Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year’s Eve


I got this great idea from a friend and was so excited to start a new Haas Family New Year’s Eve tradition.  I bought 7 bags and labeled them by the hour, starting with 6 p.m. and ending at 12 a.m.  Each bag was to be opened on the specified hour and contained a family activity for that hour.  Not only would we have a blast, but all the activities and anticipation kept us awake until midnight!  All of us had a difficult time waiting until 6 to kick off all the fun.

At 6 p.m. we opened the first bag.  It contained all the things we needed to make cookies.  We had ritz crackers, peanut butter, and chocolate flavored almond bark.  This ended up being a huge disaster!  The cookies were a mess and looked terrible.  However, they still tasted good and Liberty had a lot of fun making them.



Daddy and Emory sat in the kitchen and watched as Liberty and I made a huge mess!

After cleaning up, it was just about time to open the 7:00 bag.  Now that Liberty had a better idea of what was to come, she was even more excited.



The second bag contained a family craft.  I tried to think of something we would be able to save and look back on throughout the years.  I came up with these ceramic tiles.  Again, what seemed like a great idea turned out to be quite messy.  However, after a small learning curve, we were able to produce a rectangle tile with each of the girls handprints.  Later Liberty would paint and decorate them.

I was very excited about the 8:00 bag.  It contained a new game for the family.  Playing games is one of Liberty’s favorites and something we do on a regular basis.  The challenge is finding a game that all of us will enjoy.  Liberty could sit and play games like Candyland and Hi-Ho Cheerio for hours, but Scott and I need something a little more stimulating.  I finally settled on Apples to Apples.  This game helps Liberty with her reading skills and is a great way to learn the meaning of words.  Plus, it can be super hilarious.  Even though it was a little above her reading level, she loved it and we all had a great time.








By 9:00 I was ready for a quieter activity.  I knew this wouldn’t be as exciting for Liberty as all the other gifts, but I thought it was really important.  For awhile now, Scott and I have been saying scripture-based blessings over the girls before they go to sleep.  I have been meaning to print them out but just never have.  This was a perfect opportunity.  Each girl got a sheet of paper with her name written on it.  It listed the blessings that Scott and I want to speak over them this year and their scripture reference.  I also chose for each girl a specific character trait that I wanted them to focus on this year.  I specifically wanted Liberty to focus on not being afraid.  I wrote out several scriptures that I thought would help her as she prayed through them this year.  Emory was a little more difficult since she is so little and is not old enough to participate on the same level.  Instead of focusing on something she needed to work on, I chose something that is already a clear gift of hers.  I want to continue to encourage her to be Joyful.  I listed the scriptures that support this sweet gift.  After we talked about the scriptures and blessings for each girl, we watched a slide show of pictures from the past year.  This was Emory’s favorite.  She loved watching all the pictures.  She kept blowing kisses to the tv.



At 10:00, Emory went to bed.  There was no possible way she was going to make it to midnight.  Liberty opened the gift by herself.  It was a movie and popcorn.  It was the perfect gift to get us almost all the way to the 12:00 hour.


At 11:00, Liberty opened a bag that contained candy.  I just want to mention that Scott had fallen asleep on the couch by this time and missed the opening of the 11:00 gift.  We should have eaten his candy!  We saved it for him though and he did wake up about 15 min later.  We at the candy and finished watching our movie.


The countdown begins! We opened our 12:00 bag about 10 minutes early.  It, of course, contained lots of party stuff—tiaras, horns, party poppers, steamers, and balloons.  Emory woke up right before midnight and was able to celebrate for a few minutes before we all headed off to bed after the best New Year’s Eve party ever!



Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Holidays


The Haas Family has a few standard Holiday traditions and it seems each year we add a new ones and tweak old ones.  We kicked off the holidays this year by heading to my parents house for Thanksgiving.  Scott took the whole week off, which is really rare.  We decided to drive to Dallas first.  We spent the day shopping at IKEA (Scott had never been before) and then spent the night with our great friends, Mary and James.  It was nice to have a break in the long drive and when we got up we were only an hour and half from Mom and Dad’s.  My sister and I spent the day cooking and preparing for the feast the following day.  It was so much fun and we had a blast just hanging out and playing with the kids. 

