Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Cookie Part-ee

Meet Mark and Michelle. They love Christmas cookies, and they love sharing! Yesterday, they shared with the Keena Family, by bringing us a Christmas Cookie Party. They both are professional cookie decorator's here.

They had baked a box full of cookies, made a dozen bottles of Royal Icing, and included a multitude of sugars, sprinkles, and edible decorations.

After just a bit on instruction, we were off on our own.

Grace made some beautifully personalized cookies for her BFFs.

Jim's favorite creation. We kind of thought it looked like Grandpa Keena.

Some of our finished fancies.

We may not quite be ready for Fancy Flours, but we sure had fun!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a Skype Christmas

Last night we hooked up to Skype, as did Doug and Danae in Chicago.

We all huddled around the computer in our bedroom, with much anticipation as we were about to celebrate Christmas with the Castles.

One by one, we sat in the seat of opening and each opened presents from the Castles.

Jim got an awesome Chicago mug with different Chicago landmarks etched in the side. It's gorgeous, although I am confused as to why there is a very small baseball player on the mug. I don't remember anything about any great Chicago baseball teams!

Emily was most excited about her non-planner.

It was the next best thing to being there. Okay, not really, the next best thing would be for them to be here. But it worked! Great idea 'Nae!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter, Anyone?

This was the view from my kitchen window yesterday afternoon. The temperature had risen all the way to -8. But since I was in my toasty kitchen, I didn't fret over the temperature, but rather, enjoyed the view of the snow-covered Bridger Mountains.

Are we supposed to put away patio furniture here in the winter?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What a Week!

This has been a great week. Lots of Christmas preparations and celebrations. And a birthday party thrown in the mix for fun!

Jim started out the week in Tulsa, with the Clark's.

I sent along an early Christmas present for Caden.
A onesie with a special Christmas greeting.

On Tuesday, Jim flew home, and we had a first-ever in the Keena family; an early birthday party. Because of Grace's frenzied social calendar, we celebrated her 14th birthday three days early. (Please don't tell the older children!)

I'm sure her one of her favorite gifts was this shirt, from one of her favorite Chicago sisters!

We also had a little "congratulations" gift for Jim. He had just defended his proposal for his Phd, and is now an official PhD candidate. How appropriate that he should have a pair of PhD socks!

Friday night we attended our first ever Staff Christmas Party..seriously, seventeen years in the ministry, and our first Staff Christmas Party. There was plenty of good food and bubbly drinks, and my favorite, a White Elephant Gift Exchange. Now, if you know me at all, you know I like "to win". And you may have never really thought about there being any winners at a White Elephant Gift Exchange. I beg to differ. After much prudent forethought, tactical planning, and deliberate stealing, I'd say Jim and I both came away as winners. See below.
My prize was two sets of beautiful note cards photographed by our church secretary, Becky. One set of flowers, one set of animals. Lovely.

Jim won two boxes of Nories Candies. Six ounces each of handmade chocolates by a lady in our church. I'm sure the boxes were identical to begin with, but let me just point out how one of the boxes is missing the Assorted Chocolates label, and one piece of chocolate. Jim promised me he did not take a piece of the chocolate out. Consider yourself forewarned; never leave properly won boxes of handmade chocolates unattended, especially around church staff!

While Jim and I were white-elephanting, Grace had a proper birthday party. She and three of her Best Buds went to the Ellen Theater's production of A Christmas Carol. A night on the town proved to be a great time for these lovelies!

One sleepover later, they may appear a little less lovely, however a night on the living room floor is hard on anyone! Notice Grace's lovely attire, both hat and jammies were gifts from the BFFs.

The morning after also brought a blanket of white. A very large blanket, mind you. It's absolutely wonderful...just ask Mikaela!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Cheer

After spending a portion of this snowy day making a list, checking it twice, and wrapping Christmas presents I got a call from Christa. She told me to check out the website below. And there on the cover of the magazine was the most beautiful baby Jesus I have ever seen. I think it probably helps that his daddy is the magazine editor!