Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas : Take 4

Christmas just keeps on going around here. I think this 2009 year it lasted about 2 weeks between all the comings and goings and family get-togethers. Not complaining. Just sayin'.

Matt, Janice, and their 3 boys came to OK for a few days. We just hung around and relaxed. Dad and Janice put on a GRAND Christmas party in the barn. I forgot my camera (dang-it), but hopefully I can get some pics and blog about the long-standing tradition of "holidays in the barn."

It was good to see the Chicago peeps. The boys are getting so big. Jakey-poo is too cute. Can't wait for that new baby girl next Christmas!

Friday, December 25, 2009

My 3 New Cooking Toys

First things First ~ BREAKFAST ~ made in my new Monkey Bread Maker. Mmmmm.... homemade monkey bread on Christmas morning. Good thing we started the day so early, since we had to wait for the bread to rise. Twice. And Charis wasn't afraid to get her hands messy. She loves to cook just like her Momma! And boy was that wait worth it! Yummo! Thanks Babe!

Then a few hours later, we were hungry for a little bit a ~ LUNCH ~ made in my new Le Creuset stock pot (yes, just like the one on the Pioneer Woman's Cookbook. Shameful... I know). But really, the green color was my fav! Nevertheless, chicken soup for lunch. See!?!? Well worth it. (Or at least you'd think so if you could have tasted it)

And at last ~ DINNER ~ would have been served on the new panini press that I've been wanting. But since we spent the evening at Dad's with him, Janice, and her family, I used it the next morning for homemade pancakes. Made from the recipe book that was my Mom's. The Betty Crocker cookbook that my Mom taught me to cook from. Did I mention the panini press doubles as a griddle, and opens up flat. Finally for the first time in my life, the pancakes turned out perfect! And it was easy to pour out cute pancake shapes right onto the griddle. Love it!

Here is the pancake recipe from one of my treasures ~ my Mom's cookbook. I love all the grease stains on the well worn pages. The waffle recipe on the next page shows where I wrote out to the side the "doubled" amounts ~ so I didn't have to do the math every time. Ha! (kids)

This 3rd cooking gift from Alan will be a learning adventure for me. Paninis are actually quite complicated and a bit intimidating. Not making them, but MAKING or CREATING them. I need a recipe book just for these yummy, flat, crusty little sandwiches.

You Gotta Get up ~ it's Christmas Morning!

We have wonderful tradition of always being at home on Christmas eve and Christmas morning.

We always attend the Christmas eve service at church, but this year we got so much snow, the service was canceled. We were disappointed, but still had a nice evening. We stayed home, made chili, and opened our gifts to each other. The kids used their own money to buy gifts for each of us in the family.

Christmas morning is the best. The kids wake up, hide their eyes as they're walking by the living room full of gifts, and once in our room they wake us up. They wait as patiently as they can until we get the cameras ready. This year when they woke us up, it sure seemed early, but we looked at the clock and it said 6:45am. We figured that was a fair time! Once we awake and in the living room Alan noticed the clock said 6:00am. So they actually got us up about 5:45am. Our bedroom clock was wrong. Oh well.

And off they went. This year Selah and Charis got American Girl stuff, and Selah got some new journals. Bryson got a skateboard, and few other little things, and a Wii (which was really for everyone).

Alan got a new TV (how many plates did I paint for that one!?!?), and I got some new cooking gifts. The Pioneer Woman has soooo inspired me, that Alan was very happy to give me some new things for the kitchen.

Most of all, we love seeing the excitement in their eyes. We love telling them about how Jesus is the greatest gift that God gave to all of us. And we love that they are learning to give.

Notice how dark it is at 5:45am? Ha!

Set up the Wii in the living room on another TV so we could watch him play.

Lots and lots of snow!

Selah got Alan an OSU hat.

Bryson gave Selah a blingy phone for her room, and a cute fuzzy doorbell

Charis opening one of her gifts on Christmas Eve

Thursday, December 24, 2009

James and Lydia came over late Christmas Eve to hang out with us. We iced sugar cookies, watched Elf, and played a game of Twister. After the kids went to bed, they helped us put together the kids' gifts and set them out for Christmas morning. The power went out RIGHT after the last screw went in on the American Girl tree house. What luck.
We sure do love Unkie James and Aunt Lydia!

Lydia and Charis making the calls:

Are you s-e-r-i-o-u-s? Did you have to call right foot red?!?!?!?

Dude... he's like Spiderman!

"Oh yeah? It's GO-TIME! Where do you think my son gets those sweet moves?"

Merry Christmas from the Aberles!! (we ARE the Aberles)

We are so blessed to get to be together with Alan's family each year for the holidays. I have so many neat memories of each Christmas with them, beginning with the ones in the South Dakota snow.
Every Christmas that I can think of (except maybe the one where Grandpa was vacuuming the floor under my baby WHILE we were all still eating ~ yeah, maybe not that one), okay... so almost every Christmas... is so relaxing. So enjoyable. So full of tradition. So full of fun, laughter, and as for as long as I've been around, full of kids! Which means, full of fun times with a Grandpa and Grandma.
I love spending time with my first Sister, Theresa! She's one of my favorites! :-)
All of us girls have fun in the kitchen. The kids have fun together. And I think the guys just enjoy hangin' out and a little relaxation.

The highlights this year were the AWESOME meal Theresa made for us with the authentic Lithuania flare; the Grandkids and the hand-bell show; the "his and her" nighties given to us from Adam and Theresa (Oh~My~Word!?!?), the family pictures (that turned out so cute) and the family sing-song, and for my kids ~ their first year to do a scavenger hunt for their gifts from Grandma and Grandpa. My favorite tradition is that each of us individual families plan, shop, prepare, and serve a meal to the rest of us. I LOVE this part! Alan made his famous omelets, and I made the Pioneer Woman's homemade cinnamon rolls. MMMM-MMMM-MMmmmm.
This year our time in Springfield was shorter than usual since Alan had more commitments at work, but still a sweet time together.