TOGETHER... My Favorite Place to Be.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Eve Dinner

Since we had our family Christmas on the 10th, we decided to invite the Budensiek's over for dinner. With work schedules to consider we chose Christmas Eve. The camera didn't get used much while they were here...
Rachel and Brenna got in a cheesy shot and there was a shot of Vern sleeping on the couch.. she wasn't feeling well and since I am her friend I am not going to show you that picture! That was it as far as people pictures.... how sad!
This morning I told my sister-in-law how to load pictures on here... you know, it has to be done in reverse order... well, between telling her and working on this I had a brain freeze or something. So, these are backwards, but that's ok.... it is just a tablescape.

I didn't want to use a large centerpiece because we had a lot of food to go on the table and we had 10 placesettings. I've had these candles for years and decided to do a variation of something I saw on You can see the inspiration piece on her 12.22.09 post. I really like it and may someday do it. She has lots of great ideas! I planned to use my cricut, but I found stickers that I had and it saved me some "work." That wonderful ribbon that is on the framed wreath in the living room showed up here, as well as the berries that are popping up all over the house.

I chose the gold brocade tablecloth. I got it on clearance at BBB a couple of years ago and just love it. The plates are Pfaltzgraf Winterberry. The glass dessert dish, that we used for salad, is from Dollar Tree and the chargers were also. The globets are Claret by Libby.

The gold napkins and the napkin rings were more clearance purchases from BBB. Ryan helped a little with putting the table together and chose the napkin placement. It is one of my favorite placements.

It was a time of joy to spend the evening with our friends. The menu included turkey, dressing (not as good as my Daddy's was!)and stuffing , mashed potatoes and gravy, homemeade noodles, green beans, carrots, broccoli slaw, deviled eggs, homemade potato rolls and lots of goodies for dessert! Kathy brought all the good healthy stuff and I did the starches! We played a game exchanging Dollar Tree gifts later in the evening. Don't know who go the "best" gift... think it was a tie... Rachel with the box of rocks, (decorative rocks, of course!) or Pete with the glo-stick jewelry! It was a fun night! Great friends, great memories! We did miss our oldest boys and their girls though!

I decided decorate the chairs. Dollar Tree had amazing Christmas decorations! I got the deer in a 2 pack and I got 3.5 chairs out of a roll of ribbon. I was very happy with the way they turned out. The problem was that they ended up sliding down. I tried to use glue dots to keep them in place, but that didn't work. I will have to work on that. But they were pretty!

Here's the whole table... I loved the dark red, gold and creams. As usual, Mr. Fye asked for someone to please pass the salt and pepper. Hands reached up and then halted as they realized everyone had their own.... he laughed, we groaned... Gotta love 'im!
For a year now I have been waiting for turkey leftovers to make this recipe. I know I could use chicken, but I made it for the first time last year and I used the turkey broth and meat. It was sooo good, and I think it is one of those recipes that I probably would only make once a year anyway. Who knows. Maybe this year I will try it with chicken. Anwyay, this is what we are having for lunch today with cornbread muffins.
White Chili
In a large saucepan cook until tender:
1 T oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalepano pepper, seeded and chopped
2 galic cloves, minced
Stir in:
4 cups chicken broth (0r turkey!)
2 15.5 oz. cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 T parsley
1 T lime juice
1 t cumin
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occaisionally.
Combine and stir into chili:
2 T corn starch
1/4 c cold water
2 c cubed cooked chicken (or turkey!)
Bring to boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Well, the new year will arrive this week. I am ready for a new year. I am not real big on New Year Goals, but if I were, I have one I am already working on that will be accomplished hopefully by the first of April! No foolin'! I may gather some thoughts on goals and share them. We'll see. I told Larry last night I am ready to get life back to normal. He asked what that is exactly... don't really know, but I'd like to find out!

Monday, December 21, 2009

This and That

Larry informed me last night that I have several typos in my posts. He was appalled. He couldn't believe I could do such a thing! He even said I used some bad language in my typos... I haven't checked to see what that is, but it is kinda funny.

