Tuesday, December 18, 2012

{Christmas Themed Dinner Week}

Now that I'm officially on break for Christmas, I am having tons of fun baking, wrapping, and doing all things Christmas! 

Last year I started a tradition, and it's here to stay! 

The week before Christmas, I did themed Christmas dinners. 

I would plan a theme, and I used this website to find free printable to make the dinner really special! 

This all really started because we weren't hosting a Christmas party last year, but I found so many free party printables, that I was sad not to use them! 

So I said "do I really need a party to use these?" 


Here's a look at what we did last year: 

Make Your Own Pizza Night

Mexican Night

Reindeer Breakfast

They were a blast, and I'm excited to continue it this week! 

Here's what I have planned. 

Tonight, I am making a big pot of Chicken N' Gravy, and then we are going to decorate a Gingerbread House! 

I am going to use this printable because I love the natural background 

Keeping with tradition, Wednesday we will have a fiesta making our favorite White Chicken Enchiladas! I actually saved the little banner from last year, so I'll just print out the invitation! 

Thursday, it's supposed to be very cold, so we will snuggle in next to the first place and eat Crock Pot Chicken N' Dumplings. This printable is too cute, right? 

On Friday, we will spend our evening making dozens of Christmas cookies. Not before our traditional make your own pizza party. Maybe we'll try a different shape of pizza this year! 

Saturday morning, we will have our Reindeer Breakfast again. It was so fun and cute last year, that I wanted to continue the tradition! 

Now let's be honest, are the printables necessary? 


But I love making things special and creative for Wendel. 

Well, let's be honest, it's probably more for me :) But I think Wendel enjoys it too!! 

Now it's off for more wrapping! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

{No Title Necessary}

My heart is heavy as so many American's are. 

As a teacher, an aunt, a daughter, a wife, a future mother, I am heart broken...truly! 

My stomach is constantly churning and I cannot stop reading articles about the victims and their families...

I just wanted to share two things with you.

The first is an article that I think everyone should read. 

Please take the time to read this

I will leave you with this beautifully written prayer that makes me weep...

 {Sorry Wendel for my up and down emotions...good thing you love me way too much}

Just For Today

By Sally Meyer

Just for this morning,
I am going to smile when I see your face...
and laugh when I feel like crying.

Just for this morning,
I will let you wake up softly in your flannel p.j.'s...
and hold you until you are ready to stir.

Just for this morning,
I will let you choose what you want to wear...
and I will say how beautiful you are.

Just for this morning,
I will step over the laundry to pick you up...
and take you to the park to play

Just for this morning,
I will leave the dishes in the sink...
and let you teach me how to put your puzzle together.

Just for this afternoon,
I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off...
and sit with you in the garden
blowing bubbles.

Just for this afternoon,
I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you
scream and whine for the ice cream truck...
and I will buy you one, if he comes by.

Just for this afternoon,
I won't worry about what you are going to be
when you grow up...
I will simply love you for the joy you bring me

Just for this afternoon,
I will let you help me make cookies...
and I wont stand over you . . . trying to 'fix things.'

Just for this afternoon,
I will take you to McDonald's and buy us both a 'Happy Meal'...
so you can have two toys.

Just for this evening,
I will hold you in my arms and tell you the story of how you
were born...
and how much we love you.

Just for this evening,
I will let you splash in the bathtub...
and I won't get angry when you pour water over your sister's

Just for this evening,
I will let you stay up late...
while we sit on the porch swing
and count all the stars.

Just for this evening,
I will bring you glasses of water...
and snuggle beside you for hours...
and miss my favorite t.v. show.

And tonight when you are sleeping safe and warm in your bed,
I will think of the mothers and fathers
who mourn for the children they have lost.

I will remember the parents who sit by hospital beds,
watching over the little ones they love.

I will weep for those parents whose children are cold,
hungry and suffering,

and .... this evening,
when I kneel down to pray,
I will simply be grateful for all that I have

and not ask for anything...

except just one more day

Saturday, December 15, 2012

{Our Advent Calendar}

Wendel and I are having such a blast this Holiday season squeezing in fun Christmasy things together! 

I think we've clarified that I'm a list person. I love having an organized way of knowing what I want to accomplish...and then getting to check it off! 

So this year I made a cute little advent calendar to help us get as much as possible in during the hustle and bustle! 

The advent calendar I made was very simple! 

They are just little envelopes, and then Wendel or I {we change everyday} plan something and slip the idea into the envelope. We did this last year too, so we can look back at what we did last year on the same day! 

All you need is: 

Mini coin envelopes {Staples} 
Scrapbook paper {Hobby Lobby}
Ribbon/Scrapbook Accessories {Hobby Lobby}
Scrapbook Letters- I used my Cricut {Target/Hobby Lobby}
Clothes Pins {Target}
Hot Glue/Double Sided Tape 

Then just cut, clip, paste, and decorate till your little heart's desire! 

We put our advent calendar up on our bookcase so we can gaze at it while we watch Christmas movies! 

