Entries Tagged as 'mom'

Christmas at our House

December 29th, 2014 · No Comments

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My parents were visiting for the Christmas break from Wednesday (Christmas Eve) until Sunday. Then on Friday Jess and Stephanie came down. On Sunday Richard and Amanda joined everyone and we had our Christmas party.

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I guess I didn’t get any photos of the fine meal that Dallas made. It was a Portuguese roast with vegetables. The recipe is from Dallas’s Aunty on Kauai and she makes it for him every time we go home. Amanda also made a nice salad and for dessert we had the homemade candy that my parents brought. ALSO, while Makai was taking his after-lunch nap, I had a fun (and delicious!) project for Jess and Steph. We made reindeer from Nutter Butter cookies. I thought they were going to be like Pinterest wrecks, but once they were dried and everything, they were pretty cute (and delicous!).

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Later on we opened gifts. This was the first year that Stephanie joined the gift exchange between the adults. We just draw names, so we don’t have to buy for everyone. I had Steph’s name and she had mine! I got her an electric blanket for her cold dorm room and she got me a nice perfume that I’ve been wanting, some kind of new fangled Coke, and an awesome calendar personalized with photographs I’ve posted on Facebook over the past year or so! Even though Steph was in the name drawing, I could not resist buying her some small gifts. One of these was a selfie stick, which was fun to play with. I got Jess one too, since they don’t live in the same house any more!

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Jess and I did not forget to take our photos by the hats we drew in 2010. We tried to take our photo with the selfie stick but after a lot of misfires, we just had mom take the photo. Look how much we’ve grown!

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Christmas Dinner at Aunty Gail’s

December 26th, 2014 · No Comments

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Photo by Heather

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Photo by Heather

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Photo by Heather

This was the 10th year in a row that we have gone to Dallas’s Aunty Gail’s house for Christmas dinner. My parents are visiting from Wisconsin this year and we contemplated not going, but in the end we did and dragged my parents along. I’m glad we did because it is so nice to see all of the family, including many who fly in and we don’t see very often. Of course, everyone made my parents feel right at home and they had a great time.

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Photos by Heather

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Photo by Heather

Last year Makai was just a baby. This year John was the smallest baby. Makai was running around and trying to get right in there with the bigger kids. That was fun to watch. He and his pal Hana are getting to the age when they can finally play together. When they were hugging I almost died. Cuteness!! Also, we keep Makai away from our stairs at home as much as we can, but at Aunty Gail’s tri-level home, there are a lot of stairs and they’re carpeted with VERY plush carpet and Makai would not hold back on going up the stairs. He’s a pro now.

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Photo by Heather

Every year Aunty Gail makes beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole and her mom’s lettuce/mayo/crab/pea salad. It never varies. Dessert varies because other people always bring different desserts, but Aunty Gail always makes her signature cookies. Someone made brownies, my parents brought a tray of their homemade Christmas candy and Naoko made a delicious yule log.

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Photo by Heather

Every year Aunty Gail reminds you a hundred times to bring your grab bag, “no junk!”. The gift exchange was a little more lively than it had been in the past couple years. Maybe because with my parents and Marty’s new wife, there were a few newbies. I just wanted the bottle of wine, dangit! My gift ended up including a bottle of wine, though, so that was nice.

Christmas Dinners Past:

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7th Annual Cookie Party

December 14th, 2014 · 1 Comment

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Last weekend, I hosted my annual cookie party. I was so excited and happy to have the party because last year Makai was just a little baby and I was not doing well and I could not even think about getting a Christmas decoration out, let alone hosting a party!

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So excited to have friends and family over and continue the tradition, that I took the day before off to clean and prep and cook! To counterbalance all of the sweets, I made some dill dip with vegetables, beer dip with pretzels, olives, cheese, meats and nuts. As always, we also had hot apple cider (spiked or not). Stephanie usually makes this, but this year she passed the torch to Jessica, who did a great job keeping up the tradition. Steph made her own cookies, two kinds, which I was surprised by, since she’s off at college now. One other big change, of course, was Makai. He was the “Official Cookie Tester.” Kidding! He only had one cookie! He had a lot of fun playing with everyone, especially Rory Batman and Halle.

These were all the tasty treats we sampled:

Oreo Truffles (Katie)
Cinnamon Spiced Hot Chocolate Cookies (Amanda)
Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies (Loden)
Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies (Jess G)
Homemade Oreos with Nutella Filling (Caroline)
Cookies and Creme Fudge (Stephanie)
Saltine Bark (Kristin)
Cranberry Pistachio Cookies (Mary/Mom)
Mocha-Toffee Truffle Bars (Rachelle)
Gingerbread Men (Liz)
Chocolate Peppermint Brownies (Jill + Halle)
Hello Dolly (7-Layer) Bars (Kristin)
Chocolate and Orange Pecan Shortbread (Rachelle)
Peanut Butter Cookies (Stephanie)

Like previous years, we did a quick vote to see which was the most favorite cookie of the day. It’s funny because every single cookie got at least a vote, which is cool that everyone likes all different things. Maybe everyone just voted for their own! haha. In third place was Loden’s Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies. In second was Amanda’s interesting spicy sweet Cinnamon Spiced Hot Chocolate Cookies. These cookies have black pepper AND cayenne! And the winner……… Katie, a newcomer to the party, with her Oreo Truffles. These were similar to Amanda’s Dirty Balls, which won a few years ago. I guess we know what my crowd likes! Take note for next year! Katie won Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cookies and a Mrs. Claus apron. Congrats, Katie!

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I’m declaring the party a success again this year! I’ll post the recipes for the cookies soon!

6th Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
5th Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
4th Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
3rd Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
2nd Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
1st Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party

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