Living life in North Carolina, this is the story of a girl who loves to run, cook, garden and sun bath. I am a homeschooling mother of 3 kids that hardly leave me time to catch my breath but make life enjoyable in ways I never imagined. Join us in a variety of adventures!
Christmas morning. I woke up before everyone else, made myself a cup of coffee and did my usual morning routine until Hannah woke up. I was positioned on the couch so that I could see her coming down the hallway, before she had a chance to see anything. We had her "big" Santa gift setting out, with paper Santa footprints leading up to it. I didn't want her to see any of this before everyone else could get up and enjoy her finding it all. So I ran up to her and we woke everyone up so the day could begin. She was so cute. Santa left her a new baby stroller, a new outfit for her Build A Bear, a kitchen and some other stuff to go with the kitchen. She followed Santa's footprints to her kitchen/stroller and immediately noticed the stroller. She giggled and started pushing it around. She did this for 5+ minutes, without realizing the kitchen sitting there as well. While she was in the kitchen, and couldn't see us, David placed her coffee pot on the burner, which makes a percolating sound. Then she noticed the kitchen. She squealed, and said "My Kitchen!" It was the best. It's the moments that being a parent are made of. All day long she cooked and made coffee for all of us. Other gifts included make up and nail polish, a purse, a tee ball set, books, a baby doll, kitchen stuff. The make up came from David and I, mostly I. I know many of you may wonder why I got her make up. It's because she always wants to play with mine! Plus, if I give it to her now, it's not big deal to her later in life. It's something she's been exposed to already, and been allowed to experience. And she likes to put make up on other people. I watch her, she understands where it is appropriate to put on her make up (not on the couch) and when she paints her toe nails/my toe nails, she places paper below our feet. And I have no idea why the pictures are spread out as far as they are, sometimes blogger really drives me nuts!
Pulling out her gifts
Her Tee Ball set from Grandpa Bob
Applying make up to her face
Mommies new look by Hannah
Painting my toes
The finished product
Making everyone some coffee
Yep, she's all girl! Decked out in her dancing dress, dancing shoes, and new feather boa and gloves. Hey Karen, recognize that stuffed animal?
I've never made a gingerbread house, neither has Hannah. Amy and Tom brought one down for us to put together, over the holidays. I took pictures. Hannah snacked on the candy and decorated. David took charge. Amy and Tom stood back, smiling and laughing. We all know David, we know how David gets when he thinks something should be done his way, and only his way. Well that applied to the gingerbread house. I did not realize when I married David that I married a gingerbread house expert, but apparently I did! After he had it assembled, he decided that he didn't like the plastic holder that came with the house, he wanted it on a pretty plate instead. Everyone said "no, don't move it" but what did David do........he moved it. He set it carefully down on a plate and let go, and then it crumbled. And Hannah cried. Then David scrambled while comforting Hannah with these words "it's okay, I can fix it." It was so funny. He did a pretty good job putting it back together, with the exception of the roof that looked like it was caving in.
David and I have always done non traditional Christmas meals. It's started in Italy, where we spent our very first Christmas without any family. That Christmas we had steamed shrimp and lobster and Seprino, Italian white wine, in our beautiful Italian flutes. We had lobster again, when Karen joined us for Christmas. We like lobster, and it's a splurge we don't do often! The past Christmas Eve, I wanted to do something different. Festa dei sette pesce came to mind, feast of the seven fishes. It is a traditional Christmas Eve celebration in Italy. It's pretty easy, seven courses that all involve some seafood. Most everything we had was a new venture in cooking for me. I was nervous, and excited. I planned it out so that the food would be ready at different times throughout the day. I tried to keep the meals versatile. I ended up with shrimp cocktail, crab soup, smoked oysters, herrings in white sauce, mussels in a red sauce, Sicilian salsa verde with sautéed cabbage, and for the main event, spaghetti misto mare (mixed seafood pasta) with tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. My crab soup started out as crab bisque, I ended up missing a key "bisque" ingredient so I tweaked my recipe to be broth based, used with white wine, low sodium chicken broth and water. I was especially proud of my soup, it was so good, and light and simple. The Sicilian salsa verde was made with anchovies, and many other things, turned out excellent as well. It was my first taste of anchovies. I wish I had taken photo's. The end result was 9 adults feed and 2 kids, not one complaint and lots of compliments. It was such a success, I think I'll make this my routine for Christmas Eve. Next year, I'm going to do something completely different. I really wanted fried calamari, but couldn't find it before my meal. That will definitely be there next year!
