Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Eve

Every Christmas Eve, we go to my parents for a Christmas Eve picnic.  We have hors d'oeuvres and eat picnic style around the fireplace.

My mom wrapped all her pillows like presents...cute!

We got to enjoy family time, including my cousin's little freshly one-year-old daughter who has the cutest belly laugh ever.

Grandpa brought out his tank.

Which Cooper thoroughly enjoyed!

The food was amazing and I don't even want to think of the calories I consumed this past week.  Sorry for the lighting in the photos, no flash because I hate it.

One of my all time favorite holidays, which could only have been better if my siblings were all there.  We missed you Kathleen, John, and family, Rosa, Brendan and Christina, Caitlin and Ryan, and Meghan and Carrie!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas morning and more

I haven't uploaded pictures from my camera yet...because I forgot it at my parent's house on Christmas Eve, so iphone pictures it is.  Christmas Eve pictures yet to come.

We told the kids they couldn't come get us on Christmas morning until 7am.  By 6, we could hear them whispering in excitement, love that!  At 7am exactly, they came barreling into our room, "Can we open presents now, it's 7!?"  Rowyn was in bed with us (as usual) still sleeping, so after coaxing her to wake up we all headed for the living room.

Halfway through the opening, Rowyn had a mini meltdown when Camdyn asked to see her doll.  

Booth decided to put himself in the middle of the action, undoubtedly waiting for a stray Polly or Barbie shoe to land his way.

This picture tells it all--- mad chaos and presents ripped open in a nano second.

The only thing sleeping was a mouse Tashi...on Booth's dog bed.  She ate the mouse earlier that morning and left it on the deck.  Yuck.


My sister Kathleen and her family came in town on Thursday.  After exchanging gifts, we headed down to Vinny Vanucchi's for dinner.

Isabel and Grammy deciding what to order

Caroline, John, Mikey, Cooper, and Grammy

Kathleen and Isabel made little gift piƱata's for the kids...packed with a bell, candy, and little Christmas trinkets.  Fun!

We each had a salad with the house dressing and bruschetta for an appetizer...which I ate too quickly to take a picture.

I had angel hair pasta with VINNY SAUCE - A Blend of Olive Oil, Garlic, Basil and Hot Sauce.  Delicious...with a little kick.

Today, we're heading down to go swimming at the Hotel Julien.

Hope you had a great Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011


December 19th was my dad's birthday.  He chose to go to Texas Roadhouse for dinner, since none of us have been there yet.  The kids couldn't believe they not only give you peanuts while you wait, but you can just toss the shells on the ground when you're done.  They all decided they were glad they didn't have to clean the floor at the end of the day. Ha!

I don't care to think about how many of those buns I ate.  The butter was pretty awesome too...although my dad hated it.  What?!

For an appetizer, we had a baby blossom.  It was delicious!  Rowyn gobbled it up...and when my mom asked her what she was eating, Rowyn said, "French fries!"  Little did she know. ;)

I had a salad, salmon, and fries with cheese.  No calories there. 
My husband and my dad had steaks that I'm pretty sure were still mooing.  Gross.

All in all, we had a good time.  My biggest complaint would be that it is SO loud there.  It was hard to have a conversation with my mom across the table, because I could hardly hear her. 

Aside from that, it was fun.  The staff broke out in line dancing was somewhat reminiscent of the Wilderness restaurant we went to at Disney.  There's a saddle you can sit on while they sing to you for your dad declined, thank God.  Instead they gave him a "Yee haw!" and announced he was turning 17 again.


Booth thought it would be fun to shred our down comforter.  There were feathers strewn all through the house.  I.was.not.amused.


Yesterday, Clyde took Riley and Cooper to an Iowa Hawkeye basketball game, our friends from up the street went with.  The tickets were $10 and that came with a free hot dog and drink...not a bad deal.

The kids said they had a fantastic time and Iowa won...even better!

I had planned on doing some wrapping while they were gone, but a certain three-year-old was up until after 11pm.  So, looks tonight will be some power wrapping.  I don't know why I leave it until the last minute every year. 

Actually, I do...because procrastination is my middle name.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Making pins

We did some baking this weekend, both things I pinned on Pinterest.  I certainly pin more things than I actually try, but did manage to make these much less labor intensive than the other.

On Saturday we made melted Rollo's.  According to the website I pinned the recipe from, we made 'bastard Rollo turtles', because we left out the pecans and replaced them with white chocolate chips.  Easiest, fastest recipe ever.  No pictures, because I accidently deleted them on Sunday and couldn't take new pictures, because they were ALL gone by then. 

Saturday night, I made a batch of sugar cookie dough...I followed the recipe that I pinned and let the dough chill overnight.

On Sunday, we started the all afternoon process of rolling, cutting, baking, frosting, and decorating.  While I rolled and cut, Clyde and Riley made the Royal Icing (also from the same pinned recipe).

Then we decorated...

Rowyn dressed herself, in case you weren't sure. ;)

Daddy helped with the royal icing...which is a royal pain in the ass, by the way.  Kudos to bakers that work with that stuff, because trying to get the consistency right and having patience outlining, filling in, and then decorating.  oh em gee...not for me.
I'm going to a neighbor's house tonight for a cookie exchange, so I decorated a few dozen to take with.  Thank God I don't bake for a living. 

The kids did a great job decorating theirs, very colorful...perhaps a little hard to chew due to hundreds of sprinkles...but they had fun.  The recipe I followed, while time consuming, was very tasty and the royal icing is really pretty once it dries.

What are some of your favorite go-to recipes for Christmas?