A Holly Jolly Christmas

A Holly Jolly Christmas

Well, I guess it’s more than a couple of days past Christmas, and honestly…….I don’t know where the time went.  My Mom and her husband Tom were in town for a couple of days, as was Ross’ brother Rex.  We had a whoppin’ huge dinner on Christmas Eve which was followed by another equally large feast on Christmas night.  On Wednesday night the gang ventured out to Chuck E Cheese for pizza, salad, and fun.  It was Nick’s first time going there and he has been asking to go for quite a while. 

There won’t be much talk about blood sugar in this post, other than I know it was higher than it should have been and I didn’t test it much this week.  My testing kit went missing for a few days, and I found it today in one of Nick’s Halloween buckets that Rio likes to use as a pretend purse.  She got an actual pretend purse for Christmas, so maybe she will stop digging those out of his room! Tomorrow I’m going to try and get back on the horse.  The only good thing about the holidays coming to an end is that my eating will be easier to manage as we get back into our normal routine.

 The kids did some playing on Christmas Eve Morning. Is that an oxymoron?

Rio Climbing on Table

We deemed the tangerines on our little tree to be ripe and picked a few.

Nick Picking a Tangerine From the Tree

Nick peeled them for us.  They were very tasty!

Nick Peeling a Tangerine

This is my new rosemary bush that got planted a couple of weeks ago.  I hope it turns into a big giant hedge.


Rosemary Bush

For Christmas Eve, I made the roasted pork, caribbean rice, rutabaga-carrot mash, and citrus batida cocktails all from this page at Southern Living.  All of the recipes turned out to be delicious, and I would highly recommend them.  I wish I had remembered to take pictures.  At the next holiday dinner I am going to have to assign a photographer, because I get so busy and flustered cooking and making the kids plates that it’s hard to remember to take pictures. 

The Citrus Batidas were so yummy and quite potent.  I will probably only ever make them again for a very special occasion though, as they are loaded with sugar.  Even if I used splenda instead I would still have the fruit juice to contend with.   The Caribbean Rice was probably the best rice I’ve had in a long time.  This is another one that I won’t make a lot, just because my blood sugar doesn’t do well with white rice.  Maybe I’ll try it with brown rice sometime and see if it is good that way.  The Rutabaga-Carrot Mash got a lot of positive reviews and comments such as “I’ve never eaten a rutabaga before!” 

On Christmas morning, Nick had a hard time believing that Christmas had arrived.  Our actual conversation:

Me: Merry Christmas sweetie.

Nick: It’s not Christmas.

Me: Why do you say that?

Nick: (making a sweeping gesture toward the window) Look….there’s no snow!

Me: Ummm….we live in Phoenix.  It doesn’t snow here honey.

Nick: Is it really Christmas?

Me: Yes!

Nick: Well, can I open my presents then?!?!?

He cracks me up.  I guess with all the snowy Christmas cartoons out there he thought we would have a white one!

Finally we got to open presents.  I took a few pictures in the beginning and then got buried under wrapping paper.

This elephant blows air out of his nose and makes the balls float and fly.  Both of the kids like it.

Nick and Rio Playing with Elephant Toy

Rio Playing with Elephant Toy

Rio loves her new stroller which she uses to cart around anything and everything.

Rio Pushing Baby Stroller

Stuff everywhere!  See my new bike trailer in the box against the wall?  Thanks mom!

I’m pretty sure I made out better than everyone.  I got a bike trailer, a Barnes & Noble gift card, a lovely necklace, and a Kindle Fire HD!  WooHoo!  I guess I was good this year.  ;)

Messy Floor on Christmas

For Christmas Dinner we had a giant prime grade beef tenderloin from Costco.  I used this recipe, which was super easy.  I overcooked it a little because my dang meat thermometer is a piece of junk.  It came out okay though.

Beef Tenderloin

For side dishes we had green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and what I call “the 9 hour mushrooms,” otherwise known as the Pioneer Woman’s Burgundy Mushrooms. These things are sinfully delicious and I will always and forever make them on Christmas dinner.  Try them!

Here is what they look like before cooking.

Burgundy Mushrooms Before Cooking

And after…..floating in their wine/butter broth.  Drool.

Burgundy Mushrooms in Bowl

My Christmas Dinner plate!

Christmas Dinner

After dinner we crowded around the table for some poker.  My mom, Tom, my Dad and me on one side…..

Mom, Tom and Dad

And the Appenzeller group on the other side. (Bob, Gloria, Rex and Ross)

Bob, Gloria, Rex and Ross

Our Wednesday night adventure to Chuck E Cheese was very fun.  I think I played more games than Nick.  :) The drink in the champagne flute was the special cocktail of the evening….Sgroppinos!  I didn’t have mint and I used pineapple vodka instead of lemon, but they were still very good. 

Rio at Chucky Cheese

What are you looking at Barney?

Nick on Clifford Ride at Chucky Cheese

Rio loves her Grandpa Phillip.

Rio and Grandpa Phillip at Chucky Cheese

Ross and Nick at Chucky Cheese

Rio checked out Chucky……

Ross and Rio Looking at Chucky

She wasn’t too sure about him.  She didn’t cry, but she kept hiding her head. 

Rio Hugging Ross to Hide from Chucky Cheese

Rio and I sat in the picture/sketch machine, but I had a hard time getting our heads in the right place and then I wasn’t looking at the camera!

Sketch of Rio and I from Chucky Cheese

What a week!  I can’t believe today is Friday and my Dad goes home tomorrow already.  :(   It seemed like he was going to be here for so long and then it just flew by.  I guess that means we were having fun. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  Let’s all go make this a great weekend!