Friday, December 25, 2009

Here are the pictures from our Christmas Eve celebration with Deb, Bud and Joe Boxer....

After we had some drinks and snacks we enjoyed a salmon dinner with asparagus, smashed potatoes, salad and rolls. The kids had ham, broccoli and applesauce with their rolls. Megan ate a bunch of carrots too while doing bunny impersonations.

I got this cute shot of Joe and the girls with their elves before we started opening gifts.

We started the gift opening with the dogs, since they are the most fun to watch. It also helps to keep them busy with their new toys while we unwrap our in peace.

Rowdy is the unwrapper in our doggy family. Rebel has not caught on to the tearing open of the gifts. Rowdy is an old (13 1/2 years) pro. So he unwraps them then struts around the room with them until Rebel snatches them away. It surprises me that Rowdy still gets excited about gifts and new toys, he was like a puppy again.

This is the cute shirt that Aunt Shann gave Paige.

Every year Bud tries to trick Megan by putting one of her gifts in a strange box. It all started about 3 years ago when he wrapped one of her gifts in a oil case box. When she opened it she cried out "Oh no I got oil". Then the next year we wrapped Bud's gift in a diaper box. This year Megan's gift came in a Christmas light box and Bud's ties were in a gumball machine box and his sweatshirt was in a box that said "Girls Boots".

At the end of the summer Deb and Bud took the girls on a camping-fishing trip. The girls were very impressed with the fun battery powered lanterns that they hung in camp. They were even more thrilled to each receive a set of their own. Next year we will have the coolest camp site ever thanks to Bud and Deb.

No Mike is not going to start holding up mini marts, Bud and Deb got him these liners for under his motorcycle helmet. Bud wears them when he sky dives and says they are great.

I unwrapped my super soft pink suede jacket from Dad and Carole and modeled it for everyone. It's so scrumptious, I adore it!

Mario Kart for the Wii was on the very tip top of both their Christmas list so when they unwrapped their gift from Pop=pop and Mimi they were thrilled!

In the first week of December when our gifts arrived from Dad and Carole I was unpacking them and placing them under our tree. There was an envelope addressed to Mike and I was afraid it might get lost in our tree skirt (a white twin size sheet) so I placed it under the ribbon of one of my gifts. Well when the girls were passing out the gifts they gave the gift in the pretty tissue paper with the fancy gold bow and envelope to Mike (since it had his name on it). I saw it laying on the table and I said I think that package is mine. He said well it has and envelope with my name on it. So I said let's open it up and see what's inside. That is why Mike is posing with my new apron that Carolee made for me. Last year I got her a cool apron book with lots of retro apron patterns in it. I told her "I hope we all get aprons for Christmas next year". So that is the story of my cool retro apron. She even made a little name tag on the inside that says "To Brandi, Love Carolee with the date. SO YES IT IS MY GIFT!

This is the cool shirt that Aunt Shann sent Megan, it's very glittery!

Every year we get the girls new p.j.'s to open on Christmas eve and they always act surprised. This year they both got Snoopy p.j.'s with a love and peace theme.

I love this cute shot of Aunt Deb and Paige together.

Joe was all festive in his jingle bell collar, every time he went to slurp water from his dish it sounded like "Jingle Bells".

Last week the girls and I stopped in at Kohl's to find Mike a shirt. While we were there we found this shirt and we had to get it for Bud, just because it had his name on it and he likes to fish!

Bud is such a good sport he tried on the ties that the girls picked out for him and pose with them too.

Each year I try to get my kids a gift from their Great Grandma, something special that they can keep and treasure and remember her by. This year Great Grandma got them "Wish Pearls". It is a necklace kit that comes with a mollusk in a pull tab can. They had to open the can then make a wish as they opened the mollusk to reveal their pearl. Their is a color chart to tell them what the meaning of their pearl color stands for. Then they put the pearl in a little silver cage that comes with a silver chain. This was a very cool gift and provided us with lots of drama and laughs. I'm pretty sure they will always remember the "wish pearls" from their 93 year old Great Grandma.

