party time!

It's that time again for the line up of family parties! Here are a few highlights from this year's festivities...taken with our little point and shoot because I was too overwhelmed to pack in my good camera with loading all the kids, diapers, gifts, food, p.j.'s, etc. Dang it.

The annual Nativity put on by the Tycksen grandkids at my in-law's house.

Clayton and all the brothers {minus Erik who is in Kuwait}, brothers-in-law and our friend Joey surprised Ruthie by singing a few carols. She loves to hear them sing, and I thought it was really sweet they put that together.

Needless to say, the white elephant game ended in tears.

Little Will overwhelmed by the chaos. Or maybe he's enjoying it, I'm not sure.

My kids spent at least an hour on their gingerbread houses!

Liv decided to paint her fingernails with the frosting...

...and her toenails! I love that she's wearing her angel costume in these pictures.

So pretty!

Casch and Ben at my mom's dinner party. We always have "crackers" that pop with toys, lame British jokes and crowns inside.

Grandma reading her joke...I love that she's wearing a crown too!

Me and "Willoughby."

My BFF, Emily, came to town for the holidays...we had a sleepover at my house, soaked it up in our "KSL Hot Tub," and went to the Carl Bloch exhibit at BYU.

All the girls {minus Cami} at my grandparents' house on Christmas Eve.

Little Norwegian girls! Nina, Olivia, and my niece Bria.

Poppy Per making faces in the background, haha!

Baby Casch sporting his Norwegian costume. I love him!

Every Christmas Eve of my life {except for one} has been spent with my dad's family, gathered around a constantly expanding table for a Norwegian Christmas dinner. It's my favorite meal of the whole year! Clayton was sick this year and missed it, poor guy. He loves the dinner too. At the end of the night, Poppy Per drops one blanched almond into the giant bowl of riskrem {rice pudding} and whoever ends up with it in their bowl wins a tall chocolate Santa. Guess who won this year? Our own little Olivia! Hooray!

Here's the recipe if you ever want to try it for's super delicious.
{Norwegian Christmas Rice Pudding}


3/4 cup long grain white rice {not Minute Rice}

1 teaspoon salt

1 quart whole milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups heavy cream, whipped and sweetened to taste

1 whole almond

Raspberry Sauce {recipe follows}


Cook rice, salt, and milk in double boiler until rice is soft and mixture is thick - about 1 1/2 hours. Fluff the rice a few times for the first half-hour to prevent lumps on the bottom. You want the rice to be nice and fluffy.

While still hot, add sugar. Cover with plastic wrap, directly onto the rice to prevent a hard film from forming on the top, and chill. When completely chilled, stir in almond extract. Fold in the whipped cream. Add the almond and stir to hide it. Serve topped with raspberry sauce.

The person who receives the whole almond receives a special gift {often a marzipan pig or a chocolate Santa}.

Raspberry Sauce

1 pkg. Danish dessert {near the Jello at the grocery store}

3 1/2 c. cold water

small pkg. of frozen, sweetened raspberries

Cook the Danish dessert and water until thickened. Cool, but do not refrigerate {if you do, it will jell too much}. Add desired amount of raspberries with some of the juice and serve on top of the rice cream.