December 20, 2011

Christmas Cards Recieved

Yesterday when I reached into the mailbox I saw some card envelopes. I love receiving cards, but these were not for me and this actually made my smile even bigger. These were addressed to Megan and Lauren. They each received 2 cards in the mail yesterday, one each from my grandparents, and one each from my Aunt. It brought me back to my childhood... I remember feeling so special when Grandma and Grandpa sent ME a Christmas card of my very own. I am so thankful that my Grandparents (and Aunt) are continuing on with this tradition, and watching my girls get all excited opening their envelopes is better than receiving a card that has MY name on it.

I think that next year I will take the time to send out Christmas cards to my nieces and nephews as well.

Christmas Album - Gift

This is an album that I made as a gift using the Birthday Occasions Folio tutorial from
I actually had to unwrap this gift last night because I wrapped it without recording the video!

December 19, 2011

JYC Catch Up

Ok.. I am just a little (ok, a lot) behind on the Journal Your Christmas entries! So this post is going to be a catch up post with multiple topics. I am still not sure if I will actually print these and make an album, but just in case I get motivated I had better catch up!

The Perfect Gift
Is there such a thing as a perfect gift? I tend to wait until November before I start shopping for gifts, I order the bulk of them online and I always want to find the "perfect" gift for someone. Sometimes I use wishlists (Amazon rocks!) and sometimes I can come up with a great idea on my own. Some gifts are handmade (yeah, I am still working on a couple of those...) but I am always nervous that the recipient will not like it. My goal for the future is to have MOST of the gifts that I give be handmade, but in order for that to occur I have to start working on them in January!

What's for Dinner?
For the Boettcher Family celebration the menu is different every year. We have had Ham, Turkey, Beef Wellington, Tenderloin, Crown Roast and many other options, this year we are actually having brunch. 
On the Frymire side the menu is part of the tradition, and it is pretty much a replica of our Thanksgiving menu. Turkey, sage stuffing, apple salad, orange jello salad, Amanda's homemade noodles, Mom's apple pie etc. 
I love that we have the best of both worlds and get the comfort food as well as getting to try something new!

Brown Paper Packages
I would love to have a huge pile of beautifully wrapped an coordinated gifts under my tree. The reality is a mix of gift bags, decorative sweater boxes, and gifts all in different colors/ patterns with a metallic bow stuck on top. I still have wrapping paper from at least 7 years ago. I tend to follow my Mom's tradition of wrapping each gift in a different paper. I know that I could start from scratch, buy some new paper and have my beautifully coordinated pile of gifts. But there is a part of me that does not want to "waste" the paper that I already have.
My plan for this year is to hit up the after Christmas sales and buy a bunch of pretty gift-wrapping ribbon and coordinating paper and start fresh next year. Lets see if that actually occurs though!

Oh Christmas Tree
I love the smell of a fresh tree, but I hate the mess. We have cats. Cats who like to climb the Christmas tree. I also do not enjoy putting the lights on the tree. Oh, and we now have high ceilings and like a 9 ft tree. So, artificial works for us! Our current tree is only a year old, so I am hoping that we get a few more good years out of it before we have to replace it. Maybe then we will consider getting a real tree. Or not.

A Moment of Clarity
There are a lot of things that I am grateful for this Christmas season. Family and friends are certainly on the top of my list. Both Eric and I have pretty stable jobs, and this year has been tough for some of my friends in the job arena which has made me very thankful for my job, and the career decisions that I made a few years ago.

Happy Birthday Eric!!!

Today is Eric's birthday, and though we celebrated on Friday I thought that I would take a few minutes to journal about our Birthday traditions for Eric. There really is only one.. Butterball Soup. Surprisingly enough I have never taken a picture of this wonderful soup. Even more surprising is the fact that this is one thing that Eric does not know how to make, and it is a recipe from HIS family! His Mom taught me how to make it a few years before she passed away. I am very thankful that I took the time to learn it from her, even though I do not enjoy cooking at all.

It is a Boettcher family tradition to have this soup for birthday dinners. We have modified the tradition a little, since as much as I love Butterball Soup, I prefer Chicken Marsala for MY birthday dinner and we let the girls choose dinner for their birthdays. We still make it, well I still make it, for Eric's birthday and we recently started making it on Judy's birthday as well.

What makes this soup so special? Besides all of the love put into it, there are these yummy little balls of bread, evaporated milk, eggs and butter... aka Butterballs that make an otherwise plain chicken noodle soup really yummy! And the chicken noodle soup is homemade as well, other than the noodles. I refuse to make the noodles when there are perfectly good options already made for me to use! I do have some limits!

This year Eric also requested a Black Forest Gateau out of a German cookbook that Sira gave us. That cake was a pain in the @ss, but it turned out pretty and tasted yummy! Next year I really should take some pictures!

December 15, 2011

Visitors/ Visiting at Christmas

We have a pretty consistent plan in place for spending time with family and friends for Christmas. Christmas eve we spend with Eric's family. This has evolved over the years from a full out formal dinner and then gifts when Judy was alive, to a more casual occasion. It is always more subdued now without Judy there... like something, or someone is missing.

