Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Pictures Part 3

We celebrated Christmas Day on Monday the 26th. Here is the tree the night before, all ready for the morning.

And the stockings were all stuffed.....

The kids were allowed downstairs at 8 a.m. and they could open their stockings as soon as Mom and Dad came down. Check out the stash!!!! I loved the mini apples I found at the winter farmer's market.

Breakfast was very traditional: bacon wrapped brown sugar sausages, tropical fruit salad, cardamon bread, tea ring, and this year two gluten free breads.

We had the amazing apple monkey gluten free bread!!!!!

And some delicious panetone which turned out to be scrumptious toasted. (must make more!!)

Michael always reads Luke 2 before we begin the presents.

At the last minute I did get my nails painted red! And I also collected some horribly cut up and swollen knuckles from washing the floor.

Chapstick necklaces were a fun little item I made for the kids this year.

Laura wore her Santa dress -- far too cute!

Rachel made everyone gifts. She cross-stitched this lovely teacup for me.

Laura was quite pleased with her baby doll stroller!

Emily and Craig (who, by the way, I can never photograph with simultaneous smiles, though they are a very happy couple) came back over for the gift opening and breakfast.

It was a happy morning.

In fact there was a lot of laughing, especially when mom read "advice from Pooh" from a book she received.

Michael wrote and illustrated a book for the kids about keeping their things tidied up. I wonder if they will learn from it?

Laura loved Christmas. She was old enough to have fun but young enough not to be greedy.

The book:

In the afternoon we took a hike and got a family picture:

Laura pretty much complained the whole way because we didn't let her walk.

Being outside is so wonderful!

Rach snapped a picture of me and you can see the difference in my eyes. I had the lid surgery on Tuesday and have been recovering this week. Fortunately, no pain, just swelling and an embarrassing black eye, which I'm sure people attribute to Michael when I go out in public.

I love these funny pine trees.

Kids enjoying the woods:

We stopped in a log cabin to enjoy a snack of hot cocoa, tea, crackers, cheese and salami.

Laura stopped crying long enough to smile a bit.

I love her little coat and red shoes.

Wearing my Shetland gloves which a friend brought me from Shetland eons ago -- long before I was married.

Another smile just for the camera.

And so it was a most pleasant Christmas. And now for the new year......January is one of my most favorite months!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Pictures Part 2

Christmas Day dawned bright and unseasonably warm -- no white Christmas!

After church everyone congregated here for lunch and the afternoon.

I am so pleased to say that we were healthy for Christmas! That was a gift!

Cranberry punch, mince pies, and appetizers were available until the ham was ready.

Yay! We managed to get a family photo!!!

Grandma looked so pretty in her plaids......

There were games and conversations going on.

The appetizer table:

I tried a new salad: citrus, fennel and black olives with mint, lemon juice and olive oil. We all enjoyed it!

Lunch consisted of ham, my favorite green beans, a potato leek gratin, the citrus salad, and honey roasted parsnips and carrots.

I found British crackers for us to enjoy around the table and everyone wore their crowns!

Emily and Craig -- they made sure we were well supplied with Trader's Point Creamery eggnog even though it was sold out across country.

John was so excited about opening his tools and promptly started fixing my furniture for me.
(note: why does my house look so clean in these pictures? it sure doesn't feel that way in real life :)
I made zip cases for the ladies in the family, with Burt's Bees creams inside (and yes, I managed to stay in budget of $5 via an internet deal!).

Emily surprised Christina with the cowboy boots she really wanted.

And the kids had such a fun time!

Eventually we had dessert: cookies, mince pies, eggnog, and Christmas pudding.

Three cheers for the Christmas pudding and the rum sauce and the homemade eggnog ice cream to go with it!

And there was the Christmas china to use -- one of my favorite sets I brought back from Scotland.

And so ended another day of Christmas celebration.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Pictures Part 1

Christmas was wonderful, despite a scare of the stomach bug on Christmas morning (which did not pan out). Everyone had a delightful time and we have some great memories.

Our family has particularly enjoyed the gift of music in our house this December. We were given Margie's piano and it brings us such joy to think of her as we play.

I'm so glad we took the month of December off of school. There was a lot less pressure and we could enjoy making things.

There was a lot of time spent baking last week. Laura loves to help.

Taking cookies to our neighbors is a tradition. This is what our plates looked like.

James begged to use the leftover pie dough.

He made some "cookies" and they reminded me so much of the gingerbread ornaments Tasha Tudor made for her tree (we watched the Tasha Tudor Christmas DVD last week).

Tea Ring is our tradition for Christmas morning.

I found matching shirts for my boys and cousin John at Goodwill. Perfect for Christmas together!

A pie in a box makes a nice gift.

Laura all dressed up for Christmas....

Next comes pictures of our Christmas Day celebration with extended family.