Friday, December 29, 2017

The Christmas Table

 Thanks to some help in the menu department we have now had ribs for 3 years running. No stopping now. Ribs, fries, coleslaw. So easy. 

Dinner with Nate's family. Very loud, very fun... good food for sure. 

 With my family. Mom had Ted whipping up some fruit drinks for us. Lots of fresh ginger and some apple cider vinegar,  I'm not sure what else was in there! Mom makes the best steak I've ever had. Time after time.

With the girls home from school (Stuart too) I'm thinking about home schooling. That is a joke, but I love having them here. They baked cookies one day while the toddlers were napping. Yesterday we canned carrots. Today we canned potatoes and another canner full of carrots. It's like freezer meals that are not in the freezer.

Puppies take up most of our time. What were we thinking? Two litters at once. The fun is just beginning. 

Ugly Christmas Sweater. And she didn't win! 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thanksgiving Day

Stuart turned 8 on Thanksgiving Day. Finally made him the much joked about turkey birthday cake.

Some out takes from our Christmas card shoot. 
Piper got to be on the pictures this year. Nate wanted to try both dogs but I thought that was asking for pretty much. Maybe next time. 

We let them pick a restaurant for their 8th birthday. This is Austin's. He knew about the candle. 
What we forgot, is that we take them shopping to pick out their gift. I made a note for next year. "Let Stu pick his own gift"  

 My Mother's lovely table. 

 Date night

Celtic Thunder Symphony Tour
Nate leaned over after the first song and said, "They are better than I thought they would be"  

 Nate's favorite breakfast. Ok, maybe not his favorite but I am documenting the fact that he puts his pie and cake in milk and possibly with cereal too.

Helping Mom and Dad tear down one stand and set up another.

I loved this display, showing her original artwork beside one of the plaques. 

 Working the stand at the Harrisburg Craft Show

Nate used up every spare minute test driving the local vendors stuff. 

 Shopping for fresh greens

 Oh America

 Playmobil Nativity. They toddlers played with this for days, I was loving it. Then the pieces were all on the floor constantly. No matter how many times we picked them up. It was probably Hank. We put it away again. 

Olive begged her way into a new dress when she saw my leftover fabric. 

We went to Luca for dinner for our anniversary last week. 16 years. 
Finished up some Christmas shopping afterwards.  

 So this is my affogato. We were eating the gelato,  a few spoonfuls each before I poured my espresso over it. After my first bite of the affogato I said, "I want my gelato back now" Strongest coffee ever. 
The food was amazing as well.

Been whipping up some fast Huevos rancheros for the family lately. 

 On Saturday we went to Philadelphia for the Christmas Sights.

 The Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, in Philadelphia, is the largest fully functioning pipe organ in the world.
We walked in to see the organ and checked our watches, almost 7... good it will start soon. And it did. I asked Ted later, did we just get luck, or did you know it was going to start at 7? 
I think we just got lucky.

This my friends, is what we faced Sunday morning when it was time to leave for church. Nate was opening the service so that makes the departure time kind of urgent.  It had snowed and Stuart had tried to get the sleds out. To our shame, this side of the garage was a strategically stacked pile of stuff and the sleds were pretty far down on the pile. 
We got to church, I was trying to settle my nerves. I had been having a fine morning until I saw the pile of stuff. Then we got to church and Nate the song leader said, "I forgot my overheads"  So he got out with the children and I drove back home to get the overheads. I was kind of driving like a bat and while trying to make a left hand turn I totally turned in front of a family from our church. They sort of stared at me with their mouths hanging open and I figured they were good for it. You know, all in the name of getting the Christmas song overheads to church in time. I would explain later. At home I ran through the house once, twice, there they were on the top of the piano. Back to church... just in time. 

Stuart did just fine at his first piano recital.
It was at a retirement home and the residents would laugh kind of mockingly every time the piano teacher announced who the next student would be. It struck me so silly. 

Giving a litter of puppies baths. 

Probably my favorite Christmas cookies. 
Pioneer Woman's Molasses Cookies.
My Dad used to tell me that if I could make cookies as good as Mrs. Fields or some famous brand, he would get me a pony. 
Sometimes I think there should be a pony in my life just because the cookies turned out. 
Mia made these and for some reason they got nicer than when I make them. She said it was because she mixed them very slowly. Who knows.