Thursday, December 13, 2012

Birdies and Angels

Tonight we went to two Christmas parties: One was an open house that Reed did for his clients, the other was Kason's preschool Christmas program and open house. Both of them were awesome!
First of all we spent last yesterday and this morning turning all of this into 30 pounds of fudge, 60 bags of caramel popcorn and kettle corn, nine dozen cookie, and a batch of family size brownies. All for gifts and refreshments at the Christmas Open House that Reed did at his office for all of his clients.
Here is the fudge. All wrapped up and ready to go home with guests. We have been doing fudge for Reed's clients since he started with Edward Jones. In the past we have experimented with many different flavors, butterscotch, orange cream, white chocolate (just to name a few). With everything to do this year we thought we would keep it simple and did just peanut butter, mint and chocolate (two batches of each). The peanut butter turned out really good this year!
Here is the popcorn. We did caramel using my mom's baked caramel corn recipe that is so so GOOD! And then we made kettle corn with festive red and green sugar. It turned out good, but is way better fresh. There is a reason they cook it on the spot when you get it at fairs and stuff. 

Here are all of the kids in their fancy Christmas clothes. They were very good and friendly to everyone at the open house. I was such a proud Mama!

Then we headed out to Churchland for Kason's Christmas program. He has had so much fun learning Christmas songs and making Christmas decorations. It was awesome to have him share it all with us!
We left Ella with Reed. She had such success charming all of his clients that Reed didn't want to let her go. But Harley and i waited patiently and ate tic tacs until the program started.

Here is a little video of the program. So funny! They were hiding the jingle bells behind their backs until the chorus - Kason couldn't even sing he was so focused on hiding the bells. This was by far his favorite song they sang. It was organized very well and they did some really cute songs! Kason teach told them to sing like, "birdies and angels," and they did!

After we had cookies and punch in the "Fellowship Hall". Kason goes to preschool at Churchland Baptist Church, so of  course the program was in the big old church that they meet in for preschool. I had only ever been in the classrooms before, it was fun to see a little bit more of the building and go into the chapel.
Here is Kason and his buddy Gage. They have such a good time together.  They can play for hours and hardly ever fight.

If he looks tired it's because he is. This is at the end of a long day and a long week filled with lots and lots of Christmas excitement. He generally handles it very well, they both do, but every once in a while there will be and outburst or a tantrum to remind me that little boys can only take so much Christmas cheer before they become overwhelmed. We have Reed's work party tomorrow and Ward Christmas Party on Saturday night, I hope they can hang in there.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fa La-La-La-La

With only 14 more days until Christmas we are just getting started on our holiday festivities. Last week we all went up to DC for a session at the temple. Unless we go up with another family, Reed and I take the kids with us up to DC and just trade off doing a session and staying with the kids. We always get Cafe Rio and usually hang out at the visitors center while we are waiting for the sessions to get over. The grounds were beautifully decorated with lights.

Inside the visitors center they had an impressive display of Christmas trees and  nativity scenes from around the world. The boys took turns trying to spot baby Jesus in each one.

Here we are in front of the temple. I did the 6 o'clock session and Reed did the 8 o'clock. We were there pretty late, but I was glad we ended up going at night o we could see all of the lights. The kids were so excited about all of the lights and decorations and being at the temple that they actually behaved very well, despite the late hour.

Almost as good as temple square in Salt Lake :)

Kason had just learned a little poem or song about the nativity at school so it was fun for him to recognize all of the different parts and people. He especially likes the "special star" part

For family night last week we went to a train show held a little church in Virginia Beach. The Hampton Roads Model Train Engineer club puts up a huge (and very detailed) display of model trains every Christmas.

Of course Harley managed to derail one of the trains within minutes of walking in the door,  but the rest of the visit was relatively uneventful and quite enjoyable.

Harley was very drawn to this bear that was standing at the entrance. It was connected to a microphone that someone sitting behind a table talked into. There was a speaker in the bear so he would moved his mouth and it looked like he was saying whatever the guy behind the table was saying into the microphone. Harley didn't know about the guy behind the table and thought the bear was actually having a conversation with him. As you can see in the picture he was both fascinated and terrified.

Harley would have nothing to do with Santa Clause, even when he found out that Santa had candy canes, which is unusual for Harley since he can usually be motivated to do anything for candy. Ella wasn't going to sit on this guys lap either.

But Kason was brave and told Santa that he wanted a helicopter for Christmas. Although, as he told us later, Santa did make him a little nervous.

Tonight for family night we went to Kelly's nursery and picked out a beautiful Christmas tree. The people there were very nice and since they were all sold out of their smaller less expensive trees they gave us 10 dollars off any tree we picked!

Here is the winner! It is so hard to get a good picture of all of us. Grampy is out of town and since we were in her neck of the woods, we met Grammy at the nursery and she joined us for family night. 

All wrapped up and strapped to the car.

Then we got it inside and started the much anticipated chore of decorating.

It was magical!

All of the kids really got into it for the first little while and we had a lot of fun listening to Christmas music and making the tree beautiful.

Here is the finished product. They candy canes went on last and were definitely the Piste Resistance.  I have a feeling they will be the source of a lot of conflict over the next couple of weeks as Harley lives for candy. But we will see. 'Tis the season to be jolly!