Do you all have family colors? The other day Rachel and I were talking about my party/wedding planning business and I mentioned that I need to decide on a color scheme. I mentioned that I really like dark red, black and then I like the bling.... much like Natalie's wedding (but a darker red than she had). Rachel said, "Well, those are our family colors... " A lot of what we do and have is in red and black. Larry's business colors were red and black, my kitchen, we wear a lot of black and red. I have red in almost every room in my house. Larry "got" me the picture frame in the picture. It is the direction I want to go in the living room which is open to the kitchen, and again, more red and black, but I also have browns involved, too. (The living room has been birdhouses and a casual cottage feel.) Maybe I should branch out to some other color.... but then would it be "me"? (By the way, my business name is "A Mari Celebration." ) Does your family have colors that it seems to migrate to? Colors that just catch your eye when thinking about your family? Robby's bedroom before he got married was deep red and black lacquer, but now their home is mostly browns and creams.
This is another funny thing... I found it funny... I hope you won't find it offensive... We went to Buca di Peppo for Natalie and Kurt's rehearsal dinner. Now that I think about it there were two things... They brought out calamari (the boys were eating it up until Rob got a whole "baby" one and Ry stopped practically mid-bite, he didn't know what he was eating... but he decided he liked it more than he was put off by that site and he kept on eating!) and they had salad and bread for appetizers. For the main entrees they served lasagna, chicken parmesan (really good!), and manicotti. For dessert they had a delicious cheesecake and then brought out tiramisu. I said, "Oh, that has coffee stuff, I don't like that.." Rob said, "It also has rum!" So, to be funny, I said, "Oh, well, I 'll try it then!!" It was pretty funny. I think they thought I was serious. I did try it, but I wasn't just wanting the rum!! We decided that it is ok to have it if it is in your food! Not really. It tasted horrible! And then a couple of days later I was telling Rachel about the restaurant and I said, "Rachel! There were pictures and statues of naked men ALL over the place!!" Rachel- "Mom. Did you not see the women, too? There are pictures and statues of women all over the place, too." Nope. Didn't. See. One. Woman. I know. I am horrible. Your opinion of me just changed drastically, didn't it? I am horrible, but I just thought that was kinda funny. At the time it was kinda embarrassing! I tried not to look around too much!
This week isn't so busy for us. Tonight is the Jewett's Open House and then we are having the Busensiek's over for Christmas Eve dinner. I am doing the turkey and all the starches (stuffing, dressing, noodles, mashed potatoes, rolls... all homemade), and eggs and some kind of dessert. She is doing all the healthy stuff... veggies and salad and she is doing a dessert, also. We love getting together with the Budensiek's. It's always a party!! I am sure I will have some pictures later in the week! We will have stockings for the kids to open and a big brunch on Christmas Day and Turkey Tortilla Soup for supper. Pretty low key. We are enjoying it!
Just thought I'd share those few random thoughts with you! Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December Happenings

Natalie and Kurt Friedrich's Wedding and Reception
The theme for the wedding was simple elegance with lots of bbbling! Natalie wanted to use the mirrors and containers that the church has and so I added risers for some of the mirrors to add some dimension. The roses were velvety and full.

The containers were filled with crystals and lights to frame the floating dark red rose candles.

A photographer I am not.... in person it was a very pretty table. Natalie's photographer took some amazing pictures that you can be sure I will be ordering!!

The wedding cake was designed and created by Yolanda Seese. It was beautiful! A new trend for wedding cakes is to have a "fake cake." And that is what this is. The served sheet cakes they had also ordered. They were high, moist and very good!
This is the Bride's Table. This picture doesn't do this justice... I love this effect. It is one big tulle skirt with lights and bling! It was so pretty!

There were 2 of these arrangements on the Bride's Table... one on each end. We used liquid marbles and lights to make the vase glow like diamonds.

This is the centerpiece for the Bride's Table. The church owns this candleabra, and I think I feel the need to find one of my own!

I put the toss bouquet here and you can see the red votive candles that were at each place setting at this table.

Here's a brighter picture of the one centerpiece. You can better see the bling in the flowers and the if you look closely you can see the bling in the table skirt.
Chef Harry Greene was the caterer. The food was delicious! He caters a lot of things for our district and I have heard many great things about him and we weren't disappointed. They set a beautiful display as well.

For the gift table I placed a single black band of ribbon and fastened it with 2 "diamond" pins.
It was a beautiful wedding with a beautiful bride and handsome groom! And one of their ushers was mighty handsome, too! It was a privilege to be asked to do the flowers and reception for Natalie's wedding. She is one of Robby's best friends and that made it extra special for me to be able to do it.
Now on to our family.....

This is our little Angel.... she's such a stinker!!! We enjoyed having her here sooo much! But she is still so hard to get a picture of! We did take lots of video! She is her Daddy's girl! She likes to tell stories and add sound effects actions. And she loves to do things to make you laugh! And you have to watch out for when she wants to do something to provide that shock factor!!
Oh, she is a doll!
Every year the last ornament I place on the tree is this little gerkin pickle. If you read my pervious post you know that this year it is the first and last ornament I put on the tree! The one that finds the pickle gets a small gift....

