Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009

What a memorable Christmas it was!!!!

In our family, Christmas is usually really drawn out because we have so many family to celebrate with and at different times. So it's good that it lasts even longer before it's all over.

First, we went to visit my Aunt Ann and Uncle Phillip in Greenwood last Saturday for Christmas. We had a good time visiting them because we don't get to see them very often. They gave Alabama the cutest stuffed gingerbread girl, some cute clothes, and a sweet bear that says her prayers. I forgot my camera, so I don't have any pictures. :-( We also received our CD's from my Daddy that he recorded for me. He's still working on the gospel one but the first one turned out pretty good!

Christmas Eve, we had lunch at my Mama and Daddy's with my Granny, Aunt Judy, and our cousin Larry. Alabama opened some of her first Christmas presents from Granny and Aunt Judy. She got a blue Care Bear bunny, a snow globe (which she dropped and broke even though it was plastic. When we went to Walgreens to get a new one, she broke it in the store! ha! we have one now that she can play with NEXT year.) a set of little books, a beautiful snow globe ornament for 2009, some money, and a christmas bear. They were so sweet!
Then we were off to our Christmas Eve service at church which was beautiful! I loved the new format and the music was wonderful. The candles, music, Christmas story, church family, Lord's Supper, and cold night all made for a perfect Christmas eve. The only thing a little crazy was there was no nursery of course so it was hard to entertain Alabama the entire time!

On Christmas Day, Alabama woke up at 7:15 and so we got up and went to see what Santa brought!! I've been looking forward to this for so long! It was so much fun!!! She got a Laugh and Learn Barn, a caterpillar, her first Cabbage Patch doll named Sydney Sage, an Elmo cloth book, a train with animals that sings, and a steering wheel. In her stocking she had socks, a pair of tights, Yogurt melts, and her first toothbrush. (Those yogurt melts are like candy for babies! She can't get enough of them!!!) She didn't know what to think of it all. She pulled everything out of her stocking, but didn't play with all the toys too much at first. Now, she loves them!

We always cook breakfast for our family on Christmas morning so this year we had a delicious breakfast casserole that we actually put together the night before and baked that morning along with some cinnamon rolls. My Nana and Ralph came and she brought Alabama a really cute yellow pull-along car that she really has had fun with. Mama, Daddy, Alicia and Audra came over and Alabama showed them what Santa brought her! After breakfast, we went to their house and opened some gifts. Alabama got a Red Rider all terrain wagon from Santa and some cute clothes from Aunt Katie and a Tigger and a cheetah toy from Aunt Lee Lee and two Sesame street DVDs from Big Mama and Poppa.

We really had to hurry because we were supposed to be at Georgia's by 12 for Christmas with Adam's family. It was not much fun having to rush and I hope we can plan to space it out a little more next year. We had a delicious dinner that Georgia and Chris made and then opened some gifts with them. I wish I had pictures of the table, but Georgia had it set so pretty and had the cutest napkins from Williams-Sonoma with the 12 Days of Christmas on them. I got "5 Golden Rings" of course! ha! We took our time and opened all the gifts. The funnest part for me is watching everyone open their gifts that we give them.

Alabama was given this sweet crocheted baby booties ornament from her Grandma and Grandpa. They also gave her some new earrings to wear!

Anna bought with her own money the pink pillow in the picture above for Alabama. I thought that was so sweet of her!
Aunt Georgia and Uncle Chris gave her a Fisher Price learning purse which is so cute! She loves to take everything out of it!

Even before we opened the gifts, she was a tired little girl! So much excitement during Christmas really wore her out!

I thought this shirt was so perfect for her to wear on Christmas because besides Jesus, she's the best present ever!!!!!

After leaving Georgia's, we drove to Gibson to Bo and Kathie's to spend time with the family there. I know, it makes me tired thinking about it again! But it was a great day and I'm so thankful for our blessings and Alabama's first Christmas!

More to come of our "Christmas at New Year's" in another post!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Empty Nest

Our little nest was empty last night without my sweet little birdie, Alabama! She spent the night away for the 2nd time with her Uncle Bo, Aunt Kathie, and cousin Jenna. We took the opportunity to have a little date night to look at Christmas lights, eat at Cracker Barrell and..... come home early! ha! I was so tired for some reason and came home and fell asleep on the couch after watching the Duggars (who we LOVE!).

It's weird that I actually woke up more last night than when she is actually here! I guess it makes me nervous knowing all FOUR of them are sleeping in the same full size bed. Also, who knows how many Polly Pockets Jenna has let Alabama play with today! ha! I can't wait to get her back tonight! Miss her so much. But before that....this girl's got a lot to do. I've wrapped a few more gifts, I've got two to finish making, I've got a few gifts to pick up, make a few deliveries, and sell a LOT of baskets! I hope there are a lot of men who are last minute shoppers!!!

