Saturday, December 31, 2016

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

On New Year's Eve, we didn't do much.  We kind of hung around the house.  This year for New Year's Eve, we hosted Eric's parents and Aunt Teri.  We'd had them over last year, and it was so fun.  The kids were happy, stayed up playing, we played games watch movies.  Why wouldn't we want to do that again?  Even though it was the 4th time hosting people since School got out, we were excited.   

What a spread! 
We made Cheese Fondue, using brie and a bit of swiss, and a splash of wine.  Divine!  We had veggies, apples and bread to dip into it.  Now since Dad (Grandpa) isn't really one for froofroo, he wanted some Chicken Nuggets, and they had a deal going on trays from Chick Fil-A.  The 8 of us knocked out 2 trays (mostly the kids and Dad) in one evening! 
And there was goat cheese, crackers, and all manner of snackage and sweet things.  

The Grandparents talked the kids into playing Mexican Train Dominoes.  
I didn't get to play the game because I was getting sucked into trying to get a deal on Shutterfly. 
That was a failure, so I drowned my sorrows in Amaretto and we watched Die Hard together.  
Oh, and we had an epic battle of Apples to Apples. Eric won.  

The wardrobe of the day was the kids' new Rudolph jammies.  
They looked so cute.  

The kids started to wind down.  
They even watched the horrid performers on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve, which isn't even Dick Clark's anymore, nor rockin.  Mariah Carey was bad, and looked like she really needed a bra. 
But at least we can all laugh about it together. 

We watched the ball drop together. 
And everyone got a second wind when we brought out the sparkling grape juice.  
All was good, and we were in bed, with the place cleaned up by 1.   

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Willman Family Christmas

It's Christmas Eve, and I don't know what I was thinking.  I didn't break out my camera at all.  So all these photos were taken with Eric's phone.  Mine died the week before school got out.   So it's either taking the Beast, or using Eric's cell phone.   

This was the only picture taken of the festivities.   After presents, Chris and Jeremiah were content playing video games.  We actually got to sit around a chat a bit while the kids played.   My kids were kind of sad, because they got useful things, books and clothes.  But we had put a no toy rule on Christmas because they wouldn't keep their rooms and basement clean.   This was hard on them.  Even with that rule in place, the kids still had a good time hanging out with their cousins.  Or rather, playing with their cousins and their toys.  Either way, it was a good day.  
It was nice to just sit back and chill out.  Christopher stayed with Grandma and Grandpa at Aunt Amy's while Eric and I took the youngsters back home for a nap.  We ended up meeting at their church at 6:30 for the family Service.   We got to hear Alexis play O Holy Night, and Kaylee read the Passage.   It was really neat.   
Though, on our way home we realized we were hungry, so we hit China's Best Buffet.   I know it's crazy, but something about Christmas makes me hungry. 

Pryzma Family Christmas

Yesterday, for the first time in some years, we hosted my Mom and Sister and her girls for Christmas.  I've been trying to get together with them but they say they have been sick, so we did Christmas at our house.  We were just going to do appetizers, but then it turned out they didn't arrive until 6 pm.  Lisa informed me at 10 pm the night before that it would be 5 at the earliest, so we made it dinner by throwing some Ham and Bean Soup on the stove with some cornbread.  We have my Dad's Recipe which makes a great Ham and Bean  with a leftover Hambone from Honey Baked Ham.  It's always a big hit, and with the appetizers were already had, it would save the day.  But they arrived late.  And the sun had gone down.  And the kids were just getting crazy by the time the festivities began.

First we did belated Birthdays.  My sis and Mom couldn't make it to Christopher's Birthday Party last weekend.  So we did a Birthday Gift exchange first.  We got my Mom a couple goodies.  And they gave their Goodies to Christopher before dinner.  Chris was a big fan of the wind up toys that his cousins had picked out especially for him.  

My sister found a great present for my Mom.  She used to have this tiny clock from Brookstone. It was the Perfect Alarm Clock.   We used to call it Ticky.  (Yes, we named the alarm clock. We name everything.) But Ticky had long ago been lost or died, like 20 years ago.  

