Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas wrap-up

Our Christmas this year was wonderful.  The fact that we were able to be together as a family is no longer something that we can take for granted, and it added special meaning to our celebration.  Greg will have to go back to Iraq in a week, but we are enjoying every moment we have while it lasts.

My brother Jonathan was here as well (he's in the Army as well, and is stationed fairly close by), and he and Greg were responsible for almost all of the holiday cooking (seeing as I have so recently given birth, they gladly gave me a break from the responsibilities).

Christmas Eve, Jonathan made a fantastic Bolognese sauce (his own recipe -- based on the one from Best International Recipe, but with pork chops added to the ground beef, cream instead of milk, and red instead of white wine.):

Christmas morning, I baked donuts (from 101 Cookbooks -- love that recipe!  I double the cinnamon that's added to the sugar coating.):

These donuts are rather excellent with a big mug of coffee or a cold glass of milk.

Christmas dinner was ham, stuffed artichokes (breadcrumb, not sausage), snow peas, jasmine rice, and a salad of mixed field greens with apple and prosciutto.

While waiting for everyone to get up on Christmas morning (i.e., baby "Billy" and I), the children got their sunglasses out for...whatever reason.

We opened tons of fun gifts, including this fantastic Thomas Keller cookbook set that Greg gave to me:

Daisy got a tea set (one of her first "girl" toys!), which she loved:

The children all opened up a big wooden train set, which pieces match the one they already have.  We've had a huge track set up in our living room ever since.

Greg managed to find us our biggest tree yet -- just over 13 feet:

Jonathan and the baby got a chance to bond, and he gave baby the nickname of "Red Billy", since he was so brilliantly red for the first week of his life.  We've decided that "Billy" is a perfectly acceptable name, so it has now become the baby's bloggable tag. 

I hope that your Christmas, if you celebrate it, was full of joy and wonder, and that you have a safe and happy New Year's Eve tonight.

(And as if you needed more pictures... for a more thorough play-by-play of our Christmas, click here for the Flickr album, which was put together for all of our relatives who weren't able to be here and watch the children open gifts themselves.)
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