Since the week after Thanksgiving, I've been busy with Christmas preparations. Shopping, baking cookies, shopping, wrapping presents, shopping, and spending quality time with my family. Did I mention shopping? I must admit though that as much as I love shopping, I'm not dealing as well with the crowds as I used to. Either I'm getting crankier, or people are ruder (more rude?) than they used to be. Probably the former. LOL! I always have the majority of my Christmas shopping done by the first week in December and this year was no exception. It just seems that I've had an endless amount of little things I need to pick up here and there and that seemed to drag out my shopping a little longer.
So, here's a glimpse at what's kept me busy the last few weeks:
I had dinner with my girls at one of our favorite restaurants, The Landmark. Seriously, if you are ever in the Galesburg, Illinois area, you have to eat here. Go to the website and check out their menu. Everything is delicious! Crepes, quiche, spinach bisque. OMG! I'm getting hungry now!
Anyway, it ended up being a good bye dinner for one of us. :( Anita was moving about an hour and a half away. We will miss seeing her every month, but now we have a great excuse for a road trip!!!!!
Next on my list was to get the house and tree decorated for Christmas. This picture makes it look like I don't have many ornaments on my tree. Many of them are white or silver though and don't show up well in the picture. I don't over stuff the tree with ornaments though either.
This ornament always makes it onto the tree. It's a reminder of our much missed Molly. She's been gone several years now, but we still miss her very much.
The next two ornaments are older than I am. They are ornaments that we put on our tree when I was a little girl. They're actually bells and have a ringer inside of them. There's a whole set with different shapes and styles, but these are two of my favorites.
Of course we have a bird nest in the tree. No it's not real. It's a clip on. However, having a bird nest in the tree is good luck and I certainly don't need any bad luck so it's tucked away inside the tree each year.
After I got the halls decked, I baked some cookies. I had a little help from Kenny and Demi one night, and my mom and I got together, as we do each year, and decorated sugar cookies.
Aren't they cute?
I think we decorated about 5 or 6 dozen cookies!
I am never dipping pretzels in almond bark again! I saw this idea on Pinterest. It is so much easier and not as messy as dipping the pretzels. This is where I got the original directions. It calls for plain chocolate kisses. I thought these striped peppermint flavored kisses would be more festive. I bought one bag each of Hershey's kisses, red and green M&Ms, and round pretzels. I was able to make about 4 trays full like this one (and have some M&Ms left over!). All you do is put a kiss in each pretzel, pop them in a 225 degree oven for just a few minutes, and top each one with an M&M, pushing the chocolate down to fill out the pretzel. Easy peasy!
I have something I made that I just can't wait to post about, but I have to wait until after the holidays now. I made a great gift for my book club girls but we had to cancel our December party. :( Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to reschedule it from our first date. Then, on the rescheduled date, the midwest was hit with a blizzard. If you live in the midwest, you know the one I mean. I have never seen white outs as bad as I experienced on Thursday, December 20th! I will always remember that date because it just so happened that it was also my birthday. I was supposed to attend my faculty Christmas party and book club that night but both had to be cancelled. Instead, I spent my birthday snowed in at home with my 3 handsome men playing board games and watching Christmas movies. It turned out to be a wonderful birthday after all!
I always get very interesting, and huge, drifts on my patio. This one is probably 6-7 feet tall.
Kenny had to get up and help me dig out so I could go to work the next morning. The 4x4 truck couldn't even get out the drifts were so bad. Yes, we have 2 snow plows. Don't ask why we weren't able to plow out the driveway! No time and poor planning are to blame.
Last, but certainly not least, we have begun our family Christmas gatherings. We spent yesterday at my brother's house for our first celebration. We had a great food, exchanged gifts, and laughed until we cried! That is what family time is all about!
It was so fun watching my niece open her gifts this year!
My two handsome sons and their cousin.
And this is the type of game my family plays at Christmas! LOL! It's actually pretty fun! And guess who was the Smart Ass winner? :)
Well, that's it. It's been a pretty full season, but I've loved every minute of it! I can't wait until Christmas and to spend more time with family. I'm also looking forward to my 2 week vacation from work. I have a list a mile long of all the things I want to get done. Cleaning, reading, scrapbooking, crafting, blogging, after Christmas shopping.... Merry Christmas to you all!