The reason we chose Cracker Barrell was not only because we love the food, but I really wanted a piece of their Double Chocolate Coca-Cola cake. That stuff is amazing!!!!! I found a recipe online at kopykatrecipes that I'm going to try out for Christmas. I hope it's like "the real thing baby!"

1 Stick of Butter (1/4 lb)
1 C. Coca Cola
3/4 C. Miniature Marshmallows
1 Square of Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate
1/2 C. Shortening
1/2 C. Vegetable Oil
3/4 C. Cocoa
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Vanilla
3/4 C. Buttermilk
2 C. Sugar
2 1/3 C. Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
Place in a sauce pan butter, coke, semi sweet baking square and bring to a boil remove from heat and add marshmallows and stir until all is blended and the marshmallows are disappear. Set aside to cool enough to tepid or room temperature.In mixing bowl blend the shortening, oil, vanilla and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and buttermilk and beat until smooth. Mix flour with baking soda, cocoa, baking powder and salt, add half of flour mixture to shortening, egg mixture, and beat. Scrape bowl time to time to clean the sides off so ingredients are blended in batter. Add cooled coca cola mixture and beat. Add remainder of flour and beat until completely smooth about 3 – 4 minutes. Batter will be thick.Place batter into a 13″ x 9″ x ” 2 oiled and floured baking pan.Set pan on top shelf in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 35 – 40 minutes. Check for completed baking time with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean by sticking in the middle of the cake its time to come out of the oven and cool.

1 Stick of Butter
1/2 C. Cocoa1/4 C. Coca Cola (plus 2-3 Tbsp. if needed)
3 C Powder Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 C Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
Cream butter, add cocoa, vanilla, Hershey’s Syrup, and coca cola, beat until smooth. Add powder sugar a little at a time and beat constantly. Scrape the sides of bowl time to time to get all ingredients into the frosting. If the frosting seams a little dry add a little more coca cola and beat well.Frost warm cake. Serve with natural vanilla bean ice cream and enjoy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Adorable Christmas outfit

I'm linking to the Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday Holiday Linky Party to show the shirt I made for Alabama using my Cricut and freezer paper!

I bought these adorable red and white pants from a Just Ducky Originals party that I attended. They were much more than I would normally spend on pants for her, but I've really wanted some ruffle pants for a while and you feel bad if you go and don't buy anything! So, I only bought the pants and decided I could make some cute shirts to go with them. They are still fitting her very good so hopefully I can make one for Valentine's Day, too!
I've seen this idea so many places including The Shabby Nest and City Grace. I was so excited to try it but I couldn't find freezer paper anywhere! I finally found some that my mother in law had and grabbed a little of it! (I saw tonight that they now carry it at Bi-Lo in Thomson so I bought a whole roll for my self!)
The only thing I did a little differently from the other posts was that I used the Cricut to cut out the freezer paper! It's much more precise and quicker that the exacto knife. (At least when I'm the one using the knife! ha) I chose this cute Christmas tree and cut it out and ironed it on the shirt. I grabbed a plate and some fabric paint and a stencil brush and got to work. Since I was painting white paint over a red shirt, I had to do about 3-4 layers of paint. When it finally was dry,I peeled off the freezer paper and was left with a cute tree for the most precious Christmas outfit ever!

I love how it turned out and the shirt was only $5 and the paint was $.97 so it was a great way to get a custom look with only a little bit of money!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thomson Christmas Parade 2009

Last Sunday, we went to the Christmas parade in Thomson. I was in the parade for so many years and it is fun to go see the band, the "Sparklers", the horses, Santa, the Shriners cars, and the "cars-that-their-owners-think-are-parade-worthy-but-aren't"!!! ha

Of course, it was Alabama's first parade and she was really interested and loved looking at everything go by. We had a very good spot and got to sit on the tailgate of Adam's truck. When we were little, if we weren't in the parade, we would eat lunch after church at KFC and then park in their parking lot to watch. This year, we met Leslie, Tommy, Katie, Emma, and Annalise and had them come sit with us. We helped them get the candy before the nutcase/drunk mom/weirdo and her daughter beside us took it all!

We told Alabama all the things she would be doing in the parade as she gets older. "Look, there's where you'll ride when you're THS Homecoming Queen, Alabama."

Friday, December 4, 2009

O Christmas Tree..

I'm not totally finished with all the decorations for the house, but I wanted to post pictures of our tree since I've had a few people ask about it and I also wanted to particiate in the Show Us Your Life: Christmas Tree at Kelly's Korner.

For the past couple of years since we redecorated our living room, we've decorated our tree with black/white/silver ornaments with a few splashes of red to add a punch of color. I love our tree and get excited when I get the ornamnets out every year. I also have some special ornaments that don't go with our "theme" so I put those in the back of the tree. I love to add different things to the tree like little birds or flowers or this nest.
And here is Alabama in her reindeer outfit beside the "entryway" trees. I stood in line at Michael's last year after Thanksgiving to get them!