Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas refelections

We had a nice, quiet holiday at home. Ryan had to work so it was just the girls, my mother-in-law and I.

Having my mother-in-law here is bittersweet - she and my father-in-law planned to share Christmas with us. It has been several years since we spent Christmas together. He passed away September unexpectedly in a boating accident over the labor day weekend. It was very difficult not having him here to share in the celebrations but my MIL did remarkably well.

She received a new camera and GPS from all the kids. My FILs camera was ruined in the accident and the GPS he had was in his car, which she sold. She was so happy that she received the two things she really wanted.

The girls LOVED all of their goodies. They received many things tailored to their own individual tastes. Miss C is a teen so she received clothes, jewelry, and beauty items. Miss N. loves art thus she received many arts and crafts. Miss E. is a reader. Although she received many larger gifts, her favorite gifts from Santa were 2 wonderful books by Shel Silverstein. Even though considered classics, I never owned these books as a child - they are new to me also! We are having a blast reading the wonderful, wacky, whimsical and humorous poetry.

Miss N. also had a birthday ON Christmas. This birthday was a special one so she received more gifts than usual. (Typically the girls receive more at Christmas than on birthdays). Her best gift? A surprise phone from her dad. It was a surprise for me also!

Ryan also surprised me with a few nice gifts - a DVD set of the 1st season of Glee, the new Eclipse DVD and 2 pairs of "Not Your Daughter's Jeans". The jeans were wonderful because Miss N. ruined the one pair I owned when she came back from a tye-dye b-day party and placed her shirt on top of the pants. Best of all I received Just Dance 2. The girls and I have been having a blast playing it. I love most of the new songs but the game is definitely more difficult than Just Dance 1!

My parents gave me a camera. I was thrilled - Our family camera is just not very good. It was a quick and inexpensive replacement for one that broke. When I have been attending blogger functions and all of the other bloggers bring these great cameras to document the experience and all I have my iphone.

Christmas dinner was good - Ham (great), potatoes (Undercooked), asparagus (canned) and cranberry sauce (TERRIFIC!). The next day my Mother in Law "fixed" the potatoes by cooking longer, adding diced ham, milk, cream of mushroom soup and more seasoning. The cranberry sauce recipe with our modifications is included below:

ORIGINAL recipe:
1/2 orange
2 cups water
1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, pippin or
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

OUR recipe (modified from the original - modifications bolded):
1 juice of one orange, freshly squeezed
1 cup water
1 cup orange juice1 McIntosh apple
1 bag fresh cranberries (12 - 16 oz)1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
orange zest
dash of vanilla (about 1/4 tsp)

I just love the cranberry sauce. We have a plain Junior's cheesecake at home. I topped my slice with a couple teaspoons of the homemade cranberry sauce and it is SO yummy!

I hope everyone had as lovely of a holiday as ours. Please feel free to share links to your blog posts of festivities in your home/family or recipes.

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