Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Timber....The Christmas Tree Comes Down

The real Christmas tree was starting to dry out and the needles were falling all over the place so we knew it was time to haul that giant out.

We laid down a huge tarp in the living room that covered the stairs and the furniture so that nothing would get scratched up.

Then we just unscrewed the base from the tree and laid it down in the tarp.

And wrapped it up and hauled it out back to the pile of other branches to be burned.

When we were setting up the tree we were a little worried about how were going to get it back out the door but the tarp worked out great - nothing was scratched by the pine needles and there wasn't a trail of pine needles either.

Decorating the Rivir Ranch

We really get into the Christmas spirit here at the Rivir Ranch. I love Christmas and I love to decorate which only means lots of Christmas trees. We had a total of 10 trees set up in the house this year. They varied in size from 2ft to 10ft. Here are few pictures of the main trees.

Here is the most impressive of them all. Our 10ft real Christmas tree decorated with ornaments that we've collected over the years.

In the dining room, we had the mitten and stocking tree.

Then in the library the tree was decorated with all gingerbread men.

In the master bedroom, we had a tree with all reindeer ornaments.

And upstairs on the landing, I decorated the tree with all pink, purple and lime green glittery ornaments.

All of the other trees were just decorated with Christmas bulbs. Christmas was the holiday that I was looking forward to the most when we were building the house because I knew I would have lots of space to decorate. I absolutely loved decorating for Christmas this year and can't wait until next year.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas Day

I must have been good this year because Santa was quite generous. We started off our Christmas celebrations with Carl's family on Christmas Eve. His mom made a big lunch for everyone and we played games and opened gifts. Carl's parents got us a new wheelbarrow, something we definitely needed and some other little gifts. Later that evening we went to church with the whole family and had dinner with Theresa's side of the family.  Then on Christmas day, Carl and I opened the presents we bought for each other. We got a new iPad2 and a computer. We also got each other a bunch of fun stocking stuffers.  Later than morning, we went over to my parents house for brunch and more gift opening. My mom always makes sausage, biscuits and gravy on Christmas and it's something I look forward to every year, it's so good! My family got me a new sewing machine, this is something I'm going to learn how to do in 2012, along with a bunch of sewing accessories, books, Christmas ornaments, cupcake and cake pop things and a Fiestaware tablecloth. Carl got some great things too, he got some new sandals, John Deere t-shirts, flashlights, ladder, a big box of bacon and the highlight gift of this year - Air Soft Gun. My dad got the guys air soft guns and they shot everyone and everything all day.

Here Granny is opening her Christmas gifts and Carl is behind her shooting Harmon who is on the other side of Granny behind the Christmas tree.

Spencer took cover under some boxes but he was still a target.

Then Carl and Spencer began to shoot each other, they were only about 10ft apart. You can see Spencer's feet covered by a box and he his hiding under his new beach towel while Carl hides behind the giant chair. When this shoot out began I was sitting in the chair hiding under the chair cover caught in the crossfire.

Spencer got us this giant lawn chair. It will make for some good laughs this summer when we get it out at the family get-togethers.

Our grandparents, were also really wonderful and bought us gift cards to several restaurants and my Grandma Betty gave us some money to get a new bench for our mudroom. I have already bought the bench and its in the mudroom now. I love it.

Thank you everyone for making our Christmas so wonderful!!!

A Christmas Tradition

Since Carl and I began dating in 2008, we have been taking our parents to our local theater for the Christmas musical each Christmas. We have hosted this dinner at several different places the last four years. In 2008, this dinner was the first time that our parents met each other and we made dinner at Carl's apartment and saw 'The Christmas Carol'. Then in 2009, we were engaged and we went out to dinner since Carl lived at the lake and the house was really small and that year we saw 'The Sound of Music.'  We were married in 2010 and I moved to the lake with Carl, it was a really small house but we managed to host the dinner at the house and everyone just squeezed in. 'Annie' was the musical in 2010.  For our 2011 Christmas dinner, we were moved in to the new house and I could finally put together a proper table setting. I was quite excited about this, I was able to use all my red Fiestaware dishes and I found the idea of using the logs, greenery, candles and roses from Pinterest. For dinner we made a beef roast, corn casserole, twice baked potatoes, candied carrots and mini peanut butter pies. This year we saw 'Miracle on 34th Street', it was a really great show, actually all the shows have been really good.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Our 2011 Christmas Tree

With our hectic schedule in December we didn't have time to take a trip out to the Christmas tree farm so we had to settle for an already cut Christmas tree. I've been telling Carl how I thought we should get a really big tree about 9-10 feet tall since we a 22 ft ceiling in the living room. He wasn't really into my idea and thought we should just a get normal sized 7 ft tree. So...we stopped at Menards to see what kind of trees they had left and they just had a few 4ft trees, those definitely wouldn't work for us. Next we went to Lowes to check out their trees. Again, they had a very small selection and none of them were very big. So we went over to the grocery store where they were selling a bunch of Christmas trees in the parking lot. A local community group was running the tree sales but no one was out there to collect the money so Carl went inside the store to check on the prices of the trees. The lady in the store says all the trees are $35. Carl comes bursting out of the store to tell me all the trees are $35, get the biggest one they have. This is awesome!  I picked out the biggest tree of the bunch, a 10ft tree. We paid for our tree and loaded it up, it wouldn't even fit in the bed of the truck without hanging out several feet.

We got home with our huge tree and Carl cut the end of trunk off so that it would suck up some water.

 Then he drilled a hole in it and stuff it with cotton. Apparently, this is to help it suck up more water further up into the tree.

Then Carl hauled our tree into the house.

Luckily we had a tree stand that would hold such a large tree but it took a little while to get it set up so that it wouldn't coming crashing down.

Since the tree had been outside and bundled up, I had to fluff it up a little.

Then we started to put on the lights and ornaments. I stood on the ladder and Carl stood on the stairs. We passed the lights around the tree to get them up at the top of the tree.

And finally Carl added the star to the top of the tree.

We loved our Christmas tree this year and it looked great in our living room!

Another Party

My little brother turned 21 in December so we met up with him and some of his friends to have a celebratory drink. The next day we had a little party at our parents house.

He had a little bit of a rough night so we sang Happy Birthday extremely loud. He loved it. hahaha.

Happy Birthday Brother!

It's a Party

It was a super busy end to 2011 at the Rivir Ranch. I'm back on the blog to fill you in with all things that happened the last few weeks.

The first weekend in December, Carl's Dad, Kent, turned 60 and we surprised with a big birthday party.

We spent the afternoon decorating the room for the big birthday bash.

While we were decorating Mark's daughter Claire had lots of fun with the crayons. Dump them out, clean them up, dump them out, clean them up, it was fun!

We had all the food ready, chili and baked potatoes, and the 35 guests had arrived, we were just waiting on the guest of honor. Carl's mom had been telling him that they were going to library to watch a travel video and then go to dinner with some friends. He really wasn't that interested and really wanted to finish watching his football game so it took quite so coaxing from Theresa to get him to the library. Then at 5:30 in the evening, they walked through the door and he was completely surprised!

We put together a big board of all sorts of pictures of Kent from when he was younger and it was really neat look at those pictures. The dinner turned out great and Luke and Emily made a bunch of really great desserts. Kent blew out the candles on his birthday cake then we had him cut the first piece but there was trick. See Kent is quite the jokester and always playing tricks on other people but this time Luke and Emily got him. The cake was really made out of Styrofoam. He got quite a kick out of that.

Then we took a bunch of family pictures.

Everyone had a great time and we were so glad to pull of the surprise.