Sunday, December 29, 2013

Our Last Christmas Celebration and a Project

Christmas is officially over for us.

We celebrated Christmas with my family yesterday afternoon.  A big poo-wee goes out for whatever little virus Olivia picked up.  She's been running a fever for the last few days, so she and Kevin stayed home yesterday while Davis and I went to Mama and Daddy's.  We sure missed them.  But, in true Daddy style, Olivia enjoyed her very own pizza party with Daddy and Mickey!

Meanwhile, Davis and I hung out at Nana and Papa's eating, opening gifts and all around just having a jolly ol' time!

I'm happy to report that Olivia is feeling much better today!  

Kevin tackled a little project in the playroom all afternoon and we also did a MAJOR cleaning/purging as well.  We boxed up all the "baby-baby" toys and put them in the attic.  They'll come back out to be sold in a consignment sale this spring.  

We had a dead space behind the door that opens into the playroom.  It was once a hall closet but was converted into somewhat of an "entryway" into the bonus room when the previous owners finished off the space.  They basically took the hall closet and blew out a doorway through the back of the closet to access the bonus room.  It's a little awkward, but it works (quite clever, in fact.)  So we were left with a large area behind the door that was just screaming for shelves which is what Kevin did today!  I designed it, and Kevin made it happen!

It has hanging space for Olivia's dress-up dresses and cubbies for lots of shoes and accessories! (A little girl's dream!)

One shelf is dedicated to somewhat of a dressing table.  You know, jewelry, bags, makeup!

And the upper shelves are for larger toys.

I love home improvement!

Everything is tidy and organized, and it's now a room that we can enjoy spending time in. 

Now how long will these two keep it that way?!?



Friday, December 27, 2013

A Fun, Old-Fashioned Family Christmas!

Hahahaaaaa!  Name that movie!

Santa did come and brought presents for all the good little girls and good little boys!

We spent the morning opening gifts!

Davis found a big candy cane in his stocking right away and really seemed to enjoy it!

Whaaaat is thiiiiiiisss?????

A new kitchen!???  Olivia's quote:  "This is just the one Makenzie has!"

Wanna know the BEST $0.97 gift EVER!? 

A squirt bottle for Kevin's hot sauce!  You see, a few months back, I bought a big Sams-size bottle of Texas Pete all for Kevin (actually, it's more like a 5-gallon bucket!) which was great, but made it a little difficult to portion out each serving of hot sauce.  


After presents, we enjoyed our traditional breakfast casserole and pancakes for breakfast!  Mama and Daddy came over around lunch time, and we snacked on a spread of appetizers!  Daddy brought his sleigh (read: trailer) and loaded up a mountain of limbs and hedge trimmings that I had piled up in the yard.  Merry Christmas to Kevin and me!  And that really WAS A WONDERFUL GIFT!!  We so appreciate that!

Nana, Olivia and I bowled on the Wii.  Nana stomped us!!

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and playing, and I did lots of cooking. 

We always make a really nice dinner on Christmas night.  But, as I suggested to Kevin, next year we're going to shift our big family dinner to Christmas Eve night, and do something simple for Christmas dinner.  

This year, we enjoyed:

Roast Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Ragout

The Pioneer Woman's Green Bean Casserole

Tip:  I've tried a few short cuts with this recipe in the past.  I've used canned and frozen green beans.  I've used jarred garlic.  I've tried to use the little bags of real bacon bits.  Take it from me, it's not worth it!  The casserole is soooo much better if you follow the recipe!  Use fresh green beans.  Use fresh garlic.  Use the legit bacon.  You'll end up with THE.  BEST.  GREEN BEAN.  CASSEROLE.  EVER!

Thyme Roasted Potatoes

10 whole red skinned potatoes
1/4 cups Olive Oil
1 Stick butter (I don't use a whole stick)
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Dried Thyme
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Shop potatoes and toss with olive oil on cookie sheet.  Roast potatoes at 425 for 15 mins, then reduce temp to 400, stir potatoes, and roast another 20-25 mins.  
Meanwhile, melt butter in small saucepan until it almost begins to turn brown.  Add garlic and cook until the garlic just begins to turn brown.  Remove from heat and stir in thyme and parsley.
Toss herb mixture with potatoes in a bowl and add salt to taste.

Garlic Cheese Rolls


8 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese
12 Bakery potato rolls
6 teaspoons herb garlic butter, divided
1 (24x12-inch) sheet aluminum foil

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut cheese into 12 cubes. Cut a deep X into each potato roll; pull rolls open slightly.
  2. Place one cube of the cheese into opening of each roll; top cheese with 1/2 teaspoon of the butter.
  3. Push rolls closed and place in center of foil. Bring up foil sides; then double-fold top and ends to seal the package. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve.

Oh.  my.  I'm telling you, this is bliss!

I didn't get any pictures of our dinner.  We were rushing around trying to get food on the table because Davis was exhausted and needed to be fed and sent off to bed.  Plus, Kevin grabbed the handle on a 400 degree pan that had just come out of the oven.  That certainly put a damper on things.  It brought the man to his knees.  So Kevin spent the rest of the evening nursing a badly burnt hand with honey and a bag of frozen peas.  

So that was Christmas for us in a nut shell!  Olivia woke up this morning talking about her birthday party, so we're jumping from one even to another!



Monday, December 23, 2013

Over the river...

...and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go!

To kick-off our Christmas week, we spent the weekend at Grandma and Papa's house!

The weather wasn't so great, in fact, it was down right soggy, but we did manage to squeeze in one golf cart ride!

And Davis managed to amuse himself by playing in the dog crate.  Go figure.

**Disclaimer:  Davis entered the dog crate on his own will.  At no time was he ever locked inside against his wishes.**

Today has been about finishing up those last minute details which included a trip to Publix (how on this ever-livin' Earth did I spend $245 at the grocery store?  Santa, please bring me a bottle of Advil because my head is still spinning from that one!)

Plus I did some last minute wrapping, and we decorated Christmas cookies that we'll leave out for Santa!

Tonight, we're going to the Christmas service at church!

It's close, y'all!  Just hold on and enjoy the ride!

Wishing everyone a day that's merry and bright!