Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Holidays

I realize most of you think blogging about Christmas is SO last season, but it's not all about you, you know. Let's just pretend we all still care how my Christmas vacation went.

Christmas was so much fun, right?! One of the perks of Kyle's job is that it's portable because it only requires his lap top and a phone line. So, we got to head off to my parents' in Sacramento a whole week early so the kids and I could soak up the festivities while Kyle camped in a cold, [not so] quiet corner of the house working and trying not to get distracted by all the Christmas fun he was missing.

He wasn't excluded from all the fun, though, you see. He and the boys had a superbowl man's night. Notice how, completely unprovoked, Erik must be poking (or otherwise injuring) his brother at all times.

We hadn't seen Dad, Joestie, or Bryce in a whole year, and this was our first acquaintance with Joestie's little Alex. It was love at first sight.

And when Charlie wasn't trying to eat him, they got along swimmingly.

Do adults really buy those tiny varieties for their own consumption?

The way I see it, having half the fat means I can eat twice as much.

I'd tried all month to make gingerbread men with the kids and never got around to it until Santa cookies on Christmas eve. This recipe uses a package of butterscotch pudding so it's more like a ginger-cinnamony sugar cookie. Yum. I'm so glad I'm Santa.

Handwritten letter to Snato, I mean Santa. She gets to the point: "Snato, computer pretend. Ellie"

Erik asked for a Super Why (PBS reading superhero) doll.

I make sure to use this plate (petite as it is) and glass every year because I bought this on clearance somewhere just a couple weeks after we were married. Kyle, like most rational people, thought it a pretty useless purchase given our then family size. So my job is to make it look like it was worth storing for those years plus 364 days of the year from now on.

I also whipped out several loaves of this tasty tradition (glazed bread stuffed with sweet, lemony cream cheese and cherry pie filling). Usually it is Ma, but she was out of commission after starting chemotherapy a few days previous. Usually we gift these candy cane breads as we Christmas carol friends, but this year we just ate them.

Without Scott and Kristin and their kids (missed you guys!), our nativity production was somewhat less impressive this year, but Ellie still got to stuff a doll up her shirt.

We sang some songs and Dad read a story that I remember being a tear jerker, but appears to have also been a knee slapper.

And then it was Christmas morn. Santa had Charlie's mom in mind when he brought this ornamented cage.

Wow, not a flattering shot of any of us, but magic was in our hearts.

Christmas breakfast was better than ever. I made creme brulee french toast (and maybe our family's tastes are not refined enough for that because I don't think the second pan ever got finished off, but in their defense, it was perhaps not quite tasty enough for the caloric content), and we also ate fruit, artichoke sausage and spinach cheese puffs that I didn't make.

That is Mish's stack of loot beside Ellie.

Mish and I did the homemade gift deal this year, with Mish's embroidered neck pillow for Fa (other side decorated with his qualities, as to support the neck and ego simultaneously) and Mom-ism dish towels among my faves. (Why the underline!? No really, why does automatic underline always happen to good people!?)

No wonder I needed a diet after Christmas break. The only vegetable for Christmas dinner was canned and smothered in cream. Vitamix would be ashamed of me.

We entertained ourselves by watching family videos, playing Bang!, initiating a round of Iron Chef (only got video footage of that), complete with secret ingredients and hungry judges, and perusing the town for oddities on our scavenger hunt check list, such as Bryce hanging from a tree ...

and a 50+% off sale...

and some good old fashioned p.d.a. (had to be within six feet of it, which was trickier than anticipated). The only item neither team captured was a photo with a smiling child (other than our own). I was creeping myself out stalking isolated children through Walmart.

Christie's hair is already straight, but Mish's exuberance for her new chi flat iron knew no bounds.

Pretty sweet lake view for the dead of winter. The weather was fabulous. So that's why people live in California.

Christmas was so many kinds of wonderful. Don't forget we detoured to Disneyland, too. That recap is up next.


Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! I love the scavenger hunt items. What a great idea! Oh, and Bang is a favorite. We can't get enough of it...but it definitely is lacking when only two of us are playing.

All the food looks amazing. I want the candy cane bread recipe! I think I'll go eat something now. :)

Kendra said...

I love it. In fact - I love all of your posts. Thanks for the update - I had been dying to hear about your holidays... they just seem so festive and fun. You are amazing! Keep up the good mothering. :)

Cristi said...

Oh my GOSH! I was laughing so hard at the dear Snato letter - and Ellie getting right to the point with computer pretend - that I almost couldn't get through the rest of the post! Love it!

Marilyn said...

Well, I think that you had a great time without me. But I was thinking about you.

Joe and Christie said...

Oh, Tiff. You should be paid for this blog! It's that good. (But let's keep the hideous candids of me just between us, mmkay?) ;)

sara said...

Great post! I've been so bad at posting pictures lately, so I'm living vicariously through you. That food looks amazing!