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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Events in Alaska

Ok ok… I know. That’s awful. But it was just too funny…. I couldn’t resist ;)

We did have a lovely Thanksgiving though. And a surprise one at that!
You see, we actually didn't know if we were going to have a family thanksgiving this year since Andrew was still flying and unsure of his return dates… Or so I thought. Being the sneaky man that he is, he did not tell us that he knew he was coming home before thanksgiving. Kept saying “Not sure if I will be home or not…”

“Don’t count on me being there”

“See if you can spend it with other people”


I was slightly disappointed to say the least, but expected this as a result of the lifestyle we had chosen. (Time to run this calling well, right? 2 Cor. 7:17)

But then, on Monday night, Lysey and I were getting ready to go meet him on base (since he had told me they were going to be in AK briefly dropping off cargo and loading up for the next small trip) when he called to tell us he was coming home… to stay!

Thus, the planning for our Turkey Day celebration began... and recruitment for people to celebrate with, since this was our first thanksgiving away from home.
God must have had these people in mind from the beginning as it turned out there were a few (if not more than who actually came) lieutenants that had no plans and joined us for the celebration.

So after all the last minute hussling and preparations, we had ourselves a FANTASTIC "gobble gobble" day!

Here are some shots from the day:

Recently, we have started everyday with this: A gingerbread biscotti with an eggnog latte... YUM YUM!

Our celebrating little gal!
(who loves and misses her grandpa...s ;) )


I just pray Andrew is not allergic to it since he seems to have allergy symptoms around it :/

Luckily he still loves it!

... as does Eli.

Elyse loves the lights on it

One of the Thanksgiving appetizers was a sweet pumpkin one:

You can find the recipe here.

The only main difference was the chocolate chips I added to the mix.

More food:

Sweet Potato Casserole the Klats made (delicious!) and a new favorite salad of mine:

(the only alteration I made was to the Quinoa, since I could not find any. I used couscous instead!)

(I want to make some more now)

Our lovely Air Force family ;)

We had been discussing the ridiculousness of Black Friday starting at midnight now... until we started discussing the deals.
It was enough to have my husband strongly encouraged to go
($200 for a 42' flat screen TV? Heck yea! Who WOULDN'T want that kind of deal???)

And that's excatly what we discovered:
EVERYONE wants that deal.

I didn't get a shot of the actual line (that wrapped ALL the way around the building!) but this parking lot is usually empty. Like, I always get a parking spot up front EASILY.

And it was anything but empty.
In fact, it was rocking. Best Buy had their outdoor speakers set up with music for the crazies that waited in FREEZING cold weather with falling snow at 10:00pm.
The store would not open for another 2 hours.

From that moment on, I started contemplating whether or not it was worth it.

I ended up concluding that my time was worth something too.
In conclusion to my first black friday witnessed, I have decided I will stay at home from now on.

Yes... wonderful idea :)

Another event was the squadron Thanksgiving auction, where we bid on items/services that will go towards raising money for the annual Christmas party (and pay for those who cannot necessarily afford to put money towards a Christmas party). It was a lot of fun and, according to our leadership, quite a success!

I took some of Alyssa Griffin's (our auction photographer) event photos so you can see some of the fun we had.

Lysey and I watching the bidding from the back!

My dear friend Lindsey!

Our commander's wife Laura (the holder of babies! I love our leadership's wives... they are so kind to want to help out and hold everyone's babies!!)

A plane from the Aviation museum
(where the auction was held)

Our commander, Lt.Col. Patrick Weeks, poking fun with the mic guy ;)

The attendees:

The bidding!

Those are the current updates.... as the temperature continues to drop, we are moving into the season of Christmas!

And on the next update blog, you might see more pictures that pertain to the above shot
(and I'm not talking about the temperature gauge....more like the dashboard of a certain vehicle that might ceratinly be ours this coming Friday.. STAY TUNED!)


Baby watch: Our Christmas Photo Shoot!

As a result of poor planning and a limited amount of time I now have, I am going to combine our Christmas card with Elyse's announcement card
(Yes, they are all still sitting on my desk... awaiting a stamp.. Sigh)

However, we are getting an early start on this so we can be ready to enjoy peace and focus on the important things throughout the season.

As an added bonus, you can help me pick out a photo you like the best for our Christmas card!

Here was my inspiration:

Adorable, I know! I stuck my own baby in a box....



She INSISTED on eating the box no matter how hard I tried to make her stop....

O well! At least she looked cute doing it ;)

(Yes, the picture below is evidence she is her father's daughter)

(Dad, aren't you proud of that face?
Your genes have taught her well ;) )

And as Christmas dogs say,

Tis the season for crafts!

I am the OFFICIAL Christmas elf for this season!!
I eat lots of sugar, drink lots of coffee, arise early, stay up late, listen to Christmas classics and DECORATE the WHOLE HOUSE with all sorts of Christmas cheer!!

Heck, I even have "Elf" ringtones for my phone
(that TOTALLY makes me official, right?)

Ok, most of my elfish qualities are due to the fact I have a very active baby that needs a lot of my attention during the daytime..thus, leaving me the night to get my day's list done)

To get you inspired like I have been this Christmas season, I have included some progress pictures and other people's ideas from my own little scrapbook of inspirations.

I have been collecting these since October as a result of the snow drafts that have not melted since the end of October.
Ohhhhhh Alaska!

Anyways, let's get started.

This is a Pottery Barn clip I loved.
Very classic and tradtionally Christmas with some creative touches to make it a bit unique:

Well, I am still working and tweaking it a bit to my liking, but here is what I have gotten so far from my inspiration:

Yes, I little far from the picture's resemblance, but its still a work in progress....

The one thing I loved in that picture was the ribbon they strung across the window.
Since our house is a bit dark, I wanted to add light to it.
Thus evolved the fabric scrap garland.
I basically took fabric scraps and tied them on the cord inbetween lights.
As simple as that.
But it looks incredible!
(And totally crafty ;) )

Although I have not exactly embarked on making one of these yet, here are my ideas for some advent calendars:

Love it!

Wreaths outside of the traditional greenerly has been becoming more popular....

Here are some that grabbed my eye:

Instead of the reindeer, I went with "JOY":

And more joy ;)

This wreath is a real time consumer but I am glad I got it done!

Yes, the flowers in this vase do not advertise this well
(they died right before I got a good shot of them)
For thanksgiving, I used a gourd as a flower vase.


And very festive for our Thanksgiving spread.

This tree is advertised as an advent calendar (very cool idea), but I went a different route with it....

... and gave it fabric flowers, some berries and a jar full of intentional questions...
All on a tray!

The question jar is a lot of fun if you want to practice the art of conversation around your family table more often!

Oh, and here is the start of our tree's topper....

It is definitely missing something in its completion, but I am still trying to decide on some ideas for it.

Any suggestions from the following?

I am torn.

I love them all....

Oh, and I LOVED this knitted reindeer!!
(Isn't he just so CUTE??)

.. But since I couldn't find him, I went with my other favorite animal: penguins!!

(and these little guys go with my theme more... and they were on sale-- score!)

Well, that is the start of the holiday fun.

Hope you are inspired to get your DECOR on and SING while you make toys in the North Pole...

Like me ;)

Yet tonight, this elf is turning in early ;)

Blessings, XOXO