The Chapmans Come for a Visit

 Sunday, December 30, 2012

We were so excited to have some of James' side of the family come down to Arizona for a visit! They got here the day after Christmas in the evening and left early Saturday morning. When they arrived we opened Christmas presents! We had so much fun & here are the pictures to prove it!
 On Thursday we went to The Cerreta Candy Company Factory & participated in the tour. Here we are standing with the cactus made of pure chocolate! 
 Mesa Temple Christmas Lights
 It was a little chilly 
 citrus tree covered in christmas lights
 the gorgeous mesa temple
 Here we are as a family
 Had to blow this picture up so you could see James' adorable face. He is so happy!
 Again, another great picture. I love my hubby!
Just the girls
 Haha I love Marissa's face in this one.
 The Nativity
 Wise men traveled far
 great shot of the temple and the moon!
 Marissa touched a cactus for the first time!
We made rice krispie treats and decorated them together.
Our other activities included playing cards (the game Scum), completing a 750 piece puzzle of a Thomas Kincaid christmas painting, after Christmas shopping, walking to the pond to feed the ducks, a hike up Thunderbird Park, a tour of James' school, homemade lasagna & homemade taco soup (yummm), and shopping with mom & Danielle at Last Chance (a store of major markdowns/clearance/used articles at Nordstrom) where we scored several pairs of Ecco shoes, & two pairs of TOMS shoes! Success!
We absolutely loved having Mom, Dad, Danielle, Preston, & Marissa  stay with us for a few days to celebrate Christmas & spend some quality family time. We love you!


Christmas with the Chapmans

 Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas with the Chapmans: 
On Christmas eve we watched my favorite Christmas movie of all time: It's a Wonderful Life. This is my favorite family tradition. I cry every time. We of course watched this while eating homemade cheeseball & crackers & fudge & toffee. We also read Luke 2. 

We woke up Christmas morning to eat cinnamon rolls & open stockings
 Our Christmas Tree this year
 My favorite ornament
 James & his gifts...can you tell which one is his favorite?
 An iPad!!!

My gifts include silk pajamas, books, a curling iron, a new hand mixer, and other goodies
 I love my pretty hardcover copies of Little Women and Pride & Prejudice
We also got a ton of movies! Several Disney movies that we are soo excited about!

 Christmas Day picture
 Love him.
 We had bacon wrapped asparagus
 with ham & cheesy potatoes
 the food was really good!
 Then we went to see Les Miserables!!!!!
 Let me just say that I am in love with this movie!
 Christmas collage
Skyping with my brother Elder Fakkel!
 We had a wonderful Christmas this year. We are so thankful for the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are thankful for our families. We love you all. 
Merry Christmas!


Christmas Festivities

 Sunday, December 23, 2012

So much has been going on since I got done with school and I just haven't had time to blog! Lots of Christmas festivities going on and only 2 days till Christmas, so let's play catch-up! 
Here we are leaving for our date to Rock Bottom Restaurant where we visited my amazing friend Sara who is a server there. We had so much fun that night & the food was soo good!

We started decorating the day after Thanksgiving 
James putting up the tree!
Nativity & Advent Calendar~gifts from our family last year
Our 2012 Christmas card.
homemade peppermint hot cocoa mix in mason gifts to coworkers & friends
close-up of the layers of cocoa. you can find the recipe here
number of goodie plates to our friends this year = 18

Candycane Kiss Cookies. 
Recipe from my friend Alex, you can find on her blog here

I went to 3 Christmas parties this year. James went to 2 of them with me.

The first was an all girls Christmas party. Some of the medical student wives got together and had food & a gift exchange. My friend Carly hosted it and I went home with citrus smelling hand soap, thanks Cim! I forgot to take pictures :(

The second party we went to was hosted by one of my dance friends Alejandra, who we call "Ollie" for short. I ate TONS of food, we watched Elf, played Just Dance 4 on the Wii, and played the gift exchange game. We went home with a Brita pitcher & some candy...thanks Sara! Here are some pictures.
Eating lots of delicious food!

Ollie even had homemade hot chocolate with frozen whip cream stars!
Love my dance fam. Dom, Sara, Ollie, & us.
Ollie was a perfect host! 
Dom, Sara, James, Chelsea, Celia, Andy, Ollie
My beautiful dance bestie, Sara!

James & I were so excited when a gift arrived from Nana & Grandpa!
Harry and David Gourmet Gift Towers are sort of a Fakkel family tradition.
We loved eating the juicy pears, chocolates, & other goodies this gift had in all those boxes!
Thanks so much Nans & Gramps! This brought back lots of great memories :)

The third Christmas party we went to was hosted by the Killpacks, our good friends Luke & Jenna!
Food was amazing. James made chocolate chip cookies~his family recipe. We played two fun games that we also played last year. The candy bar game which involves two dice & lots of candy bars that you can steal from each other. The other game involved money wrapped in several boxes that you can only win by unwrapping only using your oven-mitt covered hands, and it also involved 2 dice. The boys had their money to unwrap, and the girls had theirs. James was so close to winning the money! I won the money for the girls game. It was so fun!
 This is the best picture, except none of the kids are paying attention.
Trevor, Chad, James, Than, Luke, Claire & Whitney, Nicole & Taylee, Me, Rex & Ixchel, Jenna & Eliza
 This picture is better of the kids but the flash was really bad near the boys so I just cropped it.
 Cutie Rex. His onesie says, "meet me under the mistletoe" I could kiss those cheeks without mistletoe!
 Our Christmas present to my brother Peter who is on a mission right now. He LOVED Herbie as a kid and we enjoyed watching these movies growing up. I think our favorite is Herbie Rides Again. I will hang on to this until he returns.
Our Christmas Sunday pictures
 Christmas Tree.
 Pine Tree.
Merry Christmas Sunday!
I found this anonymous note on my car window at work! I really did smile! It was such a nice surprise. Just a reminder to be nice to people this season, and all year long! I'm going to pass this on, and hopefully write nice notes throughout the year & leave them on car windows!
So remember, Happy Holidays, MERRY CHRISTMAS, & Smile! Have a fantastic day! 


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