and found what we were going to do this year and we began working on it early December.  We got the sweaters at Goodwill and Garry made the pattern. 

We found foam stickers at the Dollar Store and were up early one Saturday morning working on them.

I thought it turned out cute!
They were stand alone sweaters...

Or stand together sweaters!

Everyone brought their favorite appetizers or desserts to share, so we ate first.  We sat with the Hills and the Stanleys.

Some people only stayed for a short while.  But those of us who were still left headed to the family room for some games.  Before dinner, the Shafer's had hidden 15 ornaments (I can't remember what they were exactly, but they were all the same thing) around the house and we had to search for them and say where they were while we were waiting for dinner. Then we played Chubby Bunny.  Most of us got 4-6 marshmallows in our mouth.

I think Garry got 7.

But Bishop Whipple got 13!!!  Now he couldn't say Chubby Bunny after 9 or so, but he wanted to keep going to see how many he could actually fit in his mouth!
These were the couples to the bitter end:  Whipples, Crane's, Stanley's. Thatcher's us and Shafers. We also played 2 truths and a lie and a couples race where we had to put an ornament between us without using our hands and hook it onto a strung string. 

We reclaimed the trophy from the Thatcher's and now have to keep it for the year, add something to it and bring it back next year.

We had a great time and it was fun getting to party with some other couples from Shafer's new ward that we didn't know so well.