Tag Archives: christmas

December 2017 – Recap

This was our first Christmas in South Dakota… and our first real snowfall that we’ve seen in a while.  The worst part though wasn’t the snow at all… it’s the temperature!  We had one week, near the end of the month where the temperature didn’t get above 10 degrees for nearly 4 days, and I didn’t even count how long it went without getting above freezing!  It’s just cold… and windy!  But we have blankets, and we get snuggled up and hang out watching our TV shows or playing board games.  I love when we are all together.  I don’t love having to get out in this cold weather and get Chyna from work! 🙂


Ron is still working on his online class and participating in Jujitsu.  He and I were able to attend a Holiday party for one of his squadrons, and the theme was Blue-Collar.  We also attended the tree lighting at the chapel, which was cold, but not too bad.  And he wanted to make hot chocolate gifts to take to his coworkers for Christmas.  He was off work for a few days around Christmas and New Years, and we loved having him home more. Ron is also doing a Runner’s World challenge to run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Years.  He usually has a place he can run inside, but it was closed on Christmas day, so he had to get all covered up and go for his run anyway     


I didn’t do much this month that was different, except I started my first official bullet journal.  I also went to a new beauty shop to get my hair colored.  I don’t have good before and after pictures of my hair, but this is the best I have.



Chyna turned 19 in December!!!  She is still working at Starbucks in Target and she’s nearly halfway done with her Vet Assistant certification.  We took her to Fuji’s Japanese Steakhouse and had a great time.  She was also in charge of our sausage balls for Christmas.


This month Price had his very first youth group meeting.  The chapel is starting a new youth group, and they met at our house for a planning meeting.  He’s looking forward to doing lots of things with them while we are here.  He’s also become our snow shoveler.  He likes doing it, so he goes outside when there is any snow on the driveway and shovels it.  He also got his gymnastic award for Levels 1 and 2!  He’s doing a great job!


Wesley collects Funko Pops, and he got to add a lot more to his collection this year.  Wesley got his Level 1 gymnastic award and it ready for level 2.  He also had a great time at the local library here meeting some Star Wars characters.  Wesley also finished cub scouts and will be officially moving up to Boy Scouts beginning in January… he and Price love the new troop they will be joining.

We had a great December, and even though it is getting VERY cold outside… we are still loving our new house and our new assignment.  We can’t wait to see what January and all of 2018 have in store for us.


Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
My mother’s Orange Delight Salad for Christmas Day Dessert
My great grandmother’s turkey dressing and giblet gravy… I make this every year for either Thanksgiving for Christmas. This year I made it for both holidays. I’m getting good at it!
We all dressed up in Star Wars gear to go see the new movie, The Last Jedi.
We watched Jumanji the day after Christmas. It was SOLD OUT! And awesome!


Christmas Eve Pizza making
Jango took over Chyna’s onesie that Santa brought her.
Everyone got a new onesie for Christmas!


If you haven’t seen any of our weekly recaps on youtube.  Go follow us there for weekly videos of what is going on with us.  These are definitely NOT professional, so please excuse the quality in some of them!

Christmas Traditions

I love to hear about what people do for Christmas, and it’s amazing to me how many different traditions there are around the world.  I wanted to take some time to talk about our family’s traditions.

When we joined the military and moved away from home, we had to really decide how we wanted to integrate our individual family traditions to make our own.  We tried new things at first and just experimented until we found what we liked best and what fits us best.

My sister-in-law, Tonya, always got a gingerbread house and she and Price put it together.  This was their own little tradition and they did it together every year until we joined the military.  So now, we get a gingerbread house kit every year and Price and Wesley put them together and decorate them while remembering the pasts houses and talking about Aunt Tonya.  I love this new tradition!

For the rest of our traditions… Let’s go back to Thanksgiving… we usually just do something non-traditional for Thanksgiving.  When we lived in Turkey, we went on some trips over Thanksgiving weekends.  Most years, when we had moved back to the states, and when we lived in Spain, we spent Thanksgiving with our friends, and even a few Thanksgivings we managed to make it back home to visit.  This year, we went out to eat at a Chinese buffet in town.  It was delicious!

The end of Thanksgiving day is always when we get out all of our Christmas decoration boxes.  We then spend the rest of the weekend decorating the house.  It was more fun for me this year, for some reason.  Maybe because we own our house for the first time, or maybe it’s because the kids are all old enough to help out and do things that they like about the decorating.  Also, after Thanksgiving day, we get out our favorite Christmas movie, A Christmas Story, and we turn it on while we are decorating.

We always get the kids some kind of Advent calendar.  This year, we got three of the random ones for the kids before Thanksgiving, and then we found some star wars ones, and couldn’t resist getting those for the boys… so now Ron and I have advent calendars for the first time.

So fast-forward to Christmas Eve.  We always have some kind of church service on Christmas Eve on base, and then we come home and make our Christmas Eve pizzas.  Everyone picks out their own toppings and then we “decorate” our own pizzas and bake them.

We usually watch a movie together or play games until bedtime.  On Christmas morning, we make sure we skype with all of our parents (this usually requires multiple devices), and then the kids come in and see what Santa brought them.  Then we open the gifts from the grandparents who are still watching on facetime/Skype, and after we say goodbye to them, we usually take a break to eat some breakfast.  Our breakfast is usually muffins, poptarts, or something we can grab quickly.  This year we bought some frozen cinnamon rolls, so we will warm those up and eat them.

After we grab a quick bite to eat, we all pick a spot where we will open gifts, and then the kids hand out the gifts (this is something I LOVED doing as a kid with my cousins).  Once everyone has their pile of gifts (no one has the same number of gifts, but we don’t worry about things like that), we begin to open the gifts one at a time.  I know this might sound crazy to some people, but I like to be able to see what everyone is opening and so we go around one at a time and open them.  We open one gift and then the next person opens one.  When someone runs out of gifts in their pile (it’s usually Ron or I first), then that person is just skipped on the subsequent rounds.  Once all of the gifts are open, Ron gets the trashbag of wrapping paper out of the way and we all start to put our gifts away (or take them to play with immediately!)  We spend the rest of the day just hanging out and playing with our new toys or watching movies.  This year, however, we are planning to go see an afternoon movie.  The new Jumanji movie is coming out this week, and we’ve decided that Christmas Day will be the best day for everyone to be able to see it together,  so that’s when we are going.  I cannot wait for this movie.  I have seen multiple trailers for it and I laugh every time.  It’s going to be hilarious!!

Anyway… that’s about all of our Christmas traditions.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

We have finally ordered ugly Christmas sweaters for everyone and they are awesome.

Ron – His favorite Christmas movie is A Christmas Story, so the leg lamp was perfect for him.

Amanda – I’m actually wearing an old sweatshirt of my mother’s.  It is very comfortable and I kind of hate that it’s considered an “ugly” sweater.  I secretly love it… well, that’s not a secret anymore!  Jango loves his ugly sweater, and he loves to wear it

Chyna – She found this cute “ugly sweater” dress on amazon, and I actually like it.

Price – Star wars is completely fitting for him.  He loves his sweater.  I love how the light-sabers light up.

Wesley – Mario!  He was Mario for Halloween one year, and has always loved Mario.  His sweater is super cute.

This is my favorite family picture… I love it!