In my blog I plan to chat about nature, crafts, baking, gardening, beekeeping, family, and whatever else seems appropriate at the time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas morning began at home, with my Shug and I exchanging presents, and giving Winston and Dixie their presents.

Dixie would try to hoard everything under the chair,

before Winston could get a hold of it and shred it. They both tear up stuffed toys, but it takes Winston about two seconds and Dixie a few days. I've been cleaning up stuffed toy innards for days.

Then we went to my Sister and Brother in Law's house. Their daughter entertained herself by dancing to the Wii, while she waited one everyone to show up.

What's this? Andrew is actually contributing to the food/drink items this year?

Could he be growing up.......naaaaaah!!!

My Sister said she was serving Mexican food this year. She felt like everyone gets tired of ham and turkey by Christmas Day so she was changing things a bit. We all loved the idea. Joey arrived wearing a Sombrero! He is married to my brother's oldest daughter, so he'd be my nephew-in-law.

The menu consisted of a yummy Enchilada soup that Dad made and your choice of soft or hard shell, shredded beef, ground beef, or chicken taco's or nachos. Everything was delicious. (I'm going to attempt to get some of those recipes because everything really was yummy. I'll post them later if I get them)

After we ate it was time to open gifts. Our gift giving is simple. All of the adults exchange names back in October, to give us plenty of time to purchase a gift. The limit is $50.00. I think most of us buy gift cards for each other. And those of us that want to, purchase or make gifts for the younger kids. We feel like the gift giving is really for the kids anyway.

Someone told the girls to move over or something and they said, "But we ALWAYS sit like this." Funny how even the simplest of things become tradition.

Adrienne, my beautiful niece, and her husband Joey. This is their daughter, my Great-niece! I bought my nieces a necklace at a craft show this year. I thought they were cool, and they were very INexpensive and hand-made.

Here is a picture of them. E-mail me if you want the information of the person that made them.

I made scarves for all of my nieces, and a matching scarf for their dolls.

Mom made all of the girls fleece blankets.

I didn't really get any good pics of the blankets, but they were big and so soft. I really liked them. Hmmm, I wonder if she will make her kids some warm blankeys next year!

We went together and got Mom & Dad pictures of their grandchildren and grand dogs. I will show you those pics at another time. It's a whole other story.

Mom e-mailed me later and said her and Dad really, really loved the pictures.

My sister made these yummy Mexican fried desserts but I can't remember the name of them. You put powdered sugar on them or drizzle chocolate on them, or both! I wish I had one right now, they'd be great for breakfast!

Mom made Mexican Wedding Cakes (cookies)

And I brought a pinata!

My brother-in-law went upstairs and held it over the railing, and moved it up and down. We were all concerned about those glass french-doors to the left but they didn't get broken.

All of the younger girls got a turn at trying to hit the pinata, blind-folded of course. As we were watching, Andrew made a comment that he thought the pinata was cool and that he never got a pinata as a child. He said he felt sure that he would have turned out a much better person if he would have had a chance at a pinata. We all jumped at that comment! Your turn Andrew!

Look how tall he is compared to my sister! He is on his knees in the above picture. Actually, he's tall compared to anyone! He hit the pinata, and some of the candies fell out.

And because the kids went crazy, we had him take off the blindfold and finish the job, lest he hit a child!

Note to not put candy canes in a pinata. They were individually packaged, but they broke and came open on impact with the floor. What a mess. Sorry Theresa and Trent.

After all the food and excitement we decided to have some constructive exercise and us girls danced to cotton-eyed-Joe with the Wii. I think the Wii is the one video-type game I approve of because you get more exercise with it than just moving your thumbs! Hey Adrienne and Mom, where are ya?

This is my Brother-in-Law Trent.

And this is his I-phone plugged into this docking station playing Christmas music. Well, you can imagine the noise level with 11 adults, four kids, a Wii station, and conversations going on. I was cracking myself up when I saw where Trent's brother, Travis, was sending him text messages and I started replying! In one of them I said, "Theresa's family is still here. They've been here all day long...jeeeeesh."

Molly was telling me thanks for the Christmas presents from Winston and Dixie.

Time to clean up and say Good-night.

ssshhhh, don't tell anyone I stuck this wishnik doll in their window!

Merry Christmas!

Cindy Bee

PS - The story of the wishnik doll. One year in a garage sale gift game night on Christmas Eve someone won wishnik dolls. I can't remember who started it, but each year Theresa and Trent hide them at our house on Christmas eve, or we hide them at their house on Christmas Day. This year, at Treasure Mart, I found 11 more wishniks for sale. They are in their house right now...hiding out :-)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Slush Punch Freeze

Christmas Festivities Intermission Break!

