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Month: January 2010

Because it’s fun to say and good to eat!

Because it’s fun to say and good to eat!

I mentioned yesterday that Karen gave me another great recipe while we were visiting them.  Actually she said … “have you ever had a smush cookie?”  To which I said … “no, but it sounds like something I might like.”  I mean, its fun to say if nothing else!


She said she wanted to make me some and proceeded to whip a frozen log of dough out of the freezer and started slicing cookies.  I have to say … my hats off to everyone who has homemade cookies or meals in their freezers ready to pull out at a moments notice.  I want to be like you.  I want to be that mom.  

But I’m not.


Just last week I showed up for the school fund-raising dinner at a local Mexican restaurant a week early.  I didn’t find out until I paid that it was actually the following Tuesday.  It helped explain why I didn’t see anyone I knew!  The school had announced it over a week and a half in advance.  I’m sure it’s because they knew other moms plan out their meals, know what they are going to get at the store and what they are going to feed their families.  But I’m not one of them.  I also know that I vowed at New Years to try and do better at all this … and I’m working on it.  

Kind of. 


So back to the cookies … they have one of my FAVORITE candies in them so before I even tasted them I knew I loved them.  You see, every year at Christmas my mom gives me a box of thin chocolate mint patties (we get them at Walgreens) in my stocking.  To be honest, they are rarely in my stocking.  She pulls them out of a bag and says she meant to put them in our stockings.  

We’re a lot alike.


I was going to take a picture of the box of candies used to make these cookies but that would have meant I thought of it before we plowed through three boxes and I threw all the boxes away.  Just think York Peppermint patties (which I’m sure would be good too).


Here’s the recipe for the cookie that is as fun to say as it is to eat!

Smush Cookie

1 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 cups oatmeal


Also need about 6-8 boxes of chocolate mint candies.  I use Necco brand (found easily at Walgreens – each has about 24 mints).


Mix ingredients in order given.  Shake dough into rolls (diameter smaller than a quarter).  Wrap up in plastic wrap and freeze.  Once frozen, take dough out a few rolls at a time, slice about 1/8″ thick circles and bake at 375 degrees for about 7 minutes on a greased cookie sheet.  Take off cookie sheet and while hot, put a mint between two cookies, wait about a minute, and then “smush”.

It works well to put cookies on a brown bag that has been cut open and then smush them on that.


Enjoy!!!





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Camp Roback and a recipe …

Camp Roback and a recipe …

When Bill was in high school he played basketball for Anoka High School with his friend Paul Roback.  He spent many an hour hanging out at the Roback’s house.  Paul’s dad was a football coach at their high school and plus he had three other siblings which made for a really fun place to hang out.  

Bill loved it at the Roback house … and especially loved Paul’s mom.  She is really kind, very welcoming … and hospitality is her thing.  I know that because her house is one of the first places Bill took me in Minnesota.

We went on New Years Day and it was back in the day when all the bowl games fell on New Years Day.  In the Roback’s basement they had at least three TV’s set up so as to not miss a minute of the action.  Bill thought it was awesome.  During breaks he and Paul would go out and shoot baskets in the FREEZING cold.  I guess that is what you do when you are from Minnesota.  

I stayed inside.

The new generation Robacks have a fabulous basement too.  It’s like a mecca for kids.  If you live in the South, be jealous.   Be very, very jealous.

There are Wii games:

Air hockey (Karen won … I let down the entire Baerg family):

Their daughter Samantha has a video studio, complete with a green screen.  She has costumes so they can make movies, a place to write scripts.  It’s really, really neat.

Around the house the kids played board games:



And there is a lot of friendly competition:

Fathers coaching sons in basement football:

At times the coaching got intense:

And from all indications in basement ball, Timothy is on track to become the next legendary Roback.  He even has receiver gloves.  Very impressive.



Mrs. Roback (Paul’s mom) puts out quite the food spread.  I still remember some of the things she had the day I met her.  For instance, she had two stick pretzels held together with a circle of melted almond bark.  In the center of the almond bark she had a yellow m and m.  She asked if I’d like some bacon and eggs.  How fun is that?!  


All that to say, Mrs. Roback is legendary … if only in Bill’s mind.  One of the biggest compliments Bill can give is to say … “you remind me of Mrs. Roback.”


