Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas, Y'all

Christmas in our family lasts several days and involves some travel and lots of family. We spent time in Aledo with the Walkers, having a traditional Christmas dinner before opening gifts with Grandma Noi, the cousins, aunts, and uncles.

We came home and opened a couple of gifts from mommy and daddy before we all headed to bed. Santa visited and left way too much but the kids enjoyed it all.

Sophie's big gift was a tricycle.

Logan's big gift was a camera, charged and all ready to go.

When Logan came into the great room and saw all the gifts set out, his first thought (and accusation) was that I had opened a bunch of presents that had been under the tree. When I pointed out that they were still there unopened under the tree, he lit up and said "Santa!"

The family gift from Santa...a Wii system and games for everyone.

Santa just doesn't know when to stop!

Sisters in their new PJ's!

Uncle Paul helping Kalyn with her manicure.

The cousins dancing with the Wii.

Liz and Levi joined us the day after Christmas for brunch. We had more fun with the Wii and playing with all the new toys.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Meal Plan December 26

I haven't posted my menus in about a month but I've been keeping up (although no pictures). Here's some of the meals we've had in the past 3 weeks:

  1. Baked fish and veggies

  2. Baked chicken, rice, and veggies

  3. Tacos

  4. Spinach Lasagna Rolls

  5. Sausage with mac & cheese

  6. Crockpot lasagna

We've also had a few parties, some family dinners, dinner out, plus pizza delivery. We also had this but unfortunately, I can't find the menu paper so I don't know what it was.

This week's plan is much the same as the last few weeks because I'm trying to clear out the pantry and I'm just not ready to have to think about recipes too much. We're also have plans to go out a couple of nights. I'll start working on the menus and recipes with the new year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

East Texas Tree Farm

One of our Advent Activities was to visit a tree farm. We don't use live trees in our home but I still wanted the kids to get the experience. Of course, there's not a tree farm close so we found one near my sister. The place was amazing. The owner didn't charge us for any of the activities since we bought a couple of wreaths. She had a play area with huge tires to climb and swings. There were 2 different scavenger hunts set up. One where you found letters or numbers that she'd place or various trees and buildings on the property. The other was a little more complex. There was a starting point with a clue that lead to the next location. Each clue led you farther into the woods and over a small stream. Logan and Matthew loved doing the scavenger hunt (and got a candy cane at the end).

There was tractor drawn train that took you into the tree area. We let the kids run all through the trees finding the really big ones.

Logan noticed right away that the trees smelled good.

Maw Susan and the grands.

Me and my kiddos under the tree!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mini Holiday Vacation

We set aside part of our vacation budget so that we could spend a night at a local hotel during the holidays. We've taken Sophie to the Gaylord Texan before but this is the first time we have gone during Christmas. We found it fitting that a year ago we were also spending time in hotels.

Enjoying a meal in the restaurant by the river. We had lunch here the first day and breakfast the next morning. We tried dinner too but the wait was way too long. We ended up getting sandwiches from the hotel deli and eating in our room. It actually turned out to be a great idea. The kids were tired from all the activities anyway so having to behave themselves at the restaurant would have just frustrated all of us. We got several different things and just shared (with Sophie eating most of my chicken salad).

We only stayed one night but we were able to check in early. We had lunch, did some activities, put the kids down for a nap, then back up for more exploring. Sophie had her nap in a crib, but wanted to sleep in the big bed that night. All was well until just before we got up. I heard both kids starting to stir, then I hear a loud thud and knew Sophie had rolled herself right off the bed. She had a red mark where she hit the nightstand on the way down.

Hanging out on the balcony watching all the people and lights.

Trying to decide if the longhorn was real or pretend.

A real gingerbread house.

Trying to get 2 kids to look at the camera at the same time...

The hotel was all about Shrek this year. Logan had gotten all the movies for his birthday the week before and we had watched them all in anticipation of the trip. They were so excited when Shrek came out.

The hotel flies in 40 ice sculptors from China each year to create these amazing displays. They even had an ice slide. Sophie claims this as her favorite thing from the vacation.

Getting to sit in Shrek's ice outhouse.

It was very crowded in the display area and Sophie doesn't really like crowds so she was held through most of it.

Being silly waiting to go in.

As part of the fun, they had snow tubing. Sophie was too little but Logan was able to go with one of us. He enjoyed every second!

Posing with Po, Kung Fu Panda.