Friend-Filled Weekend!

Friday evening, Tyler decided to head to Arkadelphia for some time with his fraternity brothers during pledge week.  I had planned to go to a birthday party at a friend’s house…so his leaving only meant I could stay later and guilt-free (except once I was at the party….I saw it wasn’t girls only, and if he was in town, he could have come! ha!)

It was a brunch party at Kacee’s house!  So fun!  We all wore our PJS and ate breakfast for dinner!  The guys wore chef hats as they made the pancakes and bacon and gravy!

Chef Jamie and Chef Tedd

Emily made the BEST maple bacon cupcakes that sounded weird but were so yummy!

We watched a movie, ate dinner, and celebrated the sweet birthday girl, Whitney.  I also got to play with their sweet kiddos!  Emily cracked us up!  We were doing a birthday Mad Lib and she sprawled out in the kiddo picnic table!
She is a petite lady…but that is one tiny table!

Saturday, I got up and went to the gym, did some grocery shopping, and then came home to party prep.  
Around 3, I headed to Tyler’s shop.  He was rearranging, so we did that for a little bit and then went to dinner with his mom, uncle, his cousin and her bf, and some of their friends.  A fun dinner with everyone at one of our fave Mexican places, Joe’s!
Sunday, we did church.  Brother Ronnie preached about overcoming through faith.  We are actually starting a series about overcomers from the Bible and I’m so excited about it!  After church, Tyler and I had Chinese and came home to finish party prepping.
Friends starting arriving around 4.  We ate, talked, laughed, ate some more.  I got to play with two sweet kiddos and rub on two pregnant bellies (yes, we are basically the only friends without kids!  I am content playing with others’ kiddos!).  The boys watched the game, but for the most part, us ladies talked.  We really shared our hearts and talked about what God is doing in our lives.  It is so great to have friends to share and talk with!  I thank the Lord that I have made friends here!  
For the game, I was going for the Patriots, but they lost.  However, my mom and I had a little bet going, and I had 7 points…so I technically won the bet even though I lost! 😉
I thought the halftime show was pretty good.  Yes, she was doing some lip-syncing…but you can’t hear yourself in such a huge area to sing…so they pre-record it.  We used to do that in Branson (and at Tiger Tunes!).  I thought she looked great, moved great, and had a great set!  (And I would totally be in church choir if we wore sequined robes like CeeLo’s!)
The friends all left around 10:30ish.  We cleaned up a bit (and by cleaned up…I mean we threw away trash and packed up the leftovers.  There is a pile of dishes in my sink. But the fun was TOTALLY worth it!)

The mound of dishes I must do tonight because our kitchen is being worked on tomorrow!
I LOVED our friend-packed weekend!

Christmas Dates!

We had a fun little weekend with some Christmas dates! 
Friday after work, I headed to one of my favorite little shops downtown, Creative Kitchen, to do a little shopping.  I found some fun stuff for myself and a few gifts!  Then Tyler and I went to dinner at a place that was new to us!  We tried out Pizza Warehouse.  It is a pizza-buffet-game-room type place, but I had heard they had really great pizza.  And they did!  Their normal pizzas were great…and our favorite was their chicken alfredo pizza!  Yum!  Then we went next door to Big Lots and did some Christmas shopping for our Mikey!  After that, we saw Sherlock Holmes with Tony and Nancy (my in-laws).  The movie was soooooo good.
Saturday, I ran some errands, wrapped presents, watched Christmas movies, napped, and then we had my work Christmas party.  It was a big party in town and they had a tacky sweater contest. This was my get-up. (along with some co-workers and other folks)
  Here is our picture from the photo booth! (please note Tyler’s “vest.”  It was a women’s sweatshirt that we cut up to be a vest.  And Tyler said “You wear ties with vests” so he put on a tie with his t-shirt and cut up vest!)
They gave all the employees $50 Walmart gift cards too!  I’m so glad to work at a place that is so great to their employees.
Sunday we did church and lunch (Chinese, if you were curious), then we came home and watched several episodes of Lie to Me on Netflix.  Then we headed out for dinner at Beef O’Bradys.  It is a neat sports bar with big TVs everywhere along with little TVs at the booths.   
We watched the Broncos (Go Tebow) play (and unfortunately lose).  We had a yummy dinner and then we drove up to Fianna Hills to look at Christmas lights!
The (incredibly huge, expensive) houses there were decorated beautifully!  Lots of lights and some fun stuff….like this house had Pooh bear and Tigger!
 This whole street had houses decorated, and each yard had a Disney character sign with a line from The Night Before Christmas.  This one was Goofy and “The Stockings were hung by the chimney with care”
 This house was my favorite!  You can’t really see it all…but that is a light up choo-choo with spinning wheels…and in front was a penguin that was throwing a snowball.
 On the way home, we saw a bunch of lights and followed the lights to this great little house that had its yard covered in lights, blow ups and big Christmas signs!
I am so thankful for the fun that comes with this time of year.  So glad to be able to share it all with Tyler and our family.

