Friday, December 27, 2013

Our Christmas Celebrations

Good Friday morning!  Christmas has come and gone.  We had a very nice Christmas.  I will try to sum up the highlights here on my blog.
A few days before Christmas, Greg and my Mom and I, went out to visit some dear friends.  Dan lives in the canyon, amidst 400 year old oak trees, and has a beautiful property that I love to visit!!  While we strolled the property, I realized that I  had left my camera on his kitchen counter.  Darn.  His lovely older sister Marjie, and her husband Jerry were visiting from their home in Santa Maria.  I just love this couple.  They are so special!  Oh, and she has chickens!!!! 
Last summer at Bass Lake, Margie was interested in learning how to crochet.  We worked on it for a bit, but didn't have enough time to really get her going on something.  So Mom and I got her a loom, and yarn for her for Christmas, so she can make some hats and scarves.  And Jerry always had several straws in his pocket, for sipping his beverage of choice.  We got him a sippy cup with an attached straw and some Christmas straws.
I was so interested in these stockings that were hung in Dan's kitchen.  There was one made for every member of the family.  Dan has 12 siblings.  One of his sisters knitted one for everyone, their spouse, and all of their children.  That is more stockings that I can count. 
The detail was incredible! 

Dan has a daughter with the same name as mine.  I grew up as Kristy.  And all of the family still calls me that.  My full name is Kristin.  Dan's Kristy, and I, used to ski tandem behind the boat, around Bass Lake, over and over.....and over again.   Ahhhh, youth!
My Knitty Biddies would have loved to see these stockings!
I always love to visit Dan's place!  He has lots of chickens, and a beautiful sprawling property, with lots of trees, and vegetation.  His wife used to raise orchids, and Dan built her a green house.  They have a wonderful caretaker that lives there on the property in his own home, with his family.  He happily shows us around, on the property he so lovingly cares for.
On Christmas Eve, we had our third annual enchilada making party.  Everyone contributes in some way.  All must wear an apron, and each one has a job to do.  We make dozens and dozens of enchiladas, and a huge mess along the way.  We had a blast, just as we did last year too.

 ( WARNING.....awful photo of me!!!! )

We  made 12 trays of enchiladas.  Over 12 dozen, because some trays had more than twelve in them.  Gennifer brought a huge crockpot of homemade refried beans.  Erika made Mexican Style rice, and our good friend Armenia had dropped off tamales earlier that day.  We had a feast!!!!  And then each took home lots of enchiladas for later.  I gifted my Mom and each of my brother's family with a tray on Christmas.
We steamed the tamales in my favorite steamer.  I got this at a thrift shop, a few years ago.  My Swedish friends will have to tell me what it says.  But I sure do love it!!
The inside of the pot contains a steamer basket, with handles to remove contents, and a divider tray to separate your items to be steamed.  Which works great for the tamales.  We stood several upright in the dividers and they steam perfectly.  You can see that enchilada making is a messy affair!!!  But ever so worth it. 
The kiddos ran around like excited kids will do, on the Eve of Christmas!!!!!
After dinner, we let each of them open a few gifts.

Ducey and Dusty were right in the middle of things!  You can see on Ducey's front legs, where he was shaved for his IV's when he was sick.  He doesn't have a poodle hair cut.
Genny and Jake took their tired and excited girls home to go to bed so Santa could come.  Noah put out a plate of cookies and a mug of milk for Santa, and then we took our tired selves to bed.
Noah woke at a decent hour, and we all gathered around the tree to watch his excitement as he saw what Santa had brought him.
It was all about him, and we enjoyed watching, as he opened each gift with the excitement and enthusiasm of the 6 year old boy he is!!!
Greg and Noah, and Drew and I ran over to Gennifer's to see what Santa had left for the girls.  This is what it looked like on the 5 minute drive over.  Sun roof wide open...palm tree in the background...with Geeps in his Santa hat.  I think it got up to 85 degrees on Christmas day here!
 The girls were very excited to show us what Santa had brought them!!  But first, I captured this animated exchange between Noah and his Aunt Genny.
They got all sorts of great things!  Clairey got a princess necklace that she loved.
They both got some pretty cool sleeping bags, with their names on them.  Lots of games, and artwork, and jewelry, and...and...and.........Here they are playing Flickin' Chickin'.
Uncle "Goo" played piano with them.  First it was Claire who crawled up there with him.  I loved capturing this series of photos.

