Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know...

Can you tell I love Christmas music since I have began my last two posts using Christmas songs! But, seriously do I really need to be dreaming of a white Christmas, because in T-Minus 5 days we will be landing in snow paradise. Now, don't get me wrong I have been enjoying our 40 degree weather with no snow, but can you most of you agree that it just wouldn't feel like Christmas with that kind of weather (Jenny, I know you can agree:) ) I am used to freezing my little tooshy off and usually whining about it, but I do miss it just a little this time of year!

Anywho, just wanted to put up a few pictures of some Christmas cookies I made. For the past few years my sisters, mom and I had been doing a cookie exchange. I was so sad not to be doing it this year so I decided to do a few of my own. That is just too great of a memory for me to not continue this year even if I am doing it by myself! I still remember being a little peanut with Trisha, Emily and Jacob, sitting at the counter helping mom frost and decorate cookies. While she probably was getting mad at us for eating the frosting and licking our fingers, and dad, well he was probably downstairs watching the Gophers or shoveling snow!

Ben didn't seem to have those same memories, he said he always just ate them and never did anything! ;) He finally decided he wanted to help, I was so excited! He picked up the rolling pin, rolled them out, cut them out and that was that! Thanks Ben...

And my mom's famous peanut butter cups! Along with some yummy ritz, pb and almond bark treats!

Now, just a few more decorations!

The cutest little nativity scene ever!

Well, I will try to blog one more time before we fly out Thursday morning. If not, then I will SEE a lot of you very soon! We can't wait to feel our nose hairs freeze when we walk off that plane! Love you all!
Have a beautiful and joyous Merry Christmas!
P.S. Sidenote here, but I washed my phone in the washing machine last night, (yes Melissa, I know you aren't supposed to do that), so I had to get a new one today. The salesman helping me told me to have a Merry Christmas, I about leapt at him to give him a bear hug, but I restrained myself, just smiled and told him thank you for saying Merry CHRISTmas!

"But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:10-14

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

O' Christmas Tree

How lovely are your branches...
Quite lovely I have to say!

Ben had very high expectations for our first Christmas in the Northwest. He has been reminding me since oh...June...that we were going to be heading to the "forest" for our tree this year. I'd nod and smile. I actually was quite amused at the idea of having an experience like this with Ben. While I was smiling and nodding I was also thinking, "We have no saw, we have no clue where to go, actually we have no idea what in the world to do." Any thoughts coming to your mind? Did this pop into your head? (Mom and dad, you have to click on the highlighted word "this") :)

Ben was extremely adamant about this. I love him to pieces so this was what we are going to do. Ben was so excited to find out that some of our good friends go on this adventure every year. They said we could tag along this year.

I had to put a link to their blog from year's past so you can understand the kind of monster tree Ben was going after!
The Terpenings tree hunt and the lighting! Thanks Dustin and Abby for letting us show all our family and friends your craziness! :)

To Ben's dismay their plans ended up changing since they have a new little one, so guess who else's plans changed. So we had to settle to going to a tree farm that the Terps told us about. I think Ben's big heart was crushed a bit, but he soon got over it when we pulled into, what I thought, was the cutest tree farm ever. When you drive in, they give you a saw and say that there is cider and cookies waiting for you after you are finished. How sweet is that?!

So we parked and just started walking through the trees, waiting to hear the angelic choir over our perfect tree! :)

Then, there it was. Awwwww, with the beam of light shining down upon it, trumpets blaring, harps sweetly playing! But seriously, there was sunlight shining right on it! :)

It was perfect! So Big Benny Boy (as my dad would say) took that saw, and cut it right down, which took a total of 20 secs. Rather anticlimactic, but we still thought it was the greatest thing ever! We had just picked, and cut down, our own Christmas tree!

To top it off when we pulled out they gave us a candy cane and said MERRY CHRISTMAS! Yes ladies and gents, not Happy Holidays but MERRY CHRISTMAS! Praise the Lord, I get so sick of hearing Happy Holidays....uhhh ever heard of CHRISTmas, geesh louish.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your boughs can teach a lesson
That constant faith and hope sublime
Lend strength and comfort through all time.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your boughs can teach a lesson.