I was looking back through my old postings and saw where I posted my Top 8 in 2008. I realized that I had not posted one for this last year. So here it is, a little late, and in no particular order:
1) David became a Police Officer, this has been something David talked about doing as long as I've known him. He is very happy, and well matched with his career. And pretty freaking hot in his uniform!
2) Moving back to Fayetteville has given me the opportunity to love and appreciate my only sibling not just as my sister but as a person.
3) We became home owners!
4) I entered my very first race and became hooked. My eye is on a half marathon now.
5) I was able to stay home with Hannah again, and have loved watching her grow and take shape in her personality.
6) We took a trip to Connecticut, a part of the country I had never seen and a part of the country that is uniquely beautiful.
7) I had many firsts, to include my first car accident and my first broken bone.
8) I began a love affair with cooking and baking.
9) i turned fill fledged tree huger, health nut; throwing out (permanently) some of David's favorite foods. He'll thank me later!
Here we are, the happy family, making christmas ornament pine cones and decorations. I had so much fun with this. I mostly just watched, which allowed me to see David try and mold Hannah to decorate the pine cones his way, which didn't work out so well. He kept saying things like "no, hannah, do it this way." It really was hilarious. After I finished laughing, I pointed out that she didn't need to decorate her pine cone daddy's way. Ultimately, as long as as she had fun then it was a success. He understood.
Helping Hannah apply that ever important even coat
This Christmas, I got crafty. I made almost every gift I gave. I made some instant coffee blends, some chocolately soup blends, some seasoning blends, and some ornaments. I also did goodie bags with cookies homemade bread that I gave to our trash collectors and mailman. I wanted to give something to the paper boy, but I don't know how to get it to him since our paper is delivered sometime before 600. I let Hannah help as much as possible, as you can see with these photo's. This particular cookie, chocolate peppermint swirl, is my new favorite holiday cookie. They were so yummy!
Here's a little update on all the other members of our happy circus, er home. The kitties, snuggled with me one morning. Rossi, eating his christmas penguin. I think it lasted 2 weeks. And finally, the destruction of one of many Hannah toys by the dog. Yes, it's pink finger paint. All over the carpet. On the kitchen floor. On the freakin couch (transfer from his nose!) I'd be so bored without everyone. We are adopting another cat. It's our friend Josh and Leah's cat. If I weren't so familiar with the cat, we wouldn't be taking it. However, it's a 15 lb love-ball. It's indoor/outdoor. I mean really, what's one more cat? They're moving to DC, and downsizing greatly, and can not take Lucky. We're taking it on the agreement that if DC doesn't work out, and they come back, they get the cat back.
Seriously, what have I gotten myself into? How did I give birth to this girl of all girls? She likes shoes, and purses, makeup, lotion, perfume, and she likes to check herself out in the mirror. She likes to mother, and cook. She likes feather boas, her dancing shoes and dancing dress. And she likes to dance. Although, she has her contemplative side. She also loves to read. Sometimes David and I will find her sitting in her room, reading. Other times, she wants to read to us and other times she wants us to read to her. Here is Hannah and mommies make-up. She's surprisingly careful about her application.
Again, this was before I broke my foot. = ) Right before though, because this was about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. This is David and Hannah putting together the stand for his turkey fryer. For those of you that have never had fried turkey, it is the only way to go! I think David's training her to be his little helper in the garage.
Okay, time to catch up. I can't believe it's been this long since I've blogged! Geesh, I've been slacking. These are some pictures I took before I broke my foot. However, these were given as christmas gifts to some people, which is why I didn't post them before I broke my foot and got lazy. So in these pictures she painting the little thingies that hang on windows. She enjoyed it very much. Whenever I would ask her if she was finished, she would say "Just a minute mommie."