We had THREE Christmas celebrations this year… The first one was in Rolla on Christmas Eve with Brian’s family. Nathan’s class just finished reading the Flat Stanley book and one of our ‘projects’ over Christmas break is to take Stanley with us to places and take photos of him. So, here is Flat Stanley by a sign for the historic shopping in Downtown Rolla. Then, after Rolla we headed back home to St. Louis and went to the 11:00 p.m. candle light service at church later that evening. I went straight to bed! Whew! I love going to the candle light service though, I would never miss it.
Here is the tree decked with gifts after Santa came! I just love the different fabric patterns on Autumn’s teepee from Little Birds Boutique. She even sent me a free fabric key chain with the tent!
On Christmas morning we had my parents over for brunch and they got to see the kids open their Christmas gifts for the first time ever. We’ve just never had them over for that before, but my Mom really enjoyed getting to see them open their Santa gifts.
We kept the food pretty simple for Christmas brunch, I made a breakfast casserole that I have made a hundred times and Brian made his delicious cinnamon rolls (from SCRATCH!). And, for fruit I made Grinch treats.
The gifts… Nathan has been wanting a pet hamster for quite some time… ever since I told him that I used to have a pet hamster as a kid and I forgot to feed it (oops!) and, well… he told me he wants a hamster, so he can take really good of it… Soooooo. After much thought and several visits to the pet store, we decided that Santa would bring the boy a hamster. Well, he was THRILLED. Even told us that this was the BEST Christmas he ever had… Nathan would love a puppy, but due to his asthma and allergies to dogs, he cannot have one. We did get approval for a hamster, though! I think this hamster will be getting A LOT of love!
The hamster has a pretty cool cage. Except… all it wanted to do was sleep all day. I know, I know… they are nocturnal. But, we did wake it up a couple of times so Nathan could play with it. And, then… of course… after Nathan went to bed I could hear the hamster on its wheel for a couple hours! Man! That hamster needs a 26.2 marathon sticker!
Autumn got another American Girl doll, Saige (the girl of the year) and she is in front of her new fabric teepee with Saige and Caroline (her AG doll from her birthday).
Here is Autumn with all of her new princesses! Such a cute picture of Auttie with Brian!
Unwrapping presents inside her tent. LOL.
Autumn also got a rainbow loom, I was surprised when Nathan told me he had been wanting one! I guess it is popular with boys too, as he said two boys in his class have one. He really wants to make a necklace, so I need to figure out how to do something other then a bracelet on it… somehow I lost the direction book already (maybe it got tossed in the wrapping paper chaos?), so I need to look online. Nathan and Autumn did help me make several bracelets, tho!
My gifts… Brian got me this HUUUUUUGE Lush bath set! Oh, I love it, I do, I do!! I am a huge Lush fan… I really think this set my last me an entire year on baths! I love the Penguin bath bomb on the top left and then there is even a Secret Santa bath bomb in it that has a secret surprise in it when it melts in the hot bath water. Ahhhhh!
My BIG gift from Brian was this black quilted Michael Kors purse. I really needed a new black purse, my old one is a very outdated Coach one that was just too small for my needs. I am really not as into Coach anymore, is it just me? However, I do still use my Coach wristlet a lot and I use it as a wallet. I really love MK’s style and I am just digging this new purse with all of the pockets, the middle inner zipper pouch, etc. The handles on it are so comfortable, too and I love the gold/black chains and the little MK logo key chain on the outside of the purse.
A close up up my new purse, so you can see the quilted leather.
What can I say? I am a girl that likes me some bags! 🙂 I also got this gorgeous
Vera Bradley Mandy bag in Canterberry Magenta, it will be the perfect casual purse to stick my DSLR camera in when we are outside or for sporting activities with the kids, etc. A purse that can be knocked around a bit and still look cute. 🙂
I also got the new Pioneer Woman cookbook, it is SO thick… I cannot wait to try her recipes, especially the GREEN smoothie. I’ve been wanting to try out a green smoothie! There is also numerous other ‘unhealthy’ recipes I want to try out in her new book. Yum!
Then we finished Christmas night off with a couple of shots in candy cane shot glasses (a silly purchase we made at the grocery store weeks ago) and with our feet up on the couch.
Then, the day after Christmas we had another celebration with my parents, brother and SIL! Here is a photo that my Mom snatched of me, Brian and the kids.
Last year Brian went all out on a hot cocoa bar, but this year seemed to be a little more hectic so we whipped up this quickie hot cocoa bar in 5 minutes! LOL! We had all of these different marshmallows, chocolates, candy canes and licquor right in the pantry!
We were going to serve the food buffet style, but last minute we decided to set it all out on a table… so, nothing fancy… but, the food was tasty!!!!!!! Brian made a fancy Beef Stroganoff (I forget the actual name) with a red wine sauce and HOMEMADE noodles to go with it (yep, he made the noodles from scratch..). Then, I made funeral potatoes… yep, they are called funeral potatoes. They are ALL over Pinterest and I like them even better then my normal potato casserole I make. Brian also made homemade rolls and my Mom made a veggie tray. I made the dessert which is a chocolate sundae cake with a hot fudge sauce in the crock pot and it was delicious (I make it every Christmas!).
Here is a close up photo of the funeral potatoes that I made, and HERE is the recipe for them from Pinterest. I think what I love about this recipe is (1) it is a mix all together and dump in a casserole dish and bake kind of dish and (2) it uses Southern style hashbrowns which are little chunky bits instead of the regular thin hashbrowns. Yum! Try it, you’ll like it!
Jeff and Tracy brought the wine. Which is nice, because they get the good stuff!
Like I said, it was a hectic month so I didn’t really do a lot of decorating ideas for this party… but, here is how I set the table. I may have poured a little too much wine in those glasses. lol. My Mom and Dad sat elsewhere, we so need a bigger table/dining room when we move!
The kids table… Autumn wanted to eat in her new teepee, and we may have let her for breakfast… BUT, not for this special occasion! 🙂 Rose, our rag doll kitty wants to sit at the table, too! Such a cute snapshot I got of her! (BTW, she thinks Autumn’s teepee is her new house!)
After eating, we opened gifts. Here is a picture of the kids with my brother and SIL.
Tracy got some cute dog slippers… not sure of the name of this famous dog.
My parents got me my first pair of Hunter boots!! In red!!
Nathan finally named his hamster, it is Snowflake Hammy Buddy. I think that is what it is… ugh, he had so much trouble deciding on a name it really has three names. But, we mostly call it Snowflake or Hammy. Isn’t the little play area cute that he set up for him?
Well, that was our Christmas in a nutshell. Today I am back at work and we’re going to see Frozen with 3 of Autumn’s classmates and 1 of Nathan’s friends tonight. Should be fun.