Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Our 2014 annual Christmas party with friends Jan 9, 2015

Our annual Christmas party with our friends turned into a Epiphany party on January 9th, 2015.  The theme was "WE THREE KINGS".

We have had this party for many years and I will share the themes from previous years.

This is a list of the parties since I started keeping track.  I believe we had parties several years before that.

2000 - - - - - -2000 ornament                      2009 - - - - -Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
2001 - - - - - -Patriotic                                 2010 - - - - -White Elephant
2002 - - - - - -In glass container                 2011 - - - - -Joy to the world  
2003 - - - - - -White Elephant                      2012 - - - - - Old fashioned Christmas
2004 - - - - - -Nativity                                   2013 - - - - -Piece on Earth
2005 - - - - - -Home Made                            2014 - - - - -We Three Kings  
2006 - - - - - -WINGS                                      2015 - - - - -What in the heck is it?            
2007 - - - - - -Let you light so shine           2016 - - - - -Angels we have heard on high
2008 - - - - - -Sound of music 

We started the evening with a Epiphany devotion from
 Higher Things and prayer.   We also discussed the meaning of the"THREE GIFTS" of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. 

                            Then on to the food.

I cheated this year and served Subway sandwiches.  It didn't seem like it bothered anyone.  Everyone brings something delicious to share.   
The food!

We took some time to just visit and catch up on things.  it had been quite some time since we had all been together.

For the last 11 years, since our 2003 White Elephant party we have had one gift that is passed along every year and turned into something that goes with the "Theme" of our party.  It has also been given for birthdays and anniversaries. 

This year Rich got the "BEE" as it originally started out as.  It had been changed into one of the kings.  A wonderful job and he even had a Treasure box full of Gold for the "Baby Jesus".   It came with the other two smaller wise men.  Latter Jim Snyder who created this masterpiece gave Rich the whole nativity set that had been purchased by his mother-in-law at a garage sale. 

Another unique gift, very neat Wise Men,  "THREE KINGS". 

The front!
This was my gift,  I was a bit confused at first thinking this was a "real" Wii game.  Now that would be a great idea.   It was made up, printed and put together by our friend Rich.  The inside had a CD with a doz or more burnt recordings of  We Three Kings by different groups and musicians.   
The back with "game" description.    Nicely done Rich!

Another gift was a  nice picture of We Three Kings.

After everyone had their anonymous wrapped gift by picking a # and having the chance to trade with one of the other un-opened gifts,  there was one final twist to our gift opening.  

I brought out this nice large red wrapped gift and ask if anyone wanted to trade for this gift that could be a simple tooth pick or penny or maybe something really nice.  It took some contemplating but finally we  had a taker, Nancy went for the trade.  

OH MY,  It's another wrapped gift.

And yet another smaller gift!

And yet another very small gift.  Oh no, what could it be?  

A Target gift card with the "THREE KINGS" on it.

I will share pictures of  many of the 
"BEE" make overs/creations through the years.
 I hope you enjoy seeing them .

2005  "Home Made"

2006  "wings"


2009  "Let It Snow"

2010   "White Elephant"

2011   "JOY TO THE WORLD"  

                               2012   "OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS"     (the BEE was the tree.)

 2013    "PEACE ON EARTH"

2014    "WE THREE KINGS"

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Our two week round-robin Christmas Celebration with Family #3

We traveled from our youngest daughters in Western ND to my mothers in Eastern ND and spent several days with each.  Now it was time to head South to Nebraska for a few days of fun and Christmas celebration with our oldest daughter and family.  It is very special when we can see our loving family at this special Blessed time of year.   The time we receive Gods greatest gift of love through His Son Jesus and the promise fulfilled. 

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given . . .  Isaiah 9:6  

These are special warm hand knit wool socks that I got from my daughter.  I appreciate every stitch and YES, they are nice and warm. 

Below is our daughter holding her very healthy African Violet plant that she got from my mother.  It started from a very small plant. She has her grandma's green thumb. I would guess it is the biggest, healthiest African Violet that i have seen!   

Our 17 year old granddaughter has also inherited the Green Thumb.  She started this from just one leaf and it is doing fabulous.  