The one above MELTS me!!!  Then Hannah and Noah joined him, to sing us some carols.
We went back home to have a big breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and Paula Deen's decadent Gorilla Bread, that we make every Christmas morning.   Sir Noah requested Snowman Panny Cakes.  And that is exactly what he got!
We sat down to our feast, before getting ready to go to my brother's house for the day.
My little brother Tim hosted Christmas dinner at his house.  We had decided that we would be having a pajama party that day, since no one really wants to get out of their comfy PJ's on Christmas morning. Some chose some very interesting Jammies for the day!!  Nephew Matt, in his Santa jammies.
Nephew Joe, in his onesies.
My brother's beloved pup, Rocky there at Joe's feet.
Erika apparently wanted to be in every photo.

A little of my brother's sense of humor.
Guessing he is having a bit of a plumbing problem?  I just noticed that he thumbtacked it to the wall!!!  I am so proud of my little brother!  He has raised his four kids as a single Dad!  He has three boys, and one daughter.  All living at home.  He has kept that family together, and strong, and they are all very close.  I am SO proud of him!
There is my brother "Timmy" in the red shirt!  Love ya little Bro!
My Mom got all of us a Duck Dynasty Tee Shirt!

My Mom made a fabulous beef tenderloin!  It was so tender it melted in your mouth.  She also made creamed corn, and creamed spinach.  Everyone brought something, and we had a most delicious meal!!!
My Mom's dear friend Judy sent me some of her famous fudge.  She knows I have a sweet tooth, and she is a wonderful baker, bringing all sorts of goodies to my Mom's house when she comes
 Thank you Judy!  It was so good!
Instead of my Mom giving each of us gifts this year, she put the money she would have spent, into a glass jar, and brought us the jar, with the explanation that we were to be thinking of something fun to do as a family, together!  Maybe a trip to Catalina?  The horse races?  A nice dinner out somewhere?  We are all thinking about our ideas, and when we have each had to time to submit our ideas, we will vote.
I love this idea!  Can't wait to do something with everyone!!
We often go to the movies on Christmas night, but decided we would just go home this time, since we were in our jammies and all.  It was a really nice Christmas. is everything!!!!
I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas too!
Oh, and what did Santa bring me?  Well, I actually got it for myself.  A cute Pottery Barn chest of drawers  The drawers are heavy wicker, that slide onto a wooden rail. Each basket has a pretty leather pull.  It it three tier, with each tier having a different size basket.

Oh my gosh, I love it!  I spotted it out of the corner of my eye in the Goodwill store the other day.  It was 29.00 dollars!  It came home with me!!!   I had the perfect spot for it.  Which I will show you later.
Yesterday, I spent the entire day taking all of Christmas down, boxing it, and putting it away until next year!!!!   It always feels so good to get the house back to normal, whatever that is?
We are heading up the hill in a little while here.  I will be back in a couple of days with some mountain fun to post.
XO  Kris


moonstruckcreations said...

What a wonderful, wonderful time you all had!

Have a great time in the mountains.


podso said...

Wow you fit in a lot over the holidays. It looks like great fun with all of your family and all the good food!

Jeanna said...

What a very special holiday with family. Bless your brother, that is amazing to keep all four kids close. It seems your whole family is close and that is such a blessing.

I enjoyed this post very much Kris. Thank you and I hope you all have a great couple of days "up the hill."

Teresa Kasner said...

Hi Kris, wow, you guys had a great time, didn't you! We had similar good times with our family. I'm heading over to Gracie's - she's having Besty, Taci and me over for a visit/crochet time. Then I'm off to the pool. Wish you could join us!!

  *H*A*P*P*Y* *N*E*W* *Y*E*A*R*!*

((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Betsy said...

Goodness! You had a busy Christmas didn't you? But it looks like it's full of love and laughter. Staying in Jammie's all day is a wonderful idea. Hmmm. Maybe next year a new tradition will begin.
And now...I'm off to Gracie's to visit and knit.

