We had a very nice Christmas with the Gabels last week. On Christmas Eve we went to church in the evening, and then came home for the traditional homemade pizza dinner. After opening presents and having egg nog French toast on Christmas morning, we headed up to Flagstaff for a couple days to relax and Chris, Brad and Alison went skiing.
Chris & Tammy on Christmas Eve
Brad, Rita, Alison, Tammy & Chris on Christmas Eve
Scoop loved her first Christmas, especially the "lollipop" in her stocking
Chris and I had long planned to spend Christmas in Phoenix this year (our first holiday with the Gabels since we moved to Reno!) but since my sister was going to be in Southern California, and I hadn't seen my Dad's family since July, I decided to make a quick stop there on my way to Arizona. It was a short visit (less than two days) but so great to see everyone. When Mena and Miguel got in, the three of us stopped by to visit our Great Aunt Ruth, and later had dinner with Dad and Deb. The next day we hung out with Jen and Juliette, and then all the family went out to dinner.
For the holidays, Erin had the idea of having a girls night of baking. I thought watching Julie & Julia would be a good addition to the evening. So, I brought over the DVD and a bunch of aprons, and after a dinner of salad, pizza and good conversation, we got to work in the kitchen.
Tammy & Julie
All of us
We had a fun time making Rich and Creamy Squares and Cranberry Bread and watching the movie. Scoop was excited she got to play with Warren and Sierra, too (and the ornaments on that tree). It was a great way to spend an evening with friends for the holidays!
So on Saturday I hosted a Green Giftwrap class at EcoReno. The bummer was that it snowed and snowed most of Friday and Saturday, which kept some people away. But four people showed up and that seemed like a good size class for the amount of space I had. In preparation, I wrapped up some "gifts" using upcycled materials ...
(1) sewing patterns as giftwrap; (2) newspaper end roll stamped; (3) brown paper bag; (4) sheet of Sierra Nevada bottle labels found at recycling center; (5) sewing patterns as tissue paper; (6) box lid wrapped with scrapbooking paper; (7) Starbucks sleeves as gift tags; (8) map; (9) newspaper; (10) scarf.
Here's a closer look at the box wrapped with a sewing pattern ... I made the top decoration just before the class - it was a little bigger than I wanted but I thought it turned out cute. I'll be making more of those.
Gift tags made with Na's tag punch and cards we received last year for Christmas.
More gift tags from cards, these ones I just cut out.
For the class, I talked about the different materials I used for giftwrap. Then we made embellishments (which could also be used as ornaments) using chipboard from cereal boxes, glitter and glue. Finally, we made bows out of magazine pages. Na is showing off her first bow above. I think the class went well, so hopefully I can do it again next year on a weekend when the weather is a little nicer!
P.S. Someone used the same pattern from How About Orange to make the bows from felt. Cute!
It started snowing yesterday afternoon. And then it kept snowing. And snowing. And snowing. Scoop didn't seem to mind it, she even was having a little bit of fun sniffing something new, and eating the snow ...
And then overnight, it kept on snowing. We went out this morning, and it was deeper ... and there were icicles!
Scoop wanted nothing to do with it. She took about three steps, turned around, and started pawing at me to pick her up. (The snow is almost as deep as she is tall).
These are the trees outside our patio ...
And this is our street. The schools are all closed, and so is city hall. I may have to cancel all errands today ...
Last night I was talking to Michelle and the Cheesecake Factory cheesecake she had for her birthday cake came up. It got me thinking about my Dad, and how even though we only got to spend every other Christmas with him, he always went out of his way to make the holiday special for us. One year, when we were in college, he FedExed us my favorite Cheesecake Factory cheesecake - White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle - on dry ice. There are no Cheesecake Factories anywhere near my Mom's, and it was amazing. It wasn't just Christmas, though. He always made sure we knew he was thinking about us if we weren't with him, sending little cards and treats for every holiday - Halloween, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day. A lot of things about our parents living in different parts of the state was no fun for us growing up, but we always had the excitement of finding treats in the mail and going fun places with Dad when we'd go to LA or when he'd come pick us up and take us to Reno for the weekend.
This year, I am especially thankful that I've made plans to make a quick trip to meet my sister at my Dad's before I move on to Phoenix for the holidays. We found out this week that my Dad has Myeloma. Tomorrow he will have a test to find out how extensive it is. I nearly didn't write this blog, because it's been a tough week for our family and it's hard to actually put it in writing. But I believe in the power of prayer, and I ask you to remember my Dad in your prayers.