Friday, January 16, 2015

New Year's Eve

Andy came up with a couple of fun games for our new year's eve celebration...

We had one fun visitor to our party...Uncle James.

Playing charades...

We watched the ball drop early online so the kids could go to bed before midnight.

Happy 2015!
Break out the confetti and the sparkling cider!

Ben is always seems to be on his ipad when we celebrate the new year.

The boys tried to decorate the fan...



After the kids went to bed James stayed and played games and when it actually turned midnight, we were so celebrated out we just acknowledged it and moved on with the game :)
Happy New Year Everyone!
(A couple of weeks late :)

Random December

Before I wrap up December with my New Year's Eve post there were a few random things in December that I wanted to include:

We received our Medical Marijuana "card" in the mail.
This makes it so we can legally possess the oil in Utah

On the 12th, Andy came home with flowers...hydrangeas to be exact (a favorite).
When I asked him if it was just because he was nice he said, "You don't remember?"
Then it hit me.  I knew it was coming up and I had thought of it in days prior but had forgotten it on the actual day.
The 12th was the day last year that I found out I had miscarried.
I couldn't believe he had remembered.  What a sweet husband!

We had quite a mild December and one morning I caught Abby out on the (broken down) tramp with her poi balls...which are no easy feat while you're standing still, but to be doing her routine while she jumped was even more impressive!

Andy was such a good sport to pose for the back of our Christmas card.  Thanks for the use of the bow tie James :)  I don't think this picture showed on the post where I put our Christmas card....but we had this picture with the caption
"[It was] a big one!" (referring to the year 2014)
You Jimmy Stewart fans should get that.

The last day of school before the Christmas break, the orchestra played for the school assembly.

Abby also received a reading award that day...which was also pajama day...

Abby is so fun to watch...she makes some great faces :)

Grandparent Quilt

Another thing we fit into that one night was a presentation.

Last spring/summer, Jenny had a great idea to do a quilt for her parents.
She wanted to have each of the grandkids to a block so we planned it out and when we all got together in St. George last summer,  we made sure each grandkid made it over to our condo to do a block.
I thought we should just have them draw it on paper and then we could 'easily' transfer it to fabric.  Well, that process wasn't quite as easy as I had thought.  So then we scanned all the papers and had a printing place try and print it directly onto the fabric.  There were several glitches with that process as well.  Eventually, the few that they had been unable to print we just held up to a window and traced the design onto the fabric.

(These are all of my kids' designs.  Josh helped Ben with his :)

The piecing went quite easily but then it was time for the quilting.  It was my first full size quilt to quilt and my first real project on Mom's machine.
I just did an all over loopy design.
I stitched it out in 2-3 hours...and all I could say was that it was finished.  I was not thrilled with the job I had was obviously quilted by a beginner...but it WAS done :)
There's always got to be a first right?

Anyway, this is how it turned out.  Jenny helped me bind it one day while they were in town.

We gathered everyone around (which is no small task) and the gift was given.
(Nancy is already crying :)!

I think they really appreciated it!
Great idea Jenny!!!

Favorite Things and Deal or No Deal

Three years ago Jenny suggested we ladies do a "Favorite Things" exchange.
We loved it so much that first year that there's no going back and it has even replaced our regular gift exchange between the siblings.  The guys kind of miss out that way but we told them they were welcome to do their own favorite things if they wanted  :)

I had a hard time choosing what to give for my favorite thin of 2014.  There were so many fun things that I discovered.
I finally decided on three things to try and combine.
Last year, one of my awesome friends gave me a sweet, hand pieced tissue holder.  I have absolutely loved it.  Every time I pull it out I smile and think of her.  Thanks again Trina :)

So, I wanted to make one for each of the ladies.

I tried to personalize them to some of their interests.  Some were easy, others were tricky...
I searched online for fabrics that fit the bill and was pretty happy with what I found.

Wendy likes to ski...

We found out at Swiss Days in the fall that Becky has a thing for garden gnomes :)

 Nancy LOVES old barns.

Lyndi is a scholar and likes to read and Jenny...well, let's just say she ALWAYS is finding great deals and letting others know about them.
(Those are shopping carts if you can't tell :)  Also, she loves the combination of teal and red.

I just realized I think I already posted about these tissue holders when I made a bunch earlier...
Yup, scroll down on this post for the link to the tutorial

Another of my favorite things of 2014 was my Silhouette Cameo that Andy gave me a year ago for Christmas.  It has come in handy for some many different projects and I have loved it.  I have also loved being able to use it to help others with projects of their own.
So I had to include it somehow.  I used it to cut out the vinyl for these little jars.
In the jars, I put some of my beloved Chunky Chocolate Buckwheat (Hazelnut) Granola that I posted about while I was in New Hampshire.  I say "my" but it's not like I came up with the recipe or anything...I just love it so much!

So that was my gift that I came up with.

The Gathering...
We all take a moment to explain our favorite thing and tell any stories that might lurk behind them.

True to form (bless her heart) Nancy got emotional as she talked about hers.

I don't know how it happened but somehow, all the guys ended up being in the gathering this year.  Andy was there to help with Ben so I could focus and enjoy the experience.  The other three gathered with us too which was actually kind of fun hearing their comments and laughter.

All of us with our treasures...

Andy's brother Dave was in China on business so he had Wendy hand out a favorite something of his...they're little asian cake type treats.  I thought that was awesome :)
(Andy got a package in the mail about a week ago of Tiger Balm.  Apparently it's one of Todd's favorite things :)  It will be interesting to see next year if they all come up with something to give to each other.  We decided us girls are not going to do it for they are on their own with this.

Nancy gave a pastry mat and a pancake pen which was perfect for her because she is always in the kitchen cooking up something good for the rest of us.  She's always creative with her pancakes too and makes seasonal designs and colors often.

Wendy's favorite thing was "Our Best Bites" cookbook which we all own already so she gave us a squirt bottle for the creamy cilantro dressing recipe and a personalized pie plate for one of the pies that she loves in there.
(Her youngest daughter also wanted to give her favorite tic tacs to all of us...very sweet)

Jenny has friends living in Europe right now and I believe that was her connection to this excellent chocolate...oh wow it was yummy!  She also has really enjoyed Bath and Body Works soap sleeves this pretty.

Becky has really been in to Dressing Your Truth this year.  It has seriously been a big part of her life recently and so she bought a piece of jewelry that fits each of our "types".
I was particularly excited about this because Andy gave me the online course for Christmas.  Hopefully soon I will be dressing my truth as well :)

Lyndi was so cute because she is super organized and her favorite thing was a notebook in which she keeps track of everything.  She explained her system to us and we all got a kick out of how Lyndi it was.  The funny thing is, I could totally relate to so much of it and was constantly nodding my head as she explained.  (We are actually the same energy type in the dressing your truth program.  We are the only 2's in the group so that was pretty funny to see our similarities)
She also threw in some index cards (more organization) and washi tape to decorate with and her favorite mint malt balls that she can't find out in Tennessee where they now live.

There was only one night when all of the families were there at the same time...and even then we were missing Dave, so we had to cram all of our big plans into that one night.
Jenny and Mike had planned a Deal or No Deal game (without the women :) for all the couples.
We sat in the theater room late that night and played it out.  Pretty fun!  There were even prizes.  Andy and I came in second and got a gift cards to Subway and iTunes.

Not too many pictures of that since we were just sitting in the dark for the most part, but it was super fun!  Thanks Jenny and Mike!