Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas this year was very quiet and very nice.  A bit odd to remember years with lots of kids, our own,  filled with all the hopes and dreams of Santa.  But it is what it is.  So for my own personal records, here's a fast rundown.
 Christmas Sunday provided wonderful music and messages of the Savior.  But surprisingly we ended up with wonderful gifts as well.  My Eddington piano students gifted me with the most wonderful music book of Christmas songs, many of which I have loved but have never had the music.  Isn't that odd?  Each wrote a message to me and I will treasure the messages probably even more than the music.  Mary Stencil gave me a darling elf bottom that had my fav Hershey bar stuck in it.  Teri Stencil has begun to knit and made me to dishcloths and they are wonderful to use.  Perfect size, too.  Jan Warren gave me a hanging winter votive cup and Primary gave Robert a winter mug filled with cookies and fixins for hot cocoa.  On our door step was a huge fruit assembly from the Marshalls.  We love fruit.  And then there is this:
 My grandmother Zelinski used to make Chrusciki which look like this:Polish Crullers Recipe - Chrusciki

 So did my mom.  I was never any good at it. But Connie Greene is...amazingly so. She calls her recipe Love Knots because that really is what they are. They are made with love, rolled out as thin as can be with love, powdered sugar with love after being fried.  I had called her one day before Christmas because I could not find my recipe from my Polish grandmother.  Connie said she couldn't find hers either but then she kept up the hunt, found the recipe in her attic and presented it to me in this wonderful gold frame.  Now this will sit in my kitchen, a wonderful reminder of a dear friend and a long gone grandmother.  And I am determined that in 2014 I will get to be an expert at this.

Connie's daughter Holly gave me this adorable tree ornament of a reindeer crooning I'm Dreaming of a  White Christmas but sadly I have already boxed it up for next year.  She also gave Robert the ultimate tie dyed teeshirt with a VW on it.  Holly is a good friend and on the 28th (which is actually today) will turn 40 and we are joining her family to help celebrate by seeing the new movie, Saving Mr. Banks.

Christmas Eve arrived.  We started the late afternoon by attending a soup dinner at the Tonkinson home, with some other empty nesters.  It was such a lovely party and everything and everyone was warm and welcoming.  From there we headed to Marissa and Hank's....grateful we are close enough do this.  The plan was to start early, put the kids to bed and awaken them before midnight and then let them go back to sleep and we'd be home by midnight...oh the best laid plans!

 Oskar is not at all afraid of the camera and seems to enjoy having his picture taken.
 Henry had said he was cold and his ever thoughtful dad opted to use a Sharpie and 'grow' some chest hair on him for warmth.  Wonder if that's worn off yet?

 Marissa read Luke 2 and as technologically happy as I am, it was so weird to see the scriptures read from the iPhone.

 Then Marissa started to read The Littlest Angel, our family tradition since before Robert and I were even married.  Usually Robert would cry before he got very far into the story and that tradition held.  As soon as Marissa read how very young the Littlest Angel was, she started to weep and Hank took over.

 Oskar took a break to eat a sugar cookie ornament from off their tree.  Marissa has learned that the gingerbread cookie ornaments are way less crumbly.
 It was fun to see Hank read the story and show us the pictures.
 Finally even Henry got into the story.  This picture was fun because there stands our little angel (sometimes devil) in his footed pjs, staring at the Littlest Angel in his footed pjs.  Just the innocence of the story and these  boys made the night!

 Then a plate had to be prepared for Santa and his reindeers.
 All the Trefethens got involved with this!
 Robert wanted egg nog and Hank obliged by mixing up some from scratch. Robert thought this huge silver KitchenAid should have come from the very old Lost In Space TV show.

 Robert was reading a book on Cleveland with Hank discussing something...while the kids were 'sleeping.'
 Soon it was time to awaken the boys to see all that stuff under the tree and the stuffed stockings.

 The stockings were enjoyed first!