In October our family moved my 93 year old mother into a beautiful assisted living apartment at Prairie Rose.  Being close to Christmas I divided up much of the farm house treasures and wrapped a pkg full for her daughter-in-law, 5 grandchildren and their husbands, and  8 of the great grand children.  That was 18 presents I got to wrap and give out as a special gift from my mother.That was a lot of stuff. I am sharing a few pictures of the opening excitement and fun.   
Fun clip on earrings picked out by Great Grandma and  hand made bulletin bead necklace.

Sorting and looking at her Jar of old buttons.  Big sister shared some pretty colorful beads with her.     All three of our granddaughters were excited about all the craft beads from Great Grandma Hanssen.

Hey look!  A "OWL" pot holder.   LOVE IT!

Our grandson looks intently at some WWII souvenir's from his Great Grandpa Hanssen, remembering many of the stories he had told him in the past.

Our daughter with her Grandmothers colander/strainer
 and other memorable items. 

Below our son-in-law is amazed at this vintage leather cigar holder or carrier. He quickly added 3 of his personal cigars. 

It didn't take long for little snuggle bug to sit on her Papa's lap.   Special memories! 

I had to share some pictures of the beautiful Christmas decorations and Advent wreath that is lit for daily devotions.  

One of the things from my mother's home that was given to Charity was a Krumkake Iron.  She was delighted and it was no time and she had two batches of delicious Krumkake made.  She gave some to neighbors and we enjoyed some on Christmas with real whip cream and fresh berries.  YUM!
The more she made the better they turned out.  YUM!

There tree with all the gifts around was beautiful.  I never tire of seeing the Christmas trees.  Charity and Birk still use the ribbon bow with my mothers hand crochet bells as tree ornaments. 
 These were originally made and used on the church pews almost 20 years ago for their wedding,  How special to have you grandmother crochet over 20 bells for your wedding.  

Our 6 yr old granddaughter was getting beautiful with hot rollers for the Christmas Eve childrens worship service. 

YES!  That hair turned out beautiful.  

All dolled up in her pretty Christmas dress.  

Below  is our oldest Granddaughter practicing her piano Christmas corol.  The half hour before the childrens worship was set aside for numerous children playing a special Christmas selection.   It was great to be there to hear our 4 oldest grand-kids play their piano selection. 

Time to capture a picture of each of our 5 grandchildren before the trip to the church.

Our oldest granddaughter. 

Our youngest granddaughter age 6 still wearing her size 4 dress. 

Our beautiful smack in the middle granddaughter. 

Our 9 year old grandson with his spiffy bow tie.
Our grandson who is the very musical is big brother of the bunch. 

All five of our grandchildren dressed for the Christmas Eve worship service.   

Then pictures with Nana and Papa and some with their parents.  

After the Childrens worship service the congregation handed out bags of peanuts and candy for all the children.  Now home the two youngest have to sort and divide.

I love this natural picture of the three oldest.  This was after the worship service and I guess it was snack time.    Actually, I think the blue hanging christmas ball really setts this picture up. 
Christmas morning gifts,  The smallest is for the oldest going from left to right.  The largest was for the youngest.    Good things come in small packages.

Even beautiful Rusty kitty gets a Christmas gift.  "TREATS FOR RUSTY"  He thought he had been such a good kitty he should get the whole bag of goodies and not have to save some for latter in the week or month. 
Pictures below are the children opening their gifts.  You can tell from the big smiles that they are very appreciative and excited about their gifts.  

WOW!  New boots.  Love them!

That has to be the smallest amplifier for a Guitar that I have ever seen.  Believe me, it can put out the volume too.  It will be interesting where he takes his music.

Below, the high school Junior only gets a piece of paper.   What could it say?       What?  a senior ring?  Marvelous Christmas gift!  

The pink scooter works just fine.

The girls each got makeup travel bag with a couple items for their enjoyment.  

We gave mom and dad useful items.  
Reversible hen/chicken/rooster apron. 

Delicious prime rib and corned beef for Christmas day.  I'm sure we all ate way too much and then still snacked on a lot of goodies.  

Time for some doodle, coloring drawing fun
 with a fun gift for the youngest.

This has become a annual fun event for Christmas afternoon, using the spray silly string from their Christmas socks.   

It's a good thing it comes right off!  

Fun day and a nap for dad.  The little one is a good pretender but it was cute. 

Mom showing her Nebraska Husker spirit.