Back in Action!

Saturday, December 14, 2013
I have been completely MIA for the past week or so. Haven't been too busy, there just hasn't been a lot going on... until now!

We're in Iowa!

We made the trip the other night, arriving at 3am. Yes, 3am! We were zonked once we got there and so glad to see a bed with a big comfy comforter. Now we're just enjoying being around family and seeing friends. Seriously, this is the best time of the year!

As for Ellie, she hasn't been too exciting but here's a few fun things she has been up to! :)

Regan is at that age where she is so interested in make up so she owns a lot of fun little dress up things. Ellie decided she is into it too!

My brother set this up for Ray. My dad and him are big golfers so of course Ellie had to par take as well.

The kids were out of school for five days because of snow. YES. Five days. Being stuck inside Thursday - Wednesday was a little harsh and got to Regan a bit so we have to be sure to leave a note at the bottom saying "Don't forget to be good today!" ;)

My parents have some pretty funny lights in their house so of course that was taken advantage of. Regan turned to me the day before this one and said "Are you SURE you're not Ellie?" so I had to respond with "I couldn't be Ellie because I can't reach that high!" Whew! Saved that one. This might be looking like a one year thing. She's too smart for her own good! 

Now as for my Christmas Knock off List, I'm happy to say the list has been completed!! We enjoyed doing it all and Jordan and I even decided that for the years to come, we will shop the way we did this year. Coffee in hand and getting it all done in one day.
1. Watch the lighting on the Square
2. Pick out the best smelling Christmas Tree and decorate it
3. Bake Christmas cookies 
4. Go on a drive to look at Christmas lights hot chocolate in hand
5. Watch LOTS of Christmas movies
6. Have a day full of Christmas shopping
7. Read Christmas books with the family

Now it's back to enjoying family time! Taking full advantage of this time now that we are far away. 
Hope you all have a great weekend!!!

Our Snowy Weekend

Saturday, December 7, 2013
We have been snowed/iced in the house/neighborhood since Thursday and it's actually been a lot of fun! It's consisted of many movies, many treats (including Snow Ice Cream! - scroll down for recipe) and lots of blankets. Perfect if you ask me!

Now, about this Snow Ice Cream - not only is it delicious it's CHEAP! My Mom's friend and neighbor invited us over and taught us how it was done. Of course, after we got stuck in front of her house and had to have the boys come save us, we made it inside safe and sound!

What you'll need:
A big pot
A potato masher
Condensed milk
Any other treats or flavoring you want

First we filled the pan to the top with clean snow (avoid the yellow snow ;) Ha!). Then you pour a whole 14oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk. Now, start mashing! As you or another is mashing, slowly start to pour milk to soften it up then add in vanilla to taste. BUT DON'T STOP MASHING until you get the ice cream consistency! And VOILA!

We made ours mint chocolate chip and it's delicious. She also had marshmallows, mints and other flavors and food coloring to make it even more fun. Just make it your own and have fun with it. It's definitely something kiddos will enjoy. I might have to bring it to Christmas in Iowa for our niece and nephews to do.

Now I'm off to give my full attention to Elf, snow ice cream and blankets! Ah! The life :)
Hope you all have a great weekend!

Bunkered Down

Thursday, December 5, 2013
We had our first snow day ice day in Arkansas! There is no way you could call today a snow day. It was a day full of freezing rain and sleet.Winter Storm Cleon moved through Fayetteville. Being used to the Iowa snowstorms, Jordan and I were laughing at the chaos that Fayetteville turned into! We went to Walmart last night and the second we walked in, the cart area was completely cleared out. Walking further into the store, we saw people walking by us with a cart full, and I mean a cart full of grocery's! One woman had at least 10 loafs of bread. Was she thinking she was going to be trapped in her house for weeks? Good grief. Besides that, isles were completely empty. Especially the chip isle which also made us laugh! As crazy as it was, I do understand with the ice. But I can still say Faytown people are a bunch of weenies! ;)

During our "ice day", I got a lot of wedding stuff done and Regan and I made brownies. Then we all watched Monsters University, which was awesome! Ha! While we were making brownies, Ray turned to me as she was licking the bowl clean, "This was the best snow day ever!" I felt the exact same Ray. ;)

As for Ellie, she has been all over the house again. From the Kitchen to the front sitting room now the dining room. 

