Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Snapshots

Better late than never- and now that December is almost over and we are close to ringing in the New Year it seems like I should get to posting some pictures from our Christmas of 2010.

We did our decorating.






The baking was done





Christmas Eve day was celebrated with family. We shared a meal of Honeybaked Ham, Gruyere potatoes, pomegranate salad, fruit and rolls.


Later that evening we attended Christmas Eve services at our church which is always amazing and beautiful with the live animals!




Then it was back home to continue our tradition of opening the first gift of Christmas of new Christmas pajamas for all.




(I think the doggie felt left out.)


And then reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas."


On Christmas morning the boys did not wake up until after 10am...but then the paper started flying.




I even got a big hug from this present! :)




Then our breakfast tradition continued with Eggs Benedict and monkey bread.



Then it was off to celebrate with more family for Christmas day.


My Dad even got his Red Ryder BB gun he never got as a kid. :) I think he liked it!


It was a wonderful Christmas!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowy Weekend

All of last week the weather people were predicting snow for Saturday.
All of last week the inches predicted kept increasing, starting with 3 inches, then up to 6 to 9 inches, a foot, and then late Friday they said that it could be as much of 2 feet of snow in some places.

And just like that we were under a ‘winter storm warning’ and then a ‘blizzard warning’.

And silly me was not believing that we would get that much snow thinking for sure these weather people were overestimating the snowfall amounts. Ha! Let’s just say I was wrong!

The snow started flying late Friday evening, and the winds picked up with more snow all day Saturday. Everything was canceled or closing: no high school hockey game for Jake, no hockey tournament game for Drew, the Mall of America closed early, my gym closed, the busses stopped running, the airport closed, and basically the entire storm area came to a standstill.

So instead of the busy day that we thought we were going to have, we ended up literarily snowed in. We used this unexpected free time to do a little more Christmas decorating, did some cleaning, and watched a Christmas movie with the fireplace going! I love ‘snow days’!
(The snow drift was up to my kitchen window!)

Pete went out 3 or 4 times to snow blow and shovel snow off the deck. All said and done, we have close to 2o new inches of snow!!

The first plow didn’t even come down our street until last evening. Such a welcome sight!!


And with all the snow yesterday, today’s Viking football game was rescheduled for tomorrow so they could get the snow off of the dome. But they weren’t able to get this done in time. This morning the weight of all of the snow ended up collapsing the dome. Unbelievable!!


(Photo from Michelle G. )
 And in other non-snow related new; Drew received "player of the game" at this mornings tournament game! He had 2 goals and 3 assists!! I am so poud of my boy!




It was a nice weekend, snowy and all!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Very Best Sugar Cookie

I found this sugar cookie recipe many years ago in a Martha Stewart magazine and have been making these for almost 20 years. It is the cookie that family and friends all request that I make each year, and I do. I think it is the touch of brandy in this recipe that gives it such a wonderful taste. (I usually triple or even quadruple this recipe.)


!/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ t baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons brandy
½ teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and sugar together. Sift dry ingredients together, add to butter mixture and beat well. Add egg, brandy and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Chill dough at leas 1 hour. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into shapes and put on baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely and decorate.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

It is a tradition in our family that we always put up our Christmas tree the weekend of Thanksgiving and this year this tradition was extra special because Tyler was home for the weekend from college.

We set up the tree and put up the garland and beads and then my favorite part begins- time to hang the ornaments.

Once upon a time (19 years ago and before kids) our tree was filled with matching ornaments and was ‘perfectly’ decorated. Our Christmas tree today is what I would call eclectic and filled with memories. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!!

I have many favorite ornaments and these are some at the top of my list.

This ornament we got as a wedding gift and is special because it is the first ornament of our family.


I also have many Snow Baby ornaments that are dear to my heart. My Mom started giving me one of these ornaments each Christmas after Tyler was born because he was our snow baby. (Tyler was born just days after the Halloween blizzard of 1991 where the Twin Cities got hit with over 30 inches of snow. We were snowed in for days!) Here just a few of my favorite Snow Babies.




This ornament is one I gave to my Grandpa his very last Christmas with us and always brings back bittersweet memories each year I hang it on my own tree.


One of my favorite traditions that I started with my boys when the were babies is that each year for Christmas I get them an ornament that says something special about their year.

For example one year for Drew it was a cruise ship. (The vacation where he falls out of bunk bed, breaks arm, needs surgery, we leave vacation only a couple of days in to go home to have surgery done, vacation. :)


And for Jake one year it was a Harry Potter ornament. (This was the year he was in 1st grade and read those books and literally couldn't put them down!!)


The year we got our first dog, Comet, each boy got an ornament like this. This one is Tyler’s.


These ornaments get wrapped and put in their own ornament box for them to hang each year. And for someday for them to start decorating their own trees with.

But I have to say when I look at my tree, my most favorite ornaments of all are the ones made with my boys own hands. The ones they made as young boys at school and wrapped and placed under the tree as Christmas presents.





My tree may not be perfect in the eyes of most- but to my eyes... it is the most perfect of all!