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Monday, January 4, 2016

Christmas Break...Happy New Year!

It was a great Christmas break for our family and we hope that it was for your family, as well!  Our college boy came home a few days earlier than the two youngest got out of school, so that was nice. We met the college girl in Oklahoma City for a surprise planned by my husband.
The first surprise was eating at KD's restaurant at Bricktown in Oklahoma City. All of us had been wanting to try it and we were very pleased with the experience.  The food was delicious! Not healthy, but delicious!

The next surprise was going to see "The Christmas Carol". It was GREAT!  We loved it!

After having Christmas with my side of the family in Texas, we enjoyed spending the whole break being at home this year.  We were gone the entire time last year, so it was a treat (until after Christmas, as you'll see below).  The kids decorated their gingerbread houses.
We even had a Facebook/Instagram contest for them.  #4 won, despite the wreath being upside down!
Buddy the Elf was a nightly visitor again this year.  We enjoy him visiting and figure he'll visit our home every year. The night before Christmas Even, he took lots of selfies!
Joe has so many different vehicles and keys that sometimes it's hard to keep up with them all, so I had planned to get him some sort of key finders.  One night I asked for advice on which one to get on Facebook.  I had narrowed it down to two and couldn't decide.  Not 30 minutes later, Joe said his secretary had sent him an email about of those key finders!  It was so funny because he had no clue I was planning to get him those for Christmas.  I went with the one in the email and hopefully they will be very helpful!  You'll notice how many he got.....That may not even be enough!  He's got lots and lots of keys!
This was only the second time in our family (the first time with all four children being born!) to have Christmas dinner with just the six of us.  It was so nice!!  No one had to get ready...we just wore whatever we wanted to....nothing fancy.
We even ate on paper plates and used the pretty silver plastic cutlery! (You can SEE THROUGH IT, we found out! Ha ha!  Pretty neat!).  I started to use the pretty real plates, but then I thought...WHY?  Why have more dishes to wash???  Joe kept up the dishes for us while Zachary and I did most of the cooking - with some help from the other kids.
Our daughter made us a special thing for Christmas.  It shows our hometowns and where we met, along with our wedding date.  Pretty sweet!  I'll share more homemade gifts (from my husband's side of the family Christmas) on another post this week.
And then just a few days after all of the wonderful Christmastime celebrations, an ice storm came! I had prayed for snow.  Joe had prayed against it!  Tyler wanted a white Christmas and it came a few days late.
What none of us wanted was an ice storm that causes a huge catastrophic problem for the electric companies and resulted in power outages that lasted from a few days to many days (200 people are still without power).  We used some neat ideas we had seen to light up the room - flashlights on top of gallons of water.  It really worked!  We also used little terra cotta pots and candles to make heaters.  They worked and helped, even with the fireplace.  We cooked on the gas grill outside and even on the fireplace fire a few times, but also drove out of town where there was electricity to eat, too.  It also gave us time to recharge our cell phones.
We played LOTS and LOTS of games during the power outage. Our oldest son dug out his old K'Nex sets and made up this amazing basketball coliseum! He even had a hanging scoreboard in the middle!
As soon as the electricity came on, it was back to normal.  Well.....somewhat normal.  The youngest got something for Christmas he never thought we would allow him to have....a first for our family: a game system.  He got a few sports' games to go with it, and it's actually more fun to see the kids playing together like this than to have them wanting to just watch TV, so it was a wise decision to get it for him/them.
And the end of the break was the beginning days of the new year.  We celebrated quietly and with all of us here - something that will end within the next few years, I'm sure.  

These times are special.  Memories were made and will be cherished forever. 

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