Monday, December 21, 2009

'Tis the Season!!

As if the LoudAmericans weren't busy during the other 48 weeks of the year, but the holiday season sends us into overdrive. We have definitely groups of friends/family that we include in our traditional "holiday good cheer" each year. Here's the updates so far...

THANK YOU - Kay's 1st grade class is tracking the Gingerbread Man across the world as he travels to spread sugar and good cheer - Thank you to EVERYONE from aournd the world that spotted him and emailed Kay's class. There are some pretty amazing sightings, check them out!

Gated Community Glee Club - we got together if our favorite neighborhood families for a night of Mexican food and a sing along. You'd think that we'd be singing Christmas carols, but no... not this group. Our songs of choice? Show Tunes! Yep ... Fame, 9 to 5, Sound of Music, etc. Tim was on piano, Niel on guitar and I was on tambourine. It was a blast and afterwards Jimmy's comment was "wow, Tim's really good, he's better than I thought on the piano!".

Happy Hour Group - yep, that's what they are called. Its a group of friends that have known each other for 19+ years. We all worked together (at Target) right out of college when happy hours were plentiful and frequent. They have since morphed into bi-annual appetizer-fests at our house with dogs, kids, etc. We are all still great friends; as can be attested by the fact that we all are currently sporting the same hair cut:)

I Nonni & Greg/Des - By FAR my favorite restaurant with favorite friends. We brought the kids & Nikki over to their house and they all had a blast on their respective play dates. Dogs, kids and the grown ups too! 12 different Italian dishes with 2 fantastic reds. Yummmmmm

CCP - (Cousins Christmas Party) - My favorite Murphy family tradition. The standing invite list is Tom's 32 1st cousins and their partners/spouses. No kids, No "grown ups"... Games, food and drinks. This years theme was $10,000 Pyramid, chili, bonfire, margaritas and talk about our kids. It was our 1st time attending in 3 years and I have to admit its the Christmas event I missed most when we were gone.

Lazy Sunday - The Murphy's/Millers re instituted our lazy Sunday afternoon traditions in Bangalore with 3 People magazines, a holiday movie, martini's, sandwiches and soup. It felt great to just relax with our "other" family. The only difference? the kids played in the snow instead of the pool and Ang & I coveted head oils.

VanMeters/ornament making - Another yearly tradition, getting our families together for good food and a little holiday spirit. This year the event was ornament making and bake your own pizza. Good easy, relaxing, fun Monday night. They are heading on a beach vacation in 2 days so they were in pre-vacation mode already (not as relaxing for them as it sounds, packing and preparing where still in their plans, but it was great to get some alone time with them before the holidays)

Jim Fellows Steak Dinner - Jim Fellows if one of our "chosen" family and he came over for a low key steak dinner with his dog Kodi. He was sporting a bit of a cold but it was great to just relax, chat and watch the kids antics. He gave Tom a wine making kit (the gift that keeps giving) and a deadline that the 1st "good" bottle of wine needs to be ready for his birthday in March. The pressure is on!

Jimmy & Skateboard camp - Since school is out, we have Kay & Bill signed up for open gym in the mornings. Its at the grade school and includes EVERYTHING they have for gym class ... scooters, jump ropes, gymnastic matts, balls, etc. They have built forts and basically run wild for 3 hrs each day. I LOVE open gym. Jimmy has been going to skateboard camp and is too cool for school. He is learning to "drop in" and comes home dirty, sweaty and happy. I joined them for lunch today and they had Van Halen blaring on the speakers and they all were eating corn dogs. Its good to be a boy.