Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Eve Happening NOW

Well, it's New Year's Eve and it's happening right now! When we don't get invited out somewhere for New Year's Eve (which is never, haha) we hang tight to home and celebrate by eating! Each member of the family picks out an appetizer to make and throughout the day (or possibly all doing it at the last minute...) we make our foods and feast the night away. That's my idea of a celebration!

Here's me taking my mini corn dogs out of the oven. I LOVE corn dogs!

Seth is making stuffed mushrooms.

Ryn is providing the Andies Mint Cookies, as well as Artichoke dip.

Stuart and Karis wrestled in the kitchen, adding to the mayhem.

And this picture was from earlier today. Dad, Ryn, and Seth are liscenced Ham radio operators. Seth can often be found sitting in the van (which is now equipped with a rather large antenna) talking on the radio to who-knows-who. He can also often be found doing said activity, but with a feline or two to keep him company.

Alright, back to baking!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Round Two

The day after Christmas, which was last night, we did our immediate family Christmas gathering. This included all of us living at home (what I affectionately call "the Remnant"), my oldest brother S, his wife C, and their two daughters M and G, as well as my oldest sister K, her husband MA, and their two littles ones B and D *deep breathe*. With four little ones under the age of three, it gets exciting - but there's no one to complain, we all love our growing family!

Showing my girls the fun of Mom's carousel

MA brought his new game Ticket to Ride.

The nieces: B, G, and M

The neph: D

The cheesecake.

S helping G with her presents.

Katheryn and Karis made matching dresses for B and M, and boy, were they cute!

In the ensuing excitement of gift opening, spontaneous dancing broke out. I think this might be the Tango...

Here we have a waltz. Or is it a slow dance?


With D to applaud them on.

I love my family.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day

I'm sitting here at the computer eating chocolate covered potato chips, gummy worms, and leftover Christmas day punch. The rest of my family (minus my buddy Stuart) have gone on a family thrift store shopping day, and I've finally finished editing and uploading all the pictures taken in the last 24 hours. There's quite alot of them, so grab your own bag of chocolate covered potato chips and enjoy the show! Presenting...

Christmas Day Extravaganza 2011!

Our Christmas day is a day steeped with tradition, which is just how we like it. We begin our day the night before, on Christmas Eve. We each have a home-made stocking made by Mom that we each hang around our living room somewhere. Me being the creature of habit that I am, I have my stocking on the exact same cubbard peg every year. =) Soon after that, we go to bed.

And thus begins...Operation Present Dump. We don't put our presents out as we buy and wrap them, no nothing ordinary like that for us! Each person, under cover of darkness, will sneak out into the living room sometime during the night and quietly deposit the goods under the that in the morning, when we all rendezvous in the living room, the underbelly of our tree has been turned into a rapturous delight of wrapping paper, bows, and surprises waiting to happen. =)

After we all gather on Christmas morning, Dad reads the Christmas story, followed by us all going to our knees in a time of prayer and thanksgiving for all the Lord had done - the greatest being His sacrificial birth, death, and resurrection.

And then....stockings!

The bottles on the ground are a special kind of ginger ale that we like....nothing alcoholic about it. =)

Yes, Scott has a scotty-dog on his stocking...

This year as one of my stocking stuffers, I made cake pops. Quite the success, I might add.

After stockings are done, we begin the brunch preparation.

Karis apprenticing under Mom to learn how to make our Christmas brunch Cherry Crescent Ring. Hmmm.

The Cherry Crescent Ring itself. You've never fully known Christmas morning until you've tasted a slice of this magic.

Cranberry sausage, eggs (specially cooked), strawberries, cherry crescent ring.

A new visitor to the manger. =)

This beautiful wood nativity scene is one of the main centerpieces of our whole Christmas itself. Given to my mom from my aunt in the navy, it somehow captures the beauty and simplicity of Christmas.

Seth and Dad spent alot of the day Ham radioing, the new hobby. After brunch, we went and visited my grandmother for a little while. Then came home and after some rest and relaxation...we began dinner prep. And once've never tasted Christmas dinner until you've had our Christmas Dinner meal....we go Mexican. =)

White Cream Sauce Enchiladas that will slay your stomach with it's absolute goodness, tamales, queso fresco cheese, a strawberry salad and cranberry punch bubbly.

My house is magic after dark. These picture are not edited to create this color and glow. This is what our home looks like on Christmas night. It's my favorite night of the entire year. I love it so much, I usually tear up each year over it's beauty and loveliness.

Somebody funny added the giraffes and zebra to the worshipping beast...

After our delicious candlelit dinner....

Presents! Yes, we open presents after dinner, another tradition that we love.

Seth is our music prodigy of the family - playing the banjo and guitar. And he's good. Really good.

My present to Ryn was four LM Montgomery books. I think we were both excited. =)

Mom has a fetish for vintage hats. I was so happy when I found this book for her.

Karis also has extreme talent on the piano.

Katheryn bought me an adorable mini orange colander...something that I wanted. =)

Our Aunt Peppy sent us all gifts (yes, Katheryn and I plan to hit the tennis courts!)

And with that, ended the official organized activities of our Christmas  Day. It was one of the BEST Christmases ever. I love my family. They mean everything to me. Even this morning, I have so many times thanked God for my family and all that we have together. We are SO blessed.
Happy Day After Christmas!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

But If You Really Hold Me Tight

If you saw a photo post of an engagement shoot I did a few months back, then you'll probably recognize this seriously cute couple. I shot their New Year's pictures today, and these four are definitely my favorites. Love these people!

Well, it's Christmas Eve! I've made my last trip into town and symbolically hung a "Closed for Christmas" sign on my car. Folks, I'm home for the holidays. 

Because of the diplorable amounts of sunshine today, it doesn't quite "feel" like Christmas Eve. A Christmas should be gray and cold, and rain would be an added bonus. But this December Mr. Sun has decided to hang around December alot longer than he normally does. I know alot of people are happy, but I'll confess, I'm praying for a foggy day tomorrow - our "white" Christmas.

I smell food cooking.
Merry Christmas Eve!