Tuesday, December 31, 2013

HOMEMADE GIFTS REVEALED...

One of the fun moments for me at the Hub's family Christmas is the giving of homemade gifts!  We've been doing this for a long time, but Pinterest has made it easier!  Here's what was given this year, along with the makers:


From l to r:  BLESSED sign/picture holder, snow globe jar, salsa, etched glass dish, Friendship brownie mix in a jar, burlap wrapped W, D ornament (for my daughter).  In front:  homemade beauty cream in decorated jar, wooden playing card holder, Chive seeds.
I wanted to go green this year and give seeds I had harvested and baby trees we dug up in the fall.  We did that but Hubs decided he wanted to give card holders again after we were told by several at Thanksgiving that they would like some more-we made these several years ago.  So he made a bunch of those up with my son.  I'm sure the family loved those more than my green gifts but I thought my seed packets were pretty cute!

Let me know if you have any great ideas for me to make for next year!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

SURPRISE, SURPRISE...

   My family outdid themselves this Christmas!  I received several surprises - things I would have never asked for but have admired:


Le Creuset baking dish - gorgeous!  My girl got the boys in on it...looking forward to using this dish!

My son, who searches the internet for obscure products, got me a Belle-V ergonomic ice cream scoop from Kickstarter.  The note with it says they will send me another one in March because they were not totally satisfied with their product, but wanted to honor their orders for Christmas.  Score!

And last, but certainly not least, my husband got me a new camera!(mine was about 10 years old, so I kept asking to borrow my son's) He knows me so well!  I'm looking forward to learning more functions and you can look forward to clearer photos!

Of course, you know I'm at that stage where all I really want is for everyone to be together, eat some good food and play a good card game.  Got that too!  Thank you, Lord, for the blessings of Christmas!

Did you get any surprises this Christmas?

Friday, December 27, 2013

SOUP OF THE WEEK...

BROCCOLI SOUP WITH PARMESAN-LEMON FRICO!

You have to like broccoli to like this soup.  Period.  My husband does not, so he wasn't a fan of this.  One can hope!  My son and I really liked it.  The broccoli is not overpowering, because of the onion, garlic, and chicken broth in it.  The Parmesan-lemon frico was basically a cheese cracker you make yourself.  They were fine, but my second bowl I added some good ole Cheddar.  Really good the next day, and a good source of calcium!
 You use all of the broccoli, even the stem, chopped fine.

 The frico (cheese crisps) are just little piles of shredded Parmesan with lemon zest.  I had never made anything like these before!
 OOPS!  5 minutes was too long!
Just right!
Mmm Good!  Sorry Campbell's.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

GAME SUCCESS...

So the Christmas Selfie game with my extended family was SO MUCH FUN!  To make it even better, my son had everyone send the photos to his phone # and he put them up on our Apple TV so everyone could enjoy them at the same time.  WE LAUGHED SO HARD!  It really did put some unlikely pairs together and everyone seemed to enjoy it, so I call it success!














Sunday, December 22, 2013

GIRL TIME...

at the Dry Shop!  OKC is on trend, folks! Now we have a place where you can go just to get your hair washed and dried.  No cuts, no colors, just styled!  My girl and I tried it out.  I asked for the sleek look because it's hard for me to do that myself.  She got the long curls.  I might just do this again for a special occasion, only I'll add the 10 minute scalp massage...



Friday, December 20, 2013

CHRISTMAS PARTY GAME IDEAS...

My sister and I are usually the ones hosting the family parties close to Christmas, and because we aren't millionaires, giving out extravagant gifts, we play games.  We've done Dirty Santa for years, but we like to do some for the kids.  It gets the family interacting and hopefully everyone is glad they came!  I have scanned the internet and Pinterest looking for new ideas this year.  Here's a new one I've found for us to play and a couple I've created:

Christmas Ball Relay Race:  Using shirt boxes, the players move unbreakable Christmas balls from one end of the room to the other and back again.  First team finished wins...an ornament!


Santa/Rudolph Launch:  I found these slingshot toys and thought they'd be perfect for a game!  I think I'll make a target on a wall and see who can fling it the furthest - good for the little ones.

Christmas Selfies:  Everyone draws a number out of a bowl (there are two of each number). Each pair chooses a bag of goodies (old Christmas decor) to decorate themselves and has to take selfie pics of themselves together.  Hopefully one of each pair has a phone with a camera on it.  After each pair is done, they select their favorite one and then everybody places their phones on the table, and votes for the best/funniest one!  Maybe the winner gets to be declared on Facebook?  (I'm pretty excited about this one - hope the teens will enjoy)

I'll have to let you know how they turned out...do you do any special games with your family?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

TRENDY TUNE...