So anyway … Paul gots married and there was a new Mrs. Roback in town.  (A great thing about marrying Bill is that I now get to hang with his friends and their wives.)  So the new Mrs. Roback … she is just as kind and gracious as Paul’s mom.  If I lived in Minnesota I’d want to be her next door neighbor.  We love the same recipes, the same books (we both love People magazine) … she is as nice as they come.


So, as often as we can, we plan Camp Roback.  We drive down to where they live and literally move in for the day.  They even invited us to spend the night this year but we couldn’t do it.  Paul is a professor at St. Olaf college so I drop Bill off at their gym so he and Paul can relive their glory days on the basketball court and I drive on to their home.  This year I drove … first time ever … on the ice and snow.  Don’t tell my dad.  He would NOT have thought this was a good idea.


When I got to Karen’s house …. on the counter … twisty pretzels with a Hershey “hugs” kiss melted on top with an m and m on top.  It was an updated version of the bacon and eggs.  We cleared those out pretty quickly.  


Camp Roback is so very fun.  Paul got us out for another sledding run this year … again, I only watched.



Another thing the Mrs. Roback is known for was feeding the basketball boys “Charlie Brown Pie”.  It’s legendary among the Anoka basketball crowd from what I hear.


Karen has stepped right up to the plate in carrying on the Charlie Brown Pie Tradition.

Oh, and please note … the Charlie Brown pie is not actually a pie.  It would have to be made in a pie pan to be a pie.  It’s more of a dessert.  Why they call it a pie, I do not know.  In Minnesota also say hotdish instead of casserole which seems so redundant since of course it is hot.  But alas, they did not ask me and far be it from me to point out the obvious.  🙂 


Here is the “coveted” recipe:



Charlie Brown Pie
Crust:  1/2 cup peanut butter
2 Cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter

Melt butter and peanut butter together.   Add sugar and crumbs.  Press into a 9 x 13 pan.  (this is not a pie pan MN people!!!!)


Filling:  2 small chocolate puddings (not instant)
3 1/2 cups mile  Add to pudding and cool until it boils.  Stir constantly.  When thick, pour into crust and refrigerate.


Serve with bananas and whipped cream.

THE REAL WHIPPED CREAM.  Because that is what Karen does and Paul’s mom and probably every one that has ever made it does because it’s better that way.  Beat 1/2 pt. Whipping cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar (or so) to taste. 


After you put your “pie” piece on your plate, slice some bananas to go over the top of each piece.  

These guys love their “pie”.  They have also recruited lots of little fans:

Finger-lickin’ good.


Even the big kids think so!



I will say this … the “new” Mrs. Roback does the older one proud!  She and Paul are some of the nicest, most gracious, welcoming people I have ever known.  Which is part of the reason why, if they lived in Texas, I’d want to be their next door neighbors! (That and we could split our People magazine subscription!)



Come back tomorrow and I’ll share one more of her yummy recipes! 

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This post was going to be very, very different.

This post was going to be very, very different.

I had it all ready to go.  The title was “Some things are made to be passed down.”  It was going to end with “SUPER BOWL BOUND MINNESOTA VIKINGS”.

But you know what they say … “the best laid plans …”.  Or maybe I had put the cart before the horse.  Either way … it’s time for a new post.  Or rather an old post with a new spin.  

The Vikings didn’t win and they, obviously, aren’t Super Bowl bound.  I will say that I think the WORST rule in the NFL is that both teams don’t get a chance to score during overtime.  I’ve said this for years…it’s not just because I wish the Vikings would have won … I’m saying it because I don’t think it’s fair.  Clearly they have never asked my opinion.



But enough of that … here is what I was going to say:


Bill is a tried and true Minnesota Vikings fan.  He grew up watching them year after year.  He wore this jersey when he watched them play and handed it over to Jacob while we were visiting Minnesota over Christmas.  Jacob was VERY excited.

It even says “Bill” on the back which makes it even more cool in his eyes.  He went and put it on tonight, totally unprompted, just before game time.  Bill thought that was pretty awesome.  It’s like he was passing down a legacy or something.

