Our White Christmas 2017

On Christmas Eve the table was set for four of us to enjoy Dear’s Tomato Rice Soup and Pesto Tortellini after our services at church. Katie and Andrew texted us and reported that it was snowing and they were on their way. We enjoyed one “Christmas” movie together and Dear and I went up to bed while Katie and Andrew watched White Christmas together. It was Andrew’s first time to see it and judging from the laughter we heard, it was a hit. Later in the night Josh and Laura arrived on the snow covered streets like Santa, loaded with gifts for under the tree. The kids found their guestrooms and fell fast asleep. While visions of sugar plums danced in our heads the snow continued to fall.

We woke up to a very white Christmas! The prompt that tells everyone it’s time to get out of bed and open stockings is “It’s the Thought” cd by Twila Paris.  After we opened our Santa stocking stash, had Dear’s Swedish pancakes (a must on Christmas morning), then opened gifts (the order is important), we braved a walk in the snow after we all found the right footwear, coats and scarves.

Katie and Andrew even found some Pokemon Go whatevers in our neighborhood.

The younger set tried sliding along the icy streets and got some nice distance. I walked like a penguin to keep from falling.

A winter wonderland selfie. Dear loaded the dishwasher and washed the non-dishwasher breakfast dishes while the rest of us walked. He’s a keeper.

After the walk the table got a little tweak to it for Christmas dinner. The roast was in the oven wafting it’s great aromas to whet our appetites for dinner.

Josh thought to take this photo of Dear and me while we waited for the roast to rest.

Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding has become our Christmas dinner tradition. We’ve gone from mashed potatoes to roasted vegetables over the years. We were all quite satisfied after our meal.

Laura managed a selfie of all of us in front of the tree.

Our twentieth and last Christmas in this Old House was blessed from above and we thank God for His love.

We also were very thankful to get the two texts telling us each car filled with our best gifts had made it home safely on the snow and ice covered streets. The hardest part of their trip was getting out of our neighborhood.

In her Santa photos, Addy seems to be tolerating Santa but has her elbow positioned ready to jab him if need be and make an escape. She’s just not going to fully tuck in with this stranger.

Throughout the day we enjoyed videos, photos and texts from Dan, Jamie and Addy showing us what was going on for Addy’s First Christmas.

This was their Christmas Card this year. This was taken back in November. They had a white Christmas, too, only they got 14 inches to our 4 inches! All our snow is melted because of rain today but Addy’s house is still getting snow!

Josh and Laura sent her that onesie and the activity center.  The videos were of her opening the gifts she received from her Baba, Gramps, Aunties and Uncles. She’s quite a pro at tearing off wrapping and discarding it for what’s inside. We were all smiles and chuckles as we watched the videos over and over again.

Someone is all smiles for her first white Christmas! Baba bought her that snow suit before she was born. So so thankful for technology that allows us to experience something from across the state or the world.

We also received many photos and a video of my extended family in Southern California celebrating with my dear old Pop. Here’s one of the photos with the back of my Pop’s head and many of his kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.  Wish I knew how to share the text video of them singing Joy to the World at the dinner table. Did you know Joy to the World really wasn’t written as a Christmas song? That’s another story…(hint, think 2nd Coming). One more photo with the front of my Pop (almost 95) and three great grands that were at the Christmas Eve gathering. Ellie was born on Christmas Eve two years ago! Jackson is now a teenager and Avery is not far behind. We’re exited for our little Addy to meet these cousins once removed for the first time.

One more Christmas for the record books or record blog. I’m working on a 20 year recap of Christmases at this old house for history sake.

Thank you for stopping by during these last days of 2017.

Three Full Days…

Before we are swept into 2015 I’ll share our full three days of celebrating…

We had a very quiet Christmas Eve. Early in the morning we braved the parking lots at Costco and Safeway and bought the last minute items we needed for Christmas day. We bought a Costco rotisserie chicken and macaroni & cheese for any hunger pangs we might have as we got ready for Christmas day.