Megan's pearl is a soft pink and it stands for Success.

Paige's pearl is white and it stands for Wisdom.

Here the girls are playing their Mario Kart game on the Wii. They look pretty intense, Paige even has the tip of her tongue out like Michael Jordan on the basketball court.

These are the sock monkey slippers that my sister sent me...a classic!

Monday, December 07, 2009

We got T.P.ed on Saturday night.

Those crazy little elves went wild with the toilet paper.

We caught Jasper red handed well actually it was empty roll handed!

Paige had to rescue Oliver from his high perch atop the stairwell light.

The kids are responsible for cleaning up any messes that their elves make. They did a great job they rolled the t.p. back on the roll and they are using it in their bathroom.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Elf Antics

When the girls came home from school this afternoon they found that their elves had gotten into the boxes of candy canes that Mike had left on the table. So Paige and Megan helped Oliver and Jasper hang the candy canes on the tree. So far no one seems to be interested in putting the tinsel on the tree. I wonder if the elves will get into the tinsel next? Hmmmmm?

Megan and Jasper

Paige and Oliver

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Here's my Thanksgiving Day post
(A week after the big event)

The Elves are back!

Megan put crackers and milk out on Thanksgiving Eve so Jasper and Oliver could have a snack when they returned. The elves are so thoughtful they brought the girls some Rudolph and Clarice chapstick.

When Paige returned home from spending the night at Sydney's Megan could hardly wait for her to go check out her elf. Paige was a bit tired from the sleepover. She said they went to bed at 11 but then stayed up talking, oh well that's what sleepovers are for. Paige got home just in time to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade and then the dog show too.

The turkey was the best ever, I got up at 7 and had him in the oven by 8. I put a citrus rub on the bird this year. I found the recipe in the Raley's "Extra" magazine that Carole sends to me from California. It was so simple. I just put butter (of course), a peeled lemon, a peeled orange, some garlic cloves, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme and salt and pepper in the blender and pureed it. Then the fun part was rubbing it under the skin. I did add some Mural of Flavor to the outside of the bird, you can find that at

The flowers were from Trader Joes, orange-peach roses and some lovely fuschia peonies that I could not resist. I put them in my favorite green pot with the matching "flower frog" lid. Then I sat it on a green woven glass tray and put some lemons, red pears and pomegranates around them. I think it turned out pretty nice.

Brandon was chatting with Grandpa and I took this nice photo of them.

David and Jei were color cordinated with their blues.

Aunt Terry, Aaron, Paige, Megan (peeking over the sofa) and Brittney enjoying the dog show. They were acting like turkeys below.

Speaking of turkey's Terry was poking her head between the picture of the cooks (that would be Barb and myself). Barb was such a big help making the pumpkin pie, the pumpkin bundt cake, and the mashed potatoes.

Here's the spread...turkey, corn bread stuffing with dried cranberries and pork-apple sausage, the best gravy I have ever made (Thank God for "Wondra Flour") mashed garlic potatoes, Mrs. T's bourban sweet potatoes, and Jei's fried rice with shrimp. We also had broccli sauted in garlic herb butter, carrot salad with green onions and dried cranberries with a ginger dressing, cranberry relish with fresh orange, and 4 different kinds of rolls from the Anderson's bakery.
For dessert we had pumpkin pie, Dutch Apple pie, pumpkin bundt cake, Jello pretzel stuff, and cookie bars with peanut butter m&m's .

There's alwasy a couple of turkeys in the crowd....gobble gobble Steve and Terry :>

Paige climbed up the stairs to get this shot of the dining room. Aaron, Paige and Megan were eating at the kids table in the kitchen....and watching the last of the dog show. Did you see the Scottie won best of show. He was pretty cute with his little tounge sticking out.

Here's a nice shot of Brandon and Grandma that Mike took after dinner.

After dinner, dishes and desserts we all vegged out on the sofa and watched everyone take a turn playing Guitar Hero on the Wii. I even did a turn at vocals, singing "On the Road Again". Don't worry Willie you have no competition from me!