Christmas time!

Hello blog world! We had a lovely Christmas and I got a much needed 4 days away from school/work. It was just the right amount of time for me to rest up and catch up with everyone. A certain two of my loved ones (mom & Derek) got a two week break because they are teachers. NO FAIR. The rest of the working world doesn't get 3 months off...how did they get away with that? I know, I know, they do workshops, etc in the summer. Anyway, we got to spend our first Christmas as a married couple with both of our families, just like we did when we dated, so that was nice!

For the first few days, we hung out and took little Ben to play at the park

 Our newphew, Ben. He loves to say the word "ped dull"

 don't get any ideas, people!

 yes, I'm still a child at heart

We also thoroughly enjoyed Ben's new-found love for music...specifically the drums. As Ben calls them, RUMS!

The day before Christmas Eve, Derek and I made a short trip to Fayetteville to see the lights of the Ozarks on the square, and to find my name that has recently been added to Senior Walk.

 'Erin Elizabeth King'

Love the lights! And got to see my good friend, Evan, too!

Then the Christmas Eve festivities at the Moore's began! Derek's dad's side of the family gets together each year and does a gift exchange and dirty Santa! Tons of fun and great food. I ate way too much!

 we found Ben trying to plug his dad's amp up to his new keyboard

 dirty santa time!

 D picked an amazing neck pillow/donut pillow...it is versatile

with my secret and dirty santa gifts

Christmas morning we left early and drove to Arkadelphia to open presents with my parents, brother, and Pa & Grandmother. My mom's parents are usually winter Texans (they live in south Texas September-April) and at home in Missouri the rest of the year, so they are rarely close enough to spend Christmas with. They sold their place last year, so they spent Christmas day with us. It was so great to be with them:)

 the kids
 grandmother's woozie....aka wine coozie

 her face when she opened the TomTom

 owl salt-n-pepper shakers :)

 new sport coat

 mom got more angels
 the shirts mom got grandmother and me: "fightin like hogs to find a cure"
grandmother has had skin and breast cancer, and mom endometrial cancer

mom has hundreds of angels in her collection...these are just some of them

 dad got a new grill

Pa & Grandmother

I took tons of pics, but hey, they are more entertaining than my narratives so I'll stick with pictures. We are so blessed to be close to our loved ones and be able to spend the holidays with them. God is good, indeed! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and has a Happy New Year! I really can't believe it is about to be 2011. That just blows my mind.

Lastly, I'd like to ask any readers to say a prayer for my Pa. He is 86 years old and one of the best men I will ever know. He was recently diagnosed with multiple myeolma and will be coming to UAMS for further care at the Myeloma Institute (THE best in the nation). I know he will receive great care there, and we will be close to him. I have faith in God's plan.

Stay tuned for a recipe post coming up soon! I've been busy in the kitchen this fall!


Oh, Christmas Tree

At the beginning of December, Derek and I went to get our first tree. I've grown up with a real tree so we decided we'd head to a tree farm and pick one out! My parents came along as well to pick out theirs. For almost my entire life, my family has gone out to Manchester, AR to the Hunter family Christmas tree farm to cut down our tree every year. It was tradition. When we'd arrive, we would get some hot cider or hot chocolate and wait on the tractor. Then we'd hop on this hay-covered wagone and the tractor would pull us out to the fields with the Christmas trees. Everyone would get off, take a saw and go find their perfect tree. My dad or Austin would always cut ours down, and then they'd lay it out in the aisle for the four wheeler to pick up and take back to the front. There they would shake the tree to get rid of all of the loose pine needles, and tie it up to take home. While all that was going on, my brother and I would join the other kids that were waiting on their trees as we'd play on these giant hay bales. Then, before we'd go, we'd have to visit the Christmas shop and buy some of granny's fudge. It was the best!

Since the Hunter Christmas tree farm is no longer open, we headed to Bismarck, AR to get our tree this year. Here are some pictures to take you through the process...and the finished tree!

 It was a b-e-a-utiful day!

 the first bunch of trees we looked at

 there were so many to choose from!

 my parents and their little tree:)

 Derek and I headed out to another field to get our tree!

 the winner

 Derek and my dad cutting down our tree

 then we carried it back....

 or Derek carried it back for us...hah!

 the tree getting a shake

 ready to be bundled for the ride home


 the bare tree once we got it home

 once we lit it up...ta da!

 again...I ran out of ornaments and never got any deco-mesh for the tree
oh well, maybe next year!

 top of the tree....no tree topper!

And that was our trip to the tree farm for our very first Christmas tree. It smells wonderful in the house! After I put up the tree as you see it here, I went to my parents' house and got some of my ornaments out from the attic. Here are some pics of my favorites. I love that I have collected different ornaments over the years. They are all special in a different way and have a story behind them. There are also some pics of the Christmas decor around the house (what little I did this year). Next year, I will not be in school and hopefully have more time to decorate!

Kitchen table centerpiece

 cranberries and limes...just like my favorite sonic drink:)
oh, and I still have out my Razorback platter..I guess I'll put it away after the bowl game!

 garland and berries above the kitchen cabinets

 front entrance...I love the berry wreath!

 Nativity Scene I got as a wedding gift!

stocking #1

stocking #2

this has been around since college :)

favorite ornament my friend Sarah got us this year!
It fits us so well:)

 baby girl

 hand made ornament...my parents received a whole set like this for their wedding

 This little baby has always been a favorite of mine

 1st Christmas

 ballet...my life for, well, most of my life

 dough ornament from the Roberts.."Erin 1994"

 pier1 owl from Rebecca

 high school grad ornament...before I knew I'd be obsessed with owls

another owl ornament

I could go on for days...but I won't! I have all of my presents wrapped except one, I'm done with finals for this semester, and after three days of work this week, we will be heading to Fort Smith and then to Arkadelphia to enjoy Christmas with our families. Hope everyone has a blessed holiday season! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!