Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve With Family

Christmas isn't just about the decorations. It's more about family.

Heidi is modeling for me. She is quite excited that I asked her to come over and model my high school prom dress and my silk college tea dresses soon. Stay tuned!

Dana was so busy helping out with the party it was hard to get her to take time for a photo.

Jeff Jr. was the hardest one to coral for a photo. Don't know where he was or what he was doing but I suppose it was what boys do - sports or games?

I just noticed that Kierstin doesn't have shoes on in this photo. Guess she is practicing to be a veterinarian too!

Dr. Cooper is ready for patients - both 4 legged and human, although he is a veterinarian!

Jeff is watching Cooper get a hole in one playing Gator Golf. The arm you see belongs to Heather. I said I missed so many things when I took the 72 photos.
Yet, you can see Heather in each and every photo as she was the creator behind almost all of the fantastic decorations you see in each photo.

I did find a photo of Heather. She's to the right of the post in the black and white dress. Looks like she is NOT standing still!
This is another photo of the delicious food and some of the family and friends who were there.

It's been a while since I've had a puzzle for you. The lizard cut was the closest thing I could find to a "Gator"!
Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Does It Run In The Family?

And I thought I did a lot of decorating for Christmas!
This is the tree in my son Jeff's entry in their home. Gorgeous!

This is the dining room table with room for 14 members of the family. If you look closely you may see Grandma Sorensen's silverware they use for all holidays. It's a Betty Crocker pattern and I can't remember the name of it.

Here you see Dr. Cooper, Veterinarian, using his computer to explain something about the check up he just did on one of the dogs to Kierstin! You will notice Dr. Cooper practices with bare feet. This is to make the animals comfortable since animals have bare feet!
In the back ground you see the other tables set and ready for dinner.

The buffet table laden with food. Dinner was delicious and of course included the Koeper Family Thanksgiving dressing.

I am only showing you a small portion of the decorations. I took 72 pictures and missed so many things.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Can't Stop Myself!

After doing so much Christmas decorating in Florida my intentions were to only put up the 2 trees I had stored away with the decorations on and enjoy the dining room chandelier that I had left the decorations on from last year.

I put this wreath on the front door.

I did some simple decorating using things that were the easiest to find. This is the console table in the entryway.

I just put two large ornaments on the red glass pieces on the buffet.

I put 4 simple trees and some snowballs on this cabinet.

I hung this garland in the kitchen with the other things that were already there.

The hardest part of the whole thing was trying to remember where I put certain things.

The Christmas spirit is alive and well here!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

3rd Annual Sibling Christmas Dinner Party

We never seem to remember to take any pictures until we are finished eating. Here you see everyone (except me)at the table after we finished eating.

This photo is of the 4 siblings.

If you look closely at the photos we are all wearing scarves. These are the Jane Steinberg scarves I gave everyone last year.
This year the women received polymer clay bowls I made. The men were gifted with a box of Turtles from The Ranch Candy Shop.

We began the evening with appetizers. Mary made the old stand by hot artichoke dip which we inhaled along with champagne. Then we were also treated to her new appetizer, Apple-Rosemary Blue Cheese Bites. She used Honey crisp apples. They were out of this world.

Karen made one of her famous and wonderful salads.

I was responsible for the main course: Salmon, twice baked potatoes and rolls.

We finished the evening with a Snickers Pie made by Connie and coffee.

Our family loves food and we were not disappointed with our dinner tonight.
5 stars for sure!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Welcome Home!

I left Florida for frigid Wisconsin and what did I see after I got off the plane?
Flamingos welcoming me to Wisconsin or were they making me think twice about why did I leave the warmth of Florida for this land of snow and cold?

Now this looks more like what I was going to see here!

Now this a BIG Christmas package - wouldn't fit under the tree!

When I saw this I couldn't wait to get home and sit in front of the fireplace with a blazing fire!

We think of airports as cold sterile places. This was such a fun and welcoming sight to come home to.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

All Is Calm, All Is Bright - Rerun

Although I thought I was done decorating I found these ornaments and added them to the dining room chandelier for a festive look.
I hope your Christmas Eve is filled with peace and love.

I decorated this in December 2009. Since I don't use this dining room often I forgot to take the decorations down. By the time I realized they were still up it was only a few months until Christmas so I just left them up!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A More Meaningful Family Christmas- Rerun

This is a post I made last year after our Christmas celebration.
Many people loved my idea and I thought it was worth posting again, this time before Christmas so you could consider starting this custom yourself.

Sunday evening my local grandchildren came over to celebrate Christmas in a different way.
We started out having Pizza Fondue for supper. This was prompted by their father's fond recollections of enjoying it as a teenager. If the amount he ate was any indication his enjoyment hasn't diminished!

After dinner there were gifts to be opened. These were not the usual gifts you buy in a store for the most part. They were family treasures and memorabilia. Each child got one large bag filled with smaller boxes and objects. Each one also received a small notebook to write in. As they opened an item if there was a story to tell about that item I related it to them and they were able to write it down. They really seemed to enjoy the gifts and the stories.

Here is Heidi showing one of the gifts she received. It was a precious doll pin I used to wear when she was less than 2. She was so attracted to it as a child so now she has it as a memory.

Dana has loved monkeys including sock monkeys. She was the recipient of a sock bunny that used to be one of the toys I would put under one of our Christmas trees.

