Monday, November 30, 2009

Cassie's Birthday Part Deux!

Before we left Michigan, my folks wanted to give Cassie her own little bday celebration, complete with presents.
Although, it was still a day early Grandma let Cassie open her presents (we would be driving back from Michigan on her actual birthday.)
During one of our many outings, Cassie said she wanted her very own apron. So of course, G'ma wanted to get that for her.

Cassie also got a black sweater (almost exactly like the one I have) and black Faux Uggs from G'ma and Papa.

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The next day, which was her birthday, we had to drive 14 hrs home to NC. Poor Cassie. What a way to spend her bday. But G'ma thought ahead and bought Cassie gifts for every state we crossed into. It was very sweet and I think it helped make her special day, well, special.

When we finally arrived home, I had arranged for my friend Erin, to pick up an Ice Cream cake. Erin went the extra yard and put up a Happy Birthday sign and buy special plates and napkins.



Happy Birthday (again) Cassie! You are one lucky kid!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Festival of Lights

While up in Michigan for Thanksgiving, us Hammies like to stick to a few of our own little traditions. For example, we ALWAYS go to Panera (there isn't one by us), Mega Coney Island for Coney Dogs and   we always have to have a ceasar salad from VG's.  (Wow, our lives really do revolve around food.) But another great little traditon we've started is going to Howell's 'Festival of Lights' parade.

I love Howell. Have for the longest time. In fact, Howell is where Jon and I got married. In this beautiful little church, tucked off a side street in downtown. Hey! Lemme find a pic for ya......

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Hmm....these are the only good ones I could find that had the church in the background of it. Ah well....
But to continue on, the Festival of Lights is held on the day after Thanksgiving every year. Black Friday was a very special day for us - it was also Jason's 8th Birthday! What a lucky guy he was to have his very own parade!
That night, around 4:30 we headed on down to Howell.  We found the pefect place along the parade line. Marked our spots with blankets and chairs......

.......then we decided to walk around town and check things out.There's this alley that had a bunch of vendors down it. They were selling all sorts of food, hot chocolate (b/c BRRRR! It was COLD!), holiday greenery, light up toys and crafts of various sorts. They also had a booth where the kids could come and decorate cookies. We stopped there first with the boys.

Did I mention, that it was COLD out? So cold in fact that the frosting they had for the cookies wouldn't spread. They had to place it on a heater a few times to thaw it out.

After the boys were done decorating, we hit up a vendor for some Holiday Hilarity! Check out Mom and Cassie in their cool new hats......

But the best part of this little alley way of treasures, was what was at the end.

Do you see what's behind the kids there? Yup! Reindeer!!!!! Santa's reindeer to be exact. The kids got to have their pics with them and they got to pet them. Those are some lucky kiddo's I have. I don't think I ever got to see reindeer when I was a kid!

Speaking of reindeer, I was pretty lucky that night to come across my very own treasure! I ended up with my very own SHINY NOSE.

Yup. I was one cool chick that night. I had no problem rocking the flashing schnoz all night.  Of course then, everyone else wanted a turn and because I'm such an awesome person, I let the kids have some fun too!

But, I have to say that I just love this picture. Best one of the night.

Only followed closely by this one.....

Finally, the sun had set. The air was chilly, our toes and fingers frozen. It was time for the parade.

I love this parade. I mean, lately parades have tended to be one big advertising plug or political campaign. (Fenton's 4th of July parade anyone?) But this one is nothing but floats and vehicles covered in lights. It's so beautiful. My pictures do not show it justice. (Plus, they were taken with my iPhone, so there is that.)

These are just a few of a 1000 of the pics I took of these. But like I said, using the iphone camera is not the best for this type of thing. But you all get the jist. After the parade was over, we swung by my brothers house, picked him up and headed home. It was also Jason's birthday, so we sung him Happy Birthday, had some cake and ice cream and let him open up some gifts.

It was a great end to a fabulously busy day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Zombie Game Night

For Thanksgiving, we took a trip up to Mom and Dad's in Michigan to celebrate. Of course we had to bring along our favorite game - Last Night on Earth.  My brother, Kurtiss fell in LOVE with it! Jon and I already have a strange, yet fascinating obsession with all things Zombies (Will they make a Twilight-ish movie involving Zombies? C'mon - you know that'd be good!!!) So we bought this game a few months ago and have gotten everyone involved in playing it. Friends, Family...unwilling strangers. It doesn't matter.

So one night while chill'n in Michigan, we pull out the game. It's actually pretty fun. For all you geeks out there (totally not me, btw) it's kinda like Dungeons and Dragons. You have cards that let you use weapons or make events happen. A zombie can lay down one card and you can cancel it out with another or help another towns folk with one of your cards. Sounds confusing but it really is fun. So fun in fact, that I actually got sick of playing it while there. Every time Kurt was over, we played. I should really think of getting that for him for Christmas. LOL

Here's Cassie and my Momma, enjoying the game......

A few more of game play action.....

Cassie is LOVING the game....

 Finally, my Aunt Kelly and Uncle Marty showed up to play some Poker with us all. We dragged Aunt Kelly into the game by kicking my Mom out (Mom couldn't keep up with us Zombie Geeks).

It turned out to be a real fun night. We finished up the game by defeating the Zombies (who btw are always played by Jon. Poor guy!) We then moved on to Poker where Jon and I ended up making money! It was a lucky night for us gamers!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

German Noodle Time

Every Thanksgiving, my Mom makes German Noodles. It was a recipe passed down from her Mom (and possibly her G'ma too. I'd have to check.) This has been a staple in our Thanksgiving menu since before I can remember.
We gone home to Michigan for Thanksgiving the last few years. Each year, the kids all get to help Mom make the noodles. Cassie is in charge of mixing all the ingredients together. But this year, she got to roll them out and cut them as well!!

The boys and I, unrolled noodles and placed them all on paper bags on the table to dry out. The noodles need to dry for at least, two days before they can be cooked.

It's such a fun night of cooking, flour messes and family time! We look forward to it every year.

Finally, being the Betty Homemaker that I am, I whipped up some pumpkin pies. I had to add a little something-something to the crusts. Jon thought it needed to be documented, so here ya go!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!