"I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope." Psalm 130:5

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another Wreath?!

Yes, I made another homemade wreath today. And yes, I found it on the same cute blog,

As usual, I got "the look" from Ben when he saw me working away. Wives(especially Melissa), you know, the "You have gone crazy again by trying to create your own decorations, but I love you still" look. Ben seems to know how to lovingly make fun of me when I am recreating things, and it irks me so...but I don't care and I continue to be inspired! And now I am sure Ben will be laughing(poking fun lovingly again) when he reads how I am writing this blog post!

On to the awesome wreath!
I used some cardboard we had at home and used bowls from the kitchen as my tracer to create the wreath form.

Then the woman who made this wreath said to use crumpled newspaper to give it a little more oomph! :)

I used an old pair of velour pants that I don't wear anymore and cut them apart. Then I just started gluing!

This is what the back of the wreath looked like when I was done.

I absolutely adore the final outcome! Wasn't this lady creative!

P.S. Ben really liked the stockings, but he couldn't explain that until he femininely said how "perfect they looked"! Ha, notice the teasing, again! :) Oh, Benny, just one of the many reasons I love him!

"he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6

Friday, December 3, 2010

Decorating Begins!

Christmas music, sparkling pine scented candle, hot chocolate, fire burning. Those wonderful things can only mean that you are on your way to getting your home all Christmased Up! Ben and I haven't done a ton yet, but I wanted to show you my newest creation....just don't look too close!

I had been wanting something different than our red stockings...probably from Walgreens! So I decided to "try" and make our own. I just used fabric I had at the house and there you go!

What do you think Ben will say when he gets home? :)

By the way, I am home today because my new job of nannying for the sweetest little 3 month old and 4 month old is only 4 days a week! Great, right?!

"Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this." Isaiah 9:1-7

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend = So Much Fun!

As our first Thanksgiving away from family and familiarity approached, we were nervous and excited. Nervous we were going to miss doing our traditional family gatherings, and excited to do something new!

Thanksgiving morning came and we woke to a beautiful snowfall, it made us feel like we were in MN.

We got up and began our Thanksgiving by preparing our first turkey ever! We invited some of Ben's co-workers over for a Thanksgiving meal, prepared by newbie Holiday party havers! We had been thawing the turkey in the fridge since Sunday, which should have been ample time since it was only 16 lbs. Ben pulls it out Thursday morning and says, and I quote, "Ahhhh, Amanda I think we have a problem." Um, that is not exactly what I want to hear 5 hours before we are suppposed to be feeding 4 people I barely know, including Ben's boss. So I stay calm and positive by saying oh so cheerfully,"What's the problem babe!" He goes on to say the inside is completely frozen and icy and doesn't think it is going to be ready in time. At that point my stomach was turning and I wanted to cry, since I need everything to be just right when we are entertaining. But somehow God helped me to say, "Oh, it is going to be perfectly fine!" LIE! So, I immediately phone my one lifeline of the day...My Mom JoJo to the rescue! Long story short, mom reassured us that it was completely normal and fine. We just need to rinse out the inside of the turkey. Ben, being the rule follower that he is, did not want to do that because "on the butterball directions, it didn't say we could do that." :) I made him do it anyway! So we put it in and luckily our oven cooks unbelievably fast so our beautiful turkey ended up getting down in 2 1/2 hours. Thank you Jesus! The day, food and company was wonderful. And we were pretty proud of our first Thanksgiving meal together!

Notice the beautiful flower centerpiece that Tom and Pam sent us for our Thanksgiving away!

Thursday night we started our way down to Portland to see the Thuls (Pam's sister and family)! We got there about 10:00 and they welcomed us in and made us feel right at home. We were so excited to be in their home enjoying some family time. We stayed up and chatted until 12:00, planning our morning of shopping and being entertained by their dog Buddy!

