Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Twas the night before Christmas

Christmas is so exciting! I love the excitement and anticipation of what is coming. I just love everything about Christmas, lets be honest. I love shopping and planning and preparing!
For Christmas Eve we keep it pretty simple, we have soups in bread bowls, play a game and of course the nativity. This year my mom brought a game called "hot reindeer". You had to pass the reindeer around the circle while the music played, if it stopped while you had it, you are out. It was lots of fun!
Derek and I made it the last two! Neil snapped this picture just in time, as he launched the poor reindeer at my face. He won, the turkey!
Bryson was very taken with this game, he however could not play, because when he got it, he did not to pass it around. He just wanted to check it out!
Then comes time for the reenactment of the Birth of our Savior. I would love to tell you how neat it was and how the spirit was very strong. Instead I have to be honest, and tell of the laughs and the good time that we had. Here is one of the cutest Shepard's ever seen!

And then there is such a handsome Joseph.
What nativity would be complete without the donkey, yes the donkey. Camden was telling us for several days before Christmas Eve that he wanted to be the donkey that carried in Mary. I am certainly glad we had this on video. The donkey "carrying" Savannah was absolutely hysterical. And who could not laugh with this face making hee haw noises?????

Spiritual, unfortunately no, but definatly unforgettable! Here is our rowdy nativity actors!

After everyone leaves, it is time to open one present picked by me, I wonder what they could be???

Ready for bed?? Probably not, but we will pretend! What a handsome group of boys. I love them so much. I can't wait for morning!
My parents always give us a Christmas book each year. This year they did recordable books from Hallmark. They recorded the Christmas story for each of family. It is really neat to have their voices read the story. This is the book we used for bedtime tonight of course. My kids just loved it.
Saying goodnight and thank you to grandma and grandpa!
We will see you in the morning! I can't wait ~ hehe

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chrismas Morning!

I don't know if there is anything better than Christmas morning. I absolutely love it! I am so excited for Christmas morning, I can hardly sleep. While I was growing up, we were able to get my parents up at 5:00 am! My kids haven't grasped that concept yet, to Neil's delight and my disappointment. They finally woke up this year at 7:00, I was so happy to hear Dallin's footsteps in the hall.

I am so mad at myself that I didn't take a picture of the front room before they started opening. That darn Santa must have overloaded his sleigh this year and decided to unload at our house. Wow, did we have tons of presents!

Bryson was a lot of fun this year. He walked in a found this fourwheeler by his stack of presents! He loved it, he sat on it while he opened several presents.

Dallin knew that he wanted to open his biggest present first, because he thought for sure it would be his guitar, and he was right!

Camden asked Santa for a dragon boat and a big foot. I guess most people hadn't heard of this toy, because everyone was surprised by what he would say.
Bryson also got a Dance Star Mickey, he quite liked it, here is everyone dancing with it.

I love the smiles on their faces!

Dallin also wanted a Cyclaws and here it is, this car really moves fast. It will be a lot of fun when we can get it outside.

Dallin is a very thoughtful kid. Earlier in December he needed new socks, when Neil helped him open them, he told Dallin that his favorite thing is to get new socks. Dallin came to tell me he had the perfect gift for Dad, new socks!

I had a little surprise up my sleeve. Neil has wanted a new TV for a long time. I thought it would be fun to get it for him for christmas as a big surprise. I had Josh go with me to get it, and he stored it as his house until a few days before Christmas. I had him bring it up here while both boys were at school, so they wouldn't spoil my surprise. I sent Neil on a scavenger hunt to find his present, his first clue was wrapped in a tie box, I am so clever!

The second clue was under his bed.

Third clue was down in our food storage.

The fourth and final clue was under the poinsetta.

This took him to our unfinished theater room. He was pretty happy!

After all the presents were opened the boys started playing. Bryson rode on his fourwheeler, but he wanted to give Mickey a ride. I am impressed with how well he rides it.

Dallin playing us a "song".

Shocker of the world I didn't get one of Camden playing with his toys, he was too busy checking everything out. We had an amazing Christmas. I forgot to mention that my parents and Brett stayed at our house for Christmas morning. They told me to enjoy Christmas morning, because it doesn't last forever. I told them they should just come and have Christmas with us. They were reluctant at first, not wanting to intrude. We are sure glad they came, we had so much fun.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Candy Making Attempt!

My Grandma Rader always made caramel every Christmas. I used to go out to her house and she would help me make a couple of batches. She has been gone for almost 2 years now and we all miss her so much. Last year Brady came to my house and we made a couple of batches. His batch didn't turn out the best, because he kept scraping the sides of the pan.
We were determined not to have that happen this year. Brady was so careful not to stir the sides of the pan, he also didn't stir the bottom at all either. The first batch turned out quite burnt and hard as a rock, literally. Brady took that pan outside and busted out all he could. There was still a chunk left in the bottom of the pan. The second batch I stirred, but it was still going quite dark. I ran to the store and bought more cream, I was determined to have one good batch.
I was thinking maybe my candy thermometer wasn't working so I tested the third batch, and poured it out way before it was at the right temperature. The color was a lot better, and I thought it was going to be perfect. It wasn't exactly, it is edible, but still pretty dang hard.
This picture shows the three batches, that chunk left was the first disaster.
Brady wasn't about to throw away even the burnt stuff. He broke it out and put it in a baggy.
This is how dark and hard it is!
This is the second batch, Brady is holding this, and it isn't even in a pan! How sad for our caramels!
I had heard you aren't suppose to make caramels if it is cloudy, I thought that was the biggest crock of crap! Apparently it is true, we made our "caramels" on a day that was extremely cloudy, not a spot of blue sky or sun could be seen. I believe we have learned our lesson and hopefully next years candy making experience will be much better. At least we had a great time while we cooked and we laughed pretty hard at our turnout!