Anyhoo...here is what we've been up to this Christmas season! 

Day 1: Christmas Shopping and Date Night 

Day 2: Our City's Holiday Walk

Day 3: Enjoying the Warm Weather By Checking Out The Lights on Our Sreet

{They do it up right, don't they?}

Day 4: Paper Snow Flakes and Finishing Up Christmas Cards

Day 5: Saint Nick Shopping

Day 6: Saint Night Gifting

Day 7: Major Christmas Date Night: Christmas Trains at Union Termincal, Live Nativity at Kron's Conservatory, Sushi, Hot Coco, Christmas Lights

Day 8: Candle Lit Service at Church

Day 9: Orange Cream Soda Night

Day 10: Cake Pop Night 

{made 150 for Alex's company party the following night}

Day 11: Wendel's Company Party

Day 12: Read Christmas Books  

Day 13: Festival of Lights

I can't believe how fast this time of year goes, but I'm excited for the fun that is going to take place in the next 10 days! 

What are ya'll doing for your advent calendar?? 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

{A Six-Pack Party}

So Alex and I wanted to host a little party for the couples we have met through our church the past year and a half. 

We have been so blessed to meet such solid people who are making marriage a priority, and we're thankful for that! 

So...when thinking about what time of party to have...appetizers and then everyone can bring a drink of some sort...then I thought what if everyone brought a six pack? Then we would have enough for everyone to share. 

So we decided to have a "six-pack party" where everyone brings their favorite six-pack alcoholic or non-alcoholic. 

You could bring your favorite beer, cream soda, root beer, Jones Soda, etc. 

We were excited, and couldn't wait to hang out with everyone! 

I made a few very simple appetizers to share and then made a little Mediterranean board. 

These were completely gone by the end of the night...so delicious! A little sweet, salty, and creamy. 

Hummus, Feta, Olives, Pita...

Brie and Cranberry Sauce Tartlets

We invested {well a minor $8.00 investment} in this little bottle opener a little bit ago for the side of our cabinet and we LOVE it! So easy and useful...and cute! 

I also had the Kureg up and running in case anyone wanted some hot coco, chia tea, or coffee. 

And for dessert we had these pumpkin cream cheese sandwiches...so delicious!! 

We had our house all ready for fall time with these branch candle holders that Wendel made from some branches from the backyard! 

And this one that was on the dining room table...with these cute little turkey tea light holders! 

Then at the end of the night, we had everyone fill up their six pack carrier with a variety of what was left over! That way we weren't left with too much! 

I also had some little favors for everyone! 

It was crock pot apple butter!

Super easy! A bag of apples peeled, cored, and cubed. Add 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp all spice. 

Let it cook for 6-8 hours. THEN pour the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. THEN put the mixture back in the crock pot for another 6-8 hours. 

Now, I'll say I didn't do the last part. I put it in for maybe another hour or so after blending...but the recipe says another 6-8 hours. An extra hour did it and it was delicious! 

We had an absolute blast! It was wonderful to see everyone and we had fun until midnight!  

Woo hoo for fun fall time parties! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

{50 Years Later...}

Alex's parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year...amazing, right? 

Aren't they so sweet?

We surprised them with a night on the town...they just didn't know what part of town!

We took them down memory lane and did two things they used to do when their kids {Wendel's mom and uncle} were little. 

First up: The top of Carew Tower in Downtown Cincinnati to let balloons go! 

They used to do this on Sundays after lunch. Too cute!

Going up the tiny elevator...

At the top! 

Adore our beautiful city! 

So sweet...ready to let the balloons go! 

Blurry...but oh well! 

Alex's cousin Lan, his wife Katie and their baby girl Emma.

And off they went! 

Then we went to Lunken Airport to the Sky Galley Restaurant.

Interesting {and awesome} fact...Alex's grandmother went on the Price Is Right and won a Cessna Airplane...amazing right? So Wendel's family has taken piloting lessons {including Wendel!} 

When the kids were little, Mary and Don would take them to Lunken Airport to eat lunch and watch the planes take off. 

Can't wait to follow this tradition with our kids someday! 

Tiny little diner that they went to as kids. 

We enjoyed a delicious dinner, and some yummy cake! 

It is so amazing to see these cuties still in love! Can't wait to share our 50th together...but I'll just look forward to our 2nd anniversary for now :) 

Monday, December 10, 2012

{Fall Stuff...A Month Late...}

Okay so I'm WAY behind...this is obvious...but since this blog is like a journal...I have to back track a bit! 

Wendel and I were knee deep in home projects during the fall time, but I was determined to fit everything in! 

We hit up the Pumpkin Patch with the family...

Went to the Pumpkin Walk in town...with the family of course!  

The next two are the pumpkins that my two classes voted on and carved...

Darn photographers...too blurry! 

And hosted Trick of Treat at our house! 

Meet Woody and Jessie!

We had lots of cowgirls...

Some bandits...

And some super heroes too! 

And the boys enjoyed the fire a little too much :) 

See...I told you we were busy this fall...few! I'm tired just typing about it!