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Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Eve

     Working a bit backwards on the blog to Christmas Eve(wanted to post Aunt Cathy's and Mom's gift posts ASAP) So on Christmas Eve, we started out our day by going to our church's Candlelight Christmas Eve service. We did take a few photos by the big tree inside the church, but they didn't turn out well, so here is the one we took at home using a tripod. Pretty nice looking family, if I do say so myself :)



     Later that evening, we started to prepare for some Christmas Eve festivities. We invited another transplant family we are friends with over to celebrate. Since neither one of our families could make it back to our home states for the holiday season, we thought it would be a lot of fun to celebrate together. A night of fun, games, and food was planned for us all to enjoy.

 John pulling out the freshly baked mini french bread sandwich loaves out of the oven. Oh so good!

 The spread was simple with a variety of deli meats...
 and cheeses....

 also different breads and toppings. The DiBenedetto Family also brought some delicious queso dip with chips, spinach dip in a bread bowl (Wonderful!) 

 The kids and I had made Pretzel Hugs

 and Rolo Turtles

     I didn't take a lot of photos of the night, as I wanted to enjoy our time visiting, but also didn't want to look like a freaky photog woman snapping pictures of randomness of our guests. Didn't want to scare off our friends too early-ha ha!

 I did snap some photos of the kids decorating the sugar cookies. Kids don't apply to me looking "nutty" in taking pictures.

 Quite the cookie decorating station!

 JT had fun joining the big kids- as well as eating frosting and sprinkles.

 3 out of the 4 DiBenedetto's- Amanda, Sal, and Monica

 Monica mixing pink frosting. She is a good friend to both Lindsay and Courtney. They all played on the Lady Bucs volleyball team this year and Monica has been in my Small Group at church for the past 3 years.

 Older sister Amanda mixing her favorite color -purple

 Sarah and her bell

 Doug's heart with S+D....awwww

 Amanda was the master decorator- she had beautiful cookies!

 Monica and her pink, brown, and sprinkle cookies

 Lindsay and Courtney about to devour their gingerbread men

 JT's stocking

Somewhere along the line, Monica and  Lindsay had a mini frosting fight. Sarah captured the moment for me, as we were talking with Cheryl and Sal by the fire. From the looks of Lindsay's smile, I'd say she won?

    We finished the night playing Taboo with everyone except JT. Sarah and Doug were the team champions with the Daddy group coming in last place. It was so much fun and we had a great time with our friends.While I know both of our families missed being with our families at Christmas, this was a wonderful alternative.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas with Nanny

     JT was pleased to see yesterday when he got up from his nap to see more presents had arrived! The poor boy is coming to grips that presents are not the new daily thing- ha ha! He is still talking about opening presents. He will gain perspective in age, I pray, that it's not all about getting presents.

     I know my Mom was equally happy to hear that our package arrived on the 27th as she had mailed them from California on the 14th! she could have walked it here herself faster I suspect-LOL! It was nice to have an extended Christmas courtesy of my Mom.

JT ready to dive in!

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Thomas!!! I love how JT announced at the end "It's Lindsay's turn now!"

 Up next, Lindsay!

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Modeling her new shirt

 Courtney was next to open

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Gel eyeliner! Mom and I hadn't heard about this product until our makeup expert,Courtney, taught us about it. Toward the end, you will be able to see JT talking about having hiccups and then faking them. Hiccups(his or ours) are some of his favorite things, he cracks up every time.

 Sarah's turn

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Nanny proved to be a bit sneaky by using a brownie box to disguise her gift.

Water for Elephants DVD!

 My Turn!

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I LOVE my new slippers! All of the girls declared they are quite fashionable for slippers and look like little furry boots. Loving wearing them around the house. Thanks Mom!

     John has a present to open, but since he is working out of town, he will open it when he returns. Thank you Mom for thinking of all of us and sending us such lovely presents. We love and miss you so much.

Christmas with Aunt Cathy

     Even though we are over 2,000 miles away, we can still celebrate Christmas with Aunt Cathy thanks to cell phones, computers, and right here on the blog! Here is a post just for your gifts that you sent our family. Your generosity is much appreciated and we love you so much!


 Lindsay helping JT open his card

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JT opening his gift

 Finn car from Cars 2 and Story Studio Cars edition JT can't wait to use!

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Lindsay opening her gift



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Courtney opening her gift

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Sarah opening her gift


John and I opening our gift.

     Aunt Cathy, all of your gifts were so appreciated and loved/enjoyed by each one of us. Thank you again for sending us these gifts. We love you so much!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Sugar Cookies

      On the Eve of Christmas Eve the kids and I made cut-out sugar cookies. This has become another one of our holiday traditions at the Apedaile house that is enjoyed by all.

 Our cookie cutter choices (though I scored a great 12 piece set yesterday at an after Christmas sale for next year)

 Lindsay and Sarah starting on the cookie mix

 Poor Courtney was wiped out from a big sleepover the night before with some girlfriends. She had stayed up until 4-5am, so she was ready for some much needed rest.

 Even I got in on the mixing a bit.

 Rolling out the dough

 Christmas Tree!

 Sarah worked the opposite side of the island for her cookies

 Stocking!

 After a while, JT wanted to join in the fun.


 He had a great time

 He even enjoyed a bite or two of his cutouts ;)

 JT then had a ball helping roll out the dough.

 I was impressed with how patient JT was in helping. He was careful to help roll and choose his cookies and waited his turn to do everything.

 Lindsay and JT rolling out some cookie dough.

 After a while, it got a bit messy..

 Flour face

 JT's turn to work with Sarah

 JT had flour everywhere!

A little video of JT having fun making cookies

 Showing off their flour mess

 Sister Flour Power

 The result of letting a 2 1/2 year old help with making cookies- a floor in need of a good sweep/cleaning!

The result- a ton of cookies ready to decorate!