Monday, January 14, 2013

A Christmas Holiday: Your All-in-One Post on our Celebrations minus a lot of good pictures

Sorry, Blogger...I went to Facebook and posted my December Christmas pics, so take that. I was tired of seeing my Christmas post in my draft list.

Anyways, I am using Shutterfly for our family albums now. [I feel like I mentioned that already but seeing that this post has been in draft form for two weeks, I'm not sure what I have said on the internet at this point.] So, I just received my 2010 album in the mail last week and LOVE it. (Well, except for a few pages that didn't print correctly but within 2 hours of me emailing Shutterfly I was credited with a new book, made my corrections, and placed a second order.)

But overall, the picture quality was awesome, the layouts turned out so cute, and even at 95 pages, it is soooo much thinner compared to my Creative Memories albums. I'm sold for the future, but that means I must keep this blog up to date so I know what happened when. [But Blogger, you are NOT making it easy on me.]

So, back to Christmas. And because I don't want to lose my mind in a few months trying to locate 32 different posts on 32 different Christmas celebrations, I am putting them all in one.

But you will have to see all the good pictures on Facebook...these are just the ones I gleaned off my phone.

Christmas really started when Uncle Eric and Aunt Caroline arrived to town mid-December. Then, I finished work, school was out, and the eating and laying around commenced.

Because of schedules, we celebrated "Christmas Eve at Oma and Opa's" on the 23rd...but that worked out well because Eric and Caroline were able to attend AND we attended a really great Family Service at our church on the 24th.

Pretty much from Day 1, Brooklyn wouldn't let Uncle Eric out of her sight...

Oma and Opa's is a great place to take post-lasagna walks...
I don't have any phone pics from our Christmas morning at our house but the kids blew through their gifts in about 11 minutes. Brooklyn was very excited about the Discovery Laptop she got (just like her godsister, Zoe's!) and Jake was excited that Santa remembered his basketball. [They were easy to please this year.]

On the 27th, we had Christmas with my side of the family...Pajama themed.

Then, on the 29th, we had Christmas with Johnsons. Drew and Molly came into town and the kids had plenty for them to do right away. :-)

The next day, we had brunch with Chad's first cousins and their families. Always a great time...and we even managed a Johnson family pic.

Eric and Caroline were here, there, and everywhere, and while they were in Wilmington over New Year's, Brooklyn snuck in a sleepover with Nanny and Grandpa.

Judging by my bank receipts and the tightening in my jeans, I'd say we had three weeks of great eating and lots of fun.
But boy, were we worn out.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Slow Cooker Sunday: 2 Recipes tonight!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Today we experienced Meal #3 out of the 5 Meal Slow Cooker Plan that I talked about last week. Tonight we had the Goulash/Beef Stew over egg noodles. Just needed a little salt, but it was delicious. I also would probably only cook 6-7 hours on low. Though my husband said it tasted great, I thought the meat was a little well done after cooking 8-8.5 hours.

I also wanted to mention this pin below from Pinterest. My friend, Loryn, made this Turkey Taco Soup for our New Year's Eve get together and then I made it again the next week for my family. It was delicious both times...and tasted great over tortilla chips and under some shredded cheese. :-)

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

11th Annual Johnzler Holiday Spectacular

I'm still losing my mind with Blogger. But I must keep going. Here's our New Year's Day fun!

It was our 11th trip to Tanglewood's Festival of Lights with our God-family. Always lots of fun- always some random whining- but always tons of laughs, too.

First, the kids opened their gifts. Brooklyn's big surprise was an American Girl doll!

The whining was cut down some because Brooklyn and Allie both brought their Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire. No fights over sharing. Just some app sharing and book reading. :-)

We always love driving through and seeing what's new or moved. It's just such a great tradition and Jake REALLY enjoyed it this year.

And going AFTER Christmas is always the best- MUCH shorter lines. :-)

Friday, January 11, 2013

New Years Eve- Kiddo Style

I think I am going to lose my mind over Blogger. I had a great post about all of our Christmases and was just needing to download pics from my "good" camera and its not letting me insert pictures saved from my computer. I'm getting farther and farther behind so I am skipping Christmas for right now and re-capping New Year's Eve. If anyone knows how I can fix this (besides taking all the pics from my computer, downloading to Shutterfly, opening from my phone, saving to my iPhone gallery, then inserting them through BlogPress), PLEASE let me know. :-)

Anyways, we had a great New Year's Eve. We spent it with the Stevensons, Morrisons, Bumps, and Kinlaws, so it was awesome that Carolina cousins and Shout cousins intermingled and had a great time together. There were kids there of all ages so it was nice that everyone has someone to play with. The Stevensons hosted (which was even more awesome), and we had yummy food and lots of laughs.

The only pic I took was the rare moment they were sitting in the living room eating chicken nuggets and watching Horton Hears a Who.

The best kind of way to kick off the new year!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Slow Cooker Sundays are Back: And here are 5 for you right away!

Yes, we have been slack in the Slow Cooker Sundays. For a while, we were doing them but just repeating old recipes, and then we got lazy altogether and did Chinese Sunday, Cookout Sunday, and Poblanos Sundays. Not healthy and definitely more expensive.

So, I found this pin on Pinterest and was intrigued. And since I was on vacation for the holiday it was the perfect opportunity to try.

I followed the instructions pretty exact. Here is the link and then I listed some of my editorial notes below.

*As the author made the balsamic chuck roast that night, I also did not half the recipe and freeze, but made the next day for dinner. It was delicious. Very tender and flavorful.
*Total cost for 9 dinners was about $85-90. Unfortunately, NO meat was on sale and I did not use coupons (i know, gasp), so this was worse case scenario, but still, $9 a meal is pretty good.
*It took me 1 hour to grocery shop and 2 hours to chop veggies and label/fill the bags so make sure you allot enough time.

*We made our first frozen/defrosted/slow cooked meal this evening. The BBQ chicken was delicious and the meat was tender and veggies tasted fresh. All we did was add a bit of BBQ sauce over the top before serving to add slightly more flavor. So far we are 2 for 2 with successes! Yay!


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