Friday, December 30, 2011

Day After Party!

The day after Christmas, my Huffaker family came to our house for our Christmas get-together! Finally we were all together, including my sister Lundyn and her family! Quincy and Coop are so funny when they get together- their favorite thing lately is funny rhyming back and forth. Quince will say something like "Boop, Moop, Gloop" and then it's Coop's turn so he says "Darp, Tarp, Yarp" or something equally silly! Eventually they start throwing in random stuff like "Snowman, Droman, Gloman, animal poop!" It's probably not too funny in my retelling it, but it really is so funny to hear them crack each other up! Such a fun age!

This year, my siblings all drew names as couples and everyone had fun ideas! The kids were so cute waiting to open presents!

Cyndel and Ben made Lundyn and Josh a "Christmas Sundae" kit that was so cute! They made fudge and caramel sauce to go with it and included cute glass ice cream cups. From us, Conner and Jodie got a "Winter Warmth" gift that included a little kettle and some of our homemade cocoa mix, along with mugs, bowls and soup mix. Lundyn and Josh also gave us an awesome stove-top Whirly-Pop popcorn popper!! I can't wait to try it out!

Conner and Jodie actually stuck to the theme of "Re-gifted/Re-purposed" and made the coolest book hideout for Ben and Cyndel! Hopefully you can see from the pic- Conner took a Medical Dictionary and hollowed it out so they can store stuff inside! This was the star of the show for sure!

That and this adorable little rocking horse for my little niece, Brylee!  And we can't wait to try out this cool bumper ball of Ryders!

When it was all said and done and we were alone at home again, Ry zonked out right on the floor! This was really a fun time and I'm glad we took the effort to be together without anyone missing. I'm grateful for our home that is finally big enough to be able to host everyone!


PS... Yes, I'm pretty sure this is my last Christmas post ;)
I ended up with 141 pictures over the course of four days!

Christmas Day Highlights

So Cooper has been waiting for more than four months (a seriously long time for a four year old) to get a pet leopard gecko from Santa. It probably goes without saying then that it was the star of the show on Christmas morning! Even Ryder could hardly pull himself away from checking out the lizard to play with his new play kitchen :)

The part of Christmas morning I was most excited for was actually the boys opening these capes! This is my midnight oil and it was well worth it- they have had tons of fun with them! My absolute favorite things to make are the ones that are for them!

All dressed up with their shabby Christmas ties!
Didn't fight the shirts being tucked in Christmas morning...

Later we headed to Pocatello to see Stephen's family (after holding the leopard gecko, of course). Again, my lack-of-flash skills are still being honed, but I love this pic Stephen with his Grandparents-  they are always present in their kids and grandkids functions and for sure they have a soft spot for their first grandchild :) And what a great, rare moment of Grandpa Bruce being silly with the boys!

Really our Christmas was so blessed-
it seems like always, no matter what trials or struggles we face,
I still look around us and see abundance.
Abundant smiles, abundant laughs, abundant stories told,
abundant yummy foods that are special for this time of year,
and just so much more...
We are Abundantly Blessed :)


Christmas Eve(s)

This year Taron and Keaton were with their Mom for Christmas and as a result,
we basically got to have two Christmas Eves! They opened their gifts later in the day on the 22nd before we headed out to Lost River and we made it a little celebration :)

So I've been trying not to use my flash when taking pictures and playing with my camera settings so I don't have to... clearly the little boys are a bit too busy for slow shutter speeds that capture twinkling Christmas lights, eh?! 

When their gifts were opened and the older boys had their new jammies on,
we threw our own little dance party!
Stephen turned on some music and they showed off their moves! I loved their happy faces!
Ryder was kicking his legs and joining right in- happy as could be :)

And then on actual December 24th, Coop and Ry opened their new jammies :)
This year I opted not to make them in favor of making some other projects for gifts instead.
I don't normally buy clothes with licensed character type stuff on them, but I decided to budge and
they were sure thrilled with their Buzz and Bumblebee jams!


Home for the Holidays

The days of being away from our own home for Christmas morning might be over for a good while,
but I absolutely never want the season to pass without making it back home...

We spent the night of the 22nd and 23rd with my parents
and enjoyed the Waddoups family party while we there.
My Grandparents are the most generous and thoughtful Great-Grandparents as well-
I always love how I feel in their home :)

Grandpa (my Dad) got this fun electric track that you spin the controller to make these little Shelby's move- all of the boys, including my brother and brother-in-law, really enjoyed it!
We just really had a great visit overall!

