Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Memories 2011

We've had a crazy Christmas Season. As the boys are growing older, the mystery isn't there so much, but they play along - I'm sure for my benefit. I believed in the jolly old elf until the year I got married - there's nothing wrong with that! 

December started with the Festival of Trees, decorating and cookies! Well... Mr. Vintage decorated the house,I mostly stood by and offered moral support and criticism. Didn't he do a marvelous job? Nice work Mr. V! Aunt Kelli brought the cookies,the frosting and the sprinkles! hmm... maybe I need to be a better Christmas supporter as all I've done so far is show up and instruct. Well, you know what they say - "If you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter."

Anyway, moving on...Then it was the Miller Family Party - also at our house - also with everyone bringing in the food! Anytime you would like me to host a party where you bring everything,I am happy to oblige!

The Nativity is my favorite part of Christmas and it's always made better when we have a sweet new baby to play the role. This is my beautiful sister Lindsey,her husband Marc and baby Luke. So sweet, we all had tears. 
It's my mom's tradition to always makes the girls a beautiful handmade gift.  This year it was aprons. You are awesome mom!

Finally it was Christmas Eve! And a great party at GG's House. GG is the ultimate hostess - she wont let anyone bring anything and she made the best dinner we've ever had - Prime Rib and super delicious mushrooms, brussel sprouts and potatoes. Awesome! We hope she'll invite us every year. 

At last it was here - Christmas Day! We opened presents, visited family, listened to the choir sing, ate lots of cheese in many forms and fell into a deep, deep christmas sleep. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good nap!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oh What Do You Do in the Winter Time?

A few days ago, my boss asked me if I was going camping over the Christmas Break.  Spoken like a true Floridian. He just cannot fathom the level of cold we Utahns experience. Unfortunately this seemingly mind-numbing and hypothermia inducing cold is not conducive to camping. So the hooligans, Mr. V and I have been forced indoors for the long winter ahead. So what are we doing to maintain sanity?  

Well... The hooligans have made all manner of forts out of blankets, watched 13 seasons of "Top Gear UK" and learned how to do the "Superman" onto the spare bed in the basement- something to do with running, bouncing on the big exercise ball and landing on the bed - all with a red hoodie tied around their neck to simulate a cape. Very entertaining.

Mr.V has been refinishing furniture and finding goodies for his Milk Barn Project. He does such beautiful work. I love this and I am seriously thinking of keeping it at home - I don't think I'll get that wish, but that hasn't stopped me from trying!  

As for me, I've been doing two of my favorite and quilting. Here's my latest quilting creation.
This is an Irish Chain Quilt. It took two years for me to get around to finishing it and I'm quite pleased with the result. It's not that it's a hard quilt, it's actually quite easy, however, my attention span is only about two days long. If a project takes longer than 48 hours, I usually put it away for another day...hence the reason this one took two years. It's got nice warm black minkie on the back and a thick bat in the middle.  It has taken up residency on the Eldest Hooligan's bed - apparently living in the coldest room in the house warrants it. Sweet Dreams Superman. 

As for the cooking... well,  that's proving to be more of a challenge, but a super yummy one!  Yesterday I made "Chicken in a Pot" from "around my french table" by Dorie Greenspan.  Take a look at what it was supposed to look like.
hmmm...So mine didn't look exactly like that...apparently I need to work on my dough skills.
And on my ability to determine which end is UP on a whole chicken - I roasted it upside down.  This is a challenge that runs in my family - I am not the first.  I also need to work on mixing in the herbs and spices rather than just dumping them on the top - it might help with the presentation.  And last, but not least, I need to clean my stove!  Yikes - sorry about that, I didn't realize what a mess I made.  Oh well!  I'm not sorry enough to make another one so I can photograph it with  a clean stove - please forgive. 

All those challenges aside, the finished produce was Tres Magnifique! 

The chicken was tender and juicy, the potatoes were fab and had just a hint of lemon flavor - something I wouldn't have thought of as  tasty- but actually quite nice.  The carrots were the best!  Needless  to say, there wasn't much left in the pot when we got done.  

So here's to more cooking and quilting adventures - I've got a 10 more days off - I'll share what it brings. Winter activities are pretty fun...why not enjoy the indoors while waiting for spring camping to come again? Happy Winter All!