We spent the night of the 23rd at my parent's house. Our old military friends - Amy and Allen H* visited us and brought us the cutest books. It was so good to see them. We enjoyed Ham and cheesy potatoes, etc that night. The next morning, Christmas Eve, we put together a breakfast casserole and then opened presents. My daughter received an American Girl baking set from Grandma and some cute clothes.
Here you can see my mom opening the gift I made - scrapbook pages. They are a tradition but no one knows what information or photos I have tracked down until Christmas Day. This year I had some wonderful help from my cousin in Denmark. I love a mystery but more especially a family history mystery. I tracked down even more info and already have a start on next year's pages!
My Dad and sister went on to say how much they enjoy the pages and how they think they are the best Christmas present ever. I am really glad to know. It's difficult to work that hard and be the only person who appreciates it. My mom said that she brought her book to church and shared a story from it with those she was teaching. My sister says she uses hers all the time. Her kids have taken them to school for assignments. She has taken it to church. They all laugh and cry as they read through it. Because of their encouragement I will continue on. It would be so much easier to buy them a set of ugly slippers.
I've been struggling with food for, oh about 4 years, because of my food allergies. The dietician that met with me after my surgery encouraged me to eat more carbs and have more snacks around. I get so tired making it all from scratch. So my mom decided to help me out. She gave me this nice rice cooker that also steams. Tomorrow I am making quinao (use the white rice setting) with asparagus, tomato, fresh mushrooms, and lots of spices. I can hardly wait!
And on Christmas Eve we ate snow crab. It's my family's tradition. It's a lot of work but fun. I have a great photo of my sister but I need to ask her permission to show you. My sis and her family and then my mom's neighbor whose husband was just transferred to England and she is staying behind to pack oh and we can't forget the R family. Anyway, the house was packed and people sat and ate for 2 straight hours. It was the best company anyone could ask for with great food too!
My mom's decorations in her formal dining room.
And the cheese ball made just for me. My mom rolled it in minced green onions. It was the hit of the party and I finally hid it so I could take some home. My parent's enjoyed the one rolled in walnuts. I made sure that my mom's friend's didn't use the same knife on mine.
We drove home late Christmas Eve. Then the kids got up at 6:40 am. What happened? Seriously, last year it was 8:45 am! Santa brought my daughter the American Girl kitchen table. Perfect companion to the baking set from Grandma P. And Grandma V and I split the cost of Lanie. You can't just have one - they need a friend apparently. I was such a tomboy - I have so much to learn about dolls.
And my son got church clothes from Santa, this pirate ship from Grandparents P, and the battleship from Santa.
So can you see the cute apron on his monkey? OR the matching aprons below for my daughter. I made one for each doll to match the apron she made for the county fair and won 1st prize. I almost forgot them. At the last minute I stuffed them in their stockings.
Oh and cute matching pajama pants. I found an 18" doll pattern at Hobby Lobby and it was on sale for 99 cents. She loves the matching pajamas and I had fun making them.
Just a cute close up detail of the table - storage for all the fun stuff. I love the cupcake holder. So cute!
And here they are trying to figure out all the in's and out's of this fisher price toy.
And I purchased fingernail polish for my daughter. I don't know if you can see the glitter I went with this time. Her colors almost match mine exactly.
I hope you had a Merry Christmas. I hope that you were surrounded by family and friends. Of course, I've experience Christmas time in the mission field with companions I'd been with a whole 2 days and not a family member anywhere. This Christmas I struggled with my health after surgery but I felt pretty good considering. I've experienced Christmas time where we couldn't afford a single gift and were blessed only because of the generosity of others for necessities we badly needed. So I hope that if you were lonely, poor, and in bad health that next year might find you better. That the Savior will wrap you in his arms and you might feel of his redeeming love. That you might always have a friend in him when there is no one else. That others will follow his example and provide for your needs the way he would if he were here. I am truly grateful for his blessings this year. I hope you can reflect on your blessings too.