007On Friday, we went to Rochester to decorate Lilly’s tree.  Scott was able to go with us this time which we all enjoyed since he is rarely with us when we travel to TX.  Plus, this was the first time he has seen the improvements that my parents made to our family plots (pouring the curbs and filling in the low spot with dirt).  It really has made all the difference and looks so great now.  Oddly enough, it was freezing that day so we didn’t spend a lot of time there.

After Thanksgiving it was time to really start gearing up for Christmas.  One of our Christmas traditions usually includes going to the tree farm to cut down our tree.  Unfortunately this year we had to skip our annual trip to all of our dismay.  We simply didn’t have the room this year to put up a big tree.  We settled for a 4ft artificial tree.  Since we were all a little disgruntled at having to skip one of our favorite holiday events, we put the tree up before Thanksgiving.   Liberty also insisted on putting Christmas lights up in the house since we couldn’t put them up outside this year.

Something we have done for several year now is go ice skating downtown.  This is Liberty’s favorite thing to do.  She talks about it all year long.  Again this year, it was so warm that the ice in the rink was actually melting.  I was a lot more like trying to water ski on ice skates!  Liberty was soaking wet within minutes.  She is finally old enough that falling down isn’t all the fun it used to be.  She had a lot of fun, but she didn’t argue when it was time to leave.









Scott has refused to skate for the past couple of years.  Instead, he hung out with Emory and watched.  We also attempted to visit Santa Clause the same day.  This is a hit and miss tradition with us.  Because we don’t actually teach the girls to believe in Santa it usually isn’t a high priority.  This year, however, Liberty insisted on going.  We went to North Pole City because we had been told that he was the best Santa.  From what we saw it appeared to be true.  However, after waiting for over an hour we gave up!  This girls had fun looking around the store and riding on the train though.044

Christmas cards are my favorite part of the holidays.  I love sending them and I love receiving them!  We ended up taking three different Christmas pictures.  Our first shoot went very badly and all the pictures turned out terrible.  The second shoot was a winner.  The girls looked so beautiful in their Christmas dresses.  We ended up using that photo for our cards.  However, when I went to address them, I realized I was 10 short.  We ended up taking the third picture at church one night.  It turned out so great too and we used that pic for our last 10 cards.

2010 HHBC Christmas PhotoChristmas photo 2010

This year during the Territorial Christmas here in Guthrie, Liberty performed in The Nutcracker in a Half Shell with her dance studio.  She was so beautiful!  She did a great job with her routine and was so proud.  She had two different performances and after each we gave her flowers.  I think she thought this was the best part! It was her feel so special.



Finally, Christmas Eve!  We celebrated by attending the candlelight service at our church.  It was such a great kid-friendly service and Liberty really enjoyed it.  When we got home we had dinner and a birthday cake for Jesus.



In and effort to save time, Liberty decided we should buy a pre-made cake from the store.  She thought this one was the most beautiful!  She had to add her own decorations though.

On Christmas Eve the girls always open pajamas.  This year I found the cutest matching snowman PJs.  They looked so cute.


Christmas morning Liberty managed to sleep unitl 8:30.  Since we stayed up late the previous night, I had to wake the baby up so we could open gifts.  Scott and I try very hard to keep the gifts to a minimum and make them thoughtful.  This year was especially fun because Liberty had been wanting a scooter since she broke her little one this past summer.  So, of course, we got her a new “big girl” scooter.  I also decided to get her a sewing machine.  She definitely wasn’t expecting it and was totally thrilled.  Emory was easy this year.  She got a baby and a little radio.  She was just happy to open something.


Liberty’s reaction to opening her sewing machine.



090After we opened presents, we got ready and headed over to have Christmas dinner with our good friends, Ellen and Spencer.  Of course, there were more presents there too.  We had a great time and came home full and happy for afternoon naps.


We had an amazing Holiday season this year.  We were all so happy and so blessed.