Tonight we went to Leavenworth, a small town that looks like you're in a Bavarian village. It's a fun place to be at any time of year, but it was especially neat to see it at night with all of the Christmas lights!
Here's just a peek at what the town looks like from the main road.
There were lots of people sledding down this hill.
Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of dad and Josh...not sure what we were thinking. :) This was taken when we were waiting for them to come out of a shop.
For those who have children, I'm sure they could testify to how much their life changed when they had their first child. It affected their lives in so many ways.
This time of year we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. How amazing that something so wonderful came to us in the form of a baby. I can't imagine what Mary must have been thinking as she carried the Son of God in her womb for nine months and then raised Him. To look at your Son and know that He was sent to be the Savior of the world. It was that precious baby that would one day perform many miracles, but most importantly He would die on the cross for our sins, and then come back to life proclaiming victory over death.
Long, long ago a baby was born that would change lives. He has changed mine...how about yours?
Isaiah 9:6 ~ For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
John 1:12-14 ~ But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
This evening we made gingerbread (graham cracker) houses.
The boy was SO happy to eat candy and frosting!
Even though it's blurry, I love this picture because of the look on his face as he's staring at the house! Haha! Once I started having Braxton help put candy on, it seemed pointless to have anything other than a flat roof. It's not very pretty to look at, but I *think* he enjoyed it. At least I know he enjoyed eating the candy! I was trying to tell him to put the candy on the house and he would grab a piece, start to eat it and then try to put it on the house. Then I promptly removed the piece of candy. :)
The Christmas program at church today went really well. Praise the Lord!
I've been working on a homemade gift today. It's given me quite a bit of trouble too! I'm crocheting a gift for someone and had to purchase yarn 3 times before I got the right kind/color I needed. Now that I have the right yarn and started making it, it wasn't turning out the way I wanted/needed it to. So, now I'm crocheting something completely different. Oy! Praying it turns out and the recipient likes it! I'll post a picture after Christmas, because I'm not sure if they read my blog or not. :)
Tonight we went to a nearby outdoor skating rink. I thought for sure there would be other people there, so it was quite a surprise when we pulled up and the rink was EMPTY! We had it all to ourselves the entire time we were there. It was SO nice! We had such a blast and definitely plan to do it again!
Josh was the first to fall! Haha
On the way there we were all voting on who we thought we would fall first. Josh got one vote, Dad one, and Mom three. Maggie and I didn't get any votes, and we were the only ones that didn't fall. :)
This is one of those activities that you wonder to yourself..."Why don't we do this more often??"
When I was younger we used to make it a tradition every year to drive around the neighborhoods and look at Christmas lights with my dad's parents. For whatever reason, we stopped doing it. I think maybe we just weren't able to spend as much time at their house around Christmas because of everyone's busy schedules.
As I was writing a list of things I wanted to do in my countdown to Christmas, I remembered that old tradition and wanted to make sure it came back this year! So this evening we bundled up, stopped by DQ and got sundaes :) and then drove around the neighborhoods looking at lights.
The local newspaper had a handy little map that showed where different light displays were that were part of a home/business contest, but after we went to the first one and decided we had seen better ones we just drove around. There were some pretty decent displays, but nothing like I remember in Port Angeles. I guess that's what you get in a small little town. :)
Here's the only house I took a picture of. Honestly, they didn't get much better than this. BUT...it was a nice evening spent with the family and that's what counts!
Instead of telling you that I've eaten more than my fair share of Christmas cookies today =), how about I share some favorite Christmas movies? Sound good?? As I think about it, there are lots of movies that I enjoy watching this time of year, but my top 2 favorites would have to be...
Tonight I made popcorn balls! Haven't had those in a long time...yummy!
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
6 tablespoons butter
5 cups miniature marshmallows
Add vegetable oil to a 4 quart saucepan, and heat over high heat. When oil is hot, add popping corn. Keep pan moving constantly. When corn stops popping, remove from heat. Put popcorn in prepared pan. [OR you could do what I did...microwave popcorn in a brown paper bag...so easy!]
Melt butter In a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in marshmallows and cook until melted, stirring constantly. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn and mix with spoon to coat evenly.
Let mixture cool slightly. Smear butter on your hands or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Mix popcorn with your hands so that it is evenly coated.
Form popcorn into balls.
Here's another popcorn recipe we usually make this time of year...Caramel Corn!
2 cups brown sugar 1/2 cup corn syrup 2 sticks butter 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp cream of tartar Dash of salt 8 qts of non-buttered popcorn
Mix sugar, syrup, and butter. Boil 5 minutes. (As tempting as it may be, do NOT stir while it's boiling.) Remove from heat. Add baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Pour immediately over popcorn. Mix until popcorn is completely covered with caramel and bake for 1 hour at 200 degrees. Put on wax paper, separate, and enjoy!
You could even take it to the next level by drizzling your favorite chocolate over it. Mmmm!
Thanks to those who entered my giveaway! I'm sure you're just dying to know who won, right? Earlier today I wrote the names of those who entered on pieces of paper, mixed them up and had Braxton pick one. :) The winner is....*drumroll please!*