Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning

Santa always leaves our stockings on our beds, so our rule is that you can go through your stocking but cannot go downstairs until everyone is awake. 

Ruby and Haley had been awake and checking out the loot in their stocking for over an hour when we finally agreed to wake up Lucy.

Haley was really excited that Santa found the tiger she wanted.  She now has more animals in her room then are legal within city limits.

Lucy testing her spy pen. Leave it to Grandma Bonnie to find things that Santa couldn't.

Ruby was THRILLED with the purse that Haley crochet for her.  Haley really did a great job, it turned out super cute.

I received several treasures from my girls, but I think my favorite was this little handmade fairy (made out of tape) I received from Ruby.  She obviously spent a lot of time working on it and it was beautiful.

I think the girls favorite gift was this little beauty... I'm not exactly sure what Santa was thinking. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Yes, we were the only ones in Panda Express eating dinner on Christmas eve.  

I love Chinese food and Eric doesn't... so I guess I could consider this an early Christmas present from him.

As is tradition in our home, the girls get to open one present Christmas Eve... somehow it always ends up to be matching pajamas.

We read The night before Christmas, then the story of Christ's birth from the Bible. 

Then we write the letter to Santa and go to bed.   

At least thats the plan, the going to bed was a little delayed for Ruby and Lucy and a lot delayed for Haley.  Apparently she learned on TV that spicy foods keep you awake, so she was convinced that she would not be able to fall asleep.

I realized after taking this photo that the back of this letter had a special note from Haley begging Santa for a DS.

They made a plate with cookies, marshmallows and apples for Santa.  Then Ruby put a "jump rope" that she had crocheted for Santa on another plate to help him loose weight.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Logan's Candies

A few weks ago I went with the youth from our church to go see candy canes made by hand. My girls were really sad that they couldn't go so Eric and I took the girls last night out to Logan's candies in Ontario. I guess the news had done a special on the store because it was packed. Eric and I could not see anything there were so many bodies it was just crazy. 

Eric said he was going to the back of the store to buy them each a candy cane and then we were leaving. The girls were cranky because all they could see were people's backs and bums, it was really pretty bad. Eric was gone for like 15 min waiting in line to buy candy canes and during that time the workers came around and passed out hot samples. Tons of people left after the samples and then the girls had a front row view. I asked the lady if we could trade 3 of the canes we just purchased for hot ones the girls could shape themselves and she said "of course!".  

It ended up being a really fun trip and the girls had a blast.

Ding... ding.... ding

For the past several years I have taken the girls to the Dollar Tree to do their Christmas shopping.  They can get whatever they want for each of their Sisters and  Mom and Dad.  They really do choose whatever they want, I stay totally out of the decision making process.  They each carried around a large gift bag to collect their gifts so no one could see them.  

When it was time to check out I told the checker what we were doing and asked her to ring up the stuff in each bag and then put it back in the same bag. I turned my back while she was ringing up the stuff and the girls walked to the toy area so nobody could see what was purchased.  With 3 girls buying 5 gifts plus the one big gift bag there should have been about 18 items.  As the checker was ringing up the stuff it just kept going and going, ding...ding...ding...ding. I finally turned around and asked the checker if this was all their stuff?  She laughed and said "yes".  It just kept going ding, ding, ding.  Eventually she gave me the total which was double what it should have been.  I paid it, got the girls and went to the car.

In the car I told the girls how much the bill was and asked what happened.  Ruby quickly said "Well I got everyone two things and I needed bags to wrap the gifts too".  Then Lucy said "I got a couple of people two things and I got a glass present to wrap Dad's present".  I realized that I was not as specific as I had been in the past. I said whatever you want, but should have clarified one present per person. Lesson learned.

I really was good at not looking, but at one point I did see a black quinceanera statue in one of the bags... so I know we came home with some real treasures.

When we got home all the girls went to separate rooms and wrapped the gifts all by themselves. Lucy even wrote all her own gift tags.  

They were in heaven the whole time, taking their time to pick the perfect gift and wrap it just right, but when it was all over (about 3 hours later) I was totally exhausted.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas lights

Last night we drove out to a  Rancho Cucamonga to a neighborhood that really knows how to decorate for Christmas. 

We walked all around streets and streets with houses covered with decorations and lights. Lots of the houses have little stands set up with churros, popcorn, hot chocolate and other goodies. We went with my friend Melissa (my morning biker chick) and her family. She brought with her bags of popcorn for the kids- so prepared!

This was HUGE with police directing traffic and lines of cars driving through at 2 mph. We were walking faster then the cars were moving.  

After looking at all the houses we hung out in the back of Melissa & John's truck and had hot chocolate. Par-tay!

The infamous Melissa and her husband John

Last year I went solo because Eric was working, but this year I had some arm candy. 

I am happy to report that we did not loose any children in the crowd (unlike 2 years ago). 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Parties, parties, parties

Is this not the coolest Christmas tree ever?

