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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas 2011

     I had hoped and planned to do a post based on my friend Jenna's idea of DITL (Day In The Life), however, my camera was running low on batteries and that didn't end up working out as well as I'd hoped.  Instead, Christmas Day is picture-less.  Nonetheless, I will attempt to write all we did so that you will be able to envision it.

     Christmas Eve, I woke up and checked my Tweetdeck and Facebook on my iPhone to find Santa had begun his journey on the other side of the world.

     Being hungry, I had breakfast of eggs, toast with jam, and a frothy cup of white hot chocolate to make it a little bit festive.

     Afterwards, I checked my email and my friends blog posts. 

     My brothers and Dad had all left earlier that morning to put in flooring in my younger brother's home.  While they were gone, we hung out with each other and prepared what we could for dinner.

Me and my niece Ella.  She's a doll! We had the best time getting her to smile because she would do so very easily.  It just make you happy.  :)

     Around noon, we Skyped with my German grandparents.  They loved seeing the newest additions to the family, as well as my ever growing belly.

     About then, the menfolk returned triumphant from their hard work, and I finally decided to stop being lazy and grungy and got ready to look nice for dinner.

Look at that belly!  Also, my camera is old and I need a new one.  Suggestions!!!

     We continued to socialize and prepare dinner.  It was all fun and games until my niece accidentally dropped my iPhone on my parents very hard tile floor and it cracked.  Fortunately, the screen worked, but I was extremely nervous that it would crack more or go deeper and put it away.  (Because my husband is wonderful he okay'd me getting the new iPhone 4S.  Remember how I love him?!)

The Culprit.  So innocent.

You can't see the damage very well because my camera is NOT awesome, but it's up in the left corner of the phone.

     Dinner was just about complete.  All there was left to make was the Spaetzle.  Somehow, though I'm not sure how this was managed, ALL of my sister-in-laws have made this and yet I never had!  This was definitely a moment to be documented. 
 My mom, so happy her only daughter is finally learning to make this side dish.  My dad, unsure how this is going to work out.

 Wait.  Has my dad made this before too?!
 If I want to continue this tradition, I'm gonna one of these devices.  It looks like an extremely over-sized garlic press.

     While we continued to finish dinner and set the table, the younger kids decorated the gingerbread house. 

     Finally, the time had arrived for the most anticipated dinner of the entire year, which included Sauerbraten, Rotkohl, Spaetzle, green beans, corn, rolls and gravy.  We actually ended up with three different gravies.  A "normal" gravy for the kids and spouses, gravy with vinegar, and my oldest brother's mix of gravy and A LOT of vinegar.  We kind of like vinegar.  :)  I think the only thing missing is the Knödel (German dumplings, pronounced like Kuh-noodle).  It's amazing that, a long time ago, we only needed that first table.  However, our family continues to grow and we've had to utilize more tables and chairs.

     No German Christmas dinner (at least in our household) is complete without the display of desserts set out for "after" dinner.  Though, I'm pretty sure more than one of us snacked on something from here before hand.

     When dinner was finished we took out the second table with the chairs and moved into the piano room to first sing Christmas songs and hymns and then listen to the story "What God Wants For Christmas", while sitting in front of the presents that tempted us so.

     The kids were excited for the story to be finished because after that was time to get the gifts from Nana and Papa.  They all made out with some great loot.  Then, it was the White Elephant with the siblings, spouses, and our parents.  This is our third year doing it and we love it.  I, apparently have a really good eye because I chose two gifts that got stolen (though Ty ended up snatching the first one, a fleece blanket and a really nice picnic basket, back for me, good husband), but the last gift was from my mom and I'm so happy that's what I ended up with.  I didn't get a picture of it, but it was white lace snowflakes, Ritter Sport chocolate, and a hanging ornament she painted herself.  In fact, she had only just done it two days before.  It's beautiful and I love it! 

     My parents also gave each of us married folks a gift.  Ty and I received a wooden windmill nativity tree, nutcracker ornaments, and all manner of lebkucken (or as Ty calls it Le-puke-en because he can't ever pronounce it and he's not a big fan) and German yummies.

