Love and Food in the Big D

Monday, December 26, 2011

Shrek The Halls - Gaylord Texan ICE Exhibit 2011

Every year since Chad and I have been together, we've tried our hardest to head out to the Gaylord Texan to see it's annual ICE Exhibit.  Last year, Charlie Brown came to town... (you can see that particular post about his visit HERE) and in years past.. HERE.  This year, Shrek the Halls was the Dreamworks Theme that had us donning our very stylish and uber sexy parkas once again.  NOT cute.. NOT cute... AT. ALL.  Oh well, this is when feeling and looking like a whale is actually kinda worth it.. and NEEDED...considering it was like -20 degrees or something ridiculous like that. 

Taken from the Gaylord Texan website:  Gaylord Texan’s popular ICE! winter holiday attraction returns with an all-new, hilarious theme: ICE! featuring DreamWorks’ Shrek the Halls™. From Nov. 11 to Jan. 1, the DreamWorks animated holiday TV special will be brought to life in an interactive world of colorful ice sculptures carved entirely from TWO-MILLION pounds of ice. Relive the heartwarming story as you stroll through this amazing attraction featuring your favorite characters: Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Gingy and Puss in Boots as they celebrate Christmas in their own special way. When Shrek tries to plan the “perfect Christmas” for Fiona and the kids, his plans are disrupted by chaos and commotion. But, in the end, Shrek learns the true meaning of the holiday and realizes it’s OK when Christmas never goes quite as planned.

ICE! was created by dozens of artisans who migrate to the Dallas / Ft. Worth area each year from Harbin, China to craft this elaborate attraction out of nearly 2 million pounds of ice. It takes them nearly an entire month of 12-hour shifts to transform the refrigerated tent where the exhibit is held into a remarkable icy wonderland. Learn more about how ICE! is made...

Without further ado... 2 MILLION POUNDS of ICE... In Pictures.  :) 

Watching the short introductory film on how the exhibit is made..

A Dreamworks production..

Parka issues.. :)

Not sure what is funnier in this picture... the look on Chad, his mom or my brother's face

hahahaha.. acting like..."whoa"... and then he was like..."whoa.."...then they were like. "whoa"

Are we there yet??!?!

Here we GO!! 

Keeping his ears warm with this silly, silly hat.. lol..

An outhouse made of ICE!!  lol...

I love how they BOTH felt the need to lift their legs up in the air.. lol..


Time for the ICE slide!  :)


Omar's turn!

Now Addies turn... except..

Nearly half way thru... she got stuck and had to scoot her way

Three Blind Mice

HUGE dragon made entirely of ICE.. crazy!

She did so well.. by this time last year.. she was in tears.. :)

Chad and his mom, trying to stay warm..

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011 :)

I have to admit that when Chad and I first realized just HOW MANY people we'd end up hosting for lunch on Christmas day... in our, plenty-big-for-our-little-family-of-two-but-still-tiny-1,800SF-townhome, I got a little nervous.  FOURTEEN adults, THREE kids under 5, a baby and a puppy named Macie.  (Sounds a bit like a 12 Days of Christmas song... lol).  With a little shifting here, and rearranging there.. everything ended up fitting like a charm.  Funny how Ryan and Christy had the tables we needed... and we had the chairs! TOGETHER.. we make ONE HELL of a party!!  ;)     

So.. our table "scape" wasn't fancy schmancy...but for us, it worked :)
And I love how the mirror in our dining area makes the tables seem like they go on FOREVER!!

Sweet Little Elf Andrew's first Christmas.  :) 

Ohhhhh!!! Looks like Santa enjoyed the cookies we left him last night!  ;) 
Only crumbs left.. Must've been hungry from that busy night of delivering goodies!  :) 

Addie and her Papo... My brother's father-in-law, Larry

Ryan, making sure everything in the kitchen is working... while taking charge of the champagne cocktails :)

Logan.. looking cute in front of the tree..

My brother, playing with the kiddos..

Can you spot something STRANGE in this picture??  ;)

Who let the random bird fly in the house??  ;)

Mmmmm... Prime Rib..

And "somewhat" traditional green bean casserole.. :)

Logan, sneaking in the kitchen for a finger full of yummy "meat juice"

Just a PART of our Christmas spread..
On the menu for this afternoon:  Prime Rib, Turkey, Made-from-Scratch Cranberry Sauce and Gravy, Homemade Butter Rolls, Green Bean Casserole, Roasted Beets, the TASTIEST Mashed Potatoes I've EVER had (hands down!) and Creamed Corn Mac-N-Cheese (another HELL OF A tasty dish!)

GREAT JOB Chef... you've outdone yourself.. AGAIN!! ;) 

Not long after our meal was finished.. and after the dishes had MOSTLY been washed.. (for like the BILLION-TH time this afternoon!)  We took down the tables to get ready for the Kelley's annual White Elephant game.  This was going to be the first time the Maldonado's and Salinas' had ever played... so we were hoping it would be memorable enough to become a yearly tradition.  :) 

First up:  The kiddies opened the presents "Santa" brought them!!  :) 

Oooooooo..... Ahhhhhhh.....

And EVEN MACIE got a present.. that the kids opened for her. :) 

Andrew.. with not a care in the world.. watching the action from his stroller. :) 

Time for the ADULTS to play!!  :)  Let the games BEGIN!  :)

Chad's up first :)

Some tasty Poppycock.  ;) 

A few rounds of "stealing later".. my dad only "momentarily" owned his first Kung Fu Po Chia Pet.  (which ended up going to Christy and my dad ended up with the Circus Animal Waffle maker he had ORIGINALLY grabbed.  :)  hehehehehe.. confusing I know.. but HILARIOUS!  :)

By far...the BEST pick of the night was by my Nana.. hahahahahahahahaha..
I was dying when I saw what she was going for...

her VERY OWN.... wait for it.. wait for it... SHAKE WEIGHT!!!
hahahahahahahaha... Sooo, soooo wrong.. (I ended up stealing it from her cause I felt so bad...and she ended up with the funny Mexican deer blanket that she wanted.  :)  All is right in the world again.. hahahaha..

Christy, clasping onto her Chia pet... hoping no one else would "steal" it.  :) 
AND of course, Kenzie.. making faces... lol.. that girl's a nut!

Everyone, dying of laughter..

Discussing my mom's pick of "ear wax cleaner candles"... lol.. I've never seen my mom laugh so hard!!

My brother trying out his head massager contraption...

I think he likes it.. ;)

And lo and behold...Christi got one too!!  :)  Now they can scratch eachother's heads!!! 

My mamas and my papas.. :) 

Time to RELAX!!

Uncle Chad with the kiddies..

Oh but WAIT... there's MORE!!!
Just one more present hidden back behind and under the tree...who could it be FOR?!?!?!?!

Even MACIE was confused at all the hooplah..
Uncle Chad, Addie, Logan and Kenzie.. crawling under the stairs to get to the last present..

And it was FOR ME!! 

Woo HOO!!  Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to MAKE!!!  I'm soooooooo excited about this gift.  So NON-traditionally girly I know.. but I'm creative.. I can't wait to MAKE something!!  The list in my head is growing by the SECOND!!  :) 

Grandpa and Andrew.. :) 

Uh oh... Christi!!! Andrew might need a diaper change!!!  ;)
Awww.. Uncle CHAD!! What did you DO?!?!?!

Just kidding... false alarm.. Good job, Uncle Chad!!  :) 

From the Kelley's, Maldonado's, Schmidt's and Salinas'...
(hope it was as good as ours was!!)  :)