Friday, December 26, 2008

The Holiday Jackpot

I think I won! I scored Sock Monkey Slippers, which I had seen and wanted, but could not justify as a necessity. I was also lucky enough to receive four skeins of Bamboo Spun yarn in Sea Blue, a cute casual beaded handbag with a wood handle, some great kitchen toys and a nice bottle of wine (with wine charms!), and a new sweatshirt in OU colors to replace the one I have worn to death. There were candles and cookies, a teddy bear, and lots of hugs and laughs. I received the 2009 Pattern a Day calendar in case I run out of inspiration.

I got to visit with my in-laws, and then a pleasant dinner out with my children. A lovely day, in all. Shana and I opened our gifts early and then went straight to the kitchen to make our brunch. Just two days before we finally got our oven issue settled on the third service call so we had two available ovens. We'd planned out all kinds of strategies to make a single smallish oven do the job, but it was so much better to have two. We went with ham, grits casserole with cheese, rice salad and a green salad, so there was not a lot of last minute fussing that needed to be done. Since we had two ovens available I could make the turkey shaped bundt cake (we call it the Turkey Butt Cake) Christmas morning for maximum freshness. As it turned out no one had room or time for desert, so Shana and I will be enjoying the turkey butt cake ourselves. Luckily it freezes beautifully, so we can get the full benefit of the cake without compromising too much on our after Christmas fitness and diet goals. I am sending the remaining cookies out of the house before I eat every one of them myself. After brunch Shana, her dad, and I went out visiting. We had decided to use paper plates instead of washing dishes this year. It turned out to be the right decision. We used some really festive plates and lots of sparkle on the table. Although I love seeing our table set with china and crystal and my best linens, it sure was easier to keep things moving on a busy day when we did not have piles of hand washing to do afterward.

When we got back it was time for me to dash out for presents and dinner with Sam and Alex. We've been going out to eat at Christmas for a few years and it's something we have really enjoyed. Usually Dennis joins us but he was not able to this year; Samantha took a meal home for him instead. Vivian has figured out the charms of the camera and now although you might get the look of intense suspicion for the first shot, you get the giant "look at every one of my teeth" smile for all subsequent pictures.

Shana and I are going shopping for presents for each other this weekend and have decided that instead of surprising each other it would be more fun go together to pick things to enhance our outdoor activities. I'm hoping to score some hiking pants. The Oklahoma climate is very warm, but I don't like hiking in shorts through cactus, rocks, and snakes! Jeans are so hot and take so long to dry that I am eager to upgrade to a more practical choice. Shana was planning to buy another dutch oven, but since her dad got her loads of cast iron campfire cookware she's undecided about what she'll be looking for.

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