Category Archives: CHRISTmas

Christmas day


Merry CHRISTmas.

A little music video from Joel and company here. 

I made latkes and monkey bread for breakfast, James made egg potato.

While other stuff was getting ready we opened presents. Jack got 3 new balls and was super excited.

Opening presents.


Lunch –

We got green tea bombs, they bloom into a flower.

Some art from yesterday.

Joel made a video call to us and we talked for about an hour. He said they had a feast for lunch, not so much for dinner, he worked part of the day, made a video with friends and he did get our present a few days earlier, so that was good. We had time for a nap, then we went to the movies. The girls saw Mary Poppins and James and I sae Holmes and Watson. Both were good, in different ways (Holmes and Watson is not a family movie.) We picked up Jack and went to look at lights.

Our horrible family photo, the lens was dirty, the dog was looking away, it’s to light, but there you go – unfiltered Merry Christmas.

James and I had a Christmas nightcap at Phil’s and then bed.



Advent day 22

That is privilege right there, sitting in a stroller in Starbucks eating a puppuccino.

Well, we were going to go see reindeer at a state park, but 6,000 other people wanted to do it too. So, we ended up at the Denver Flea market, in the cold and it started to snow. The girls found some deals and we bought Bethany a present, so it was fun. Jack had a good time eating things off the ground.

Advent day 23

I started working on these while James was at the gym.

Then we took Grace and Jack to Larimer to see the holiday windows. We spied many cat statues hanging onto lights and on buildings.

We had lunch outside at Euclid.

Parade, LM’s, chilling


Advent day 14

Advent day 15

Advent day 16

I got a new head wrap.

Jack got to go to Home Depot.

Saturday we went to the Olde Golden parade, Jack’s first one,

Then we raced over to Littleman’s to make gingerbread houses as a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity.

Sunday Hannah seemed a bit sick, so we stayed home from church. I went grocery shopping and later we went swimming. The girls watched Jack so James and I could go on a date.

Dinners this week – Italian sausage and root veggies bake, Israeli spice chicken and eggplant, chicken sausage/apple/cranberry hand pies, artichoke chicken with couscous, stuffed bell peppers, beef stew, pizza at home (Grace and I want to try goat cheese/kale/sweet potato as toppings.)

Israeli Spice Rub:

1 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Warm pita or flat bread, for passing

Serving suggestions: Serve with tomato relish.

Dressing for relish:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ripe lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt

Orange and Yellow Tomato Relish:
3 vine ripe or small round red tomatoes
2 orange or yellow tomatoes
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Israeli Spice Rub:
For the spice rub combine the paprika, cumin, oregano, coriander, crushed red pepper flakes, and kosher salt in a bowl. Place in a sealable jar, keep in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.
Place chicken in a shallow dish. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil to barely coat the meat. Rub chicken liberally with 4 tablespoons of the spice blend. Let stand 10 minutes.
Grill chicken 6 or 7 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

Orange and Yellow Tomato Relish:
Seed and chop the tomatoes and combine with onion and parsley in a shallow bowl. Combine oil, lemon juice, and spices in a small plastic container with a lid. Shake dressing to combine and pour over salad. Season salad with kosher salt and toss to combine well. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.

Our week – school, CT scan, Elf party, doc appointment, youth group, Hotel Eloize at DCPA, water sampling, afternoon tea, friend outing, not sure what we’re doing on Saturday and Sunday.

Last day


The guys didn’t get in until 6am, so they slept the whole day. We picked up my Mom and Tony and headed down to the Molly Brown house for the tour. I picked up library passes so we didn’t pay $68 for 6 people for the tour, we paid $0 (thank you library!)

We had some time to waste before the tour, so we went next door to Pablo’s coffee for some drinks.

I think Christmas is the best time to visit the house, it’s decorated up and looks so cheery and nice.

We’ve never actually been on the tour before, we did go into the house once for a Night at the Museum, but we just wandered the first floor. We learned a lot about Margaret Brown’s life and her family, some stuff we knew, some stuff was new.

From there we went over to Pho and had a late lunch.