The Great Christmas Cookie Swap

Yesterday we hosted a cookie swap for a bunch of friends after church.
The friends were mostly people Tyler went to high school with…and a few other church friends.  It was SO FUN!
I didn’t get a picture of everyone there…but so many fun friends came out!  We really enjoyed talking (the women talked about pregnancy- there were 2 preggo ladies there- babies, work, faith, and funny stories…and the guys played with Tyler’s RC car and watched football after eating and eating and eating).  Such a great time.  We have already decided to have a superbowl party at our house so everyone can get together again!
Tyler put up the “Party’s Here” sign as we came home from church.
 I had the whole kitchen set up for food!  The wine table held the plates, napkins and forks.
 The first part of our counter had the sandwhiches….ham rolls, tortilla rolls ups, and club sandwhich puffs.  Pretty much everything was eaten!
 The next section had BBQ meatballs, chips with bean dip and salsa…
 The past the stove was pita chips and hummus, crackers and pepper jelly, bagel chips and cheddar dip…
 Chips and french onion dip, veggies and fruit trays…
 And for drinks we had crock pot hot chocolate (which was DELISH and such a hit!) and tea and water.
 Nancy spent some time holding baby Myles.  Mikey was HILARIOUS with the babies.  He didn’t bark, he didn’t whine, he didn’t bother you while you held them.  He just kept his eyes on you.  Here he is craning his neck to see the baby.
 Jessica also got to love on Myles.
 The whole kitchen was full of friends.  It is such a blessing to have friends to fill our home with laughter!
 These were all the cookies.  Everything from chocolate chip, mint cookies, white choc caramel, oreo bark, oreo balls, thin mints, and more deliciousness.
 I got to love on baby Myles a bit too!
 But Myles wasn’t the only adorable baby to visit!  Ian was asleep during the first part of the party, but when he woke up he got passed around too!  Ian is 9 months and so fun!  He was playing with some of my tupperware containers and some balls around our house!  Precious!
We stuffed ourselves from the food and cookies and then laughed off all the calories (I wish!)  
God has really blessed us with some great friends here.  I am so thankful that these people who grew up with Tyler have embraced me and loved on me too!  They are a fun bunch!  Can’t wait to get together again soon!

Housewarming Weekend

**Edit/Update: Dad’s scan came back clean! The spots they saw were just gallstones…which are SO much better than cancer! Praise the Lord!**


So I spent all weekend preparing for our open house/housewarming party! Friday night I started baking and cleaning, and then Saturday (with the help of my amazing MIL) I got it all done Saturday. She even helped Tyler with the yardwork!

We had a GREAT turnout for the open house! We called it an open house because housewarming brings connotations of gifts…and we just wanted people to come look at the house- not feel obligated to bring gifts! So I baked a TON of goodies and we just opened our house for guests! We had about 60 people show up in a just a few hours! I was most surprised by my Aunt Bobby and Uncle Jerry showing up! They live about 2.5 hours away and they hadn’t told anyone they were coming! So when they knocked on our door, I was shocked to say the least! ha!

I didn’t take any pictures with people because I was busy showing them the house and talking, but these are all the goodies set up before the party.

This was the island stocked with all the goodies!

Lemon mini cupcakes!

So many yummies: mango salsa with cinnamon chips, cinnamon bark, m&m brownies, vanilla petit fours, mini peach pies, brownies with peanut butter mousse, chocolate chip cookies and mini spice bundt cakes…

And these were the hits of the party: oreo truffles (aka oreo balls) and cheesecake stuffed strawberries (recipe at the bottom of this post!).

And I had lemonade, sweet tea and water in my pretty drink dispensers!

It was so great! We felt so loved that all these people came out to see the house and support us! Thankful for great friends and family who love us!

And for the recipe. These were seriously the hit of the party:
Cheesecake stuffed strawberries:

-1 block cream cheese
-1 cup powdered sugar
-2 tablespoons butter
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1-2 pounds of strawberries
-1 cup crushed graham crackers

Cut off the tops of the strawberries and hollow them out (I just used a small paring knife and took out the middles with one circular cut around the middle).

Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and butter with a mixer until whipped.

Put into a piping bag, or if you are like me, a ziploc and cut the corner off.

Pipe the mixture into the strawberry holes.

Dip the ends into the graham cracker crumbs…and enjoy!

SOO good!

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