This was an exciting year because Brett Favre became the Vikings quarterback.  That made me happy because I thought it was cool that a Southern boy had to cross the Mason-Dixon line to help a Northern team out.  
We all love Brett Favre (please notice my expert photography in getting this picture right when Brett was throwing the ball.  Don’t worry, it was a commercial … no exciting game time was missed due to this picture).  Stunning photography if I do say so myself.  🙂
 

I remember when Jacob was a newborn and we would put the girls to bed and Jacob would lay in Bill’s arms and “watch” the game.  Bill would have a bowl of popcorn in one hand and Jacob in the other.  When we watched the game in MN, it was clear … not much has changed:

So the game didn’t turn out like we had hoped.  I had planned on posting this picture:

But now it seems a little too happy.  It’s almost sad how giddy they look.  Full of so much hope and optimism.

(Bill would say Vikings fans should know better than to be full of hope and optimism.  He speaks from experience … he’s 42 years old and he hasn’t gotten over the hail Mary pass that Roger Staubach threw in 1975 allowing the Cowboys to score and go on to the Super Bowl.  He really can’t let it go – says the Cowboys cheated.  I think he’s bitter. )



And so I’ll remind them … “there is always next year”.


And, win or lose, the popcorn still tastes good.  


You are my two favorite Vikings fans – better luck next time!!

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Yesterday …

Yesterday …

Beautiful, Beautiful Brittany …
 
Wasn’t it just yesterday you were learning how to sit up? 

Or I was taking you to the pool?


Or you were helping me with one of your siblings?

How can it be that tonight I am making cupcakes for your 11th birthday?  

Each year I’ve asked you if you want me to buy some cupcakes or bring a cookie cake.  And each year you say … “no, I want you to make them.”  

And it is my pleasure to do that for you.


This is your last year to bring cupcakes to elementary school.  Tomorrow you will take them and pass them out to all your friends one last time.

While I was icing the cupcakes tonight, I started thinking about when you took cupcakes in second grade.  You might not remember, but I won’t ever forget.  

It seems like it was yesterday.


Your teacher let you pick one special friend to help you pass out your birthday cupcakes.  You knew this and were concerned the night before about who you would pick to help you.  You came to me that night and said you “didn’t want to hurt anyones feelings and didn’t know who you would pick”. 

The next day I saw what you meant when I got to your classroom.  Two of your best friends in the class were literally begging you to pick them.  Waving their hands in front of your face … but you could only pick one.


And for a split second I felt sorry for you.  I wondered what you would do.  But only for a second.  Because in that second, you looked behind them towards a little boy who I imagine didn’t get picked for much, and you said to him … “I want you to help me pass out my cupcakes.”

I remember the joy on his face like it was yesterday too.

Nobody coached you to do that and yet you solved your predicament with the wisdom of Solomon and your trademark kindness. 

And in that moment, as always, I could not have been prouder to be your mom.

Happy 11th Birthday to you sweet Brittany.

  Here’s to many happy tomorrows~


I love you, 

Mom

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Karate Kid

Karate Kid

Jacob has been asking for quite some time to do karate.  There was a taekwondo place offering a one month trial class so we signed up.  I have no idea what the difference between taekwondo and karate is but they have the same uniform (I’ve been told to stop calling it an “outfit”!) so I figure tae kwon do will work for us just fine.

Bill had Monday off so we decided he would start that day so Bill could take him and watch.  I stopped by on my way home and snapped a quick picture on my phone.  All those little boys lined up yelling “yes sir” and “hi ya” was SO cute.

 The class is 40 minutes long, three days a week.  I took Jacob back for his second class today.  He said he wasn’t going.  No way.  I asked why and he said … “because you have to bow when you walk in and that’s weird.”  


After reminding him that this is where you learn how to break a board with your foot, he went on inside.  Judging from the way he kicked, he wants to break a board pretty soon.



 The “master” told him that if he kept up with karate he’d be a black belt by third grade.  To this, Jacob turned to Savannah (who is in third grade) and said … “COOL, Savannah! You’re already a black belt!”  

He happily posed for a few pics for me today:


I saw the movie Karate Kid (1984) three times in the theater – a personal record.  I know that in June a new, updated version is coming out.  I’ll have to see this one too.

And I’ll take my own little Karate Kid with me. 

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Just so you know I’m not making it up …

Just so you know I’m not making it up …

Today the finish line videos were posted.  The video is all of about 30 seconds long.  Look for Bill and I coming from the back.  If you look for two blue shirts (they say Team El Paso only I called us “the blue team” like on Biggest Loser).  You’ll see my hands go into the air and you’ll hear me whoo hoo-ing.  

