Christmas...cold, but good!

We had a great Christmas here in Colorado, but it really was cold! We didn't get much snow, but we got plenty of COLD wind!

Here are the top 5 things we did over our Christmas break:

5-We worked on and finished two puzzles! These weren't just any puzzle. One of them was a hard puzzle; the picture was of about 25 popsicles piled on top of each other. It was harder than it sounds...see for yourself.
We had a fun surprise on Christmas when we found that Andrew's family gave us two puzzles as gifts. We finished one of those as well but we made record time on that one. Puzzles are a great thing to do when it is freezing cold outside!

4-On and around Christmas, we were able to talk to nearly all the members of our family! It was fun to visit, tell stories, and hear about everyone's Christmas. It really was a lot of people because there are nine kids in Brianna's family and seven in Andrew's.

3-Christmas goodies and caroling! Every year at Christmas, Andrew's family (mom) makes and delivers cookie dough to everyone in town! The list keeps getting bigger every year, and it really seems like she makes 100 pounds of cookie dough! They are really good cookies though. Brianna's family has always made a lot of different kinds of cookies and candy which we then would deliver to people while we went caroling. We decided we wanted to do something too, so every year we like to make a load of goodies and deliver them.
This year, we made 11 different treats and took them to about 20 families. We even caroled...at one house! It is hard to be as excited about caroling when your choir consists of only two people!

A few of the specialty items were: good little almond thingys, butterscotch fudge, russian teacakes (peppermint and normal), truffles, rocky road, and almond roca.
2-One of Andrew's favorite parts of the break were his visits to the garage to work with his tools. As mentioned in a previous post, his parents gave him the other half of a canoe (it is hard using half a canoe). But, what good is a whole canoe if it can only sit or hang in a garage? So he also got a car rack for Christmas. And he had to make a way to secure the canoe to the car rack, so he built a little wooden frame that will fasten to the rack.

The purpose of this wooden contraption is to eliminate the side-to-side movement of the canoe while driving down the road. (In the picture below: in the side view, you can imagine the side of a canoe fitting perfectly in the slot. Then, we will slide the white piece of wood over the edge of the canoe and tighten the wingnut, which will hold the canoe in place.) He also has ample tie-downs in the front and back to ensure that we don't create an airborne canoe while going down the road.

1-So what was the top thing we did over Christmas break? Probably staying up late watching movies and sleeping in! We have gotten a lot of sleep the last few days, and it will be difficult getting back to a regular schedule! All in all, we've had a great time!

Oh yeah...how do you like Andrew's new glasses?


St.Basil's Cathedral over Christmas Break

Andrew and I have been married for four years and seven months, (well, in three days it will be seven months) but guess what? We have never completed a puzzle together...until today. We felt like doing one at Thanksgiving, but we didn't have any. The other night, we were at the Dollar Store and saw some, so we picked up a few. Here was our first. It was 350 pieces for ages 12 and up, but when we first opened up the package, and saw all those tiny pieces, suddenly we felt like five-year-olds. After a little organization, and getting over our intial fear of the puzzle, we actually had fun and stayed up till midnight before we decided it was time to go to bed. Something happens when it is late at night and you are staring at 350 tiny colorful pieces that all look the same...your brain stops working!
Just so you know, we finished it off the next day. It went a lot quicker when we were awake. Here is Andrew with the last piece!

Gingerbread trailer house, A-frames and more...

Andrew here: So each year we like to make gingerbread houses just for fun. This year we decided to use graham crackers rather than gingerbread because it is a lot easier and a little bit quicker. It just gives you more time to do the bulk of the fun part: decking out the house with tons of candy and stuff. So here is the shipment of lumber that we used in constructing our houses. We are in charge of the Young Single Adult Family Home Evening Group in our Ward and we though this would make a neat thing to do with everyone. So we went out and got tons of candy and other building supplies so we could create some amazing architectural designs. We actually did this on two nights, so the first night, I created a trailer house. The pretzels on top are the television antenna.

The next time, both Brianna and I made different houses. Here is my masterpiece A-frame:
Here is Brianna's drafty but great gingerbread house:


O Christmas Tree

Christmas is less than two weeks away! Can you believe it? We decorated our tree on the 1st of December, but unfortunately, we forgot to post it. Here is our beautiful tree.
Great, huh? We love real trees, but the first year we were married, we bought this one at a thrift store for $5! What a deal! We just couldn't pass it up...and it still works great.Andrew and the ornaments...
Merry Christmas! Stay tuned for our gingerbread houses...we just did them last night and had so much fun!



We had a great Thanksgiving with lots of good food. Andrew and I love turkey, so we always try to find the biggest one at the store, then we cut off all the meat and freeze it and use it for months. This year, our turkey was 20.83 pounds. It was great...and heavy! Here are some of the beginning stages of our Thanksgiving feast.

The delicious meal, followed by delicious pies.

What is Thanksgiving without good pie? We made two kinds, Incredible Peanut Butter Pie and Tollhouse Pie, which is basically a cookie in a pie shell and a tradition in Brianna's family. Both are extremely rich.

At first, it seemed like it was going to be a long weekend with just the two of us...but there was a surprise in store for Andrew. Some of his family came to visit all the way from Utah, which is a long nine and a half hour drive. Brianna knew about it, but he didn't, and it was so much fun when he answered the door Friday night!

Here's Andrew's version of the story. Just after I finished dinner that night, the doorbell started going crazy, and I was pretty sure that it would be a doorbell ditcher because it sounded like they were ringing the bell with a jackhammer. Right before I got to the door, I stopped dead in my tracks when I heard the unmistakable sound of my dad mooing like a cow outside the front door. [First off, I've got to tell you that my dad has been mooing like a cow for a number of years; it has become his personal trademark. It really does sound like a cow.] Then it hit me...either my family was on our porch or some farmer was missing a cow and it was wandering around in our front yard! I opened the door, and there they were, smiling, laughing, and shivering in the cold. It was an amazing surprise!
They wanted to come visit and deliver my Christmas present, a 15 foot Coleman canoe. When I was about 16, I went in on a canoe with my dad, so I decided I wanted the other half for Christmas this year. I was a little relieved to see that they brought the canoe, because I was a little worried about having a 15 foot canoe on top of our 17 foot car for over 500 miles across the windy state of Wyoming! Even though the visit was short, we had a great time playing games and hanging out with family.