This last pic... love love love :)


Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Coat: A Story of Charity

I wasn't planning on even thinking about the blog for a week or so now,
but I happened upon this video and had to share...
hope you enjoy the couple minutes watching it as much as I did!
Merry Christmas :)


Merry Christmas!

I'm off for a bit now to soak up and get done getting ready for the real deal... I've been burning midnight oil on some projects and I'm so excited to get them done and wrapped! There has been so much goodness already this holiday season and now I'm excited to capture the magic of Christmas morning with the boys, have Taron and Keaton around some more, and enjoy time with extended family. We'll be traveling and cooking and cleaning and, hopefully more than anything, remembering the spirit of the season....

"Unto you is born this day in the City of David,
a Savior, which is Christ the Lord..." 


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

a SWEET Tradition

When I was in high school, maybe even junior high, my Aunt Kim worked at a candy shop and invited us to come to her house and make candies for Christmas. My Grandma joined us and it was a full day of shaving chocolate, making caramel, trying new recipes and overall yum! It became an annual Christmas tradition- a family candy making day!

Over the years, it's turned into an immediate family thing, with my Mom and sisters and the men hanging around for tasting purposes :) This year we did it at our house, since us girls all live fairly close together here in the Idaho Falls area. Grandpa brought his new Hot Wheels track- another tradition that the kids will remember him for! And my sister's new husband got in on the action for the first time :) The only thing missing was my brother and sister-in-law... but don't worry, Conner, we sent Mom home with lots of peanut butter balls just for you!

I know our candy making day tradition will have to be adjusted and changed to make it work each year, but I do hope the tradition continues as it may- more for the chance to be together with my favorite people than for the candy..... though these turtles are awfully yummy!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Running and Jumping

I think pictures of the boys running and jumping into piles of blankets and pillows have pretty much reached the level of the baby jumper from when they were newborns- no matter how many I've already taken, I can't help but take more!

Running and jumping and running and chasing and jumping and running is pretty much what we do around here- well, what they do at least! Maybe I should be the kind of Mom that doesn't let them, but I figure I'm raising busy boys around here and they might as well not keep all their business and energy pent up!

And a picnic on the pile afterwards :)


Monday, December 19, 2011

Neighbor Gifts

These simple, super economical little lovelies will be making their way into our little-known neighbors homes this week! I love giving neighbor gifts and am excited about it this year since there are way more people around us that we don't know than that we do! Stopping off a simple Christmas treat will hopefully help us to get to know a few people better :) 

First things first, I was intrigued by THIS homemade cocoa mix recipe that I found on Pinterest via my cousin Laci. The pin description said it used pudding in the mix and I thought surely that must taste yummy! We tried it and loved the creaminess and I realized too that it could be made in bulk really affordably! I did have dry milk and sugar on hand so that wasn't an added expense, but between the cocoa, coffee creamer and pudding, I only spent around $12! I've made four batches with those ingredients so far and am guessing I could make another two more without re-purchasing ingredients. That's a lot of cocoa and a lot of neighbors for only $12! I used three cups of mix for each of the larger cello bags like above. :)  

I was so happy with how this fun tag on our gifts  worked out, though it was not my own idea!

SO, so cute, eh?! But.... the circles on top give instructions about pouring it all into a bowl and the mix we are giving is already mixed up. I also liked the idea of including "From the Buffat Family" somewhere... And then there was the fact that I ran out of jars after I did these few below for our Visiting and Home Teaching... (yeah, things are almost never smoothly together for me- more like hodge-podged to be presentable!) Such is life :P

Because I was in more of a hurry on these ones, I used THESE adorable vintage tickets for the tags on them! Also- check out the cupcake liner to top the jars! Isn't that the sweetest idea- I seriously cheered in my head when I saw this idea on Pinterest!


And for our neighbor gift version, I whipped up some tags of our own that fit our specific needs, using Megan's "Baby It's Cold Outside" catch phrase! 

And I realize it's late in the game, but there is certainly time to whip these up, so here are a few printable versions of the tag as well! The portion with our family name is blank so you can just pen your own in! I prefer traditional Christmas colors, but I did throw in a blue/brown one for those that might not :)

If you click the link below that indicates the color you'd prefer, you'll be able to download a full page that fits six tags like this:




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