We got Lisa and Insta-Pot.  Lisa's theory has long been, "Housewares means Love."  If you really love someone you try to make their day to day life easier too.   So we got her this cool pot.  I've had some friends that make their breakfast eggs in it every morning in like two minute.  And you can crock pot meat in it from like frozen to tender in like an hour.  I actually kind of wish I'd gotten one for us.  

Aunt Lisa went with a whole theme for Christmas.  Since he's moving up in Scouts this year, and we had said No Toys, she got him Camping Goodies.  A special Army Backpack is on its way from Uncle James in TX.  And he got some great Campfire Roasting Sticks.  

Sam was thrilled with his new Pokeman Pikachu jacket. 
He loves Pokeman. 

Charlie was thrilled with the Strawberry Shortcake toys that I picked out.  
They smell like the originals that Lisa and I had way back in the day.  

Annie was also a huge fan. 
We couldn't decide who smelled yummier, Blueberry Muffin or Lemon Meringue.  So Yummy!

Lisa told me that the girls both slept with their dolls in bed last night. <3

One picture of all 5 yahoos together. 
This was as close as we could get. 
Special thanks to Aunt Lisa for getting all the goofi to smile.  

I wanted one picture of just the girls to send to James. 
I took them outside.  They looked beautiful in the green Christmas tree light.  
Sure, it's a little blurry, but it was a Beautiful Night.  
Merry Christmas Eve Eve. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Trip to the State Museum

I had asked a few times, if anyone wanted to go to the State Museum.  I had decided I didn't want to try the Children's Museum over Winter Break.  Too much crazy.  But I love the Indiana State Museum.  After the insanity of Christopher's birthday on Wednesday, and the weekend, I decided, we're going.  I didn't give anyone a choice.  We just packed up and went.

We got there pretty early, just after Santa had opened his door.  
There was no line. Mrs. Claus was greeting at the doorway, and kids just waltzed right on in.  
Actually, I'm happy to say they pretty much ran.  They still found joy even though they were denying it for a while.  

That's the money shot!  

I went ahead and asked the Mrs. to come in the picture, but by then Santa was talking to the boys. 
He asked Christopher what he wanted, and Chris said Jeans and a chair for his desk.  We found a desk last month and put it in his room, but it did not come with a chair.  I was very proud of him for not asking for toys.   The lost the privilege of toys.  Sam didn't tell me what he asked for, I wonder if it was Legos or toys or something.   

As we were standing by this bison (who I thought was hysterical, because his hat looked like mine) a stranger passes by while Eric was taking our picture and says, "Oh look, a bison.  It must be for the bison-tennial!"   Indiana is 200 years old this month.  And no, bicentennial is not the same as bison-tennial.  But it's still kind of funny. 

All three sweetboys fight over which planet they want to play on.   

From mastodon to moose, all my sweetboys. 

We can't go to the State Museum in December and not hit the Ayres train.  
It was so quiet, the boys rode the train a few times.  

This was my favorite train picture.  Taken with Eric's phone, because he was having trouble with action shots being blurry.  I pointed and shot before they even got moving.   And they all actually looked at the camera at the same time, which also wasn't happening either.  They look so handsome in red. 

We visited the 200 objects for 200 years exhibit one last time.  The kids got a kick out of Chuck Taylor's Chuck Taylors.  The big boys now have their own pair of Chucks in their favorite colors.  

Just outside the 200 exhibit was this cute little sled.  
They look so festive.  

We opted to go to the Ayres Tea Room for lunch and tea.  
"Say Tea!" 

This boy got himself a special birthday cone.  
They asked what we were celebrating, and it was his birthday the day before.  
He rarely requests to come to the museum, but every time we're here, he wants to go to the tea room!

Whip cream nose.  
This kid cracks me up. 

And check out who stole my spoon and commenced to steal half my bowl of Chicken Velvet Soup!

