Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm Dreaming of an iPod Christmas

This year was definitely an iPod Christmas! Ben and I both asked for iPod touches - his was his first iPod ever, and mine replaced my old Nano. We both received them - what great gifts!

Mom wanted to inherit my Nano, so I wrapped it up for her to open on Christmas morning too. Of course, I had nothing on it but Christmas music, which suited her just fine. I get my love of Christmas music honestly. :)
After she opened it, she handed Papa an earbud so he could listen to a song. He took that iPod from her and listened to Christmas music for most of the rest of the day! We didn't think she was ever going to get it back. He sure did enjoy that music.

It's Christmas!

We went to my Papa's house in Augusta for Christmas. We had so much luggage and presents and other stuff we had to take that there was no room for Harley to go along. Plus, it was just better for him to stay home. But HE didn't think so! When we opened the hatch to start packing, he jumped up in the back and sat there like "you're NOT leaving me here!" Dad would make him get out, and as soon as he turned his back to pick up a suitcase, Harley would jump back in. It was so funny!
Christmas Eve we had our traditional party at Papa's house. All the extended family stops by, as well as longtime family friends, and we have a good time fellowshipping and, of course, eating. Bill and his son brought their guitars and gave us an impromptu concert in Papa's living room.

Santa always stops by on Christmas Eve, and we sing songs and give him our last-minute wish list. We have the best Santa ever!
Christmas morning started with our traditional breakfast - Krispy Kreme donuts! Nothing like starting off Christmas with a sugar high. After breakfast we opened presents and had a pretty lazy morning. The rest of the family came over for the big Christmas lunch - turkey, dressing, macaroni, greenbean casserole, ham, etc. Oh, and yummy carrot cake for lunch!
After dinner we did our ornament exchange - we do it like white elephant where you can steal ornaments from one another. At one point David ended up with two angels, and he hung them from his ears like earrings. Crazy! Then we played games - trivia, Christmas charades, boggle. We love to play games together. It was a great time of hanging out and just enjoying family.

Papa's Village

My Papa has a HUGE Department 56 village! I can't even tell you how long he has been collecting these pieces, but he has pieces from a variety of their village collections, and it takes up one whole wall in his living room. He goes all out decorating it. It has the Times Square building with the ball ready to drop for the new year, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Big Ben, a skating rink, a number of Christmas trees, a mountain with waterfall, and even an elevated subway system! It is so cool! I love to look at it and see all the different people and accessories that he has placed outside the buildings. Here are just a few pics of this enormous Christmas village.

My Favorite Ornaments

(Sung to the tune of "My Favorite Things")
Stuffed bears in stockings and boots made of wax,
Nutcrackers, pickles, and glimmers of pax*,
Santas in lime green, in kilts, and conducting,
These are a few of my favorite things...
Snowglobes with reindeer and trees made of rainbow,
Warm cheerful mittens and a musical angel,
Crosses and trees and nativities,
These are a few of my favorite things...
The White House in gold, teddy bears and toy soldiers,
Elves, popcorn, and Frosty with a scarf on his shoulders,
Big Al and houndstooth to cheer on the Tide,
These are a few of my favorite things...
When the snow falls,
When the lights shine,
When joy fills my heart,
I look at the tree and I see all these things,
And admire these works of art.
*pax is Latin for peace

Christmas Sweets

A couple of days before Christmas, Mom and I spent most of the day baking - a carrot cake (from scratch), peanut butter reindeer cookies, and sugar cookies. Ben helped us decorate the sugar cookies, and had a blast covering them in M&Ms, sprinkles, red hots, and chocolate chips. Actually, I think he enjoyed eating the candy more than decorating the cookies, but it was still fun. I can't remember the last time we baked like this, especially with Ben's help. And the finished products were yummy! (even if the reindeers' antlers tended to fall off because I forgot to bake them with the pretzels already attached)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Six Flags - Holiday in the Park

Wow! I'm almost 2 weeks behind in my blogging! Let's start the catch-up with the night before I left for home for the holidays. My friends and I had been trying to figure out when we could make it to Six Flags for Holiday in the Park, and we finally were able to go on the Friday before Christmas. After a quick dinner at Chick-fil-A, we hit the park for some chilly roller coaster riding. The park was beautiful, all decorated for the Christmas season with lights everywhere, a huge tree at the entrance, a sledding hill, and even snow falling in certain locations (actually it was artificial snow, but who cares!?).
When we were at Six Flags in October, the Titan was not running, so we made sure we got to ride it this time. This is one of the best roller coasters I've ridden, but despite my best efforts, I couldn't get Amy to ride. Amanda did ride it with me, her first time to ride it, and I think she enjoyed it even though she screamed the whole time. Man, let me tell you - we were flying, and it was COLD with the wind in our faces. But it was SO FUN!!!
We also enjoyed riding the swings, being silly and taking lots of pics. I love how this first one turned out - I took it while waiting for our turn, and it's so neat with that pair of phantom legs. Weird!
We ended the evening sledding down Frosty's Snow Hill. It really wasn't much of a hill, but it was still fun to play in the snow and be a kid again for a little while.