Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

It's 6:30am Christmas Eve morning and I am the only person awake in house full of family. Santa Clause is merrily rocking away outside the window in the front yard and the sun is just beginning to come up over the hill. It's been a whirlwind week, but Christmas is nearly here!

Sunday morning, my Dad drove our family to the airport to catch our flight to Las Vegas. Our final destination being Tehachapi, CA, which is just four hours from Las Vegas, we opted to have one long flight and to drive the remainder of the way. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 11:20 and we arrived at the airport around 9:45am. As soon as we pulled into the departures lane, our jaws just about dropped. There were lines on top of lines of people waiting to check their bags. We gathered the kids and all of our bags, hugged my dad goodbye and proceeded to figure out where were supossed to be. Five hours later, we made it to the check-in counter. Yes, five hours, two Lunchables, one box of Teddy Grahams, and many games of Eye Spy we made it to the check-in counter. Obviously, we had missed our flight, so we waited to see what flight they would put us on. We were put on stand-by for a 5:50pm flight and we also got seats on a 7:5opm flight. Relieved to finally have tickets in our hands, we headed for the security check point. With two kids, this is quite an ordeal, but we survived. After checking in at our gate, we had a quick lunch at Burger King and tried to make the the wait as fun as we could for the kids. They were troopers to be honest, they did a fabulous job, even though Katelyn was totally sick with a cold! Five more hours passed and we boarded our flight, hoping that our luggage was riding with us. The flight was 4 and half hours, so we watched movies, ate snacks and the kids slept on and off. Again, they really did a great job. We arrived in Las Vegas at 9:30pm, and discovered that our bags were on a different flight that would not be arriving until after midnight. Tim and Becky, Ben's younger brother and his wife, were picking us up from the airport to make the drive to Tehachapi, but plans quickly changed since we had no baggage. They picked us up and we drove to Ben's older brother Jonathan's house, which was only 30 minutes away, and they put us all up for the night. The next morning, we drove back to the airport, retrieved our bags and started the drive to Tehachapi. Are you tired yet? Mind you that we are used to Eastern Time and we are now traveling in Pacific Time. So, we are all a little out of whack. To make a long story short(er), we arrived in Tehachapi around 4:30pm, a little rumpled and worn out, but happy to finally be at our destination.

Since we have been here, we have woken up to a surprise snow fall (Kate was so happy!), driven to Bakersfield for a little Christmas shopping, watched plenty of movies, and had lots of fun just spending time with family. Stay tuned for "Christmas with the Burgesses". Merry Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thanksgiving Tradtitions

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The day before Thanksgiving it is our tradition to go to our church's Thanksgiving dinner. It's huge and delicious, and I don't have to cook. Well, usually I don't. This year I volunteered to cook one of the turkeys. After reading a fabulous sounding recipe at My Kitchen Cafe I really wanted to try my hand at a Thanksgiving turkey. I have a made a few turkeys in my lifetime, but none of them were something to write home about. With Katelyn as my assistant in the kitchen, we prepared the turkey according to the recipe. The most unique part of the recipe we used was the final step. We coated a brown paper bag in butter and tented the turkey in it. After two and half hours in the oven, out came the moistest, juiciest, most flavorful turkey I can ever remember having. Success!!

"Painting" the paper bag with butter

The Turkey Tent

One Delicious Turkey!

On Thanksgiving, we usually go to my dad's house for dinner and in return we cook breakfast Thanksgiving morning. It has to be cinnamon rolls and breakfast casserole. Yumm. It really just isn't Thanksgiving morning (or Christmas morning) without them. We spent the rest of the morning laying around on the couch watching the Macey's Parade and flipping through Black Friday ads. It was perfect.

Last year, after Christmas, Ben and I bought new LED lights for the outside of the house and he was really excited to the try them out. So, we bundled headed outside and spent the afternoon putting up Christmas mights. Ben did a great job, and we love how cheery our house looks when we drive up!

Kate and Ben hard at work

Ben and the ginormous ladder

After Josh's afternoon nap, we loaded our share of the Thanksgiving feast into the car, grabbed this kiddos and headed to my dad's house. Dinner was delicious, and we were all too exhausted to even make it to dessert. It was a great Thanksgiving!

It also tradition to go shopping on Black Friday. I was up an ready to head out the door to Walmart at 4:30. While Ben and the kids slept, I was armed with my shopping cart and a list of great deals to find a store that was complete chaos. I ran into fellow Black Friday shoppers, Jessica and Anita and we compared lists. After Walmart, I took on Target and AC Moore. It was worth it, I scored some good stuff at great prices.

Our last Thanksgiving tradition is to decorate our house for Christmas the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. We like to enjoy the decorations as long as we can. What can I say... I love Christmas!

Our sweet girl by the Christmas tree