Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holiday Fun

Well, if you aren't done yet, you better hurry.   There are only two more shopping days until Christmas!  This is the most relaxed I have ever been before Christmas!  We scaled things down quite a bit this year, and I have enjoyed the Christmas season SO much more!  I have had the time to really sit and enjoy my family.  I had a special visit with a long time girlfriend the other day, and we sat at the kitchen table over tea and baked goodies and chatted away for a couple of hours. 
Today our daughter Gennifer asked if we might be available this evening to watch the girls so that they could catch the movie Lincoln.  I said sure!  We had so much fun with them.  First we watched Home Alone Two, which they giggled through from start to finish.  Then Uncle Goo (Drew) played some Christmas music and the girls danced and sang along.
Drew's girlfriend Diana is so good with the girls!  They love her!
The kids are awfully excited about Christmas this year! 
I made two big batches of granola this weekend.  One for us, and one batch to give to neighbors along with their Christmas gift.
I should have taken a photo of all of the good stuff that I put in this bowl, but I forgot, so here is a photo of the bags of some of it.
You can really put whatever you like in it.  I start with about 6 cups of whole oats.  Then add a variety of nuts.  Tonight I used about 2 cups sliced raw almonds, 1 1/2 cups of pecans, 3/4 cup of walnuts, and 1/2 cup of raw sunflower seeds.  Then I added about a cup of coconut.   1/3 cup of wheat germ, 3 teaspoons of real vanilla, cinnamon, ground nutmeg and allspice.   3/4 cup of brown sugar, light or dark.  I prefer dark for this.  For this amount of oats and nuts, I used about 3/4 cup vegetable oil.  Stir to coat well.  Then spread out evenly onto deep trays.  Bake in 275 degree over for an hour or until golden brown.  Turn the mixture every 20 minutes or so, so that toasting is even.
The house will smell so yummy, and everyone who walks through will ask what smells so good!
Let cool before putting into jars, or containers.   You could add dried fruits to it at this point if you like.  I was wishing I had some dried cranberries.  I got these cute holiday take out containers at Michael's the other day.  I put it into holiday ziplock containers before sealing the box. 
I also save my creamer containers, and my friend Viki give me hers too!  These make great containers for gifting different things.  One year I made a hot cocoa mix and put them into these pourable jars. 
The other one is a cute glass bottle that I had gotten egg nog in last year. 
Tomorrow I will be baking some cookies and making fudge to add to these gifts.  What do you like to give your neighbors for Christmas?
My friends and neighbors, Sue and Carl gave me this darling apron today, along with Carl's homemade fudge and cookies.
You can't see the G, but it says Grandma's Sippy Cup.  I love aprons, and I have a few holiday favorites.
This Santa suit apron was given to me by my son's girlfriend last year.  I love it!
And another holiday favorite is this one that Jann sent to me after I won a giveaway from her blog.
While I was in the kitchen turning granola and waiting for it to finish, I stood at my fridge looking at this photo of all of us.  It was taken one year for our Christmas Cards.  The old truck was my Dad's.  We put a wreath on the front, and our cut Christmas tree in the back, and we all piled in.  We took many different shots.  Some in the grove, and some out in the front of the house.  I loved these pictures.  Gennifer was 14, Erika was 12 and Drew was 6.  Greg and I were younger, thinner and had more hair! 
We wanted our two labs, Tucker and Sally to be in it too, but they were not cooperating.  You can see Tucker by Drew, and Sally is in the front of the truck, you can see her in the reflection of the bumper.
I hope you are taking the time to sing some Christmas Carols with your family.
I did not send out Christmas cards this year.  I usually do a family photo, and I did not have one with all of us in it.  The photo in my header would have been perfect, but our daughter Erika and grandson Noah were not in it.  So, this year, I skipped it.  I hope to get a good family photo and perhaps send them out at the first of the year.
I hope that this finds all of you enjoying the holiday festivities with your loved ones.  And in case I don't make it back for another post, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!! 
XO  Kris


Holly said...

Merry Christmas to you, my sweet friend.

From the Kitchen said...

What a fun age the children are for Christmas! Wishing you the best of times with all of your loved ones.


Gloria said...

I love the Santa apron I would like have one!!
Dear hope you have a beautiful and happyu Christmas with all your sweet family:)

Debbie said...

Your granola looks wonderful! We have not exchanged gifts with neighbors for a few years now...but I sure remember MANY a year we did. My gift was always fudge and mini loaves of pumpkin bread. I don't even make it for us anymore, haha! This gal ate more of it than anyone else... ; )

Merry Christmas to you and your family Kris! Enjoy every little moment, and may He richly bless you!