I think I was kind of loud.

Then you’ll see us kiss.

That’s what they do on the biggest loser.  Plus, that’s the way I think you should end a big race like that.  And luckily, Bill does too.  

One last … and kind of funny thing about the race.  Every mile of the race is marked.  With a big giant banner.  Somehow we missed a banner and so the two miles we ran seemed like a very, very long mile.  And so Bill kept saying … “think about the shirt.  Do it for the shirt.”

Because he knows I’ll run a long way for a free shirt.  

13.1 miles to be exact.

And then when they gave it to me, it wasn’t that cute.  It’s o.k. but I wanted it to be really cute.  Bill says it doesn’t matter if it is cute, it matters that it says FINISHER.

Point well taken.  

Now… if you have nothing better to do, this is kind of fun to watch.

http://houstonmarathon.finishcam.com/Media%5CBibNumber25251-1.wmv

It proves I wasn’t making it up.


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Off to the races!

Off to the races!

Last July or August Bill called me one day and said … “hey, the Houston Marathon sign up is today … do you want to do the 1/2 with me again?”

He said “again” because we ran it in January 2007.

That was the year that I trained all the way up to mile 8.  The night before the race we went and did our carbo loading pasta dinner and I told him I didn’t think I could do it.  The kids were little and I hadn’t gotten to train like I wanted.  He said … and I quote … “if you can do 8 miles, you can do the whole thing.”

And by “whole thing”, I thought he meant all 11.3  miles of it.  I had confused that with the 13.1 miles that is an actual half marathon.  (Had I trained or read up on anything about 1/2 marathons – or listened to Bill better, I would have known it was 13.1.  I have said before … I am not very detail oriented.)

I learned of my “snafu” on mile nine.

I squealed “only TWO more miles!!!”


He looked at me in shock. 

“It’s four more miles”.

“Two”.


“Four”.


Runners began looking at us … and I’m sure were horrified that a runner was in the 1/2 marathon and didn’t know how far it actually was!


I realized he was right and I was wrong … I put on my IPOD and vowed to make it the rest of the way.


And I did make it.


It was awesome.  Running across the finish line with the crowd screaming … might as well have been the Olympics for me.


So back to 2009.  

I said yes, I’ll run.


And I meant to train.


I really did.


I ran in the summer at the gym but once school started and my fall got super crazy, my training … and all running came to a stop.  Plus I got that snuggie and when you have one of those all you really want to do is lay on the couch.


I ran in August and again on Thanksgiving Day with my sister.


And then yesterday, I ran (every.single.step.) of the 2010 Houston Half Marathon.  


Oh yes I did.


The crazy thing is … we didn’t decide until about an hour and a half before race time to do it.  Saturday night we went to a friends birthday party at the horse race track.  I put a $2 bet on a horse named “Bad, Bad Billy” and my horse won.  The pay off was 10 stinkin’ cents.


We had a fajita dinner there while runners across the city were eating pasta.  We went to bed at 11:30 – hours after the “serious” runners.   In fact, I couldn’t even find all my running gear.  Bill loaned me some runner tights (it was 42 degrees at the race start) and we decided to set the alarm at 5:10 am.  We agreed that we’d decide then if we wanted to go or not.


I woke up with a terrible headache (I mean really, it was FIVE in the morning) but took an aspirin, had a Diet Coke (the drink of sports champions everywhere I’m sure) and me and my “bad, bad Billy” were off to the races.


SO MUCH FUN.


When we got downtown I saw runners running towards the convention center.  I would yell … “save your energy!!!” but the windows were rolled up so they couldn’t hear my advice.


Then I tried to help Bill get a closer parking place.  We both died laughing that I was about to run 13.1 miles but wanted a closer parking space.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but Bill had a VIP pass to the parking garage across the street from the race.  (Working for one of the major corporate sponsors of the event has its privileges!).  


At 7:00 AM we began to run.  My thinking was I’d run 3 miles which I can always do easily.  Mile 4,5 or 6 would be bonus miles which I could probably do on adrenaline.  


But you know what happened … adrenaline, determination … I’m not sure … something got me all the way to the finish line.


The pictures from the actual race don’t get posted until later this week, but I did take one at home with my medal after the race.



It is crazy that I finished.  Crazy.  A slower pace than last time but that was to be expected.  Duh.  