      After we sat around for a bit, enjoying our gifts, laughing and chatting with each other, I went to pack up and got ready to leave for Othello since we were staying with Ty's parents.  I was sad to leave my family since I hadn't seen some of them since the Summer, but we definitely had a good time.  We got to Othello a bit late, but for some reason we still stayed up later.  This may or may not have been a good idea since we still had church in the morning.  Sacrament meeting was at 10AM and it was the only meeting we would have for the day.  We quickly got ready and drove the street down to the church.  We listened to and sang beautiful hymns of Christmas and heard talks prepared to remind us of what and why we celebrate this special occasion. 

     It was pre-decided that we would open gifts after church and before lunch.  I was mostly excited for Ty to open his gifts.  So I waited for us both to have our gifts in front of us and we each opened gifts in turn.  I got him a Kindle (Not the Fire, but the one with the keypad.)  Since I made him pick out which one he would want, he knew he was getting that.  I also gave him a cover for it that has a light attached and the last book in the Eragon series.  He gave me a griddle, which is kind of funny because, this will be the third one we are on.  The first one, I dropped and eventually needed to be replaced.  The one we have still works, but the edging is broken and since Ty is the one that uses it the most, he definitely saw a need.  I was excited to see that it is longer than the one we have and said excitedly, "Do you know how many pancakes we can make?!".  He also gave me a portable speaker for my iPhone, which I have been longing for, and a new charger for my phone that comes with two USB chords that retract.  Love it!

     My favorite gift from him was actually a "regift" that he had already given me, but was a continuation if you will.  To preface, the theme for the first anniversary is paper and so he gave me a beautiful leather bound journal for us to write in and share what we did on our anniversaries.  Well, time passed and the idea was somewhat forgotten.  So, on Christmas Day, he took some time by himself and wrote his perspective of our wedding day.  I was so overwhelmed.  It really was the most thoughtful gift.  So now, it's my turn to write in it and give my version of what happened and then we will continue with the plan and share our anniversary stories.  We really love this idea and hope to do something similar with our children, starting with this baby. 

     Ty's parents gave me things we needed for the baby, a Moby wrap and a storage closet since we have zero closet space for the baby.  Ty received Starcraft 2, which he thoroughly enjoyed playing, an gift card to buy Kindle books, and a Wardrobe Wallet swatch that shows all the colors that work for his skin tone season.  Every time we go shopping, he mentions that he needs to get one so he can figure out which colors to get.  Cheryl gave me one a long time ago and I always carry it with me.  It really helps!

     Once all the gifts were unwrapped and exposed, we cleared away the wrapping paper and gift bags and put aside the gifts to make room for lunch.  Cheryl made turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and a green bean casserole, so it was like Thanksgiving again.  Yay!  Though, I did have to abstain from the turkey (okay so I had a tiny little bit) as I have found it gives me heartburn.  Seriously?!  The rest of the day was spent lounging and enjoying one another's company and maybe a little delving into testing out gifts.  At some point I insisted we watch "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" because not everyone had seen it and it's a classic for me. 

      I'm so grateful for the wonderful gifts and memories made.  We enjoyed spending time with both families.  It's such a blessing to have our families close and we've been lucky to be able to make it work .  I hope this is always the case.


  1. What cool German traditions! I love it! Bummer about your phone but fun that you get a new one!

  2. I love reading about how other people celebrate christmas.

    Also we have the canon powershot. it is just a point and shoot camera BUT I love it because it has a really fast shutter and i just leave it on the kids and pets mode and then i can get good pics of my kidlets even if they aren't standing perfectly still!

  3. German Christmas sounds amazing. And I don't know why Ty doesn't like that amazing gingerbread/chocolate cookie whose name I can't pronounce! Also, I am SO GLAD to finally know those things are called wooden windmill nativity trees. It was so funny that you mentioned you received one of these right after Nathan and I had been talking about them. Anyway, I love you. I love that you were here for Christmas. So glad we are family :)


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