Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ward Christmas Party 2014

This year I was put in charge of decorating for the ward Christmas party....and let's just suffice it to say, that I blew what little budget we had out of the water. What can I say? I go a little overboard at times. You live. You learn. Except that I tend to do the living part a little better than the learning part, as history frequently repeats itself in my case. Nonetheless, I was pleased with how it turned out. 

Mary Kay and Bruce Braun always come to the rescue when I'm in need.
They are quite honestly the truest, kindest, and most selfless friends anyone could ask for.
I just love them.

I pretty much went crazy with the twinkle lights. I'd say that almost anything in life is made better with them.

I projected images of the nativity scene and other Christmas scenes onto black tar paper,
traced them, and had the young women help me cut them out to put up on the wall panels.

I loved how the dessert table and decor turned out. The floating ornaments were hung by clear fishing line and attached to a rope at the top. I had originally planned to hang more ornaments, but it was practically impossible to string and hoist them up without them constantly twisting and tangling around each other. It was probably the most complicated project of all. Luckily, thanks to Bruce's patience and a little brainstorming, we got it all worked out. As long as nobody touched them, bumped them, or even breathed on them... we were good.

One of my favorite details of the party was the homemade party crackers (made from wrapping paper rolls) filled with candy at each place setting. They were wrapped in alternating gold and silver paper to match the rest of the decor. Although dessert was also served that night, it allowed everyone to have a fun treat or favor to take home. The adults said they were great for the kids because it gave them something to look forward to after dinner and it worked as a great bargaining tool for parents to bribe their kids into eating their dinner. 

There was a also a craft room set up for the kids, a movie room with the Christmas movie playing, and a photo booth (courtesy of the Mansells) with a few fun props. My intent was the keep the kids occupied and entertained so that they weren't running the halls and building like a herd of cattle. 

It just wouldn't be Christmas without sugar cookies and fun Christmas treats!

I loved these brownie Santa hats. They were so good and so easy to make! I just bought store bought brownie bites from Target and topped them with homemade cream cheese frosting, a strawberry, and another dollop of frosting. 
This year we were also able to drive home to Idaho to spend time with family and friends. When we flew into Salt Lake however, it was so snowy and the roads were so bad, that we ended up having to stay the night in Murray, Utah on Christmas Eve. We arrived to a hotel so late, that we ended up eating ramen and microwaved mac n' cheese for dinner. Not great...but definitely memorable.

We finally arrived in Twin Falls on Christmas day in the afternoon and we couldn't wait to see our families!

Ella and Cambria were getting so big!

Porter, Caleb, Jayden

Opening gifts with Jacob's family

The Reed's backyard. So pretty with the snow and line of trees!

We went to Woodriver/Sun Valley to go to the YMCA and swim and rock climb

We also went to Pomerelle Ski Resort one afternoon to go skiing with Jacob's family. I volunteered to watch Ella, since I wasn't that interested in skiing. That way, Jolene and Kurtis could take pictures and spend time with her kids. 

After playing in the lodge and outside most of the morning, I drove Ella around the parking lot in Kurtis' truck to get to her to go down for a nap. It was surprisingly easy and went off without a hitch. She could seriously not be any cuter. She would giggle and smile as I would play peek a boo with her and her kitty. And don't even get me started on her little kitty hat and her little snowsuit.

Hannah and her ski instructor


Scott, Jayden, Nyla

I mean,....c'mon!

I went down one run to appease Jacob
Later we had dinner and played games at the Mickelsens. It was so much fun just spending time together as a family and playing ping-pong, board games, and pool. 

My mom and Kila

Mom and Dad

It was also so much fun to see our friends and their kids, but the time goes by way too fast and there never seems to be enough hours in the day.

Jacob and Ryan
Games, food, and bloody mary mix at the Nesmiths
Dinner at Elevation

Jacob, Bunt, Michael
Niki and Connor

Look at that face!
And to top it all off, when we got home we discovered that Bella had had a visit from Santa too. Justin and his girlfriend had bought her her own stocking and toys. Best. Cat sitter. EVER! 

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