gallamore west: December 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas morning at home

Christmas 2008 was great!! We loved being able to host Christmas breakfast and dinner at our house (along with a baby shower, Moms group event, a little vacation to the Grand Canyon, two sets of out of town company and a NYE party on Wednesday all in December... it's a BUSY month here!!) Here are just a few pictures of the festivities... more to come, when I get a chance to come up for air :)

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Yes, those are Samuel's adorable FEET!!! I love this gift he made at preschool for us!

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Jake getting some love from his Great Grandma Jenson.

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Samuel played with his Polar Express train from Santa ALL day long... and we let them stay in their festive pjs all day long too!!

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Jake got this vintage telephone from his great grandparents. They still have the same exact one that we used to play with at their house.

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Jake loves his new zebra ride-on toy from Santa!

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And I love being able to use my very favorite dishes for holiday meals all December long.

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And these little cuties love to shake their little salt and pepper selves :)

We hope that you had a wonderful Christmas too!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Brusha Brusha!

I was running around like "Crazy Christmas Lady" this afternoon while Sam was napping (yes napping!!!) on the couch. While I was busy cleaning and organizing in preparation for holiday fun, Jake was doing this...

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and this...
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and sheepishly looking away because he thinks he got caught doing something naughty... btw, I LOVE his gorgeous hair in this picture.
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But then he realizes that I'm LOVING that he's brushing his own teeth...
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Brush 'em 'til they shine Little Jake!
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p.s. I can't believe how quickly he's growing up.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

If it's good enough for Martha

This year I thought I'd made the real thing for our gingerbread houses- gingerbread from scratch and the houses were even going to have stained glass windows... BUT it was a nightmare. The openings for the windows closed in too much while it was baking and the house wouldn't stand up for anything. I REALLY did not want to buy the Wilton house because the candy isn't even good (and really, that's the whole reason we make the house!) so I saw these on Martha's website and away we went...

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Just buy a box of graham crackers for 2 bucks, pull out your favorite candies, whip up a batch of royal icing... and (insert drumroll here)

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A little village of houses that were adorable...
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and delicious! I'll never buy the boxed house again. (And for that matter, I'll probably never attempt to bake one again either!)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I've heard about these easy little treats a few different places...

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and when I saw the Candy Cane Hershey Kisses at "Super T" the other night I HAD to try them. Here's what you do... so EASY!!!

Melt a bunch of the Candy Cane Hershey Kisses in a microwave safe bowl, stirring every 20 seconds or so until melted. Dip Ritz crackers (yes, Ritz!) in the melted yumminess. Melt some chocolate chips in the microwave. Drizzle melted chocolate over dipped crackers. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes or so until firm. Delicious!!!

They were the perfect snack to enjoy while driving to this AMAZING light display...

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Sorry, my pictures don't do it justice at all :( It's really, really the coolest light display ever! 35 minutes of lights synchronized to music, connected to 3 houses in a row, a big nativity scene in the garage, a patriotic slideshow, plus you can go in the backyard AND inside their house. WOW!! There really are such nice people in this world. And smart too... they had their carpet wrapped in plastic. Hmm, maybe Ben would like to do that with our house next year?! But of course I ran into a former student there... and it's a half hour from home! So I guess this is what it feels like to be famous, huh?

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Sweetie, don't catch that "snow" on your tongue... it's made out of soap bubbles!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monkey Bread!

So easy and sooooooo good! I think it's going to be on the menu for Christmas morning breakfast this year.

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2 containers Pillsbury Grands Biscuits (from the refrigerated section)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup melted butter (yes, that a stick and a half!)
1 cup packed brown sugar... no wonder it's so yummy!!

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Cut biscuits into quarters.
-Mix cinnamon and sugar in large Ziploc bag.
-Add quartered biscuits and gently shake to coat all pieces.
-Arrange biscuit pieces in a fluted pan (the kind you'd bake an angel food cake in)
-Melt butter and brown sugar together in glass bowl in the microwave, stirring to make sure all the brown sugar granules are dissolved.
-Pour slowly over the biscuits, making sure to coat the ENTIRE top... even moving the pieces around a tiny bit to let some get down in there!
-Bake for 30 minutes... if it's not set in the middle yet (probably won't be) cover it with foil and bake for another 10 minutes or so.
-Let cool a few minutes, then invert onto serving plate and enjoy it warm.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's present time!!!

We celebrated Christmas early with Ben's parents this past weekend, who were visiting from the Delaware shore. Look at these little guys, all wrapped up by the Christmas tree... they are definitely the greatest gifts in our lives!!

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

All Aboard!!!

We took the boys on a little surprise vacation earlier this week to The Polar Express train ride at the Grand Canyon! It was awesome... we can't wait to do it again another year! We knew Sam would be thrilled, but it was so fun to watch Jake really get into the fun too. And yes, we were THAT family, all in our matching snowman pajamas. (Everyone has been asking where we got them, so fyi... I bought them online from in case you too would like to be THAT family sometime!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mandy's Jungle Baby Shower!

Hosting Mandy's Baby Shower with my mom this past weekend was so much fun!! We're so excited for Mandy and my brother to have their first baby soon. They are such a great aunt and uncle to our little guys and we're looking forward to having our new nephew here soon. We owe them baby-sitting services BIG time!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tomorrow is Do It For Sophia Day!

I got this from my nephew's Carepage. Many of you know that he was diagnosed with Leukemia about 2 years ago (and he's doing great!) This is a friend of his, Sophia, who is enjoying all the time she has with her family and friends. You can read more about her at Her page name is sophiasjourney. Make sure to have a box of tissues handy... a BIG box.

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This is Sophia-a beautiful earthly angel.

From Sophia's carepage... On Friday, the 5th, a friend of ours organized something called Do It For Sophia Day. On Friday, you are supposed to do something nice for somebody in honor of Sophia. Those of you who know her understand that that is a perfect way to honor her. Sophia always loves helping people. She has always been such a good helper. So, please, make somebody smile on Friday. We hope people around the world will extend a kind, helping hand to lots of people on Friday. Do it for Sophia.

So, do something nice tomorrow... Do It For Sophia! Then come back and post a comment telling us what you did.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's a jungle out there!!

This week it's been all about the JUNGLE! From our Thanksgiving weekend in the desert where we visited these crazy animals in Borrego Springs...
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To feeding the wild turkeys at Nani and Papa's desert house...
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Then it was off to Ethan's super fun Jungle Birthday Party where the kids roared like wild animals...
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And here's a sneak peek of what's in store for Mandy's Jungle themed baby shower this weekend...
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All in all, it's been a WILD week full of jungle fun!!


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