It was a wonderful visit.  The State Museum is one of my favorite places downtown to hit during the holidays.  Shhh.  Don't let the word get out, it's not as often crowded as The Children's Museum, and I hope to keep it that way.  But I love it just as much.  

Monday, December 19, 2016

Willman Fest

How Amazing it was to have the Willman Clan over to our home this weekend!   It had been two years since this many of us had gotten together. It has been a family tradition to have Extended Willman Family Christmas on the Saturday before Christmas, all of Eric's young life.  All the cousins would get together and have fun, catch up, play, visit.  I remember the first time I went to Willman Family Christmas, Grandma had made sweaters for all the grandkids (there's like 14 of them!). I had one cousin growing up, and he was 10 years younger, a significant difference.  Unfortunately, the weather was Extremely Icy, so there were a number of cousins that couldn't make it for the ice.  But we still had 35 people.

As it turns out my home can get pretty noisy with that many people.   Noisy, but Fun.

Chris got tired of the noise very quickly.  He was smart to go for his headphones. 
We brought up kid tables from the basement, and set them up for the kids.  They had a lot of fun sitting at their own tables. 

 A Super Silly Aunt indeed.  My nieces and nephew crack me up.  
We had everyone spread all over the house.  And there was lots of chatting, as everyone got all caught up.  It felt like it had been Years since we did this.  It had only been two years.  Still, it felt like a long time.  It was so nice to get caught up.  

What a great haul of food!  
We had ham, turkey, and brisket, with sides of salad, mashed potatoes, macaroni, corn casserole, baked beans, bread, deviled eggs and a relish tray.  Grandma always had pickles and olives out for snacking. I glanced down at one point, and saw sweet little Vera, one of our newest family members with black olives on her fingers.  She fits right in!  Willmans love Black Olives.   
Don't even get me started on Desserts! 

After our luncheon, we had a mini-recital. 
Back in the day, when Christmas was at Grandma and Grandpa Willman's, the kids (cousins) would all give a recital on their chosen instruments.  I remember seeing my mother in law do a flute duet with a cousin.  I remember seeing Uncles and Sons all playing trumpet together.   There are a lot of Willman trumpet players.  
This year, the next generation of musicians gave us a demo.  
Kaylee broke out her bells, and played Jingle Bells and Star Wars, the music of our people. ;) 

Alexis broke out her cello and played a duet with cousin Kyle who is accompanying her on her solo/ensemble piece.  I think it's a concerto by Saint-Senz.  There were a few hiccups, our piano needed desperately to be tuned.  And Alexis was apparently playing on a loaner cello, not hers.   Still, in spite of that, I got chills listening to her play.  

The whole fam was listening. 
And it was a Beautiful thing. 
It reminded me of old times at Grandma Willman's.  
How honored I am that our home gets to be the place to pass this on to the next generation.

Even little Jeremiah got in on the action. 
He became Alexis and Kyle's director.  
He's ready to conduct!

After almost everyone headed out, somehow my children were hungry. 
They needed a snack. 
Exhausted but cute.  

Jacob did a great job in underwear. 
He only had two accidents all day, which in the grand scheme of the level of insanity at our house, that's pretty miraculous.  It's also just an adorable picture of Grandma helping him wash his hands. 
I had made the mistake of sitting down.  

I couldn't get up.  

In fact, Jacob came over shortly after Mom and Dad left, and asked to snuggle.  
Eric told us we looked cute.  I said Take a Pic if you want.  I don't remember anything after that.  We were out cold for at least a half an hour.  I have no idea how it happened.  We were exhausted. 
It's taken me a couple days just to recover.  

Ice Ice Baby

We were really worried on Saturday when we woke up hearing we'd gotten an eighth to quarter of an inch of ice come down in the night.   Friends commented on early morning fb posts that they were stuck on the highway.  I-74 was shut down.  It was time to worry about our Loved Ones traveling, and wonder how we were going to pull off all we had cooking.  

Meanwhile, my backyard looked Beautiful. 

