Christmas 2017!

Robbie, Naomi, and Sarah came over to our house on Christmas Eve and we had a nice spaghetti dinner. It was perfect. Always nice to spend time with family. Damien and Sarah seemed to get along better this time and actually played together. Both so energetic πŸ™‚

Damien’s Christmas present from his Uncle Robbie, Aunt Naomi, and Sarah. It’s Super Saiyan Goku from Dragonball Z, or so they tell me lol

Christmas Day was nice as well. I believe we did a great job with presents this year without a list. Scott and I made chicken, mashed potatoes, and stuffing for dinner. I picked out blackberry cobbler for dessert which I thought was excellent, but apparently both Scott and Damien hated the seeds so I guess there’s more for me. Can’t win ’em all!

Ready for Christmas morning!

We decided to try something a little different this year and take pictures of the gift opening instead of a video. The following are from Grandma and Grandpa Hanks:

Emoji plushes! Guess which ones are his favorites? The poop and rainbow poop, of course!
Zombie dance party cookie making kit!
Fidget pillow. When the sequins are moved one way it’s white, and the other way it’s gold.
I have to say it’s very addictive.
Opening up the next gift!
A pac-man heat changing mug! Perfect for hot chocolate. He played pac-man with Grandma when we visited this summer πŸ™‚

The following are from Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Whitehill and Grandpa Whitehill. The leftover money will be great to help replace his eyeglasses that he happened to break later in the day.

Mario Bros card game
Ninjago bed sheets
Hulking out to open presents lol
And a Ninjago comforter!

The following is from Great Grandma and Tom:

Minecraft Lego set. I can’t wait for us to build it!

The gift from Santa:

He’s super excited to see what Santa brought for him.
A rock tumbler!

And lastly, the following are from Mom and Dad:

Knack II. He played the first one so much.
A new keyboard. Scott’s idea. Damien was confused.
Damien saved the biggest box for last
A wrestling dummy! Something he can kick, punch, and body slam all day long. It’s a little bit heavy, but I think he’ll get some use out of it.
Also makes a great cat bed!

Thank you everyone for the presents and contributions to another great year πŸ˜€

Damien spent a good four hours straight on Christmas Day playing Knack II.
I toyed around with a wire project. It’s hard! I don’t think this is a skill I’m going to master.
Playing the Mario Bros card game. I lost…twice.
Washed up the bedding. Looks great!
Damien approves πŸ™‚

We all had the day after Christmas off from work/school to enjoy the gifts even more. Damien cracked me up this morning by showing me impressions of his emojis, haha!

The “laughing so hard you’re crying” face
The “winking with your tongue out” face. Don’t think I’ve made this face before. He did good!
The “smiling with your eyes closed” face. Well, his eyes are closed at least!
The “I love this!” face. Nailed it!
Poop. Seems about right lol
Laughing while sweating? I guess?
Purple devil guy. He does look mischievous!
And the “kissy” face!!

Damien kept pestering us to set up rock tumbler. I didn’t know very much about it, but discovered it takes WEEKS to see the final product. There are various levels of grit and each level takes several days. I posted a short video below to show how much noise it makes. We set it up in the laundry room so we don’t have to hear it. Definitely excited to see the results.

The rock tumbler came with rocks which is great
I’m the most excited to see how this one turns out
Placing the rocks into the tumbler
Adding grit #1
Then you add water and set for 5 days. Super easy!

Lastly, Damien and I made and decorated the Zombie Dance Party sugar cookies today. A good way to end the day πŸ™‚

I did add the green dye, but it’s pretty faint.
Damien did great with the mixer making the frosting.
Scott decorated one of the cookies
Trailor park zombie–LOL!
Hahaha, he definitely won the best decorated for the night!
Damien decorating…and eating his cookies
All finished!
“Help me…” lol
Damien was unimpressed with my designs πŸ™ But they tasted good!

Now to get ready for the work week. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Final Days Before Christmas

Christmas is almost here! Definitely my favorite time of year. Damien refused to create a Christmas list or tell us what he wanted so we had to guess on all of the gifts. I also offered to take him to see Santa and he informed me that he’s afraid of Santa because of his beard and didn’t want to see him at all. Oh well, I guess. One less thing for me to do.

Damien creating his kindness poster for school.
Scott received his Secret Santa gift from his online Rust friends–a cute corgi pillow! Damien LOVES it!
Damien named the corgi Doge.
Damien gives Doge hugs and kisses before leaving the house or going to bed. Here’s Damien giving Doge a hug before school.
Katrina using Doge as a bed lol

Today was Damien’s last level-2 swim lesson. We’re taking a break until the springtime. I didn’t like level-2 as much as level-1 because the instructors were frequently gone and they had to combine classes with level-1. It makes the classes bigger and they can’t do as much.