Our Christmas Eve service followed the theme of peace in the midst of pain and chaos. We enjoyed singing traditional Christmas carols with a few modern twists and we even had snow fall during the service inside church! After work on Christmas Eve Andrew and Katie arrived for the night enjoying our treats from Costco and after Dear and I went to sleep I heard Josh and Laura arrive for the night after they celebrated with Laura’s family.

Early on Christmas morning Dear and I heard some ducks quacking and it took us a while to spot them on the neighbor’s roof. A quacky good morning made us smile.

More presents were added next to the tree as Dear and I slept.

We woke the kids up to a favorite Christmas CD by Twila Paris to see what gifts Santa delivered to our stockings.

Our breakfast table was all ready to go for our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of Swedish Pancakes that Dear makes for us.

After breakfast I changed out the table for our Christmas Dinner with two places added for Dan and his fiance Jamie who were on the road from Eastern Washington to join us for dinner and the rest of the weekend.

Christmas Day 008Our meal on Christmas day was our traditional Prime Rib Roast and Yorkshire pudding with roasted root vegetables and creamed corn.

Our kids with their loves!

The original family with our three children.

Our oldest, Josh, married Laura in 2001.

Our youngest, Katie, married Andrew in 2011.

Our middle son Dan who will be married to Jamie in 2015.

All of us together.

The day after Christmas we had another fun evening celebrating Dan and Jamie’s engagement and Katie’s birthday with family and friends. We had appetizers and Dear’s Tomato Rice Soup for our gathering.

Katie, Andrew, Steve (BIL), Lana (My sister), Beth (mother of Dan’s best friend growing up), Dan, Jamie

Laura, Dave (Father of Dan’s best friend growing up), Dear, Ellen b., Josh and Katie. Unfortunately Dan’s best friend growing up was home sick along with his little daughter so his family wasn’t able to join us.

We toasted Dan and Jamie and then we sang to Katie before she blew out the candles on her Applesauce Spice Birthday Cake.

Our hearts are full and flowing over.

Dan and Jamie left our home on Sunday morning headed across the mountains again to Eastern Washington. We got the text that they arrived safely and that is always a good text to receive.

How are things at your place?

The Preparations…

On Sunday December 14th our long awaited Christmas Party with the British Columbia Mennonite Girls and their husbands began at three in the afternoon. My preparations had been going on for a while.

2014-12-11 More XmasJoy was the theme and red and gold were the color choices I picked. I had red glassware but only had a total of 10 pieces so I was on the hunt for 6 more goblets or glasses to fill the 16 place settings we would need for our party. When we traveled to our son’s home in eastern Washington in early November we shopped at some thrift stores and found a set of 8 red goblets for a real good price. Yippee!

We do not have an open concept home by any means and to be able to fit 16 around tables we had to get creative. We decided to empty out some of the furniture from our living room so we could fit two round tables that would each be set with eight place settings.

Where there’s a will there’s a way. I saw a package of red and gold Christmas Crackers at Costco and knew they’d be a fun addition to the table. The red and gold sparkly chargers came from HomeGoods. I already had a stash of cloth napkins in red and gold tones and napkin rings that worked nicely with the color theme. I found flat Christmas wreaths and red candle holders for my center pieces.

Here’s a photo the day of our gathering with all the last minute touches added to the table. This photo was taken by Lovella. The next couple of  photos were taken by Anneliese.

Our front porch was transformed with a fake little Christmas tree that we had in our condo when we lived in Southern California for a few years. The vintage red step stool was a fun piece to put some of my lanterns on. The cedar branches and all the greenery with red berries, rosemary, and holly came from my yard. I had the large glass jars that I filled with the greenery and added a candle in to warm up the entry to our home.

I’m enjoying our new 3D star that we purchased this year that adds it’s light to welcome you to our front door.

My next post will show the people that made all these preparations worthwhile. Here’s the sneak peek of the girls and the guys.

More to come soon with some great photos from Anneliese and Lovella who clicked away while Dear and I worked on getting the food ready for everyone.

Since I finally set a table and took some photos I’m going to link this post to Cuisine Kathleen’s Let’s Dish for this week. If you’d like to see my guests seated at these tables click here.