Jeff Jr. is writing the story of Grandpa Jerry's golf ornament.

Kierstin is reading the inscription I put on the bottom of one of the ornaments I passed on to her from my Christopher Radko ornament collection.

Cooper loves pandas. He is inspecting the Christopher Radko panda ornament. I had to hold my breath that he didn't crush it!

Jeff Sr. is showing how his father's ring that Jerry wore on his ring finger fits his thumb.

This is the first time I've included a recipe on this blog. Marcia asked about it and so did other friends. Hope you'll enjoy it. It is delicious. There was a tiny bit leftover and I am having it for lunch tomorrow.

1 onion, chopped
½ lb. ground beef
2 T margarine or shortening
2 - 10 ½ oz cans pizza sauce
1 T cornstarch
1 ½ t fennel seed
1 ½ t oregano
¼ t. garlic powder
10 oz grated Cheddar cheese
1 c. grated mozzarella cheese

Brown onion and meat in shortening in Fondue pot at #9.
Mix cornstarch and seasoning into pizza sauce.
Reduce heat to #6 and sauce to mixture. Stir well.
When mixture thickens and bubbles, add cheeses by thirds, stirring well after each addition.
When all the cheese is melted, turn control to # 5 to keep warm.
Dunkers: Garlic bread cubes, toasted English muffin cubes, bread sticks

Serve over toasted English muffin for a luncheon treat.
Serves 4-6 as main dish
10-12 as appetizer

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Village People Christmas Party

I have a group of friends who live in The Villages so I call them the Village People! My connection to some of the members of this group goes back 47 years.
Tonight was my turn to have our every other week get together. We usually have appetizers and drinks at someone's house and then go out for dinner.

Tonight was so cold we had the whole thing right here at the house. The group was smaller than usual as everyone couldn't be here.

Usually the men sit together and the women sit together. Tonight was no exception.

I had to take two photos to include all the men because of where they were sitting.

I left this photo very large so you can click on it and get a better look at the tray of amulets.
Tonight I did not forget to let my guests choose amulets.
Each of the women had picked them before so they each got one.
When I first started doing this I just let the ladies chose one as I thought I'd run out. Now that I can make more I also let the men participate.
This was the first time the men had picked so they each got two - one to keep and one to give away.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Red Hat Cosmopolitan Party & Press Coverage

Tonight our Red Hat group came over to my house for Cosmopolitans.

If I do say so myself they were the best Cosmopolitans I've ever made. I served them with ice cubes made with cranberries in cranberry juice. Lynn and Pat brought appetizers.
Most of the group hadn't seen my home or the decorations I did for the Christmas tour so this was a chance to see both and have a holiday toast.

After all the work I did making more amulets so I could share them with these friends I totally forgot to let them select theirs. I hope someone reminds me to do that tomorrow evening at the party here.

Sunday the Village Sun did a story on the Christmas home tour. I am including part of it here. It is a larger photo than I usually use so that you can click on it and enlarge it if you would like to read it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Fierce Wind Blew Into Windward Hills Today

I went outside today after the rain and looked at my neighbor's yard. The wind broke off this palm tree. The ironic thing is we went out for dinner last night and my neighbor was talking about possibly getting rid of the palm trees. This wasn't in the plans though. I knew the wind was blowing but it certainly didn't seem that strong.

I was watching an episode of Color Splash Miami last night that I had recorded. I couldn't believe it when I saw this American Indian design wall hanging.
An identical wall hanging hung in my sons room over 30 years ago. My youngest son purchased it and it was a big investment for a teenager. To see it on TV 30 years later was quite an eerie experience. I don't know whether he still has it.

Strange things have been happening lately. Yesterday was also the day many of us around the country and world had trouble accessing the Internet.

I hope I don't wake up to snow tomorrow!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Amulets - A Veritable Feast Of Color

My supply of amulets is running low.

For those of you who don't know about them, these are small disc of polymer clay I make. They are made completely with colored clay. The patterns are formed with the clay. In the above photo you see some of my supply of canes I have made with the clays. These have been created over a period of several years.

After I set up my equipment today I started to make this new batch of canes.

Each one is different. I carefully add pieces of clay until I am satisfied with the design.

Tomorrow I will bake these along with the rest of them I will be making.

What are these for and what will I do with them?
They can be a good luck charm, a worry stone or just a piece of art.

I give them to people who visit me. The first time you visit you get two of them. One is to keep and the second is to give away to someone else. This allows me to share my art with more people. It is always interesting for me to see which ones people chose. Often one that I am not personally excited about is the first one chosen from a new group.

Each time you visit after that you get one more to keep, although you could give it away if you wanted to.

So when will you be coming to visit?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Decking The Halls - One More Time

I'd like to share some more of the things I did decorating my home for Christmas.

Whenever I went on home tours and saw decorated towels in the bath I wondered how they could do that and still use the towel. Well, these towels are just for show and I have others to use.

A very simple arrangement of holly and a poinsettia in a vase.

A closeup of one of the baskets I created for the driveway.

Amaryllis and art in the hall.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Garden Club Christmas Home Tour Finale

This is a closeup of the arrangement on the dining room table.

I had a new group to host and hostess tonight for the second and final night of the tour. What a happy and pleasant group!

This shows what I did to decorate around this quilt I have over a dresser.

Since this is a Five Star arrangement I used the star cut for this puzzle.
Click to Mix and Solve