I will say this though … my knees are absolutely killing me now.  I’m walking like I’m 102 years old.  I’m hoping that will improve because Bill and I are planning on running a full marathon in October.


We got engaged at the Lincoln Memorial.  This summer we celebrate our 20th anniversary and we thought it would be cool to go to D.C. and run the Marine Corps Marathon which runs right past the Lincoln Memorial.  So much symbolism, dontchathink?  20 years later, still running the race of life together.  I love the idea.  I just hope my knees feel better before next October!  


One new addition to the Houston race this year was that they added the runner’s name on their number bib.  That way people on the side could yell out your name to cheer your on.  Seeing how Bill I didn’t commit to the race until an hour or so beforehand, we didn’t have anyone to yell for us.  Bill could care less about anyone yelling his name but I LOVED it. NEEDED it.  Thought it was awesome.  In fact, if I was feeling sluggish I would actually ask people to call out my name.  

Bill was mortified.


The very best was when we ran by a DJ who had a microphone and speaker and was yelling out various people’s names.  He also had a cheerleading team next to him so they made a lot of noise.  I held my bib up so he could see it and he called out my name.  LOVED it.  Then he said “PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR FOR DARLA!!!!!” And everyone did and I thought it was awesome.  


So awesome in fact that I started jumping up and down.  Which is why I partially think my knees are killing me.  Next time … no more jumping up and down.


Another thing I love are all the funny things people have on their shirts.  Sometime I want to take a camera so I can remember all of them.


One lady put “Race Official – Do not pass” on her shirt.  Another said “how’s my hair?”.  I loved the one that said … “At what point did I think running this race was a good idea?”. 

The people on the streets had good signs too.  One said … “worst parade EVER”.  Another said “if you don’t want to look like me, keep running.”  And trust me … it was some motivation.



So that was my exciting Sunday. 

A little recovery time and then me and “Bad, Bad Billy” will be off to the races again!

You can bet on it. 




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A little of this, a little of that …

A little of this, a little of that …

This week has FLOWN.  
It was the first week of my spring semester at HBU, my internet and cell phone went down one day (s-t-r-e-s-s-f-u-l) AND I had to go to a meeting for parents of incoming high school freshman.  
HELLO, did you hear me?!?  Incoming high school freshman?!?  Which is so very strange because I’m pretty sure it was not that long ago I was taking my incoming freshman to the blue barn fun farm. 

It has also kind of been sports center around here.  Last weekend Brittany had a gymnastics meet on Friday in Katy, TX.  She placed 2nd overall in her level/age division for floor and 5th for vault.  Saturday our four kids had a total of five basketball games (Caroline had a double header), the older two girls ran the basketball scoreboard for the league all day Saturday and on Sunday Caroline had a volleyball tournament.  That was a lot of sports in 48 hours.  
A whole lot of sports. 

Speaking of sports, I think I am officially fired from being the team mom for Savannah’s basketball team.  Bill is the coach and he emailed me yesterday saying … “can you let the team know there is no water in the gym?”.  I emailed the team and said …”water is not allowed in the gym so please don’t bring water bottles to the game.  The girls can use the water fountain.”  Just before the game Bill told Savannah to get her water bottle which I thought they couldn’t have.  Turns out Bill meant there was no water in the gym (which is exactly what he said).  A pipe had burst and so they were requesting everyone to bring water bottles.  And to think that I teach communication for a living!  Lucky for me (and the girls!), I had a pack of water bottles in the Suburban. 


To try and provide some balance to all things sports, the younger three went to church choir Wednesday night.  Jacob is not a huge fan of choir.  He does like Mission Friends which is after choir … because they make arts and crafts there.  But choir, not so much.  
Last week however Jacob got the “Super Singer” award.  They give one child the award every week until they have all received it.  They get a bag of candy and small toys and they all think it’s a pretty big deal.  So when Jacob began to fuss that I was making him go to choir on Wednesday, I said .. “but Jacob, you just won Super Singer.”  

Without skipping a beat he replied …. “yeah, and you can only win it ONCE.”  

Made me laugh – but he still had to go.

