Saturday, January 8, 2011

Holiday.Family.Fun

The holidays have come and gone in the blink of an eye and are done for the year… unless you count my upcoming big-ish birthday.  It seemed like such a whirlwind between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, but we enjoyed some great times together as a family.  We’re blessed to have most of our family nearby, and we’re thankful for the opportunity to see those that don’t live so close around this time of year. 

I don’t recall ever making a gingerbread house as a child, and it was great fun to do that on Thanksgiving Day at Tim’s parents’ home.  All the kids – big and small – gathered at the kitchen table to create their masterpieces.  It was quite the contest!  This is our “green” house that adorns the buffet in our dining room now. 

IMG_7268 And some more shots of the gang showing off their work:

And the winner was:

IMG_7270

We all put money in a pot to participate in the contest, and the winner got to choose which charitable organization he or she wanted to donate the money to.  I’m not sure what organization Angel decided upon, but it was a great way to share our blessings with others at Thanksgiving.

While on the ginger bread theme, we had another grand time making ginger bread cookies with our niece and nephew (my brother’s kids).  A lesson learned, however: ginger bread cookie batter should not be made with whole wheat flour.  It just-so-happened to be the only flour I had in the house, but now I know it’s worth a jaunt to the grocery store!

We took the annual excursion to get a Christmas Tree with my parents and my brother and his family the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Frysville Farms is a family-owned business that has great trees and good prices, plus the largest selection of poinsettias I’ve ever seen and a horse-drawn hay ride, with hot apple cider to warm you up at the end.  Unfortunately this year during our hay ride, we were taken right past the incinerator, which was full of plastic that they seemingly are burning.  Blech! Not only is this a huge disappointment for us, but may be cause for change of location next year.  Tim’s planning to write a letter to the company conveying our sadness and impetus for no longer being customers.  So here’s a series of photos from what may have been our last trip to this particular farm…

IMG_7300IMG_7303IMG_7301IMG_7304 IMG_7312 IMG_7322 IMG_7325 IMG_7326 IMG_7332IMG_7345 Johnsen Family Christmas Photo 2010

Despite the less-than-eco-friendly encounter, we enjoyed ourselves, and it helped us to get a little more into the spirit of things this season.  Never mind the fact that our tree, wreaths and swags sat on our front porch for several weeks afterwards… our house sure looks beautiful with it’s holiday touch now!

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