Sunday, January 1, 2017

Late Christmas Round-Up

I didn't get around to decorating all the Amazon boxes this year, but hopefully next year
when I am restored to fully health I will be able to invest energy in that important pursuit!!!

Yay for a meaningful and fun Christmas Eve!

The weather was COLD and RAINY and WINDY.
It felt wintery and inhospitable, which makes Christmas seem more cozy and family-oriented.

I saw tumbleweeds on the roads on the way to church, and this car in the parking lot had one stuck underneath it!  I love tumbleweeds.  

I mistakenly decided that it wouldn't be as cold as predicted and wore a dress with bare legs . . .

I really liked the outfit, though!
Here's the modern pattern.  It's green (Christmas color!) with a navy background.

It fits like a shirt dress, slightly blousy on top.
Lighting in that bathroom is not the best, but you get the idea.

I wore it with a fluffy soft winter white sweater.

Even though it's a bit of a drive home and I turned the heat up to high, I still wasn't warm on the inside by the time I got home.  Raining and 45 in Arizona is bone-chillingly cold to us.

After running the 1:1 (special needs) classroom for two services and attending a third with Greg, we came home for dinner and presents!

Greg's family has a unique tradition for Christmas Eve meals.
Here he explains it for you:

We got a lot of generous and wonderful presents from our family members and friends.
Here are some of them (the ones we photographed or filmed).

A new PRETTY travel Bible from my parents (find it here):

The funniest thing happened completely by accident.

I ordered this shirt for Greg, who's a Foosball fanatic.

The tracking # said it had arrived, but what arrived was THIS AWESOME SHIRT with
Captain Picard on it, saying, "Make it snow"!!!!!

(One of his catch phrases is "Make it so" - instead of just "Do it".  He's too classy for "Do it.")

I have been trying to contact the seller to say we'd love to have both shirts (they won us over!),
but that we aren't sure how to go about getting the Foosball one, as well . . .  there's something wrong with the website and I'm going to have to have an online chat with someone once I'm feeling a bit better.

Greg got a Google Cardboard (from me!) to try out virtual reality using his phone.
Here's how it comes packaged:

And here's what it looks like in process!
He's playing a "game" that helps people not be afraid of heights.
It might aid him as we plan for a potential travel experience coming up in the new year . . . 

I was happy to get some glass food storage containers - hooray!

The comments on the box by an obviously non-native-English speaker were really funny, too - that's an extra gift!

"Durable and clean container, the Glasslock which will has long life cycle and no environmental hormone, will lead you hygienic and safe life."

find them here

 I also got some Green Pans for cooking - they are eco friendly and don't require using a lot of oil.
find them here

I absolutely love this line of spatulas and other kitchen ware!
Look at how cute this little blue spatula is!!!!
There are leaves and an owl on there!

Even the handle is fancy!
This is going to make me smile every time I use it. 

I LOVE my new jammies!!!

They're cotton, but silky soft and flowy and I can't wait to wash them and wear them
(I've been too sick to even do laundry - boo hoo!)

Also, a new sweater - black & white stripes!

Greg got me a brand-new phone, and it's just the fanciest thing!
It's fast and the battery lasts a long time and IT'S GOLD!!!! 

I have already used this exfoliating mask once (and loved it!).
I can't wait to use it again once my nose stops peeling from all the tissue use . . .  

Greg also got a fun new toy - a quadcopter!

He couldn't resist getting it out and trying to fly it (even though it was pouring rain and dark outside, no reason this fancy device can't be flown inside!)

He explained all the cool details to me.  It comes with lots of extra goodies.
It took video of me while I was talking to me Mom on the phone!

Here's the quad copter flying in the kitchen!

We eventually fell into bed and slept with visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads
and beans simmering in the slow cooker.

The next morning, I assembled the rest of our meal while Greg did a bunch of cleaning and organizing to prepare for our guests.

Though the rest of the meal was vegan, I made some spicy chicken for Greg and anyone else who wanted to add some flesh to his meal (I was the only woman at this shindig!)

The beans simmered all night in the crock-pot and then I transferred them to a pot on the stove so I could better control the speed of their boil.  There were spices and onions in the pot, too.

Then I chopped up a bunch of vegetables for on top of the bean mixture,
as usual with my family's traditional Christmas meal of chalupas. 

from left to right:
black olives
green olives

I forgot the peppers!

I was already starting to feel weird (light-headed and sort of spacy/buzzy),
but I just figured I was tired from so much busyness and cooking.

I made sure all the desserts were ready - 
pumpkin pie and pumpkin puddings:

 And here's the finished meal!
In my family, we typically eat the bean mixture on top of Fritos corn chips with veggies and sauces piled on top.  I have veganized the meal by leaving out the pork and the sour cream and cheese (though I had them available on the side for those who wished to imbibe).

While I was slowly dissolving into influenza,
the men played Exploding Kittens and Foosball.

Everyone had good food and hopefully a fun time, and then we were left to droop and snuggle cats.
We were also left with quite a few tasty leftovers, which was good, since I haven't wanted to cook much over the last week!

Stephen wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Allistair hopes that 2017 brings you lots of snuggles and kisses.


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