I have some posts ready to share with a little more Christmas and some recipes, but … for a few long days this week, we thought we lost a lot of our Christmas pictures.  In a happy turn of events, Bill remembered they were on a memory card that we had put away … whew.  So stay posted  … some fun stuff coming up.
And just to keep in the Christmas theme, I want to share some pictures of our tree.  Mostly so I won’t ever forget it because it was my most favorite tree ever.  The kids and I bought it at Lowe’s in all of about 3 minutes … it was freezing and we asked if we could buy one of the display trees.  My sister (the decorator) added ribbon to the tree when she was in town.  She will have to come back if I am ever to have a tree that pretty again. I couldn’t even begin to do what she does.  I bought different size ball ornaments in a set at Costco and then ordered “picks” for the tree from Mrs. Cayce’s Christmas Store.    I really thought it was perfect except that it needed a star.  Next thing I knew, Savannah made a three dimensional star that she put on top of the tree and I LOVED it. 

Lastly, my heart has also been so heavy for the people in Haiti this week.  I can barely watch the news.  The devastation there is overwhelming.  Please pray for the people of Haiti and for all those who are helping them. 
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Against my better judgement …

Against my better judgement …

If you are a long time reader you may remember the face plant disaster of 2008.  At that time I said goodbye forever to sledding.  Except that I really didn’t because 2009 came and we went back to Minnesota. There was a lot of snow and my kids love to sled. So, we loaded up and headed to a sledding hill.

I just watched this time, you know the whole “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice …shame on me” thing.

They had a good time …

I was so excited because our niece went with us.  She is so funny and quite the daredevil.  She and Savannah had a wonderful time together.

Afterwards we went back to Grandma’s for hot chocolate.

So warm and cozy … coming home and drinking hot chocolate is my favorite part of sledding.

But you know what they say …  there are always bigger hills to climb … 

 

or sled … or something like that.  And so a day or two later, we went here with one of Bill’s closest friends, Eric and his family (I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of them … he took these pictures and emailed them to me):

And did this:

 
 

It was like the magic carpet ride at the state fair … only instead of carpet we had inner tubes.  

I never could decide if the emergency snowmobile sitting off to the side of the hill was a good thing or bad. 

Lucky for me, this year I didn’t need it!

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A Christmas Reprise, otherwise known as better late than never.

A Christmas Reprise, otherwise known as better late than never.

After being without internet access for over a week during the holidays, I came home and jumped right into the new year without posting much of what we did while we were away. After we finally got to Minnesota there was lots of snow and it wasn’t miserably cold … the kids had a blast playing outside.

It took Bill, otherwise known as Nanuk of the North, all of about 15 minutes to find his favorite hat (he bought it in Helsinki, Finland about 10 years ago and said one day it would be popular in the U.S. – I’m still waiting).  He took the kids out for a quick late night Christmas Eve sledding adventure.


They loved it!

We were awfully glad to see snowflakes after dodging tornadoes, floods, torrential rains, etc.

It was time for some chilling.

Milk and cookies for Santa were next on the agenda.

Savannah and Jacob requested sleeping by the fireplace … so they could try and see Santa.

Santa came in the night … along with some more snow.



He brought a camera, IPOD, Spy gear and more!

After breakfast it was time to head out and enjoy the snow.

They worked on a snowman:

Made snow angels:

Had lots of fun:

And shoveled the drive before the cousins arrived (I’m not sure where Nanuk’s hat went during the picture … surely his ears are cold!):

 When the cousins arrived we had Christmas dinner. Bill’s mom bought some ham and sliced it into thick pieces and poured orange marmalade jelly over the top and warmed it. It was really good.  She always has bar-b-que meatballs for the kids which they love … not very traditional maybe but loved by all the kids (and an adult or seven). 
Afterwards Grandpa read the Christmas story:
 


Next we opened the gifts.  Instead of stockings, this year Grandma and Grandpa put gift sacks on the tree with gift cards inside for Wendy’s.

It was a fun time together.

In a “never been done before” addition to the year, a carpet ball competition was held.  Everyone played and Brittany won!  Grandpa made a trophy and she got to put her initials on it.  
 
I am quite envious of basements.  They run the entire length of the houses in Minnesota and are lots more fun than attics.  You can play in them, sleep in them … host big parties in them.  I don’t want to live where it is sometimes 20 below zero, but I wouldn’t mind having a basement!
Now don’t tell my Northern relatives I said this, but it’s kind of funny that a little Southern girl beat ’em at their own game.

It’s our secret.

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