For ten years the hubs and I have been enjoying the Christmas Winter Concerts at the high school with our kids...this is our last one with our senior, but it will NOT be my last one!  I love this event - kids dressed in Christmas wear, singing a mix of hymns, Christmas carols, pop songs and then the trendy "fillers" that the students audition for - here's a filler from last night with my baby on vocal percussion!  They worked hard on this Pentatonix-style tune:

video

Monday, December 16, 2013

MAYBE CHRISTMAS IN JULY IS A GOOD IDEA...

After surviving another holiday weekend of wonderful activities, it looks attractive.  But you know there will be other things to do then - picnics and fireworks and vacations...thank goodness we have some cold weather to wear our Ugly Christmas Sweaters!

Friday night was spent with our little neighbors who aren't so little anymore!  We made lots of goodies while their parents had a night out...


Saturday was fun too, with my Christian sisters making some crafts and goody bags to take to the local nursing center.  We didn't have a great number this year due to weather rescheduling, but it was enough to make 83 doorknob decorations and goody bags and plenty of us to sing Christmas carols to the residents!







                                                                                                         


Sunday night was our annual Couples Bunko party!  We hosted (remember I told you I was having 3 parties?) and it was great fun as always - nice to have a group of people you don't have to worry about exactly what you do, you know they will have a good time regardless of what the menu is, what games you play, or what gift they get!
Prizes go to:
 the Ugliest sweater
 Most teacher-like

 Most bells and whistles!
If you can't tell, the hubs is wearing the 12 Days of Christmas!  

Have a blessed week and don't get too worn out on holiday fun!

Friday, December 13, 2013

ALL BECAUSE OF A RED DRESS...

We went to a business Christmas party last night...which hasn't happened for about 12 years!  The company my husband works for has a home base in California, so the Oklahoma group just hadn't done much through the years.  The last time we had done something was in 2001, I think, and we went to Tulsa to meet with that office, eat and we saw a really crude comedian.  This was so much better!  We went to a nice restaurant in OKC in the Colcord Hotel, called Flint.  This was all because one of the wives had gotten a new red dress and wanted to wear it somewhere, so her husband organized the party!  I was excited because I don't have many opportunities to dress up or go to nice restaurants.  It was fun and I enjoyed visiting with some new people.  So I am subjecting you to my dress up, Flint food, and OKC lights pictures:

 Me and the hubs - I actually darkened my eyebrows with a pencil for the first time because they have faded, I think.  Not sure if I like it or not.  
 If you weren't aware, this old hotel has been restored and is beautiful!
 Pecan crusted Sea bass on risotto, Chef's special of the night
Vegetarian pasta with Acorn squash ravioli - loved it!  I'm gonna have to try making the pasta!
 Driving by Devon to see the balls and lights and big pine cones in the lobby!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

THE PARTIES MUST GO ON...

Well, the snow and ice have kept us in a "mandatory pause," as our preacher puts it.  It's a good thing.  But there's always 4-wheel drive!  Tomorrow will be day 3 out of school - a real oddity for December.  It's the same old story, the main roads are clear, but the neighborhoods are terrible.  So the buses can't run...

Despite the weather we went on with the party plans for all who could make it.  We had our Bible class Ugly Sweater Christmas party Sunday night and college kids over on Monday!  I actually like having parties back to back, makes all the effort seem worth it!

 Here's some of our group that wore Ugly Christmas sweaters!
 One of the favorite party foods:  Little fruit Grinches!
 Lots of wonderful desserts!
 Both of these creations won prizes in the Ugly Christmas sweater contest.
 Zombie Clause - one I would have never thought of...
Party Menu for the college kids:  Sandwiches, Spinach-Artichoke Dip, Sausage balls, Chipotle dip with tortilla chips, Cheese cubes, and Holiday Wheat Thins - totally left out the veggies and fruit this year.  Where is my mom sense?  All this cold must be getting to me! (None of the kids complained)
Some of my favorite sweets:  Banana bread, Holiday loaf (a new recipe), Pumpkin bread, Gingerbread cookies, Chocolate dipped candy pretzels, and Creme de Menthe brownies.  


It's always a good thing if you can pick up a few things on sale after Christmas - got these cute snowflake ornaments last year and they made great party favors!