We went to a family Christmas party at Eric's sisters house in Laguna beach. Since they live at the beach their tree is all beach, ocean ornaments complete with a starfish at the top of the tree- so cool.

Here are some random photos of her cool house.

I hardly saw the boys all night because they were rocking out upstairs.  Every now and then I would go listen to them and it was hilarious.  They were very serious but sounded like wounded cats singing things like "I wish I was special.... but I'm a freak".  So funny.

The girls were playing school with Grandpa. They finally get out of school on vacation and they pretend to be in school??? The rest of the night they were dressing up and putting on performances.  I brought gingerbread ornaments to decorate and Shonda brought a yarn craft for the kids to do, but they were so busy and happy, we never busted out the projects.

This is a photo of me, Shonda and April at the end of the party.  Can you see what's wrong with the photo? Two of the girls are wearing normal/ light weight shirts... I am wearing a long sleeve shirt, velvet jacket and scarf and I was still cold!  Either it was the humidity from the beach or like the boys.... I'm a freak!
The next party was Grandma Hawley's and Grandpa Johns.  They made super yummy Mexican food, it was so good.  Then they turned on the Wii fit and everyone was cracking up the rest of the night. We hula hooped, skied and tight rope walked. It was really funny to see Eric and his brothers shaking their hips like crazy.  I have seen people playing the Wii, but this was the 1st time I tried it- very fun.

My niece Larkin (the tallest one in the red shirt above) made these amazing fairies.  She makes them all by hand and embroiders them too, they are so beautiful. She made one for each of my girls and one for me too.  Thank you Larkin!!!

Last but not least (technically it was last weekend) we had our Ward/church Christmas party.  Ruby and Lucy both sat on Santa's lap, but Haley continues to be afraid of him (she claims she is not).  She refused to get within 20 feet of Santa. 

For dinner we had deep fried turkeys, just like when we lived in the South, they were sooo good.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Crafting Christmas

I'm not sure if it's because it's been so cold, or if just in my blood but we have been doing non stop craft & cooking projects at our house.

Here are a few that were big hits with the kids. I can't post about some because they are presents. 

The girls made marble painted glass balls. I bought 2 packs of 5 at Joann's 50% off so I paid $1.50 per pack.  The girls just squirted different colors of paint and mixed it around inside the ornament. Then we poured out the excess paint and waited for them to dry.  This may one of my kids all time favorite projects- they seriously loved making them and continually comment on how beautiful they look on the tree.

Lucy hung her 3 ornaments close together so they would not be sad.

We also tied fleece blankets.  Fleece is pretty expensive but there is a little hole in the wall in Fontana that sells tons of fleece for $3 a yard. The girls each picked a yard and a half of two different fabrics for their own blanket.  I cut all the tabs (2-3 in apart) and cut little holes inside the tabs, the the girls pulled all the tabs through.  Ruby especially LOVED making these and they are now their favorite blankets.  We actually made these a 2nd time with some friends that spent the night. I got fleece for them and my girls helped their friends make their own blankets. Again, huge hit and for $7 a blanket what a steal.  Joanns has had a lot of sales on fleece so if you watch or buy it from the clearance area you can get it a lot cheeper. 

Of course we made our Gingerwood houses.  Eric made small ones for each girl 2 years ago and I was going to decorate the big one that lights up... but guess what, we sold ALL of them.  I can't believe we didn't keep one for ourselves!!!  I'm sure someone wanted one and Eric said I can make another one for us, so I sold it.  Hopefully next year Eric will have the time to make a few more houses.

Couple of suggestions.  My girls got a ton of Halloween candy, so 2 days after they had eaten themselves sick... all the candy disappeared.  While they were at school I pulled it out and opened all the packages, put the candy in bowls added some store bought candy and they had no idea they were recycling their Halloween candy!

One other thing.  This year we decorated half the house one night and then the other half the next night.  This was much better because they took their time and did not get frustrated or bored.

We also made a gazillion gingerbread men and women for a party tonight.  The kids are going to decorate them with puff paint for a little activity at the party. These are the ornament cookies that you can't eat, but they smell really good on the tree. The recipe is below if anyone wants to make them.

Ornament cookies
1 c shortening
1 c brown sugar, packed
2 c molasses
1 c white glue
1 T baking soda
1T ground ginger
6 to 8 c all purpose flour
1 3/4 c water

Cream shortening with brown sugar, add molasses and glue, set aside.  Combine baking soda, ginger and 6 cups flour.  Ad flour mixture and water alternately to creamed mixture. Add enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough, knead well. roll to 1/4 in thing and cut with cookie cutter. Place in ungreased baking sheet. poke a hole on the top with a straw or chopstick. Bake 300 degrees for one hour then to thoroughly dry, place on oven racks and bake at 100 for an additional 3 hours. Makes aprox one gazillion cookies (seriously I made 4 doz and did not even use all the dough).
Good luck!

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