Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

 Merry Christmas from our family to you! I hope you have had a blessed day and that you fully realize just how much God loves you. We are so grateful for the wonderful gift that God gave us by sending His Son, Jesus Christ to dwell among us - God with us - and so offer himself as the sacrifice to save us from our sins. We are so very blessed!

   Yesterday was had a fun quiet day at home (Ken and Mara did go to work at the office for the morning and then brought pizza home for lunch). While we were working on some last minute decorating, food preparation and gift making for today I had fun taking some pictures thinking that I would share them. I didn't have time to do it yesterday so I thought I would do it now.
  I have been fighting a cold and taking a little walk outside to gather some evergreens sure felt nice to help clear up my head a little. I had made an evergreen centerpiece for our table earlier this month but it was looking a little dry and old so I made a new one yesterday.
 Meanwhile Aaron and Megan baked cakes to use in their Trifle concoctions for today. Megan was using the Amish cookbook and dutifully did her beat her cake 300 strokes. She didn't think she had better use the mixer.
 One of the area I enjoyed decorating the most this year was our mantle. That is something I have always thought would be very fun to have at Christmas time. We didn't get very elaborate but it was fun to hang our stockings from a real mantle.
  This little shelf Mara decorated very simply with one of her acorn ladies.
 I thought it was fun to add greenery to our dining room light.
 Megan made a stocking for our puppy Kitchi this year. She and Aaron provided presents for him which he appreciated (Aaron bought him a rawhide bone and she made him some squash rolls which he loves and a braided t-shirts strip "candy cane" toy).
 I had fun making evergreen garland for our stairs.
 I have long thought it would be fun to have a stairway like this for Christmas decorating.
 I really enjoy using the really big pinecones that I collected when we were out in Nevada/California one year.
 I pulled out this little cabin that Jonathan made and Mara decorated a few years back.
  I enjoyed using white decorations in our kitchen.
  We always love getting "real" letters in the mail and so Christmas time is a fun time for that. We have decided this little ledge in our basement stairs works pretty well for displaying cards on.
 When we put all our dried herbs away the rack was looking a little bare so I decided to hang up some "vintage" (rather worn out) skates and greenery on it instead.

 My flower pot from this summer got filled with birch branches, evergreen, pine cones and this cute banner that my friend Christy gave us instead.
 I made a garland for above the window seat and then added lights to it which we have enjoyed.
 The kids this morning before opening presents. Kitchi got to join the picture too. He is currently sporting a lovely "sweater" (we made it from an old sweater that was in our re-make box) because he got a sore on his neck and he has been scratching it so we are trying to prevent that so it can heal.
 My favorite present to give this year was a wax doll to Megan. She decided years ago now that she wanted a doll collection and that she wanted to get as many different types of dolls as possible and one of the dolls that she has mentioned wanting for a couple years now has been a wax doll. Well I haven't ever seen a wax doll for sale and I just wasn't sure just how to make one. But this year I finally went to work on it and now she has a wax doll. She was pretty surprised and pleased so that was fun.  I took pictures of the process so I will try to write a post about it soon. It is far from perfection but it was a fun project and she thinks it is neat and so it was a successful venture.
 Mara made Jonathan those lovely mittens. We didn't make as many handmade gifts this year as I would like - but there was still a good percentage that were handmade. I hope to have a higher percentage next year.
 Vanocka braid bread with sausage and hot chocolate stirred with candy canes is our traditional Christmas breakfast. It was yummy and enjoyed.

  We are getting a nice amount of traditions going now. On Christmas eve we have Hamburgers (a tradition carried over from Ken's family), then on Christmas morning we have the breakfast mentioned. Then for our main meal on Christmas day we have pasta. We don't have any particular recipe so we can still be flexible but still we have a tradition (which we think it kind of fun). This year my brother and family brought a ham so I just made fettuccine alfredo (without any meat) which my mom had provided homemade goat milk cheese for and cream cheese. I also made a steak and mushroom sauce to go over homemade noodles that my Mom had made. We had black olives and broccoli with cheese to go with it. It was fairly simple but yummy.
 We are working to start a new tradition with our Christmas dessert. We thought making Trifles might be fun. I suggested that the kids could be in charge of making them every year. Then they thought it would be fun to have a contest between the kids. So the younger two were going to make one and either just Jonathan or the older two would make the other one. Well Mara and Jonathan were either busy or distracted with game playing and such so all that they did was that Jonathan made the vanilla pudding and Mara whipped the cream and I was actually the one that assembled the second trifle (for which the younger two had made the cake). But there still was a contest of sorts between Aaron and Megan's rich and delicious chocolate peppermint trifle and my Strawberry Cream Cheese concoction. A survey was made and the chocolate trifle won by one vote.

    My parents and two of my siblings and families came over today. Not a very big crowd but it was fun. We cooked together, ate together and played games. "Ticket to Ride" was the main game of the day. At one point we had both the North American and European versions going. It was my fist time to play and it was fun. We also had fun discussing various symbols that remind us of Jesus such as a lion, a star, light, sheep, root, a crown (for being the prince of peace) and so forth. The girls and I had thought we would quickly create a scavenger hunt of some of those things before our guests arrived today but they came early so we didn't get it done but did discuss it anyway. I do think it would be a fun theme to think on when decorating in the future however.

  It is amazing to think that it will be a new year in less than a week. May it be a blessed year in which you draw closer to our Lord and Savior!


Mrs. Chrissy T said...

What a lovely time. I loved reading about your traditions. We do chili frito pies for Christmas Eve. Our traditions was a little harder to keep up with because we have moved back to where family lives and everyone wanted our visits. It made it difficult to do our own little time. We extended the invitation for them to join but they didn't want to give up their traditions. It was nice but I was different. We have always lived 10 to 13 hours away from family. We never traveled on Christmas due to costs, and busy travel. Anyway, I love her home. It is beautiful.

Amy and Mark said...

All of your decorations are so beautiful.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Abbi said...

Thank you ladies. It was fun to hear of your traditions too. Happy New Year to you as well!


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