This year it will actually be brunch instead of dinner to work around everyone's obligations. Christmas Eve evening we will go to the 6pm Mass where I will be singing with the choir, and after Mass we will get together with our good friends Dave and Bea and their 2 kids for drinks and appetizers.
Christmas morning is just the 4 of us for breakfast and opening gifts. While we miss Sira all of the time, I think that it will be hardest on Christmas! We do plan to Skype with her Christmas morning though.

Eric has to work at 11 on Christmas Day, so when he leaves for work I will let the kids play for a little while longer and then we will head to my parent's house for our 3rd gift exchange! There are always a lot of people crowded into Mom and Dad's house for Christmas. My grandparents, my parents (of course), the 4 of us, My sister and her husband, my aunt, my brother and his girlfriend, his kids, and even sometimes another niece and nephew.

Christmas for us is all about spending time with family and friends, and I love every minute of it!

December 14, 2011

Playing Santa

It is interesting how different families have different traditions for how to pass out and open gifts on Christmas morning, or whenever your gift exchange occurs.

With Eric's family a couple of people hand out the gifts and everyone opens them all at once. A little chaotic, even with such a small group, and it goes way too quickly. In the past we have tried to institute the one person open a gift at a time, but it rarely lasts long.

For our immediate family gift exchange it is one gift at a time, but this exchange is much smaller so it is easier. 

After all the gifts are opened Christmas morning at home, we go to my parents house for gifts and dinner. At my parents house someone is nominated to play "Santa", they have to wear a Santa hat and pass out the gifts to everyone. This can take a while since we usually have anywhere from 13 - 20 people crammed into my parents living room Christmas day. Last year my parent's exchange student Neila was "Santa" with some help from the kids.

After ALL of the gifts are passed out it is time to open. Youngest goes first, and everyone watches him open his gift before the next youngest goes.. and on and on. With this many people the gift opening/ exchange can last well over an hour. But it is nice because everyone gets to see what everyone else got, and we have an opportunity to thank the giver immediately.
I love our Christmas traditions!

December 9, 2011

Christmas Traditions

My favorite thing about Christmas is all of the family traditions that make everything about the holidays so special! We have many traditions, and I am sure that some of the others will get their own journal entry.. but the one that I want to share today is our annual visit to Crowne Center in Kansas City. 

We visit Santa (disclaimer... all pics are from last year. The ones from last weekend are still on my camera!)

Eat dinner at Fritz's where trains deliver your food to the table

Playing on the "playground"

And Ice Skating!

December 8, 2011

Christmas Card Procrastination

Every year I have full intentions of making some beautiful cards to send to my friends and family at Christmastime. A few years I actually succeeded in this plan... but the last two did not exactly happen the way I had envisioned. I ended up making photo cards instead. Still kinda personal... right?

This year... well this year I had so many ideas floating around in my head and saved on my Pinterest boards. I bought the cutest stamps from Papertrey Ink and said that I would definitly make my cards this year.

It is now the 8th of December, and I have not inked up any of the adorable stamps that I bought. I have not even cut out and scored the cards. Yeah, I know... it is not going to happen. Luckily for me my dear sister sells Stampin' Up, and has monthly make-and-takes at her home. And for the past couple of months she has included at least 1 Christmas card each month. So between those and some extras from previous years I think that I have enough cards to send out this year. I will have to make a couple of special ones, after all I can not send my sister a card that she designed!

(Yes.. I know that I am way behind on my Journal you Christmas entries. I will try to catch up, but no promises!)

December 2, 2011

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

but the fire is so delightful, and since there's no place to go,
let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

That pretty much sums up my opinion of winter weather.  As long as I do not have to go outside in it, I love snow. Everything looks a little bit magical with a layer of glittery snow covering it, and Christmas just is not the same if it is not a White Christmas.

However... as soon as I have to walk out in it, drive in it, or heaven forbid actually shovel it, my opinion of snow quickly deteriorates. 

I am just not comfortable with a cold nose and ears, and it takes me forever to warm up again! Eric on the other hand loves the snow, and for the most part the girls agree. Of course this means that I am guilted into snowball fights and snow-cave building (ok.. to be honest the snow cave was built while I was at work

Eric is even trying to convince me to move to Wisconsin when we retire! I am still not convinced and have agreed to a compromise that involves traveling somewhere warm from January - March.

(disclaimer... it has not yet snowed in Kansas this winter so these pictures are from 2 years ago. I did shovel snow last year, I promise... no one was brave enough to attempt to capture it on camera though)

December 1, 2011

Journal Your Christmas

I really have been crafting.. but it has all been gifts and I either can not post about it yet,or I just have not taken a picture of it yet since I usually craft at night!
I did want to post about the current "class' that I am taking though, it is Shimelle Laine's "Journal Your Christmas". I have not decided what form this is going to take album-wise, and did not want to get behind so I decided to use my blog!

I am kinda cheating... I decided that I liked Shimelle's Christmas Manifesto so much that I was going to use hers. She did give us permission though!