Friday, December 30, 2011

Patti's 1880s Settlement

Note: This is the first time I have tried posting from my iphone and the pictures appeared in the post in a different order than I uploaded them, so it is a little random.

On December 30, we went to Patti's 1880s settlement in Kentucky with Kyle and Jessica.  I had been talking about going all Christmas break, and we finally had an available day.  Alex decided to go to a friend's house, so he didn't come with us and Jesikah was feeling sick with stomach sickness so she stayed home.  It was weird just having 2 kids along.  I thought it was a cute little old-fashioned village, but I think Eric, Kyle, and Jessica were expecting a little more or maybe something different.  Maybe I talked it up too much to convince them. :)  I had never been there before, but several people told me it was a fun place with good food, so we went. 

I enjoyed looking around the shops and I think Tessa liked it too, but everyone else seemed a little bored.  We ended up having a good time though just getting out and being together.  We walked around the small village for about 1 hour before our restaurant reservation.  Kyle and Eric were so glad we didn't get there any earlier as we had planned.  :)

We ate at Patti's Restaurant.  Their house specialty is their 2 inch Porkchop and their lemon meringue pie with 7-9 inch meringue.  I decided to get the 2 inch pork chop since I like to get the house specialty.  It definitely was large!  I ate about half and took the rest home which went into sandwiches for Eric and I the next day AND the black-eyed peas and ham which is our tradition for New Year's Eve.  It was delicious!  They were out of lemon meringue (which is Eric's favorite), but we did take two pies home:  a butterscotch pecan and a chess pie.  They were both good, but super, super rich.  They could only be handled in small doses.  The kids didn't like the pecan because of the nuts and we thought Eric's dad would eat it who came on New Year's Eve, but apparently he doesn't like butterscotch.  In the end, we only ate a couple of pieces and Eric took the rest to work and they finished it off.  We did eat the chess, but it went very slowly.  I guess we picked the wrong kinds.

They had a fun area with several Christmas trees and decorations, so we took most of the pictures there.

My pork chop! 
I got this picture while inside the shopping looking out at Jarem and Kyle playing chess.
Even the grilled cheese sandwiches were giant!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

 Well, I snuck in the room before everyone and saw that I got an iphone from Santa(yeah), so I used it to take pictures...still not as good as my camera though.  However, Kyle and Jess helped me out by taking pictures from their camera too and letting me upload them.  You'll be able to tell the ones from their Nikon versus my phone.

Before anyone came in the room

Coming upstairs Christmas morning

Alex didn't even want to wake up on Christmas

Looking at their Santa gifts
Jarem got a 2-wheel bike, and Jesikah and Tessa both got huge lego sets.  Alex got an iphone.  Me too.  Eric got a guitar.
And stockings

Kyle, Taegan, and Jess

Each of the kids got one of these packs in their stockings

Jarem trying out his bike

TJ and Kalin
After Santa gifts and stockings, we had breakfast of our traditional almond roll and then got ready for church.
I had planned a Christmas music program for sacrament meeting that day. I was playing the piano for all the numbers and was a little nervous about everything going well.  In addition, Sister Klein had called me on Christmas eve and said her husband was in the hospital and wanted me to play the organ on Christmas too.  This was causing me a bit of anxiety because I am not completely comfortable on the organ and would rather have time to practice before playing, but of course, there was no time.  I could have played the piano, but having the organ is nice on Christmas so I just sucked it up and did it.  We did arrive about 30 minutes early so I could run through the songs.  I felt like everything went very well.   This was the first choir our ward has had in the 3 1/2 years that we have lived here.  Both the director and I were inexperienced in putting together a choir.  I thought it went amazingly well, and the other numbers too.  It wasn't perfect, but considering where it was just a few weeks ago, I was very happy with it.

When we got home, everyone was ready for lunch.  Eric had some things to take care of with a lady from church who he home teaches and so we waited until he got home and ate too.  Then we started opening presents around 1ish?

The first thing our kids opened was their $20 from Grandma Cindi! Nothing like cash to make them smile!

Alex got a University of Oregon sweatshirt

Jarem got a scooter from Tessa

Sunny got earring from Jesikah

TJ got a phone and ipod charger from Sunny

Jess also got earrings from Jesikah

Taegan got a ...

HAT!  And as cute as it was, he threw a fit right after this because he wanted it OFF.

Grandma got 2 mothers necklaces from silver and one gold with the birthstones of her kids

Grandpa got gourmet black licorice from Tessa

Eric was kind of tucked back in the corner surrounded by gifts

Jarem excited that he got Legos too

Tessa got a Lego figure from Jesikah

Kalin excited about his gift

Jessica and Taegan having a cute moment
Kyle and Jessica and Taegan had their own Christmas before they left home because they weren't going to have a lot of room in their car, so they didn't really have much to open.

3 brothers with beanie caps knitted by their step-mom, Collette...can you see the family resemblance?

And 3 sister-in-laws, we also got cute hats and scarves too!

Kalin got Finn McMissile and he couldn't have been happier. He played with it everyday that he was here.

From the other angle...look at all those cameras on Kalin :)

Alex already in his sweatshirt

Lego guy from Jesikah...she gave each of her siblings 3 gifts

Each of the kids also got a knitted stocking filled with candy from Collette!  She must have spent so many hours!
Tessa got a candy cane from Jesikah individually wrapped as her second gift.

Lyla was SO excited about her baby doll

So sweet...her parents couldn't have chosen better

Knife set that we got them

Mug to grandma from Jarem

Mug to Grandpa from Jesikah

Candle to Grandma from Jesikah

Alex gave Jarem his ipod shuffle and his gameboy DS!  Couldn't be better for a 6 year old!

Jarem tackling Alex to give him a hug

Jarem got Alex a lego set

Jarem getting another hug from Alex

Jesikah hugging Tessa for her gift

It was a lego bride and groom set

Jess got a surprise present...6 tubes of body cream from B&BW! :)

Eric opening gift from Tessa. He won't like this pic because it looked like he had a double chin

Hugs from Tessa

Tessa gave grandma an ornament with cupcakes on a cake base. Very cute!

Hugs from Jesikah for his gift...the forbidden forest Lego set

A remote control helicopter for Alex...these are awesome.  Eric got one too.

Makeup kit for Jesikah

Jesikah's gift to Alex. Iphone accessories individually wrapped

2 Cases, screen protectors, a stylus, and headphones

Tessa was excited about the city of Ember set of books

 I made Tessa this book through Heritage Makers of her first year.  She was excited to finally have a baby book.

Jarem also got a baby book

Tessa got Epic Yarn Kirby from Alex!

More of Jarem's book

Jarem was very excited about this Lego set from Jesikah

Tessa got this Lego set from Jesikah: City Corner

All in all, everyone was spoiled, and it was a very merry Christmas.  Not only because of the gifts but because of the family that we were surrounded by.  We cut down on gifts this year by only giving each child 4 gifts from us.  But, with gifts from grandparents, friends, and gifts to and from each other, they were still very spoiled.  It seemed that we were opening gifts long after everyone else was done and we were almost anxious to finish by the end.  It was also a wonderful Christmas for me because it was on Sunday so we were able to attend church and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas as well.  And secondly, because a lot of stress was relieved after the church program and organ playing and then I could truly relax and enjoy Christmas.