Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

We hope that all of our loved ones and friends had a joyous holiday this year! We’ve had a full, fun, and just plain nice winter break … so far, with more to go!! Kids are off school a while longer and Brad is taking a little more leave (use or lose) … so we have more family-together time coming our way!

Honor had a school concert, they both had holiday tunes assigned in piano class, and the kids and I even had a chance to join in caroling at a local bakery! The folks at Sugar Daddy’s are always festive on holidays!

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We managed to get our tree up by a reasonable date, and discovered that this year, Brian is tall enough to handle tinsel wrapping duties on his own! (He’s been trying to take over this job for a few years now!)

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Honor discovered that eggnog is quite yummy!
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I love my elves!

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Honor’s turn to put the topper on the tree!
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Holiday prep also meant baking this year. Lots of cookies! We had gingerbread made from dough a friend gave me. Everybody had fun cutting the shapes and playing with the frosting. (Gingerbread with a simple powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice frosting/glaze is so yummy!)

DSC02000  We also made other cookie varieties. Chocolate & Peanut butter no-bake cookies, Ginger Spice Cookies (Honor made these pretty much by herself… I had to help stir the batter when it got heavy, and I operate  the oven), Chocolate Crinkles (I used dark chocolate powder and instead of espresso powder, I ground up some Peppermint Twist coffee – from the Flying Bean Coffee company – and added that.. Yum!) and Anise Borrachio cookies…. my favorites because they are so light and delicate, yet delicious!

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Plenty of cookies for us to eat for breakfast on Christmas morning… wait! …hey!… who said you kids could have cookies for breakfast??!!

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(I meant!… plenty for us to enjoy AND give away! :D !)

As our tradition, I always get everyone new PJ’s for Christmas. This year Honor wanted footies! I had found a website with patterns that the kids liked, but I was iffy about the shipping to our APO address, so I went with reliable Land’s End … and these Pj’s are NICE! Soft, warm, and well-made! Brian was not thrilled with the pattern on his, but as long as they are comfy (they are), he’s ok with it. I happen to think that, like his dad, this is an awesome color combo on him… it makes his hair look like gold!

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Honor in an elf hat… it goes well with her jammies! Meanwhile, Pixie contemplates a leap into the tree from a higher vantage point…

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The cats liked to help open gifts because it involves crinkly PAPER!

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The cats eventually discovered the simple stuffed rat-thing toy that I had made for them. A soft toy with cat nip. Brad had wrapped it and hid it under the tree. Ninja found it.

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Pixie thought Ninja should share…

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Brad got the game he wanted (and is having to keep telling Brian ‘No’ about it, because Brian wants it too!)

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Brian did get the one he really wanted…

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Honor seemed to be tickled with everything she opened, even though the majority of our presents were needed things, like bigger sized school clothes!

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Brian got the cats (Pixie in particular, it’s her favorite toy!) a tentacled rubber light-up ball… of course, the cats played in the boxes instead! I saw Pixie running around with the toy today though, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing her run around in the dark of night with this colorful, flashing light too! (until she wears the battery down… kids and their electronics!)

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The kids still play Wizard101, and being the crafty geek mom that I am, I decided to create something from the game for the kids. Obviously, Brian is too old to want a doll, but he’s such a nice kid(!) and he always, sweetly, indulges his mom and her crafty whims. I’m glad he does so because I don’t think I am going to change anytime soon, and will probably continue to create odd things whenever I am inspired to do so…

I made them both ragdoll ‘interpretations’ of their in game avatar wizards. I’ll do another post on them later, to share details of how I made them, in case there are other crafty geek moms out there who want to make their own. I used a very nice/easy pattern and will share what I found online, plus what I did to alter it.

DSC02053  Grandma and Grandpa sent the grandcats a box of static-y packing peanuts to play in!!

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They also threw in a bunch of nice stuff in for the grandkids :)  We got the box on Christmas Eve as the staff at the mailroom were working overtime to get packages in from the airport and delivered for us folks here at post.

Oh… and if anyone is feeling worn out and frazzled after all of the holiday hustle and bustle, our cats have some recommendations for stress relief:

One – play with your new toys until your eyes glow!

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Two – Take over the comfy chair and snuggle with a friend

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…or…

go for the sofa and cuddle on a soft blanket with a couple friends to watch a favorite movie.

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and for those really tough days…

Three – talk mom into a reeeelaaaaaaxing head massage ;)
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Happy Holidays everyone!!! Hope you are enjoying yourself and are surrounded by those you love!

8 comments:

Heather Dray said...

Merry Christmas! Thank you for sharing the family photos. And your cookies sooo put my baking to shame!

Christine said...

Merry Christmas Reed family! Love all the pictures! We miss you!

Connie said...

Heather - Merry Christmas to you too :) I am still a 'training' baker, so the recipes I linked to, with the exception of the chocolate crinkles, are verrrrrry easy and fuss-free!! The anise cookies don't cut out well, so I simply roll out small balls and flatten them. The ginger and no-bakes are very easy (and the kids love to add more spices because it smells so good... very flexible and yummy!). The chocolate crinkles dough was sticky, had to be chilled, was still sticky, but we managed (with some fussing!). Not sure I have the patience for that... I need more of the easy ones! :)

Connie said...

Christine - Merry Christmas to the other Reed family :D !!! We miss you too and send our love to all!

Limningedge said...

all the very best for Christmas and the coming year

Nomads By Nature said...

A very Merry Christmas to you all! Glad you are getting some extra family time during the holiday -- kinda of an extra special gift to enjoy. The cookies look amazing and hopefully made many breakfasts or parties a delicious celebration!

Nicole Gamble said...

You are very lucky! You have a beautiful family! Happy Holidays!

Connie said...

Thanks everyone :) Merry Christmas!!! :)