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Another One for the Record Books


Whew, what a GREAT weekend!!!  OMG, this one was so super great!  Lots of family, friends, food and laughter – perfection!

It all started Saturday when Andy and Aiden left bright and early to go Christmas shopping for me.  Yippee! Ha ha!  Every year since he could drive Andy has loaded up his mom and they’ve headed off to the big city to go Christmas shopping.  This year Vickie had knee replacement surgery so Andy took Aiden along, too, so he’d have some company when Vickie’s knee was hurting and she needed a break.  Brennan, Tate and I, otherwise known as the Pea Pod, stayed home and made sugar cookies and just hung out watching Pioneer Woman and the Holiday Bakeoff Competition on Food Network.  Ho ho ho! 

That night was GNO for me!  I met up with 5 of my favorite girls and we piled into my car and headed off to the Christmas Tour of Homes in my hometown.  There were 5 houses on the tour this year, all great homes with fabulous decorations!  We oo’d and aw’d, secretly snapped a few pictures of ideas we wanted to steal and try at home then went out for supper afterwards.  Supper was great, we all stuffed ourselves and had a little gift exchange.  I was given a really pretty, soft infinity scarf and a cool picture holder that she found at a craft show.  We all left feeling fat and happy, what’s better than that?

While I was gone Aiden and Brennan decorated the cookies we had baked.  They used LOTS of frosting and LOTS of sprinkles. 


Somehow the mess was left for me to clean up when I got home that night, go figure!  But that’s okay because Andy was hiding in the basement wrapping my presents!

Sunday was our Marie family annual Tree Hopping afternoon.  This is something we came up with 21 years ago!  The aunts were all sitting around at Thanksgiving talking about how they go to all the effort to decorate for Christmas yet no one ever sees it. So we started Tree Hopping.  It’s a full afternoon of eating, looking at Christmas trees, talking, laughing, being with family and driving from house to house.  Seriously, the best time ever!  This year we went to 5 houses, spent about an hour at each house munching and chatting.  My one cousin is now vegan (she grew up on a farm, how did this happen?? LOL!), so she helped her mom make a bunch of vegan dishes.  They had Brussels sprouts, hot wing cauliflower, fruit pizza and a few other things I can’t remember.  OMG, it was all amazing!  Those cauliflower hot wings were to die for!!!  Tasted just like chicken hot wings!  Yum yum!

Anyway, it was the perfect afternoon and evening.  I love that the little kids (we call them the great-grandkids to differentiate between those grandkids and ‘us’ grandkids) all get along so well! No fighting between them, ever!  I could sit here and count out how many great’s there are for you but I don’t have the time – Tate needs a diaper change.  But yesterday there were 10 running around, all having a ball together!  Here are a few pics of people you don’t know but who I call family!


And a couple pics of my Tater Tot because I never could get a pic of the bigger kids playing since most of the time they were outside.


Already excited for and looking forward to this coming weekend!  Merry Christmas everyone!


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  1. That sounds so fun. I think maybe I should bring up a "Tree Hop" to my family. Or even better to our close group of friends. The girls never see each other because the guys are always out hunting together... this would be soooo fun.

  2. The tour of homes sounds so fun. I wish something like that was offered here. There are some INSANE houses around us.
    The Tree Hopping event is the greatest idea ever! I can only imagine what fun was had by all.

  3. Those cookies look so good :) what fun ideas!

  4. Tree hopping sounds so much fun! Such a great idea - except nobody better come to my house this year! Ha! It's a mess!