I know I am boring you with all of these family Christmas pics. But here's the thing. I started blogging to have a photo journal of family and my life. I never once thought about meeting people, making friends, or followers. I just thought about blogging as a way of scrapbooking...sort of. I have really enjoyed and appreciate the friends I've made through blogging and want to wish all of you a Happy New Year. I hope it's absolutely the best...for everyone!

A blogger requested the recipe for Slush Punch Freeze, and just in case she wants it for New Years Eve, I'm posting it now, in the middle of the Christmas Festivities posts. If you are going to make this for New Years Eve, you probably should make it today, to give it the time it needs to freeze. Anyway, two posts in one day! Who knows...maybe three....because I can't wait to tell you about yesterday! But I have to finish Christmas first. I'm anal that way!

Here is the recipe...

Slush Punch Freeze

7 Cups Water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 6 oz. can frozen concentrate orange juice
1 12 oz. can frozen concentrate lemonade
1 ½ cups Brandy

Mix all ingredients together and put in freezer for a day or two. Mix will not freeze solid. Stir mix at least once while it’s in the freezer to distribute the slush.
Fill cup half with slush and half with either ginger ale, 7 up, Fresca, etc.

I made a double batch to fill this punch bowl. Personally, I would taste it before putting all of the sugar in it. I felt it was too sweet.


Cindy Bee

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Festivities - Part 2 cont.

After eating, and celebrating a birthday, we played games.

Now just look at all these poker faces. We were playing a game called "Screw your Neighbor." And it kind of reminds me of an adult version of "Old Maid"...sort of. The point of the game is you want to end the hand with the lowest card. And just like when I was a kid and someone would draw the Old Maid from my hand, well I could not - not laugh. I can't help it. If the person next to me traded cards with me and got a higher card, I would try hard, very hard, NOT to laugh, but it would just bubble up out of me. I suck at cards. I do.

We had some winners but no big lotto ticket winners.

Maybe a dollar or two,

but that's it. We played a dice game called Left, Right, Center. All you need to know is which way is Left or Right, and you can play that game. It's fun. We also played another dice game called Ship, Captain, Crew, and a bingo/poker game called Pokeno.

We had a LOT of laughs.

Entertained ourselves when necessary. Can you draw a picture of a Christmas tree with presents under it, on your head?

And then when the real card players decided to play a game of Six Handed Euchre', us non-players decided to relax. We called it a night.

Aaahhhhh, my entertaining is over. My work is done. Except for those scarves. I have got to get those done. Dangit!

Cindy Bee

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Part II

After I dropped the girls off on Friday, I went to the mall and did a little...walking around. I didn't buy a thing. Then I came home and knitted for awhile. I still had a scarf to finish. I made scarves for my nieces and their American Girl dolls.

The next day, Christmas Eve, our family was meeting at our house for games, food, and drinks. Remember the bags the girls decorated? Well, I put them to good use and put gifts in them for winning a game.

Usually I have odds and ends that I pick up at garage sales in these bags, but this year I put other things in them, such as home made soap I got at the farmers market, mints, nail files, candy canes, etc. Plus I put a scratch off lottery ticket in each bag. Can you believe they like the dorky garage sale gifts better?

This picture is at an odd angle but it doesn't look right flipped. It's my little forest. Most people have a village....I have a woods!

I tidied up the house,

made drinks,

cleared the table and got ready for company.

This is called Slush Punch Freeze and it's a great drink for summer time, as it's slushy (does contain alcohol). It's also a great drink for menopausal women who are hot all the time ;-)

I also made special ice cubes. These trays are from Martha Stewart back in the day when she had "Martha by Mail" and she wasn't in stores.

These are by Wilton. Thing is, none of my drinks needed ice cubes! So I gave them all to my Sister to use on Christmas day.

I also finished wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve.

This is my gift to my Shug from me.

And this is how he wrapped his gift to me!

Beer was not inside. It was an Ipod docking station with speakers so I can listen to music from my phone. Me.....with an Iphone.....and a docking station...(snicker)

I met Vickie and Robert outside. Why? Because I was hot, and it was cold outside. I'm 53. Enough said.

Trent brought this to eat. Duck wrapped in bacon. He's a hunter. Taste like chicken!

He had to cook it a bit more, but he wanted it to be warm when we ate. I made a different version. You take pitted dates, put an almond in the center, wrap bacon around the date, and bake until the bacon is done. Yummy.

It's all good.

Time to eat.

We also celebrated my other nieces birthday. She was born on Christmas Eve. I didn't have 9 candles, but no matter....we made do!

We always make sure to wrap my nieces gifts in Birthday paper and make sure they have a birthday party/gift. Not to be confused or mixed up with Christmas. No complaining later about how their birthday got mixed in with Christmas.

A tradition that started accidentally. This niece is always here on Christmas Eve. And my Shug has always lifted her up to put the angel on the tree. Special....oh how my nieces are growing up.

Time for games..........and I'll post more later because I need to get busy and this dang computer is messing up.

Cindy Bee