We decided to skip out on the Boys Gymnastics Class, and just take them to church.  We figured if it took twice as long to travel across Brownsburg as usual, that's like 10-20 minutes, as opposed to Zionsville which goes from 40-hour and a half.   Don't think so.  
Little did we know, the Gym agreed, and 8 hours after we'd made the decision not to go, we found out they'd cancelled the kids end of semester party for the weather.   Good thing, I hadn't wanted to drive that.   Our driveway was a sheet of ice.  Good thing that we could go slow, and that since our street had never gotten plowed last week, there were enough bumps still in it to provide some traction.  

Meanwhile, we turned the Christmas lights on, so the fam would see the trees. 
It made it extra sparkly.  And I love the bitty blue bokeh in the background.  

Check out that ice!  
We're gonna drive on that?!

Beautiful needles before they drop.
The Dawn Redwood is a tree whose needles change in the fall/winter, and drop, only to grow back in the spring.  It's one thing I love about this tree.  That and they grow Big! 

I love how the ice floats on the needles and sits on the branch. So cool. 
But not for long. 
Luckily, it got up to 35 pretty quickly, so by the time we got home from taking the boys to church, at 10, the ice was turning to slush.  Still, I'm glad I got these beautiful pictures of our Dawn Redwood. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Lexi's Concert

Time to get caught up on blogging again.  I have just not been doing as much as I want to with regard to blogging.  Tonight is a good one though.  On Monday night, I was honored to attend my niece Alexis' Orchestra Concert in Avon.

Over Thanksgiving, she Personally asked if I would come.  Um Yeah!   She never asks me to do anythin, she'd often rather chat on her phone to her friends when we get together, and that's ok.  I was a teen once too.  I didn't get to see my extended family as often as she sees hers, but I remember being annoying and bored by having to go to my Dad's all the time.  I figure she'll want to be near us just in time for her to go off to college.... which as it turns out isn't that far away either. Yipes.

Thanksgiving was the first time in what felt like a year that we actually got to spend some quality time together.  And it was Good.  And she personally asked me if I'd come to her Concert.  I'd never successfully been to one, except when she played O Holy Night at the Fam's church a couple Christmases ago.  And I cried.   So I wanted to go. We'd tried a couple years ago, and ended up at the wrong school.  What are the odds that two Avon schools would be having Orchestra concerts at the exact same time on the exact same day?! This time though,since I'd sprained my ankle, I carpooled with Mom and Dad.  We opted not to bring the yahoos to an evening (school night) concert.  Though I think Chris would've loved it.  I sure did.

That's My Girl!  
What a Beautiful Young Lady she has become. 

I know she was just getting ready, but our seats were not good for watching cellos.  We were lucky to see her at all. We were frankly lucky to get three seats remotely close together, as it was, I was down one and over from Mom and Dad.  That concert was Crazy Crowded!  
Although I can see why.  There were some amazingly talented kids playing.   

Alexis was Co-Principal on Cello.  Yes, that's our girl, a sophomore as First Chair!

Alexis had a Solo for Stille Nacht.  She opened up the whole piece, and it was Beautiful.

She has a beautiful Gift for playing cello.  I enjoyed watching her move back and forth, feeling the music, becoming one with it, the vibrato starting in her fingers but incorporating her whole person. It's an amazing thing to watch. 

She looks so tiny with those other big cellists.  
As much as I didn't like our seats because I couldn't see Lexi's face while she played, I kind of enjoyed being slammed by a wall of strong bass.  

About halfway through their performance, Lexi and her other co-chair switched so they could switch soloists.  The wall of cello sound still sounded great!

It was harder to see Alexis play.  But we did get a peek when she stood up.  

What a Beautiful way to start off the holidays.  
These kids are amazingly talented.  
I should've taken Chris.  He's picking an instrument this coming spring, and as much as I'd love it to be a cello, I suspect he's more a brass or percussion sort of kid.  Alexis is an amazing cellist.  She has more talent in one hand than I ever did.  It's an honor to watch her play.