Damien’s favorite thing to do the pool–the back float!

My coworkers decorated my desk while I was out, haha!
I left most of the paper intact so I could enjoy it longer πŸ™‚ So festive!
My office had a Secret Santa gift exchange this year. I received a scrapbooking kit and a Hello Kitty robot plush from my supervisor…who likes to tease me that I’m a robot because I’m logical lol
After Secret Santa, my whole office went to a place called First Watch for brunch. I loved it soooo much I went back with Scott and Damien today. It’s my new favorite place.
Another beautiful wreath from Rob and Robin! And we also received a 3-in-1 game center that has games like bean bag toss. Thank you!

Holiday Season – 12 Days Til Christmas!

Last week we did another meal prep week and here’s how it went:

  • Slow cooker beef w/carrots, celery, and potatoes (It was acceptable, but I don’t like cooked carrots or celery. Probably won’t make again.)
  • Lemon caper cod w/butternut squash halves and sauteed spinach (I could only find frozen cod fillets and they didn’t thaw all the way before we cooked them so it didn’t turn out. I did try the cod and thought it had a good flavor, but Scott absolutely refused a taste based on appearance. The squash and spinach were meh to us. Not a success.)
  • Mediterranean turkey burgers w/rosemary fries (Great flavor in the burgers, but Scott and I think it would taste even better with beef instead of ground turkey. And we both loved the fries!)
  • Beef and roasted pepper fajitas (My favorite! It used the leftover beef from Monday’s roast. SOOOOOO good! Scott liked them too, but not as much as me apparently.)
  • Bell pepper and mushrooms scramble as the breakfast option (Really good. Would make again. Scott doesn’t care much for mushrooms, but still liked it.)
  • Guacamole (It was supposed to be with pork rinds as the snack, but we already had tortilla chips and used them instead.)
Turkey burgers and fries

Which brings us to this week! Scott is at Maxwell AFB in Alabama this week for training and I’m on a urinalysis detail all week. Which means we didn’t do the meal prep because it’s just Damien and I at the house. I set up all of the Christmas decorations and have finished with most of the Christmas shopping for Damien. I’m running out of time!

I like to pretend that Katrina loves the decorations too
Damien is ready for Christmas!
Finishing putting the ornaments on the tree
I even decorated my office this year!
Saturday night before Scott’s early morning flight. Damien and Scott have been watching Dragonball Z together.
I’ve been so cold in the house this week. Katrina is trying to keep me warm!

Meal Prep Trial

Scott and I are trying out a meal prep site. It solves a few of our issues when it comes to dinners. 1) There’s variety! I can’t eat chicken and rice every night. Ugh. 2) There’s a lot less work to do in the evenings after we come home from work. 3) We don’t have to torment ourselves trying to figure out what we feel like eating.Β Β The site gives you the grocery list! 4) The paleo menu means healthier meals for us since there are less carbs and more veggies. There’s very little dairy and it’s all optional. I also like how that means eating non-processed/fresh foods. Scott and I did the prep work together so it went a lot faster.

Prep day – We made the marinara sauce for the spaghetti and the frittata. The to-be-roasted spaghetti squash is on the right if you can even see it.
Prep day – We also marinated the chicken legs and prepped the veggies.
Day 1 meal – My favorite meal!
The spaghetti squash and marinara sauce for Meal 3

So the weekly menus provide recipes and instructions for 4 meals, a salad, a breakfast, a snack, and a dessert. We didn’t take everything from the first week, but we tried the:

Smoky paprika roasted chicken with trio of roasted veggies (I want to make this again! I’ve never had parsnips and fennel before and it was really good!)

Beef and mushroom marinara over spaghetti squash (it was okay, but I don’t think I’ll make it again. Scott didn’t like the sauce and Damien didn’t like the squash)

Broccoli and cheddar frittata (Excellent! Will definitely make again)

Mixed greens with blueberries and sliced almonds salad (Scott didn’t even try it. I added the suggested goat cheese and thought it was good, but didn’t like the dressing)

Cranberry walnut dark chocolate drops dessert (Scott didn’t try it. The dark chocolate would be too strong for me if not countered by the walnuts and dried cranberries. I think I’ll probably make them again, but maybe pick less % for the dark chocolate)