Home Meadows said...

Sounds like a wonderful Christmas. The food all sounds so yummy! Happy New Year, Heather

Mereknits said...

Kris, what a fantastic day for everyone! I love all the love that shows when all of you are together. I am boxing up and cleaning this weekend, I can't wait!

Debbie said...

This all sounds wonderful, from beginning to end. Enjoy your time in the mountains!

Deb~in~Denver said...

Perfect Christmas celebrations! I love the pictures of Drew and Claire at the piano. Oh, the look in her eyes and the grin on his face.....priceless! I had to keep scrolling up & down to look at a couple of pictures, I think Noah and your nephew, Joe, look SO much alike! Did Joe look like Noah when he was his age? Jason looked just like my brother in so many old pictures. I think it's wonderful that you and your brothers are so close, you are very blessed! You have every right to be proud of Tim, that's a tough job for most men and it sounds like he has done an incredible job! Love your Mom's gift to all of you, how fun to get to decide what to do, can't wait to hear what you all decide. I KNOW it will be fun for all of you! Enjoy your weekend, I'd tell you to relax and rest up but I don't think you know the meaning of slowing down! I wish I could bottle your energy!

Deb p.s. Can't wait to see where you use that fabulous chest of baskets! Great find!

priscilla said...

I am glad you had such a nice Christmas with your family ! Love the idea of the enchilada making !Our Christmas stays up til New Years Day .. Still loving it :) Love your Good Will buy ! Its very cute ! Happy New Year Kris !

Tammy said...

Omgosh! I love the chest of drawers! So jealous! =) And you need more pics of you. =)

Gracie Saylor said...

I love visiting you and your family and friends through your posts, Kris. Thanks for making the time to create them and share your love of and joy in each other.
The knitted socks you showed are amazing!!! The detail is beyond my skill level which is perhaps why I appreciate them so much :)
Drew singing/playing carols with the girls is very special. I'm so glad you captured those moments in your photo.
It will be fun to learn how you all invest your present jars and how you continue your celebration at the lake! xx

Dawn said...

What a great day :) Looks like you all had a wonderful time and made lots of memories. Its so fun to watch little ones open gifts. Love your new chest and what a deal.

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Hello Kris!

Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! So much fun! I love the ear warmers you made the girls! I tell ya, I would buy several of them if you sold them on Etsy! I have been wearing the darling one you made me. I sometimes sleep with it because my head gets so cold!

Your soap savers turned out really nice. I didn't have a pattern either. Lots of family and friends got hem this way too! Haha! I use one everyday and just leave it in the shower.

Your home looks so cute! Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!


PS…Is this the year we meet up at Tom's Farms? :)

Taciana Simmons said...

It looks like you had a very special day win family and enjoying the holidays. May your new Year bring you too many blessings to count.....we talked about you at our girls lunch and wished you could be here with us... Maybe someday ?!
Happy Nee Year my dear friend!

Holly said...

I'm so glad you had a great Christmas. Everyone looks healthy and happy. Love the pic of Drew and Claire, the expression of love on her face is priceless. Definitely a pic to frame. But seriously, how in the world do you find such great deals? Love the Pottery Barn unit, what storage!

From the Kitchen said...

Wow! What a great holiday for your family. Y'all really know how to celebrate! Now I'm wanting enchiladas!


corners of my life said...

I love the photo of Jerry and his straws. He looks like a "fun time" kinda guy.

Kerri said...

Your family filled Christmas looks and sounds perfect Kris! You really captured some great Drew at the piano with the kids. And, I can't believe you found that chest for 29 bucks- I love it!
Enjoy your time up at the lake!

Kelli said...

It sounds like a wonderful Christmas! I love the PJ idea...I may try to talk everyone into that next year!

Lindz said...

What a wonderful Christmas day!! I love the enchilada party! And that idea about the money in the jar and spending it on a family activity is genius!! :)

Susanne said...

