Hookin Up with HoH #27


Last weeks party was great! Even if you don’t have anything to link up, the link party is a great way to quickly find hundreds of great ideas.

I love all the Christmas crafts from last week! There were also great recipes, crafts, tutorials, and decor. Here are a few things I like:

From the Heart made a cork board using, well, corks! I LOVE this!! So adorable.

20 Something made some adorable rosette ornaments.

Crafting in the Closet created this fun wreath. I love the colors. I’m on a bright-colors kick this year. And glitter. Always love anything with glitter.

We are the Jonses made the cutest hanger to hold your Christmas cards. I’ve never seen one like this and I love it. It’s made from clothespins and felt.

Cone Christmas Trees are a huge hit this year! I had several linked up, so in honor of Christmas Tree cones everywhere, here are a variety of ways you can decorate them.

{Click on each image for the link to their blog}




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But wait, there’s more…


Chopping down our own tree

Just outside of Austin, TX is a town called Elgin, which is most famous for Meyer’s Elgin Sausage and the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm.

Screen shot 2010-12-05 at 7.19.11 PM

Every year that we’ve lived in Austin and had children, Ben and I have tried to head down to the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm to cut down our very own Christmas tree!


If you blink you may miss the Tree Farm all together. It’s off a small road just outside Elgin.

The place is always packed with other families from all over the Hill Country trying to find their perfect tree.


Last weekend we took the kids and went on a road trip to Elgin to find our perfect Christmas Tree!

Like every year, the Tree Farm does not disappoint!

We enjoyed petting the animals in their petting zoo…


Played on a hay stack…


And got lost in a Crazy Maze…



Once we finished enjoying all the FREE festivities, it was time to cut down our tree!

They offer three different kinds of trees to choose from. We ended up going with the Virginia Pine.


To get to the trees you get to take a fun bumpy hay ride!



When you reach your destination, they drop you off with a saw and let you run wild. The kids love this part because they get to be free little birds as they run around scoping out the hundreds and hundreds of trees.

Travis is so excited to try to find the perfect tree.

And, yes, he dressed himself. I choose my battles…

Kinsey finds our perfect tree after a good 30-45 minutes of sizing up dozens and dozens of trees.

Travis is such an independent kid and thrives on additional responsibility. It made his day that we let him use the saw.

But he quickly realized it’s harder than it looks to cut down a tree, so Ben took over and finished the job.


At this point the camera batter died (my bad!) and it started getting dark. We loaded the tree back on the tractor trailer hay ride, paid for it ($40), stuffed it in our SUV, and headed home.

We all decorated it as a family the day after, and I’ll show you those pictures tomorrow!

If you live in the Austin area, the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm is such a fun family tradition that our kids really look forward to. For more information you can visit their Facebook fan page or visit them at 120 Nature’s Way off Roy Davis Road, Elgin, TX, 78621.


National Lampoon-in’ it

In 1999 I was at the grocery store with my older sister, Natalie, about a week before Christmas. As luck would have it, they were giving away FREE Christmas Trees! Ben and I were poor college students at the time, so I jumped on this free tree offer.

Natalie and I loaded the tree on top of her 1980-ish Pontiac Bonneville that she’d inherited from my grandparents.

It looks sorta like this:

I got some rope and tied the tree on top of her car and we left the store. After several errands she dropped me off at my car and I told her I’d come get the tree from her later.

A week later we went to my parents house for Christmas Eve.

Natalie stormed in the living room and demanded that I get that bleepity-bleepin’ tree off her car!

I’d totally forgotten to get my tree from her!

And she was so ticked because I’d tied all but her driver door shut with the rope from the tree.

My bad.

Oh, we all just died laughing.

And then, we pretty much all peed our pants because with one look out the window we saw a Christmas Tree still tied to the top of her car, totally frozen over with ice sickles, and wind-blown with all the branches broken backward.

You see, I’d tied the tree on top of her car with the front of the tree facing forward, not backward, so as she drove around all week, the wind blew the branches backward and then a big ice storm covered them in icicles.

It was such a “Clark Griswald” scene.

My only regret – I didn’t grab my camera and take a single picture of the scene. I wasn’t as great about photographing everything before the internet and blogging was invented.

This story has been retold every.single.year. since 1999. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

Poor Natalie. She drove around for A WEEK with 3 of her doors tied shut and the trashiest looking tree on the top of her car.

Just the thought of this tree story makes me laugh-out-loud every.single.time. I’m not sure I’ll ever stop giggling about this one.

Do you have any hilarious holiday stories that get told and retold year after year?

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