Patty (Patty's Pretty Things) said...

Thank you for the granola recipe. Merry Christmas.

Bethany said...

Merry Christmas!

Mereknits said...

A lovely post Kris, wishing you and your family a wonderful Holiday. There will be a lot of magic and excitement that will a blessing to experience.
Hugs to you,

Patty@Lemon Lane Cottage said...

Merry Christmas to you too, dear friend. Spending the day in your kitchen sounds just about perfect and I hope to do more of it next year. Patty

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

I have to say I was more stressed this year with kids in school. I am used to the younger ones at home and helping with baking. I really now know to start earlier next year but my sweetheart knew I needed rescuing and dived in finished the shopping and wrapped all afternoon yesterday so we are all done. God I love that guy. I love that old truck and your photo. How fun and perfect taken in your grove. I know you will have a blast. We are having a big group for Christmas day with friends of my nephews who have no family to go to so we are excited to welcome them. Merry Christmas Kris. Your family is so blessed to have you and your loving spirit guiding them all.

Pam said...

Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family! Thanks for sharing your blog with us. Love your aprons. I am going to attempt to make some kid aprons for my neighbors twin girls.

Petunia Pill said...

Raise a toast to "scaling down". Truly, less becomes oh so much more! Merry Christmas, Kris! Blessings to you and yours. xo, Annette

20 North Ora said...

Kris - What a wonderful post! I love the photos of you all with the old truck. How special is that?

Merry Christmas.


by Teresa said...

Kris.. this post is so neat, it's like spending a few hours with you in your home. I am also having a more scaled back holiday and it definitely more relaxed - it's so nice! I showed your Dad's truck to Dayle and he LOVED it... he has been looking at old trucks on craigslist all morning. :-) Have a wonderful time the next few days.

❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉
*M*E*R*R*Y* *C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S*!*
❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉

((hugs)), Teresa :-)

The Garden Bell - Kate said...

Looks to me like you are good and ready to sit back and enjoy. Take it all in and celebrate the day. Will be thinking of you and hoping that you take lots and lots of pictures.

Grayseasailor said...

Merry Christmas, Kris! Thanks for another good visit. I loved seeing one of your family Christmas pictures, some of your neat aprons, your yummy granola and your family laughing and singing and being together. Precious, and a gift for those of us who are your neighbors from afar:) xx from Gracie

pembrokeshire lass said...

I hope you have a older full Christmas, Kris. Plenty of family fun and lots of loving! Joan

Chenille Cottage said...

What a wonderful family!
Merry Christmas, Kris!

Genn said...

In that picture of us in papas old car, drew is the same age, height, and I swear looks just like Hannah!!!!! It's crazy to me!

Thanks again for watching the girls on Saturday! We enjoyed the movie a lot!

Jann Olson said...

Oh my gosh Kris, love the picture with the awesome truck! The girls are so cute and I can just see them dancing. Thanks for sharing your wonderful granola recipe. It looks delicious. I will be making it for sure. Would make a great neighbor gift. This year I bought all of mine. The girls and I bake up a storm, but after dividing it all and giving some to my FIl I really don't have enough. Sometimes I give bags of homemade chex mix. Keeping your granola in mind for next year. Glad you like your apron. Thanks for the shout out and have the merriest of merries!

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Love that family picture and that truck is awesome! You have been a busy bee Kris! Hope your thumb gets better soon! I have stitches in one of my fingers trying to get things done to fast a couple days ago! Rats!

Wshing you and yours a very Merry Christmas! xoxoxo

Kerri said...

Just catching up over here Kris! Your tree is so pretty...and I love all your special little touches in your always looks so cozy. About your header, wouldn't it be funny if you could find a way to photoshop Erika and Noah into that picture?! It's such a fun would be worth a shot! I love the picture of all of you in front of your dad's truck! That truck would be sooo popular today with it's aqua color!
Merry Christmas to you and your family!

podso said...

It does make a difference, doesn't it, when we don't try to do it all. Hoping you have a wonderful Christmas together!

NanaNor's said...

From my heart to yours Kris, Christmas blessings. I loved seeing all your photos, especially the one from years ago. Hope you have a very special and merry Christmas.
Hugs, Noreen

Cheryl said...

I also love all your photos!! You have such a wonderful family. Merry Christmas to you.

corners of my life said...

Merry Christmas Kris and thank you for your fun blog.

Val said...

Merry Christmas to you and the happiest of New Years!