Do you see this drink box in Henry's hand/mouth?  I think this was the start of what for quite a few minutes would create a HUGE PROBLEM.  We had just started to open the gifts when suddenly Henry started to vomit. Robert said it was like Niagra Falls and that's the truth.  Marissa took a flying leap to get out of the room, Robert backed up, I raced to move some gifts out of the way which was not possible.  Hank grabbed whatever to catch, clean up, move.  We got Henry calm enough and empty enough to be able to hand him over to Marissa for a bath while we continued to clean up the rug, the floor, the gifts...whatever.  Hank tossed in a wash load and we continued.

 Henry gave his lil brother this wonderful elephant to join the frog when it's time to sleep and/or snuggle.

Marissa designed and painted this Angry Bird knock 'em down cans and red ball.

And would you look at this!  Marissa came over on the 21st and 22nd and used my sewing machine to create these wonderful matchbox car holder/totes with a road on the top.

Dawn created this plaque for all of us...Spooning since...whenever we were married.

This is the other think Marissa sewed for Henry and Fiona, the little girl next door.  It's a monster bag for crayons (which become his teeth) and color book.  Adorable.

Hat from Hank for Marissa.

Hank wanted warm blankets so he got 2 from Marissa, one for the bed and one for the living room and then we gave them both a down alternative quilt.
Grateful I was that Hank remembered to open the door for the Christ child to walk through their home...but the funny part was that it was MIDNIGHT.  This is when we were supposed to do it but we had figured we would end up doing it early because of the planned scheduled for these 2 wee ones.  Instead, Henry's minutes of being sick, our very long minutes of cleaning up, put us at the exact moment.  Hank opened their backdoor, Marissa the front.  I am so grateful that the tradition my grandmother started continued
We came on home, really too tired to do anything but fall into bed.  We opened our gifts slowly throughout the day.
Here we are skyping with Dawn.  Dawn's friend in California was in line to buy and get an autographed cookbook from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. She called Dawn, knowing how much I like Ree, and asked if Dawn wanted her to get one for me.  So here I am opening to the title page to discover I have an autographed edition of Ree's newest cookbook.  Dawn gave Robert a lovely selection of fruits and flower plants which will come in the spring.  We are both so happy and so we have been Spooning since 1972 and I am glad we got one of these, too
Hillary skyped with us in the morning and we were able to watch Ron and Lily bounce so happily in their new trampoline.
  We received this
gift card so we can enjoy Ruby Tuesday on them.

Mo gave Niko a sweet teddy bear dog toy and Niko really enjoyed it.
M2T2 gave me this Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich maker.  We now can make our own Egg McMuffins or other variaties.  It was so easy and worked perfectly.

Robert gives it a thumbs up. It was fast and easy.  Very clever!  Robert received a lovely baskets filled with a variety of nuts.

This is the red jacket Cara sent me and I wore yesterday when we went to dinner at Ed Cerino's Casual Italian restaurant in Lakewood.  Ed's grandmother is the Cleveland famous Carrie Cerino and as a child we often ate at her place in North Royalton.  Robert also got a warm over shirt to wear in blue corduroy. 

Jocelyn sent us these 2 pillar floor lamps.  They are amazing and give off a great glow to our very dark family room.  I fell in love with them when I saw hers.

Robert gave me 2 very warm sweaters and this Croquet set.  Now to will the weather to warm up faster this winter/spring and for friends or family to come play.  I have him a Dell Venue 8 Tablet because his eyes are getting too old to read things on the iPhone anymore.  Besides he needs to be able to keep current with technology.

Christmas Day dinner was here with M2T2 and it was quiet as well...but always wonderful to have family near enough to join.  The decorations were removed but since I only put up the tree and all the mangers the task of taking it down was very easy and quickly accomplished.

I love Christmas.  I actually made cookies this year and wondered why I don't make these kinds all year long.  I guess that would be a great resolve for 2014 because Robert does enjoy his sweets.  My seasonal asthma took over and I lost my voice on the 22nd. The coughing makes me want to collapse and I have been quite tired.  Hopefully this will end in about 6 weeks.  We had hoped that the Christensens would make it here after Christmas as they had said but the kids started getting ill yesterday and so that visit has been cancelled.

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