Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Gingerbread Competition (3 of 3)

Last year we had a gingerbread competition - men against women - at Thanksgiving. This year we had one gingerbread but didn't feel like doing it. We saved it.....and decided to do it on New Year's Eve. 

This year we aren't soliciting  votes - it's pretty apparent to us which team won. ::wink::

The women definitely won for cuteness....

Love Olaf's sled

2014 winners

The men? Well - the castle walls they made from the Ninja kit collapsed. Sensing they'd lost the cuteness factor, they shifted to "creativity."  The more you look at this village the more gruesome it gets - though it is creative. They lost Dad and Michael when they began decorating. ::snort::  I will say I've never seen a gingerbread village like this one.

Izzak brought the darling penquins....
The fated collapsed walls

Silenced Night

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Family Photo 2014 (2 of 3)

When we took this photo on Christmas Morning, I said I'd like to have a photo with all 9+ Izaak......and then I was given a frame with a "family rules" and eight slots. I told them I needed to fill each slot with an "awkward family photo." The older Gherkins don't seem inclined to go relive THOSE memories.  We did take a few photos.

"Look thoughtful - like smart homeschoolers."


Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

7th Day of Christmas - New Year's Eve (1 0f 3)

New Year's Eve.  Years back we saw this idea on Debbie's blog. We immediately loved it and used it.  We put an activity in each brown bag. Every hour  - on the hour - we open a bag and do what's inside. We've used a variety of activities - make it fit your family and age of kids.....

 One thing we usually do is a "time capsule." We didn't get this worked in last night. We had less hours than normal as we used a couple of hours to pick Michael up from the Air port. Each person brings an item to include in the time capsule that represents their year.....we talk, we toss it in...we pray...we seal the year.....and then we look at a past year's time capsule. The movers think we're nuts. Photos on that when we get it done this year. LOL

In our bags this year were:
5 p.m. - Ingredients to make individual pizzas and Gingerbread Structures
6 p.m. - Dinner and clean up
7 p.m. - Gift Exchange
8 p.m. - Two new games and puzzles
9 p.m. -  Gingerbread competition - bunch of stuff which could be used - did this at Thanksgiving last year but saved it for Christmas this year.....swapped with the Time Capsule
10 p.m. - Twister and Charades (board)
11 p.m. - Nerf Battle (gun and ammo)
11:45 p.m. - Party poppers, silly string, glow sticks, confetti guns

5 p.m. - one of the choices in the gingerbread structures was Ninja men
Great to have Michael home and he jumped right into the fray
 Krista helped me make crusts earlier in the day - everyone assembling pizzas

We even had a big one to put in the freezer for next Friday - and um - I didn't include this photo for the pizza but for this shot of Jamin. I love having everyone home. LOL
During this hour our teams began assembling the structures for this year's gingerbread competition. Krista and Izaak were team captains. Izaak won the draw and got to choose if they would incorporate Ninja or Nativity gingerbread figures into their design. He chose Ninja as their plan was a castle.  They discovered the Ninja men were NOT pre-baked....and thus began their fated evening.
Jamin and Jared were tasked with making the Ninja
Meanwhile the women worked on cute......
The recipe didn't work like the box said it would

They decided to make walls for a castle....they collapsed.
7 p.m - the bag contained a piece of paper and they caught on immediately - Gift Exchange
Stacia mad G'ma and G'pa pillows
These "presence" were my best "presents" - Stacia gave them each DQ cards
The kids gave Krista NCIS - LA - they really combined money to bring the boys out so didn't give each other "gifts"....
Krista bought a puzzle, and then wrapped the pieces with candy in a ball of crepe paper for each of the kids. The idea was to combine the pieces to make the whole. I love her concept of family and her gifts always support that idea. Last year we got canvases that had our names and spelled out our family verse - if they were all together...the pieces are hung all over America. LOL Each strong alone - but not the complete picture.
Jared figured out the quickest way to unwrap
This girls was SO excited!
The boys gave the kids a RETRO gift - Nintendo 64.
One of the boys' memories is Michael playing Snow Board Kids with them. They gave Michael Snow Board Kids and the kids the opportunity for the same memory. Love it.
We gave the boys items for their new apartments - all are moving into new homes and apartments.
And gear....
Bre is as excited as Stacia.
Michael and I have joked for years that when we retired we'd become full time RVers with pink flamingos outside our trailer. It was a joke. It's coming true. We plan to move into our trailer until we figure out how to get back to Japan. He will retire from the USAF in 2015 and so he gave me my first flamingo! I love it.
8 p.m. - Bag of games and puzzles

9:00 Gingerbread Decorating Competition - separate post coming
10:00 p.m. Twister and Charades...years ago Krista made a "Gherkin Size" Twister board 
Combat Twister

11:00 p.m. Nerf Battle - Bre moved the couch to hide
11:45 p.m. Bag of Party stuff

Declaring blessings for 2015 with sparking cider

Starting the new year with family prayer - all in a circle - together - life is very, very good.

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...