Then it was home for a last minute cookie decorating contest.

I win.

We woke up the guys so Joel could say goodbye, the shuttle came earlier than expected, but I think that will be a good thing (bags to check in.) Grandma and Tony had a good visit, I’m glad we had some snow, that Joel was able to come to stuff and that Bethany made some family outings too. Tonight we’re all going to see The Greatest Showman. 

*ETA – That movie was great! It’s a musical, I didn’t know that going into it, everyone liked it, Hannah said it was the best movie ever, we cried at parts, we laughed and I’m going to look for a book about P.T. Barnum’s life because I want to know what was true and what was made up. Definitely go see it on the big screen, it will lose something on a TV.




Advent day 25 – Merry CHRISTmas – Isaiah 42:1-4 “Take a good look at my servant.
I’m backing him to the hilt.
He’s the one I chose,
and I couldn’t be more pleased with him.
I’ve bathed him with my Spirit, my life.
He’ll set everything right among the nations.
He won’t call attention to what he does
with loud speeches or gaudy parades.
He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt
and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant,
but he’ll steadily and firmly set things right.
He won’t tire out and quit. He won’t be stopped
until he’s finished his work—to set things right on earth.
Far-flung ocean islands
wait expectantly for his teaching.”

John 1:1-2 The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
in readiness for God from day one.
3-5 Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out.

The guys opened their present first since they needed to know why we had them make no plans for the day. Tickets to the Penn and Teller show in Vegas – tonight!

I made latkes and cinnamon rolls for breakfast and started on Christmas dinner (ham, sweet potatoes, cornbread sausage stuffing, quinoa with spinach and cranberries, pumpkin bread and eggnog cheesecake) so that the guys could eat before heading to the airport.

I took a break and we opened presents, Joel got us a record player and some records. I got two book lights and one of them had the same pattern as my crockpot and toaster.

The girls (and Joel) each got a fire tablet. There were socks, webkinz, hats, baking stuff, books, a fish tank, tickets to see Dan and Phil and more.

I got James (and me) tickets to the Speakeasy soiree with our fav gypsy jazz band.

I got new pots, a ‘best Mom ever’ pillow, necklace, silver platter, snowman and cash.

James got a boatload of coffee, a new book and tree ornaments. Maisy got a new baby and was so happy about it.

Hercule got a new tank.

We saved Bethany’s presents for her to open when she got off work. We had an early lunch, the guys went off to the airport, we watched It’s a Wonderful Life and then Bethany got home.

We roasted s’mores in the backyard and then took off to see Christmas lights.

We ended the tour at the courthouse per our traditional looking at the nativity and lights.

We kept getting updates from the guys, they saw the Bellagio fountains and got pics with Penn and Teller after the show.

Joel bought two Colorado pins and gave them to Penn and Teller as a Christmas gift, he said they looked very surprised at the gift. They are going to have a long night (they come come early in the morning, so I guess they will sleep in tomorrow.)

Christmas Eve


Advent day 24 – Isaiah 9 :6 For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Strong God,
Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
over that promised kingdom.
He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing
and keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
will do all this.

John 8:12 Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”

The snow was nice, it gave everything a nice white sheen, but without the driving headaches.

The Denver Voice wrapping paper worked out great.

Our outing today was to St. Nick’s and the park. We watched part of Miracle on 34th Street then went to St. Nicks.

We had never been there before, even though it’s practically right down the street. That store is huge, they have trees, lights, ornaments, villages, bows, lots of stuff for Christmas.

Joel was trying to sew a patch onto his jacket, so he and Mike went to the store to get better needles (the ones Hannah had were too light. The rest of us took off for Grant Frontier park to walk around. I love this new park, can’t wait to play there during the summer.

The geese kept walking up to us thinking we had food. Greedy birds.

We watched North by Northwest and Mike took some family pics for us.

We topped off the night with a board game that got out of control…

And then we watched another movie (that was so horrible that I’m not going to say the name of it, I’ll just say it had Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten, Olivia de Havilland, Agnes Moorehead and Mary Astor in it – and it was horrible.)