Karen, Haley and I got up and did the Black Friday shopping. The boys had a "man's day" watching football all day, even enjoying some chili cheese nachos. Mike made us another amazing Thanksgiving meal that night with the best homemade apple pie. After our big meal Haley and Karen taught us to do a little cow calling...long story, but let's just say they(especially Haley) did a great job teaching is what a cow in distress sounds like:)

Saturday morning we headed downtown Portland to the Nike headquarters where Mike and Ben decided to do a little trespassing into the Tiger Woods Center.

As Karen, Haley and I sat in the car we noticed a security guard approaching. I automatically duck because I am a nervous nelly and Karen gets her game plan of what she is going to tell him. Luckily he walks right past and in...toward the boys! Shortly thereafter we see them coming out, being escorted out in handcuffs...Just Kidding! Even though us girls were thinking that may happen! They were just walking out with big goofy smiles on their face! Thank goodness!

Then we went to Niketown and a few other places.

That night the Thuls brought us downtown again to Morton's, an amazing steakhouse. After our belt loosening meal, we went across the street to a Christmas program called the Singing Christmas Tree. It was beautiful! It really got us in the "Christmas Spirit", as Mike said, it reminds us of the true meaning of this wonderful season, Jesus' birth.

We also helped them start their fabulous Christmas decorating!

I had to take a picture of Karen and Mike working away in the kitchen. I felt like that was all they were doing for us all weekend...amazing hosts, right?!

One of the best parts of the weekend was listening to all of Mike and Karen's stories! They are seriously the best story tellers I have ever met! I told Ben that I want us to be just like that, always laughing together and finding fun in everything they do. So, I made Ben practice telling me stories on our drive home! Hopefully, after spending the weekend with them, we have now made some of their future stories!

We had such a wonderful weekend with the Thuls, we DID NOT want to leave. They were such amazing hosts who made us feel like we are at a home away from home. They treated us much too well and we feel so blessed to have them in our lives. Thanks again Thuls, for your amazing hospitality and love toward us!

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever." Psalm 136:1

Monday, November 22, 2010

Who brought this weather?

The answer to that question is...Megan Thorp! We have had snow, freezing rain and 15 degree temp. since Friday. Megan Thorp just happened to be flying from MN that morning where they were having that same weather, I believe the weather followed her jet stream!! Ha, just kidding, but seriously this weather is crazy, the winds are like nothing we have seen OR heard before!

Anyways, forget the weather, we had such a great weekend! We were so blessed to have Megan come visit! It was so nice having family with us right before Thanksgiving! I picked up Megan from the airport Friday morning, yes I drove through downtown Seattle by myself, Megan (and I) were quite proud! It was pretty much just a weekend of hanging out! On Friday night Ben cooked us salmon on the grill and a few other mouth watering things! We also played Pass the Pigs, which is mindless yet so much fun...what I am saying is it was the perfect game for the three of us!

Then on Sat. we headed to downtown Bellingham, which we hadn't taken Megan to the last time she was here with Chad. We just shopped around in a few of the local stores. That night we went to the best German steakhouse ever! Ben and I enjoyed steak and Megan had their famous schnitzel.

On Sunday we went to church. Ryan Hall was speaking and he was great! Ryan Hall is the fastest American Marathoner, he is crazy fast!
After church Megan and I got our crafting on. Megan had seen this really neat wreath on It was a wreath made out of coffee filters, insane right?! Megan and I worked all afternoon. We took pictures of each step so you can see how to do it.

Fold the coffee filter into quarters.

Use the hot glue gun on the tip of the folded part.

Make 3 rows, the coffee filter tips should be glued close to one another.

We had so much fun! I am so glad Megan got inspired!!! :)

We absolutely LOVED the finish product! I couldn't stop staring at it!

For Christmas I am going to add a big red bow, but I couldn't do that yet since we are having friends over for Thanksgiving.

Megan also was nice enough to take Ben and I out on a little photo shoot hoping to get a good picture to add to our Christmas card. Yes, as usual, we are nerds, but we had so much fun! Here is just one. I did a little editing to it, but not much of anything.

We were sad to see Megan go this morning, but it was ok knowing we would be heading home so soon! We are so excited for our long vacation at home for Christmas!

We pray you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are truly thankful for each and every one of you! I am also thankful for Christmas music on the radio before Thanksgiving! :) What are you thankful for?

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24