Thursday, January 31, 2008

Christmas with Ryan & Sarah

And now, our final Christmas celebration. Since Ryan and Sarah were in Atlanta for the holidays, Mike's parents came up one weekend afterwards and we all had a mini celebration.

Here's Spikes with her present - a new bone which lasted about 45mins

Dad with a new Atlanta Braves hat

Mom, Silly Spikes, and Sarah

Ryan - super happy about his new drill!

Master of the throne - Porter!

And our family photo :)

Wellsboro Christmas 2007

So continuing on with the Christmas celebrations, we come now to our trip to Wellsboro, PA. Mike's side of the family is from Wellsboro so it's tradition to go up on Christmas to visit with his grandparents, aunt, uncle, great uncle and cousins. Usually we need to make a quick trip to get back to State College later in the evening. This time though, we were able to stay and relax because we headed straight to Ithaca afterwards.

Here's Mike's cousin's daughter, Mia with her new Spiderman cell phone (don't worry - it's really a toy)! And there's Mom with her sister Toni.

And here is their son, Gage - what a cutie

Here's John , Uncle Buddy & Uncle Walt

And Grandma with her garland :)

Here's Mike, Eric (cousin), Dad and Jeff (cousin).

And here's Grandma, Mia and me at the end of the evening. I didn't realize until later that we all matched pretty good :) Fun times!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stout Christmas 2007

Christmas morning, Mike and I went over to my parents house and celebrated with my parents, brother, sister-in-law and our nephews. The boys were soooo excited for Santa to come. Unfortunately we weren't there when they first laid eyes on their presents, but they were pretty pumped up by the time Mike and I arrived at the house. They ran to the door to greet us and in unison, practically yelling, said "Santa came and he brought us presents!!!!!" SO cute! (and yes - he ate the cookies too)

Here's Conell & Evan with their new Thomas jackets - pretty cool :)

Conell with his pile of presents from Santa

And here's Evan with his - they're not spoiled at all!!!

Jeannie and Conell getting ready for the big "opening".

Evan and Auntie Chris - this was the first year that the boys actually bought all of us presents (even their mom and dad didn't know what they bought). They had a lot of fun watching us open their presents.

Dad & Dave with their new growlers from Ithaca Beer!

Mum with her new angel for her green tree :)

Afterwards we had a great brunch! We had these cool things (I'm not sure what to call them) - basically poached eggs inside slices of deli ham. You bake them in a cupcake pan. They're so good and look pretty too :)

Smith Christmas 2007

Trying to catch up!!! I figured I should get our Christmas pictures up before January is over :)
Mike and I celebrated Christmas with his parents on Christmas eve. We started the evening out with some FANTASTIC fondue. I hear that this used to be a tradition, although I had never experienced it with them. It was so good though. Cheese and veggies and ham and bread - galore!
Then it was time for presents :) Unfortunately Ryan and Sarah were in GA with Sarah's family, and Betsy was in OR, so we didn't have the whole clan together. But we still managed to have a fun time!

Mom getting a quilting frame from Dad

Yay! More Duct Tape!

Dad with his new growler full of yummy Ithaca beer (check the handmade socks too!)

And here is Mike with HIS new homemade socks from his mom!

The fondue table

And here is Miss Cisco - enjoying her new bed!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Family Celebrations

Mike and I feel so lucky that our parents get along really well. They live about 4 blocks away from one another and actually get together and talk when we are not around!!
So since Mike and I have been together for almost 12 years, we've all become a close family. Here are some fun pictures of when Mike's parents came over to my parent's house for some holiday fun.

Christmas in Pittsburgh '07

Every year my mom's side of the family gets together around the weekend before Christmas. Since my grandparents passed away, we alternate where the location will be. This year it was in Pittsburgh and my Aunt Pat & Uncle Bob hosted it. They held it at their church gathering room and it was so much fun. We were able to spend the whole weekend together - ten families (although my one cousin Dan and his family wasn't able to make it due to sickness). But it was a great time - good company - good food - and amazing crafts! I'm going to dedicate an entire post to the holiday crafts from this past year - but in short - each of our families exchange a handmade craft each year. Mine was the garland (see previous post), but just wait till you see all the other things people came up with - it was awesome - as always :)

Here's the whole clan (minus 5 from my cousin & fam.) It's my mom and her brother and sister and then their families. Altogether - we're at 36!

These are some duct tape pouches that I made for all the kids - I added their initials to each one and then had some foam stickers that they could put on them.

Each year, my Uncle Bob dresses up as Santa and is called PapPooh Claus. Everyone loves him and he truly brings joy to us all!

Putting stickers on the pouches

A couple of the kids (Lindsay, Emily, Rebecca, Mark & Monica). They're getting so big! These gals were a few of the girls in our wedding as our flower girls. Crazy :)

We actually left a little early on Sunday because they were calling for a NE storm. Luckily the roads were fine until we got about a half hour out of Ithaca. The snow is so pretty - we are dying for a real storm!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

More Instructable Fun!

I was going to wait to write about my craft this year until I got them all done and mailed out, but an exciting thing just happened so I felt the need to share.

Yesterday I decided to create a new Instructable on my Christmas craft so I could enter into another contest - The Homemade Holidays Contest. The winner receives a set of pretty cool looking craft books. It's not quite as an exciting prize as a laser cutter, but I would still LOVE them! So I entered yesterday. Then this morning I got an email saying that I was one of the featured Instructables on their homepage! I was so excited! So if you want to check it out - just go to Instructables home page: Mine is the 6th one down on the left and it's called "Delightfully Dehydrated Garland".

I'm not sure how long it will be up there, it might just be for today. But if you miss it, you can always follow the link I posted on the left hand side of the blog.

PS - I just have to also thank my friend Janet who actually introduced me to this beautiful, fun, easy, and aromatic craft. This is such a great craft idea - highly recommended!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

What Happen?

So much to update - I'm sorry I've slacked off pretty good with this blog! I haven't forgotten, just mad, crazy, busy! But the day is drawing closer to when I can dedicate some serious time to updating (maybe even later today if I get moving - but I'm not counting on that :) We are doing good though - had a nice holiday season, did lots of traveling, got sick, got glasses, and are beginning our house hunt - YAY!! Back soon with plenty of details!

For now -
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
& all that good stuff!!!