Friday, January 17, 2014

December--the part with Oma and Opa

Oma and Opa came after Christmas and they came bearing gifts....boxes of gifts.  They could have brought nothing and we would have been just as excited but the girls did have fun playing with all their fun new things.  I should say that my mom (if you didn't already know) is a yard sale connoisseur, if you will, and finds so many fun things during the summer when she goes "shopping" every weekend.  We get the good end of the "deal" though and don't mind in the least!  
 walkie-talkies (and a playhouse if you hadn't already seen it--one for the outside too)
  boots...our girls LOVE boots!
a cookie set
 a precious tea set
 and lots of books!
 and games too.
 We got Wii-Fish for my dad last year and so he brought it to play.  The guys had fun reeling them in!
 A Lutz family tradition is going to our dear friends (the Brazzales) for Christmas Cioppino (an Italian seafood soup).  They had the dinner before my parents came and brought leftover broth with them.  It was still delicious the second time around.  Ernie Brazzale sure knows what he's doing and we miss our family times with them!
 Last year we spent 2 hours in line for this light show in Kansas City.  This year we went on Dec 30th and drove right in without waiting.  Note to self for next year :)  
 Then we drove through an area of town called "Christmas Card Lane."  
 This one was funny.  Merry Christmas to you too, Bob.
 The girls were treated to an afternoon at Play Bounce Jump here in town.  They ran and played and ran and played and then went home and took a nice long nap :)
 Uncle Ben got the girls scooters which are a huge hit and will continue to be when the weather gets warmer.  When the house is clean enough (on occasion) they get to ride them through the living room too. :)
 Watching TV with Opa.
and resting with Oma.
 My awesome dad and my awesome husband making our favorite family meal...strudels.  So good.  Merry Christmas to me...I may have gain 10 pounds but at least those pounds was super enjoyable.
 For some reason when my parents come we fail to get any family pictures.  This is the only one we have of all of us...around the table about to eat too much.  The giant cross on the wall behind us was my Christmas present from them and I love it...need to rearrange the rest to fit now.
 Ok, so the last of these pictures is of the Steamboat Arabia Museum.  If you live here and haven't been GO! and maybe skip this part so you can be surprised when you do.  If you don't live here then continue and be impressed!
 The Arabia was a steamboat that carried people and cargo up the Missouri River from St. Louis.  In 1856 it caught a snag (or down tree) and sank.  No one died but the cargo (it carried for general stores) and personal belongings went down with it.  Over time the river changed course and so finding it was even harder.  In the 1980s a family from the area figured out where it was (in the middle of some corn field) and dug it up and opened this museum.  IT WAS AMAZING.  
 This is the only part of the boat they hauled up.  Because they didn't have anyplace to house the rest of it, they cut this end off and let the rest go back under the corn field.  Kind of sad.  Even the water wheels were all broken up.  The one in the picture above was recreated.
 Buttons and beads.
 And dishes and canisters and glasses and silverware and and and and and.....
 medicine and toiletries and pill boxes with pills inside...
 thimbles and clothes and eye glasses and coats
 and shoes and boots and bags
 and door knobs and keys and pipes and hardware
 This is the snag...or part of it
 and bottles of canned fruit and canned pickles and champagne and and and and
 and more dishes.  The items on the top and bottom shelf of this picture came from the first barrel they pulled from the boat.  They knew that all their hard work and money was going to pay off if this was in the first barrel.  
 It was great.  I didn't take a picture of everything and they are still working on cleaning and sorting more stuff.  Only 2/3 of the stuff is on display.  So crazy.  Maybe we should try and find a buried treasure somewhere :)  Again, we hope your Christmas was Merry and Bright!  Love to you all.  
PS  Thank you Oma and Opa and Nana and Papa (and everyone else) for all the wonderful gifts.  We love you to pieces!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

December--the part with Christmas

Our first Sunday back from Thanksgiving, we lit the first candle of Advent.  Yes, we trusted Hadley with a lit flame and no, she didn't burn down the church.
This was the first snow of the season.  It wasn't much but the girls were so EXCITED.
It wasn't long before we got even more.  I'm not a big fan of cold but the girls are their father's children and they would play outside all day if I let them (but only if they can have hot chocolate as soon as they come in).
This is the only picture of Walk Through Bethlehem I got this year.  Aren't they cutest little Bethlehemians you have ever seen?
 Our December days were full of fun and busy-ness as usual.   We love Advent activities and we did one most days.  This day we made homemade ornaments out of felt. 
 Then we decorated Christmas cookies with our dear friends.
We went Dollar store shopping for each other.  Always a favorite tradition.
 Since we were with Nana and Papa on Thanksgiving, we weren't going to be able to see them for Christmas and since we are spoiled, we got to open their presents a week early.  The girls were almost as excited as me :)
And Nana and Papa know how to pick awesome presents!
We went Christmas caroling with the youth group and had a gift exchange at the church.  It was so fun with the girls this year because they know some of the songs and really got into it.
 This couple was so nice and without them asking or anything Joni walked over and crawled up on the couch next to them.  It was too sweet not to take a picture.
 Hadley and Mara showing off their gifts.
 And my awesome family trying them out.
More Christmas dresses...
 We made some Christmas shaped mini pizzas one night.
 Hadley picked the star which looks more like a kite and Joni the heart.
 That night we had the youth girls over for some graham cracker house building.  Hadley and Joni each did their own.  They did pretty good....eating all the candy :)
 Here's my Big Ben tower thing.
 Christmas Eve we had the Coles over for lunch....GUMBO!  We love it!  And now so do they :)
 Then we went to the Christmas Eve service.  Sarah Cole curled their hair super cute and we were ready to celebrate Jesus!
 Andy sang (which I love) Oh Holy Night (which I love) and it was awesome.
 Then we went home, put our Christmas sweats on and started a fire.
and opened all of our presents.  And Joni finally got her "American Doll." 
Enjoying our evening together as a family.
 Then we fell asleep in the living room watching movies.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  The next morning was perfect...being together and enjoying all our blessings.
 Aebleskivers and bacon for breakfast...
 I love this picture because Hadley is changing her doll and in the background Joni is doing the exact same thing.
Hadley's new lego set from GGP.
 We took some banana bread to the police station for all the people who were working on Christmas Day.  They gave Andy some looks for his amazing outfit, but besides that were thankful.
 Then off to the Terrell's for Christmas dinner.  Yummo!  Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green bean casserole, angel rolls, and wonderful friends!
 The spread.
Our birthday cake for Jesus this year!
 Black for sin, red (or pink) for the blood He shed for us, and white for the righteousness He gives those who believe in Him.
 Eating cake and ice cream!
 And doing what I love best...laying around and visiting.....maybe even taking a little nap.
And then my favorite moment of the night....when the girls came running upstairs to put on a show they had been practicing downstairs and my childhood came flooding back.  
 Aunt Courtney and Uncle Shaun got them Just Dance Kids.  We play it a lot!  We love to dance!
 Oma and Opa came the Saturday after Christmas and I will post those pictures later.  A couple more...Hadley is growing up so fast.  She loves to make us meals when she is able.  Her favorite: peanut butter and honey sandwiches...without any help from us.  *sniff*
And finally, about three hours before my parents got here we finished the downstairs bathroom.   It was in need of some paint and new decor and I loved how it turned out.  We got new windows in our basement when we bought the house and I kept this one and painted it yellow.
 Hope you all had a Christmas full of blessings!  Love to you all.