Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

You may have seen these floating around on Facebook - but here they are again in all their glory!

Benson's sisters and I decided it was time to update the family picture and in a very special way. Since everyone was in town over Thanksgiving weekend we all planned ahead and secretly (without his parents knowing) got together, dressed up, and went to Wal Mart to have these wonderful portraits taken.

I can't wait to see the look on his parents faces today when they get to open their extra special present from all the kids - this beauty printed large and framed!


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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Robin Hood

I've told you all before about how my family likes to party - especially when the party has a theme.
When asked what kind of party he wanted, my nephew Jake decided Robin Hood would be the most fun. I got to go up to Lakeside and help Jake's mom with the party which was a lot of fun. It was a crazy day but the party turned out so cute and all the kids loved it!

As all the kids arrived they first had to get in costume. Each of them got a tunic with a sash, a Robin Hood style hat and a fabric coin bag (like the ones in the animated Robin Hood) to carry all of their goodies in.

The hats were made of felt and each boy got one with a feather....
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and each girl got one with a feather and a little flower - they were so adorable!
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After getting in their "Merry Men" gear - they set off to decorate their swords which they then carried in their sash next to their money bags

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We had lots of "Robin Hood" games like

Jousting

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"Pin the tail on the donkey" type bow and arrow game
(we made arrows by cutting craft feathers in half and gluing them onto twigs we collected from the back yard)

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And a treasure hunt where the kids followed clues all over the yard until they found Robin Hood's hidden treasure box full of gold coins (chocolate) and jewels (candy necklaces and ring pops)

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For dessert, Heidi used melted chocolate to make arrows to top each cupcake

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAKE!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NASCAR!

Back in November Benson and I became true American's and went to the NASCAR race in Phoenix. We knew before going that people get serious about NASCAR but after going...all we can say is WOW.

As you arrive at the racetrack you drive over a hill and in the valley below, spread out for literally miles, there are thousands of campers, trailers and tents creating a "NASCAR City" all around the track. Basha's even has a "grocery trailer" set up where you can buy essentials such as ice, TP and doughnuts. People had even brought golf carts, quads and bikes to get them from their front "porches" to the track.

We got there early in the morning and people were up making breakfast, heading down to the track, and buying awesome NASCAR merchandise. We were lucky to have track-side seats and pit passes which made the experience extra exciting. The most shocking part about the whole thing was how LOUD the cars are. It was something we probably won't do again - but it was quite the experience and the people watching was totally worth it.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Pie, Pie, Pie

Definitely my favorite thing to bake! I always volunteer to make the pie's for my families Thanksgiving and when Benson and I spent our first Thanksgiving together I was thrilled to find out his family has a pie making party the night before Thanksgiving and make tons of pie.

Pecan pie is not my favorite but I made it for my first time this year for Benson and my dad who both love it.

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I also tried making another new pie - Caramel Apple - it was amazing.

The holiday's aren't over yet - there are still plenty of pies to be made and I need some new ideas...what kind of pie should I make next?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Getting Crafty

Every now and then my girlfriends and I get together and have a craft night.
It's fun to hang out as girls and chat and as new homeowners and students we need all the decorations we can get and on a budget so it's a lot of fun to make them ourselves.

We got the idea for the latest project from this blog and they were so easy - I absolutely love how mine turned out.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

The Circus!

"Hi, we're the Garner's and we like to party"

But really, we do.
We like to have big theme parties with costumes and entertainment and games.
We think of any excuse we can to have an elaborate party.
This time, it was Mandi's birthday.
We had a circus party.

We had circus food
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Nachos

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Corn Dogs

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Popcorn

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Snow Cones

Elephant ears, doughnuts, lemonade, custom labeled water bottles and cupcakes!

Circus Decorations
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See that false ceiling under the porch? We also had that red bunting, a tent entrance made of streamers and over 50 balloons and painted circus posters.

Circus games
Plinko, duck draw, the ping pong ball goldfish game and a ball game.
In the games you could win tickets then trade them in for awesome prizes from our prize table!

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Circus entertainment
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A balloon twister

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A dog clown show

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Palm reading


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And face painting


We had circus performers
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Clown, psychic, traveling quack doctor

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The bearded woman


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Strong man

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Tightrope walker

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Mime and another clown!


We had lots of fun!
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Happy Birthday Mandi!


Friday, November 12, 2010

The Trip - Part 15 - The food

If nothing else, this post proves that I have an un-healthy and delicious obsession with food.


New York:
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Not pictured: Street vendor hot dog & pretzels and fresh deli sandwiches

Philadelphia:

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(I've been craving Rita's since we left)

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Not pictured: Stromboli

Washington D.C.

If you were following me on Facebook at the time you may have heard this hilarious story. It was LATE at night and we had just finished up a long day of running all over tarnation and we were absolutely starving. We figured Wendy's was a good enough choice, after all, they do have frosty's.

So we pulled into the drive through behind our trip buddies (Benson's Aunt and Uncle) and since we had a couple of their kids in our car they told the lady at the drive through window they would just pay for ours as well.

She, not understanding we were all together, was extremely excited to let us know that the car in front of us had so generously payed for our meal, "They pay for you!! $14.95 they pay! For you!" Benson couldn't let the opportunity pass and decided to play along. Let's just say his response to her telling us this "wonderful news" included him getting teary eyed and thanking her profusely.

Well, once we got back to our hotel room we started distributing our food and noticed that some of it was missing. One of those somethings being one of Benson's two burgers. He was really frustrated since he was really hungry and hates getting ripped off but decided to just let it go and eat the burger he did get. That was, until he removed the top bun to add ketchup and found that his "double cheese burger" was actually just a "single cheese burger patty ripped in half with cheese in the middle"

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I still think it was bad Karma for him deceiving the poor lady in the drive through.

Not pictured: Chili dogs from Ben's Chili Bowl