31 December 2014

Happy New Year!

CA persevered with a small celebration, despite
the back pain procedure he endured this a.m.


Antipasta Salad. My contribution to our New Year's.


28 December 2014

Odds and Ends. Christmas details.



Special cookies for Fun Kids. Bittersweet. Chicago.



Slovak handmade "Bethlehem."

Southwestern Nativity.

Fun Kids craft project.


 And, elsewhere. Fort Collins Fun Kids on their way to Washington, DC.




Christmas magic: my department:

This year's table runner.

Molasses cookies, with lemon buttercream.

Some plain; some sandwiched.

Mrs. Bate's Fudge.


27 December 2014

Christmas at GG's

This will be our last Christmas at GG's as she is in the process of resettling permanently at her assisted living facility that is in the same complex as the cottage she's lived in since 2004. With that in mind and as is our regular custom, we did it up completely!

HW with Lucy and Yoshi.

My peach tart. CA had hoped to make an apple tart,
but his back pain got in the way.

Yes, this is our presentation and buffet table...
What can I say? We just dove in. Delicious New Orleans BBQ shrimp
and oyster shooters, etc., etc., etc...

Grits cook-off. Geechie Boy grits won best in class,
but the shrimp grits made by LW were the BEST.



The Fun Kids love a good motel room...




GG decided to sort through some of her jewelry.



She gave me this lovely dinner ring, which is already being resized...


26 December 2014

And, This is How We Spent Our Christmas with the Fun Kids.

Grandma made a home for Cammie, the camel.

This is far as the Fun Kids wanted to take our craft project.

Cousin Sophie gave Lucy this princess-worthy nightgown.

Early morning re-culturization. Electronics.

Perfection!

Grandpa, we have to kill the villagers to steal their houses...

Best puppy ever!

My favorite ginger.

Breakfast for our early riser.

And then, there were two.
Christmas dress from grandma.



25 December 2014

Christmas with the Fun Kids


Monday dinner:
Fresh Market chicken pot pie.

Cole slaw w/ cranberries, apples, toasted pine nuts.

Breakfasts:

Easy Banana Bread.

Family's traditional pie-crust cinnamon rolls.
Christmas morning libations.

Our celebrating began in earnest when JE's family arrived from Cincinnati on Monday afternoon. The delight and anticipation flew in our front door around 3:00pm, and the Fun Kids immediately surveyed the packages under the tree, and each opened their special drawer in our Great room console to see what treasures grandma had gathered since their last visit.

We obviously ate well, and the kids both entertained themselves, drafted adults for various board games, and even took a trip to Chicago to visit cousins SG and RG. A good time was had by all.

For the Fun Kids, Wednesday was all about going to the Woodstock Movie Theater for Big Hero 6. LC talked about those characters and scenarios throughout the rest of his time with us. CA and I made an early morning grocery run--stocking up for the next few meal at Meijer's, Trader Joe's, and Caputo's. MA made a run to the Crystal Lake butcher for gorgeous NY strip steaks to be grilled for Christmas dinner.

Our Christmas Eve was ostensibly finger foods, but it really was a full-on buffet of cheeses, meats, pigs-in-blankets (kids' request), marinated mushrooms, favorite bread, Irish butter, fruit, veggies. There may have been a few bottles of specially-selected beers and wines somewhere in the mix. I forget...

Yes, our family celebrations are very much about food. Whether we cook it together, bring food in, go out, or make do we all appreciate and expect the best quality.

Cincinnati Fun Kids.

Not with us this year, but in our hearts and minds...

DM's family, minus MK (the photographer).
Fort Collins Fun Kids.


In yet another location--New Orleans--niece HW is perfecting her oyster shucking techniques to be applied on Friday in Central Illinois. She and her parents, PW and LFW, are driving non-stop through the night to ensure that our seafood arrives pristinely fresh and chilled for optimum enjoyment.





24 December 2014

Our Tree


Before Fun Kids arrived to decorate.









Voila!



22 December 2014

Family Celebrations



The Jacobs' family celebration in Peoria, IL. (CA and I were not able to attend on 12/21.) Sister #3, NC's family were at home in Seattle.

Great nieces and nephews.
Sister #2, GJ, and her husband. 
GJ's oldest son's family. 5 out of their 6! sons.
The rest of GJ's grandchildren, minus one.
My oldest sister, JL, and GJ's husband.
JL with her grandchildren.
Sister #5, PM. That's GJ's husband, again!
They forgot to take a photo of PM's husband.
PM's older son's family. The two in front are twins.
PM's younger son's family.
The two bookends are twins.
Yes! Two sets of twins!


We were with our Small Group family that same evening...