Friday, December 26, 2008

Santa Clause Came to Town

I can't believe Christmas has come and gone! Over the last few days we have done a lot of this:
Present opening!
And even more of this: EATING {Triple Chocolate Peppermint Trifle}!!!
We continued our festivities on Christmas Eve with a brunch at Debbie's house. Christmas Eve night, we celebrated with lots of family at our house. We had a wonderful feast of Standing Rib Roast, Fried Turkey, Twice-Baked Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups, Mac and Cheese, Green Beans and tons of dessert options! After our bellies were full, Banks and Mary Reese sprinkled some reindeer food in the yard and left these goodies out for our late night guest:
Our special cookies for Santa with a glass of milk and a carrot for Rudolph. The next morning, they were ecstatic to discover that Santa and Rudolph enjoyed their snacks! They were even more thrilled to find their "piles" from Jolly Old Saint Nick:
Santa picked out a New North Face coat, several new Wii games and board games for Banks. Banks asked Santa for a drum set and he interpreted that into the Rock Band game for the Wii. Banks said his favorite treat from Santa was the Outdoor Adventure game because he can snowboard and kayak.
Mary Reese also got a new North Face coat and board games along with some "arts and crafts" projects and wooden paper dolls. She said her favorite gift was the new Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse panties Santa left.
Here is a little early morning jam session before heading out to Popsy and Gigi's house for a little Christmas Morning breakfast:
After breakfast, we played our traditional game of Christmas Bingo. {Instead of buying presents for everyone, we play for Bingo prizes!} Jody bingoed first and immediately went for this {with encouragement from Banks}:
A Chocolate Fountain.
After some long winter naps, all our families came back over to our house for even more FOOD! Uncle Christopher made White Chicken Chili, the most delicious Beef Brisket ever and Pork Tenderloin on cornbread biscuits. We pulled out all the leftover sides from Christmas Eve and filled our bellies one more time! After dinner, we all had fun with this: I don't think I have laughed that hard in a long time! It was definitely some fabulous entertainment {and none of this group needs to quit their day jobs}!!!
We hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Kick-off

The Christmas Festivities have officially kicked off at the Murphree House! Sunday night, we ate dinner with my dad, his sister, brother and their families. Dad and his sister got together the day before and made 200 homemade tamales just like their dad use to make. They made some with beef and some with pork and chicken:
They were delicious and delightful and my children yummed them up!
This morning we got up to make our sugar cookies for Santa. I rolled out the dough, but the kids did the rest all by themselves! Here they are hard at work cutting out their cookies: After the cookies cooled, I mixed up some buttercream icing and let them go to town! They were very serious about decorating each cookie:
Here are some of the final products: I think they did a fabulous job with the cookies! Santa, we hope you love our cookies!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa's Newest Elves

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gingerbread House Family Night

Tonight we attended a Gingerbread House Making Family Night. We had a great time making our houses next to Sarah Laine and her family:
While I was getting our house put together, Daddy helped Banks and Mary Reese decorate gingerbread men:
Mary Reese was serious about decorating her gingerbread man: After the house's foundation was set, they had a wonderful time decorating it with loads of candy: Here is the final product:

I think it turned out pretty cute!

Digital Christmas Card

For all you blog stalkers who I don't have your mailing is your digital version of our Christmas Card. I got off really easy this year! I used pictures from our Disney Trip in October...I took the middle one and the photographers at Disney took the other two. I got to skip the dreaded Christmas Card Picture Photo Session! I "designed" them myself in Publisher and uploaded them to VistaPrint. Next year should be really interesting with trying to get 3 kids to look great in a picture...maybe I will opt for individual ones!

Wishing you a Magical Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Please Not The Fashion Police

My cell phone rang this afternoon shortly after 3:00pm. I didn't recognize the number but I did recognize the voice when I picked up. It was Mandy {from the front desk at MR's preschool}. Apparently Mary Reese had an accident in her sleep during nap time. It completely devestated her! They found some clothes in the closet for her to change into but Mandy said she wan't happy about her options. Jody {thankfully} was able to pick her up so she would have to spend the last hour of school in these duds:

When I saw these clothes in the dirty clothes basket I just cracked up! Can you blame her?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Baking Extravaganza!

