Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas Festivities

It's Christmas time! We look forward to this trip every year. We love seeing some of Dan's cousins and to see how their families are growing. We've watched a couple of them get married and now our kids are no longer the youngest ones there!

This year we got to see Shellie's Nephew David and his wife Ivonne. The last time I saw them was 10 years ago and it was my very first Christmas with Dan's family. BOY how their kids have grown. They were around Emma's and Ethan's age and now seeing them as teenagers just seems crazy!
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Ethan's favorite buddy Dayne Draper always has a special surprise for the kids on Christmas Eve and these two are inseparable the entire time. They eat next to each other, are on the same team during the party games, and Ethan loves sitting on his lap during our talent show and signing Christmas carols

There's David. The one in the beard. Ellie did not know what to think about him. Poor David felt so bad when he tried saying hi to her only to have her scream and cry at the site of him. Don't worry David, she'll warm up to you in time.

Glowing light saber pops are what Dayne brought for the kids. So fun!

See! What did I tell ya? Inseparable!

Me and Dan sitting after dinner and waiting for the party games to start.

We brought the kid's Christmas Eve Jammies with us so they would be ready for bed before the late night drive back to Grandma and Grandpas. It's a good thing too. We didn't get back to Bob and Shellie's till about 1:00 am! We were having too much fun!
Christmas Morning! That late night sure paid off and the kids actually slept in. What?! That's unheard of. When everyone did finally wake up we enjoyed opening gifts (thanks Grandma and Grandpa! We sure were spoiled!).

Ellie checking out all the decorations on Grandmas tree.

We decided to get out of the house and took a field trip to go see the dam and walk around some of Oregon City's local parks and sites.

And look who we found!?

In Grandpa's stocking we gave Dan's Dad tickets to go see the new Star Wars movie. Grandma was so nice and stayed home and watched the grand kids so I could go with the guys. We didn't suffer at the theater either that 's for sure! Reclining chairs and everything!

When we got back home we found Santa had been there as well and got to enjoy opening gifts a second time around.

2015 sure was a busy year! We wouldn't have it any other way! Here's to a great new year in 2016!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

December Adventures

The time has finally come for me to decorate the shelves for Christmas! I just love these built-in we made! I love seeing all my Santa's in one place but also, the center of the mantle is where we put the Nativity sets. We still center around Christ.

We got the Christmas tree all set up and decorated but just 5 minutes after having it all put together the top half of the white lights went out! GRRR. Oh well, It's gonna stay that way.

We had our annual FHE activity of writing and mailing our letters to Santa. Still love our little town!

To finish off the night we went out for ice cream at Dairy Queen. And LOOK Ellie knows where it's at! Dipping her fries in ice cream. She must be watching her mom.

Dan and I like to make a homemade gift for each of the kids every year. One year was wooden cars, another was a rocking horse, etc. This year we decided to make personalized treasure chests. We got the idea after Halloween and seeing how much candy each of the kids got. We didn't really want them to eat it all at once and we didn't want the fight of keeping them out of each other's stash either. So we decided a treasure chest that could be locked up was a good idea.

We added hinges, hardware and a personalized vinyl decal on the top of each box and then filled them with each of the kid's Halloween candy. We plan on putting the key in each of the kids stockings at Grandma and Grandpa Glenn's house with a note saying they'll find the surprise their key goes to under the Christmas tree back at home.

Just a picture of Emma eating her morning toast. Love this girlie girl!
Ellie has officially finished her training for picture taking! Just look at this cheeser! Every time the camera comes out now she cheeses like this. It is sooo stinkin' cute! I love her wrinkled up nose too.

Not much time passes before we find yet ANOTHER project. This wall is getting a major makeover! We are wanting to give Kiera her own bedroom, but order for that to happen my craft stuff has to find a new home. So we are planning on turning our front room into my craft room/Glenn Family Crafting studio.
We got quotes on how much it would cost to have custom cabinets built for the space and the cost was WAY out of our budget. But I am not one to give up and I just happened to get lucky when I saw a lady post these kitchen cabinets. She had just remodled her kitchen and was selling her old cabinets for $500 PLUS she'd deliver them! Couldn't pass that up.
Here is what they look like all put together. I am so excited to fill them up. I plan on painting them white to match the base boards and crown molding, but that project will have to wait til the weather warms up enough to where I can keep kids outside while I paint.

This is Emma's last year in preschool! She'll be a kindergartner next fall! So we are enjoying this time while we can. For Christmas her preschool had a mommy-and-me day where they made and decorated "ginger bread" houses.

Our little masterpiece!
MMMMM FUDGE! MMMM PEANUT BRITTLE! I love this time of year and making candy and delivering it to our friends and neighbors.

And you just can't make candy and not lick the spoon. YUMMMM!

Another Family tradition of going to the Lights of Christmas. This year we went with Dan's company. It is always fun to see the lights and eat yummy food. I was just happy it wasn't as cold or stormy like it was last year.

Dan's work gave him tickets for our whole family to go see a dinosaur exhibit that came to Everett. Not really Christmasy but was still fun.

Ellie was not a fan up close, can you tell? She was fine if she got to see it from a distance though.


Time for Emma's preschool Christmas program. They kids were sooo cute in their little reindeer hats and Christmas light name tags. They did an awesome job singing all the songs, and Emma plans on singing a couple of them at our Christmas eve party at the Drapers' house.

I drew pictures of all the kids and sent them in to have their annual dinner plates made. The kids love getting their plates every year, and I have fun putting my drawing skills to work again. I need to take the time to sit down and draw more. I miss it.
Kiera and Ethan also sang at their school Christmas Program.


For Dan's b-day in November he got a bunch of Star Wars chocolate molds. So we put them to good use and made chocolates for all his Home Teaching families. 
Nothing says Merry Christmas like Han Solo in Carbonite!

The kids got to sleep out under the Christmas Tree. Its a tradition that comes from Dan's side. He did it as a boy.

Now here's a project that I think outshines all other projects we've done so far! It's a gift for Dan's mom. Every year we have our annual Glenn Family Reunion at Fort Steven's and every year Dan's mom puts out a treasure hunt for all the grandkids on each day we're there. So we thought we should tell her thank you for all the work and effort she puts into the reunion every year and give her a proper treasure chest. Steve contributed the the walnut and we bought some white maple so the two colors would contrast and pop next to each other.
This is how we laminated all the pieces for the top together. One board at a time. this probably took the longest since we had to have each board dry over night.
Dan then used a hand planer and rounded the top of the chest into a dome and we did corner inserts and smoothed them all out
My favorite part is putting on the finish. It just deepens the colors so nicely and transforms the whole project

I was very picky about the hardware we used on this project. I was not going to settle for anything! It has to match and it had to look like it was meant to be. Aren't those hinges just scrumptious!

I found handles to match too! They were a lucky find since everything else I wanted would have to have been shipped and would not have made it in time.
And the final touch was the lock! We found one online that we thought look the most authentic to what we think a pirates treasure box would have on it. It even came with a set skeleton keys! Ryan bought it and had it shipped to our house so we could have it on there for her Christmas Morning.

She's Going to love it!!!!