Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day

Christmas day was quiet and wonderful. Our morning was spent at home where we opened presents, had breakfast, and just enjoyed each other. John had asked for only money, iTunes gift cards and salmon. Yes, I said SALMON! He loves baked salmon and wanted one all to himself. So, he got one! Along with some Ramen with iTunes gift cards attached.

~ John... Santa's Helper ~
In the afternoon we went to Richard's sisters house.  Kelly & Jay made a wonderful meal of Prime Rib for all of us to enjoy!  The whole family was there - almost.  We were missing Holly, D.J. and Canon.  I didn't take a lot of pictures - but here is what I did take!

~ Sweet Rowan coloring ~
 ~ Our nephew David and his beautiful wife Sara.  Rowan and Finley are their children. ~
 ~ Richard with Rowan hiding in the background.~
 ~ John - taking it all in ~
 ~ Our little princess, Finley.  She was so adorable and wanted me to take pictures of ALL of her princess accessories ~
It was a wonderful day full of family, laughter, love and excellent food.  Merry Christmas to all - and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve - 2011

What a lovely Christmas Eve! We usually go to a friends home but this year we decided to stay home and have a dinner party.  Here are some photos of my tablescape.

 Richard and me before we left for Church.

We enjoyed a lovely service at church and then headed home for our guest to arrive.  I love the tradition of "Christmas Crackers", so I made sure everyone had one.  Inside are little trinkets and paper crowns.  Here are Alyssa, Dodi, Richard and John reading the riddles contained in the crackers.  We had a lot of laughs trying to guess the answers to the riddles.
 Here are Rob, Kerry and Scott being silly with their paper crowns on their heads.
Truly, it was a really wonderful evening filled with love, laughter and good food.  We feasted on delicious salad, rolls, twice baked potatoes, barbecued tri-tip, salmon, broccoli and Bearnaise sauce.  Dodi made a super yummy oatmeal & applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting.  It was very dense and full of flavor.  I went to bed with a full tummy, sore cheeks from all laughter, and a very happy heart.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Brazil Grill

As our Christmas weekend began, we decided to have a small family celebration at "Brazil Grill" in Portland.  Brazil Grill is a Churrasco (shoo-rah-sko) which is a centuries old Brazilian traditional cooking method.  Their website says, "This unique way of roasting the meat on a special grill from Brazil conserves the natural flavor of each portion and leaves each cut full of its natural juices."
We feasted on all types of meat... to quote a friend - "the entire barnyard ended up on our table!"  There was chicken, and bacon wrapped chicken, shrimp, lamb, filet mignon wrapped in bacon, beef sirloin, sausage, tri-tip, and mustard beef sirloin.  There was also the MOST amazing grilled pineapple.  I had read about the pineapple in reviews from previous diners - and couldn't believe it could possibly be THAT good!  But, they were right... oh, so right!

In addition to all of the various grilled meats, there is also a wonderful salad bar - which contains much more than your typical salad bar items - and they also brought us a plate of amazing Beef Empanadas.  Oh My!  I really loved them.  John, however, referred to them as Brazilian Egg Rolls.  He's a funny boy!
We also had a Caipirinha cocktail which is Cachaca (Brazilian rum), sugar, and muddled lime.  It was extremely tasty!  We will definitely return to Brazil Grill in the future.  Our very carnivorous son was in 7th heaven... but then again - so were we all!  Click HERE to visit the restaurant website. 
Happy Christmas Eve!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Brunch

Our Christmas Brunch with Friends is becoming a tradition.  Full of wonderful food - Good Times - and aching sides from all of the laughter.  Today we celebrated with a recipe exchange.  Hmm.. I forgot to take photos of the food.  It was ALL so delicious!

My dining room and tablescape for the occasion.

Our dear friend Scott, with Richard.

Dearest friends and neighbors - Dodi, Alyssa & Kerry.  They gave us the "Mulligan Family" Christmas decoration last year.  You can see it HERE.

Kerry with our other great friend Rob - who ALWAYS keeps us in stitches.  We all laughed so hard this morning that we had tears running down our cheeks for much of the time.

Scott insisted on taking a photo of me. 

But, my child bailed long before the photo taking began.  However, I was able to snap this one in his room after everyone left.  There might have been some threats in order to get him to smile.  At least there is now proof that he DOES live and that he CAN smile!  LOL

We feasted on Chili Relleno Casserole, Bacon, Sausage, Fresh Mango's - Kiwi - and Grapes, Scalloped Potatoes with Ham and delicious Raspberry Swirl Sweet Rolls.  Everything was DELICIOUS.  I love when everyone brings such yummy food.  We washed it all down with Bloody Mary's, Mimosa's and Coffee.  I think I'm going to need to walk on the treadmill for about 4 hours today!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Stockings Were Hung

Decorating my home at Christmas time brings me great joy.  Gently unwrapping ornaments and decorations from my childhood - memories each and every one.  And, we make new memories too.  Every year new ornaments and decorations are added!
 The "Mulligan Family" decoration was a present from our dear friends and neighbors last Christmas.  Each year we exchange ornaments or decorations.  Love this new addition to my collection.  I guess I can't get anymore kitties - because the entire family is represented here!
In the early 1960's my Mother made this Angel and Madonna for my Aunt Mary.  They are made of material and Styrofoam forms.  I had forgotten all about them - but last year when my Aunt was moving she asked if I wanted them.  That was so kind of her.  I cried when I opened the package.  Such a treasure. I cherish them, AND my Aunt for wanting me to have them.

Nutcrackers - Nutcrackers - Everywhere!

Even the kitchen table got into the act this year.

Before - During - After

The small icicles belonged to my Father when he was a little boy.  They are probably even older than that.  Another of the treasures that I hold dear.  These haven't been on our tree since J.J. was born.   He had never seen them before.  It's time to take them out and enjoy them again. 

As I create this blog post I am listening to the Bing Crosby Christmas Record with the Andrews Sisters.  Another great memory of Christmas times gone by and loved ones who I miss tremendously.

Hope your halls are decked and that you're enjoying the season with those you hold dear.
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