Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas in Wichita

We headed up to Wichita to be with our families over Christmas.  We try to take turns staying with my parents and Nick's parents, alternating each time we visit.  This time was with my parents.  We had a great time with our families and it was so nice to have a few extra days to spend with them.  We had a gift exchange and delicious food at the Willis side Christmas (my mom's side) on Friday and then we spent all day Saturday with Nick's side of the family, doing Braschler Christmas in the morning, a delicious lunch and meeting up with my family for the Christmas Eve (afternoon) service.  We popped in for about 15 minutes to the McElroy traditional Christmas Eve party (my mom's grandma's family) that night.  Then on Christmas morning we had Christmas with my family and followed that up with Dad's delicious biscuits and gravy and mom's delicious monkey bread.  Boy were our bellies happy!  We headed to church afterward to celebrate the birth of Christ and join in singing praises as Todd led worship.  We went back to my parents to get ready for the Goetz Christmas (dad's side) and Grandma's house - mexican food style.  Yum!  It was our first Christmas without Grandpa this year and we sure missed him. 

I was reminded once again how generous our families are.  We are so blessed to come from such giving parents.  While we do enjoy all of the material gifts we received this year, nothing comes close to the memories that were made and joy that we shared as we celebrated Jesus' birth!  It is so wonderful to be able to join together with our families in doing so and to teach Caleb what Christmas is all about. 

And now for some pictures:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Getting Organized for 2012

So, 2012 is right around the corner and along with the new year comes the itch to get things started off right.  Get organized.  Get clean.  Start resolutions (and hopefully follow through and finish them).  Here are a few of my organization goals for 2012:

1.  File papers
Ever since we moved and had a baby (who is now a one year old. Yes, I know.), our filing of bills and other important papers has been this:

A drawer full of important things to keep.  I was super organized a while back with our file cabinet and folders and all that jazz.  Then the pile started and there was no turning back.  So, the goal here is to file the existing pile and file as things come in.

2.  Clean out emails
Currently in my personal email inbox, I have 752 emails.  Yes.  Most of them are online deals that I don't want to forget about, so I keep them in my inbox so that I will see them.  My goal is to get the emails to keep in the appropriate folder and delete the unnecessary ones to the point that the only emails in my inbox take up only one screen.  For example, the first page is emails 1-25, so that means no more than 25 emails in my inbox at any given time.

3.  Organize pictures
We keep our pictures downloaded pretty regularly and organized well, but I still have some on my old laptop that I need to transfer over to our desktop computer.  I read this post on organizing photos and making photobooks that I would love to implement with our family.  Now is the time to start, before the load gets any bigger and then keeping up will be so much easier. 

4.  Chore chart
I'd love to make a chore chart for myself, or really just make a schedule for doing household chores.  Now laundry and dishes are an everyday thing, but I want to make a weekly plan for things like washing sheets, vacuuming, mopping the floors, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. 

5.  Workout schedule/routine
I'm signed up for another Biggest Loser competition at work that will start January 6th and last for 12 weeks.  This really helps me stay accountable with weigh-ins and somebody recording my progress.  And maybe I'll win some money this time!  I'd like to get back into a routine and try to do the couch to 5k program that a lot of people have had success with.  And be flexible to use Jillian Michaels' 30 day shred on days when it's too cold or icy to go outside.

6.  Meal planning
This is something that I've hoped to do ever since we got married.  My mom got me a cool meal planning set from a Thirty-one party that she went to.  It has a weekly meal plan for each week for an entire year.  Four meals a week, a weekly shopping list and recipes for all the meals.  I can't wait to break into this and start using it.  This will be so great for busy weeks and with working a full-time job.  I'll let you know how it goes! 

The book is full of 12 months of meal plans!  It also has recipes and other fun tidbits.  Awesome!

This cool thing is a notepad with a magnet on the back and when you go to the grocery store you just rip off the top sheet to take with you!

Anyway, just thought I'd share these on the blog to help give myself some accountability.  Like if you say something out loud, then you feel more committed to it??  Here's to completed goals and organization for the new year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Family Christmas

We celebrated Christmas with our little family of 3 on Saturday morning, since we will be in Wichita on Christmas day.  We woke up early and read the Christmas story in the Bible.  Then opened stockings and presents.  It was so fun with Caleb this year, because he was so much more into it!  (of course, last year he was only 7 weeks old, so there's not too much excitement happening at that stage).  :)  And since the poor baby was miserable at his party with the rash, this was much more enjoyable.  Here are some pictures of the morning:

A future Braschler singer in the making... :)

Caleb loved coloring!  He got some crayons, coloring books and construction paper and didn't care about anymore presents after that.  

He makes such goofy faces.  :)  

Caleb also got a Megaland!  Tunnels and a "ball pit".  

And we finished it off with the traditional monkey bread.  Mmmmmm....good!  

We played all day and then Tyler, Robyn and Jackson came over for a Christmas dinner - ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole (I need to share this recipe with you!!  So good!), green bean casserole, corn, bread, and delicious homemade apple pie and ice creamf from Robyn!  We played games and had a great time.  

On Sunday, we visited the dear folks at First Christian Church in Gravette and then I spent the day making cinnamon rolls and Nick spent the day doing laundry.  :)  Cinnamon roll making is a Goetz tradition.  Every year as far as I can remember, my dad makes pan after pan after pan of cinnamon rolls and hands them out to all the neighbors and other friends and family.  They are legendary.  I wanted to continue the tradition down here in Arkansas, so yesterday I made 16 pans of cinnamon rolls.  Yesterday morning I took some to work and to Caleb's daycare and last night we delivered them to our neighbors.  Yum!!