Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

December was as a busy month, no surprise there! It was good though and we enjoyed most parts of it. Some highlights included Andrew's birthday accompanied by a visit from Ryan's brother Jason and Jason's wife Katie. We made candies and cookies, played in the snow and went caroling. We had magic moments and quiet wonders. Time was spent with family, and games were played. It was everything a Christmas could and should be. Wendy's Christmas Eve dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Andersen and Uncle Allen and Aunt Jill was picture perfect AND tasty! Danny told us the story of the first Christmas in great detail and Grandpa Andersen shared his testimony. We have been very blessed this year.

A special visitor came to Josh's preschool program!

I managed to make time to do something I really wanted to do: MAKE CANDY. It's not Christmas without Penuche! I figure if  I practice every Christmas one of these years they will all turn out fabulous, right!?! I can hope. ;)

Using the Wilton Cake Pan Wendy gave me a few years ago we made Gingerbread houses. Yummy, Yum!

I thought I heard Ryan wrapping presents in the other room... it was actually Andrew "unwrapping" this chocolate advent calendar. He is nothing if not resourceful. BUSTED! Yes, that is chocolate on his face.

We decorated sugar cookies for Family Night before Christmas. So happy that imitation almond extract exists so Joshy can enjoy the "true flavor" of sugar cookies. He was our best decorator this year.

We headed to Woods Cross for Christmas Eve at the Hallstrom's. Chris put together this massive table just for the occasion.  It really was impressive, and so was the FOOD!

Danny spelling "LEGO" out of Chris's many Lego people. A favorite toy for the boy's to play with when we come a callin'.

I'm cute. Just sayin'.

Appetizers and Dessert. This is all that Jared ate. He was too excited for Christmas morning that he didn't eat lunch or dinner. AND then he almost fainted in front of his stocking the next morning. Silly boy.

The main course minus the cheesy potatoes and sweet potatoes. We ate like kings.

New Christmas Jammies! 

My snuggle buddies in matching jammies. Santa's cookies and milk are set out. It must be time for bed. Happy Christmas Eve!

All of Jared's dreams came true Christmas morning when Santa left him a real bow and arrow and a pocket knife just like Dah-Dee-Doh's.

Classic Ryan. ;)

Santa was very good to Joshy too. He got the "Bat Cave" and "Tokyo Mater" just like he asked Santa for. Happy boy.

He insisted on putting on his Jake and The Neverland Pirates shirt as soon as he opened it. Thanks Grandma!

Andrew had a happy day too filled with animal crackers and new bathtub toys.

This face says it all. Danny (finally) got an electric train. It goes so well with his President Monson Christmas Train book Grandma and Grandpa Great Andersen gave him. He also got a chess board. I've played with him 3 times and am yet to win.

We made a Christmas Brunch... at 4:00pm.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a GOOD NIGHT!


Thanksgiving in MN was only half of the fun of our Draper Family Reunion. Our next stop was the WILDERNESS RESORT at WISCONSIN DELLS. Mom and Dad rented a condo and we spent the next three and a half days swimming, eating, playing, and sleeping (but only when absolutely necessary!)  We had a blast!

Before hitting the WILDERNESS RESORT our van load stopped for lunch at MOOSE JAW. We had to pick up root beer for our root beer exchange, so why not stay for lunch too. This is where we celebrated Joshy's 1st birthday back in 2010.

Let the fun begin! Cheese!

Katie lovin' the wave pool.

Joshy splishin' and splashin' at the Wild West Indoor Water Park


Andrew LOVED the baby swings.

The fearless cousins, Katie, Amber and Robyn.

Cousins in matching p.j's from Grandma.

The fruits of our Root Beer Exchange. Yum!

Danny beating Ryan at a game of chess at the condo.

Joshy playing at the Ball Park in his pajamas. Why not!?!

The Drapers Together Again!

We even had a surprise birthday party for Lynda. 

Time to warm up in Grandma's BIG TUB.

Joshy, Wendy and Grandma enjoying the Lazy River at the Klondike Cavern indoor water park.

It wasn't just the cousins who had matching jammies!

Wendy and Lynda playing Bananagrams with Appletters. It works. :)

Thank goodness for Dah-Dee-Doh's pancakes! Yum!

Jared ready to ride the waves at the Water Dome Wave Pool.

Danny and Jared ready for some more wave pool fun.

Even Grandma and Dah-Dee-Doh got in on the action... whether they wanted to or not. ;)

My favorite part; sitting together and watching the kids (and grown ups) play. It is good to be a family! It is good to be together! Thanks Mom and Dad for a wonderful reunion!

Our Minnesota Thanksgiving

 After some seriously LONG days of driving, and a stop for church in our old home ward in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, we arrived at Grandma's House in Minnesota. Hurray! All of us were there, my parents, my sisters and their families. Sure, it was a little squishy, but we didn't mind. So happy to be TOGETHER!

Snuggles from Aunt Lynda

Grandma's toys are the BEST! Though, Danny is A LOT bigger than the last time he visited Grandma's house several years ago.

The kids table for Thanksgiving Dinner

Wendy, Chris and Lynda all smiles and ready to EAT!

We all enjoyed our Thanksgiving Feast, even our little Andrew.

Our Early Thanksgiving

At the last minute Wendy and Chris decided to put on an early Thanksgiving Dinner for the Andersen side of the Family. In less than a week Wendy put on this incredible feast. It was memorable to say the least!
The 20 + foot table Chris whipped together  for the occasion. T

Wendy and Grandma working hard on the last finishing touches of the feast.

Almost time to EAT!

There was green beans,

Sugar-Free Jello for Grandma,

Lots, of mashed potatoes,

and of course stuffing.

Yummy appetizers!

The view from upstairs.

We had two crock pots full of Hot Cocoa also. Perfect companion to PIE!

Wendy even made personalized Turkey Place Settings for everyone!

Time to Dish-Up. Yum!

Nice work Chris and Wendy!!

Everyone Enjoying Their Meal.

Lindsey, Glenn, Edward & Lynda

Charles' Kids

Scott's Kids

Did someone say PIE!?!

Joshy making the best out of his very limited diet. Wendy even made POPSICLES for Thanksgiving!