Holy smokes! You must have the best Goodwill store in the country. I doubt that any or ours would have such a nice item like that, and if they do, the employees there would snatch it up long before anyone got in the place. It is always good to see everyone in a family having such fun. Our Christmas seems quiet and tame compared to everyone elses day. Love enchiladas, have you ever made the chicken and green chili ones? They are my favorite ones. I do think I posted the recipe on my blog if you ever want to try them. Hope you have a Happy New Year Kris, and thank you for all the wonderful comments you leave me when you visit me.
(((HUGS))) Susanne :)

Amy at love made my home said...

Wow, it looks as though you had a great Christmas! I especially like the snowman pancakes!! Hope that you have a wonderful 2014 Kris. xx

Linda said...

I'm worn out, just reading everything!
The food....the presents...the people....AWESOME!!!
We will chat when you get home from the Lake♥
Happy New Years, Kris!
Linda :o)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

It looked like a wonderful Christmas for you and your family, Kris! Happy and healthy 2014!

Cheryl said...

Looks like the most wonderful family holiday!!! Those stockings are so amazing. Yummy looking enchiladas by the way!

Debbiedoos said...

WOW looks like you guys had a rockin time! Those stockings are pretty darn cool indeed. Happy New Year Kris and family! XO

Jann Olson said...

Kris, it looks like you had a fabulous Christmas! I can not believe all of the work in those stockings. Must admit, those men are sporting those aprons mighty fine. lol! I think the picture of you is cute. Looks like you're having a ball! YUM! Enchiladas are one of my fav's. What wonderful family time! We had an awesome Christmas also. I bought hubby a Duck Dynasty ball cap. He's loving it! Have a very Happy New Year!

DaCraftyLady Debb said...

what a wonderful day you had.. :) We did too, I loved the DD t-shirts.. :) And your mom's idea of her gifts.. :) cute chest of wicker drawers lucky you...we had a busy day too and then just relaxed in our jammies after.... MErry Christmas and a Happy New Year~~Debb

Val said...

Looks like you had the best Christmas, ever. Memories to be had for a lifetime. Those enchiladas look amazing.

NanaNor's said...

Dear Kris, As you can see I'm a bit behind visiting. Loved sharing your Christmas-how fun that everyone spends the night and stays in their jammies. You have such an incredible family-so beautiful. Hope you have a wonderful evening tonight-we will go out to dinner shortly and then come home, get to bed before midnight. I'm so thankful for you Kris-you always make me smile. Big hugs to you.

Linda said...

Hi Kris,
Looks like another awesome holiday with your wonderful family! Love the pajama idea...comfy and cute too!Those stockings were wonderful...kind of like at Don's Mom's house...there were just 9 kids there! I tried translating the pot...a little rough, but something like "on the table is the best Jovdiska Gavor" which is a food I never had with my not sure what it is...a good research project...I'll ask my aunt...maybe she knows. Happy New Year!!

Hanne said...

so many great photos, thanks for sharing.

Happy new year

Tania @ Out Back said...

I loved seeing your Christmas photos Kris. You have a beautiful family.

The cane basket drawers were definitely a bargain! I would have snapped them up too :)

I wanted to wish you all the best for the New Year, may it be filled, with much laughter, joy and the things you love xx

Grammy Staffy said...

You have said that my family reminds you of yours..... I so agree. I love seeing all of your great family pictures and the fun that you all have being together. I can see the love in each picture. Aren't we so blessed to have such close, loving families!!!
I'm glad that you had such a nice Christmas. I wish that it weren't over. I took down my decorations today and I miss them.
Happy New Year to you and yours. Hugs, Lura

Patty Antle said...

What a wonderful time with family you had, Kris. I love your apron and the enchiladas looked so delicious! Your PB find is fabulous. And those stockings - oh my - what a talented and generous lady!!

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

You had a busy holiday for sure. I didn't host anything for Christmas so that was nice for us to not have to get the house ready. Love that table and drawers. It looks new. Can't wait till you share what you did with it.

Katie Mansfield said...

It sounds like a great Christmas. I love the jammie idea. We all had knit stockings like that growing up. Some of them even look like the same pattern my mom used. Happy New Year.

Poppy said...

Happy New Year, Kris!

Your family looks like a lot of fun and the festivities of Christmas certainly add to all the joviality!

Thanks for sharing and all the very best in the new year!