This weekend I baked!
L to R - Date Balls, Oreo/Cream Cheese Balls Dipped in White Chocolate {don't know the real name but someone was telling me about it at the Thanksgiving Table}, Chex Mix, Peanut Butter Fudge, Peanut Brittle, Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies and Toffee.
I don't want to even think about how much sugar and butter I went through!
This is what I did with most of the goodies after I packed them up in plastic baggies:

I found these great felt gift bags in the Target Dollar Spot {love that section} and piled them full of goodies for all the teachers!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Curly Pearly

Meet Curly Pearly:
The story according to Banks: "My mommy went to the doctor on Monday. The doctor put my baby brother in her tummy and then took pictures of the baby. He will be here in March." Mary Reese came home the other day from school saying she wanted to name the baby "Curly Pearly."
Yes...Banks and Mary Reese are expecting their new baby brother March 31st {according to the chart} or March 24th {according to the sonogram}. More than likely, he will be here mid March. Dr. Keller like to take me 2 weeks early considering Banks was 8 lbs. 6 ozs. at 1 week early and Mary Reese was 7 lb 10 oz at 2 weeks early. It should be a fun 2009 at the Murphree House!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hunting with Tony

Banks went on his first deer hunt this afternoon.
This is what it looked like inside their hunting spot:
This was the view from the inside:
He reported that they saw 7 does. They didn't shoot at any of them. He told his Daddy they should have shot at the first one because it was looking right at them.
After the big hunt, they got to hang out with the one and only Tony Chachere.

The picture is not that great. I am not sure what they had the camera set on. This was the second day this week he got to hang out with Tony. Tuesday night, he went to Tony's Fish Fry with David, Sue and John B at the Anderson's farm. Needless to day, we are now stocked up with Tony's Creole Seasoning!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Live Nativity

When I picked Mary Reese up at school today...this was in her bag:
Apparently her brave teachers staged a live nativity scene with their class. Mary Reese played the part of Mary. I don't know why but this picture just cracks me up! I think it is because the entire class looks really into their part.
When Banks was in the Three Year Old Class, I remember laughing hysterically when I found this ornament in his backpack:

On the back it is written "Banks as Joseph". I love pulling it out of the Christmas ornament box every year. Now I have one of Mary Reese to add to the tree!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday Banks!

Happy 6th Birthday, Banks!
{6 cookies for him to take to school tomorrow to share with his class}
On this day 6 years ago, Banks litterally decided to join the world: {I was scheduled to be induced on the 10th but Banks had different plans. My water broke late Friday night and he arrived shortly after lunch on the 7th...weighing in at 8 lbs 6 ozs}
He started out his day by hanging his ornament on our Christmas Calendar:
We had the grandparents over for a taco bar dinner and then dove into these: {white cake, peanut butter filling, chocolate icing with green and blue sprinkles...a Banks request} The cupcake almost wasn't big enough to hold all his candles:
Afterwards he had a few of these to open with the help of his sister:
Banks loved all his new stuff...he is dying to put together his electric train and has already played his new Wii games and found the North Pole on his globe. I think Mary Reese loved his High School Musical Halmark Ornament that plays the theme song better than Banks did. She danced to it for 15 minutes!
Even Camp {whose birthday is December 19th} got an early birthday present from Debbie:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baked Mac and Cheese {by request}

I couple of days ago I had a comment under the Falling Christmas Tree post from Carly requesting my Mac and Cheese recipe from my Thanksgiving cooking marathon. So without further adieu:
Baked Mac and Cheese {a staple at any of our family gatherings}
2 T. cornstarch
1 t. salt
1/2 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. pepper
2 1/2 c. milk
2 T. butter
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
8 oz. elbows, cooked 5 minutes and drained
In a medium saucepan combine first 4 ingredients; stir in milk. Add butter, stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 3/4 c. cheese and sour cream until melted. Add elbows. Pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with reserve cheese. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
{My SIL can attest to the fact that I never follow the recipe to the letter. I don't really measure either. I usually add a little more noodles than 8 oz. because I don't like my mac and cheese real saucy. I also add the full 2 cups of cheese into the sauce and grate extra for the top. I always use extra-sharp cheddar but usually mix yellow and white together.}
Carly, I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as mine does! {I liked you immediately when I looked up your blog and discovered you also have a daughter named Mary Reese!}

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What were you Thankful for?

I was cleaning out backpacks Sunday night in preparation for school on Monday morning, when I found these:
A picture of MR's class. I guess she was thankful for Dresses!
This one made my heart melt. I can't express in words how much the 4 of us enjoyed our 1st Murphree Family Vacation to Disney! I am very thankful that we were fortunate to go and to do it right!