Ellie the Elf Day #25

She found herself hanging from the light above the kitchen island. Regan says, since she can fly she can hide up high. I guess she's right?

Ellie the Elf Day #26

We have a Santa Countdown to Christmas hanging in our front sitting room. Every day, Regan moves the candy cane closer and closer to the 25th. So for day #26, Ellie replaced the candy cane.

Ellie the Elf Day #27

We have a Santa sitting in the dining room, and if you haven't figured it out yet, we LOVE the movie Elf. I warned you all at the beginning of all of this that I would find ways to incorporate Elf. I think I've been pretty calm about it so far. 

Hope you're all cozy and warm and avoiding Winter Storm Cleon! 

'Tis the Season!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
I am convinced I met the real Santa Claus tonight. Seriously! My family, Jordan and I went down to see the lights on the Square and Regan really wanted to go see Santa. Now, if you live in Fayetteville, you know that they go ALL out on Santa around here for the square. I've never wanted to stay in one place for as long as possible until tonight. You had to pay to take a picture of your own, so of course I didn't get any pictures but now I wish I would have. Might have to take Regan back just to get a picture with Santa! I mean me, not Regan! ;) I'm sure Santa wouldn't mind.

Anyways, you walk back surrounded by Christmas lights, plants and bushes and the first thing you see is a reindeer just hanging out. Yes, a real reindeer. Regan said it was Rudolph and she's probably right. ;) Then as you wait in line, sitting in front of you is a white tent where Santa is. That tent just taunts you because everyone walking out is saying, "that was so cool" and "it's amazing back there." Yes - rub it in while I wait in line. Finally, it's our turn and we walk back into the tent and there is a whole living room setting. Real fireplace burning behind Santa (with a real white beard, I might add), while he sits in a big chair right next to a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. This was no mall Santa. And he definitely didn't smell of beef and cheese (Elf reference).

Then instead of just asking Regan what she wanted, he started the conversation with, "Ah, I'm so glad you came back to see me this year!" That put a huge smile on Regan's face. Then he asks her what she wants for Christmas. After she tells him, he told her that "if you give the reindeer bubblegum, they blow big bubbles out their ears!" Regan thought that was hilarious. All in all, he was seriously the best Santa Claus I've ever seen. Real beard and all. And to be completely honest, I'm not sure who was more excited. Me? Or Regan?

Now I suppose we can get on with this post.... ;)
I have been terrible at keeping you all up to date on Ellie! To be honest, I've been so terrible that all my days are even getting mixed up. So this post will be very unorganized, which will drive me absolutely nuts!! :(

These are all from days #20-#24!

Getting her morning coffee!

Sneaking into the Thanksgiving leftovers!

Hanging by the keg-orator.

Enjoying this year's Christmas tree! Up close and personal.

And certainly not least, our beautiful Christmas tree!

I wish this picture actually showed how truly beautiful it is. I think maybe I'll ask for a camera for Christmas? 

Anyways, I have to share how excited we all were about this years Christmas tree! We got it at Walmart. Yes. That honkin' thing was purchased at Walmart for a whoppin' $49! And it's HUGE and BEAUTIFUL! When I say huge, I mean huge. We had to use my dad's 11ft ladder to decorate the top of the tree. By far the best tree we have ever had. And to think my parents almost went and bought a smaller and more expensive tree at a tree farm! Psh. ;)

Now back to the busy wedding planning and studying for my real estate test! 
Hope your Christmas trees are all light up and decorated! 'Tis the season!
Happy Decemeber!
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