The boys usually get into it and have been known to lay on the floor and look up, or climb in behind the tree and search high and low! Makenzi got into the search this year. She kept saying, "Here pickle!" This year was a challenge because there were 9 trees in the living room so I gave them a hint and told them that it was on one of the 3 big trees! I don't think they thought that was much help...

Kristi found the pickle nestled in the area that all the trees come together! The problem was that with the wedding and all the changes to this year's plans I forgot to buy the pickle gift! :o(
Kristi was a good sport and said it was just fun to look for it!
When the kids attended public school, on the last day of school when they got off of the bus I would have hot chocolate and cookies waiting for them. When we started homeschooling and then when Rob and Rachel went to college the day hasn't been as "set." But it happens every year. Now, not so much for the last day of school before break, but just for the fun of doing it.

We use this egg nog set that my sister made for my Daddy. It is so much fun to drink from these little boots! We have to have several refills, but maybe that is part of the fun!

This year we had sugar cookies (always on the menu!) cinnamon crunch cheesecake bars, and peanut butter cookies.

Rob and Kristi got me this sleigh serving dish for Christmas! It is so me! And it fit right in with my other kitchen Christmas dishes!

Several years ago I bought this Debbie Mum set. I do enjoy it. Most of my decorating is not cutesy and these provide a bit of whimsy that I probably need!

Here's the set with the cocoa in it! It sure was yummy!

The guys are so good to join in in all the fun, too!
Doesn't he look like the little boot is just his style!!
Kenzi wanted to have her picture taken like Papaw in front of the oven! She's so much fun!
I would have included pictures of the others but they are on the memory card that Rob accidentally took home! Since we have already had our Christmas so early, I get confused in the store and then think I am missing out on all the clearance sales!

"Christmas is together time."
~Charles Shultz

We enjoyed our together time with our family. This year's whole holiday season has been very different. I won't go into details but even with it being different I still had the joy of having all the kids under one roof. I loved hearing my boys play video games and laugh together and me not being sure which son it was laughing so hard at the other's mishaps! Until they would talk they'd sound so much alike. And watching Rachel with Makenzi is a joy... she is not really a baby person, you know. ;o) But she is a Makenzi person! Yes, it was wonderful together time. They will be back in Febraury and yes, I am already on the countdown!

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Christmas Time!

Rob and Kristi were here for Thanksgiving weekend and we really enjoyed Makenzi! She has grown so much in the last two months! She has always been so hard to get a picture of! She is constantly on the move! We have very few pictures of her that aren't blurred! We took alot of video of her this year since still pictures weren't to be had!!

These next 3 pictures are out of order. So, I will just tell you about them in one fell swoop! Trisha Jewett gave me napkin that she wanted me to use as the inspiration piece of the the large bulletin board (4'x8') in the Family Center at church. They are the napkins that will be used for the reception following the "It's a Time for Joy!" cantata. So, this is what I came up with. I wnated to use one of those paper mache deer, but I think that would have been too much fo rmy budget so I used the trusty projector and enlarged the deer from the napkin and used spray glue and 3 shades of glitter. I sued my Cricut for the verse and it says, "O, the precious name of Jesus! How it fills our souls with joy!" I used a cheap cloth tablecloth for the background that I will cover over in January and then uncover for February's board.

For years I have done bulletin boards and I am just now getting into the habit of taking pictures of them. These are the two that are in my Sunday School classroom. I got the ideas for them from GREAT site for bulletin boards- children's SS, adult bulletin boards, school classrooms and special events.

The "wood" is contact paper that I used a permanent marker on to make the individual planks. I first tried to hot glue the straw onto poster board, but spray glue worked best. I didn't have time to freehand Mary and Baby Jesus so I used my projector and enlarged a picture of them from a gift bag and made a few adjustments.

This year's Christmas decor is very different for us. Last year the kids said they wanted to do the trees like the trees at church... clustered and no ornaments, just white lights. Now, I live with a bunch of Scrooges, so when they ask for something as far as Christmas decor that I think is do-able, you better believe I am doing it! I am very happy with the results!

I focused in the living room and didn't do every nook and cranny. The overall look is more winter than Christmas, and I prefer that.

This architectural piece has been floating around my house for a couple of years, but never in an actual decor spot. I think it found it's home..

I saw a fireplace mantle done similar to this on a website and decided I had to do it! I wish I could remember whose blog it was on so I could give proper credit. They used a frame they found at a thrift stroe. I tried. Really, I did. I went to 5-6 different Goodwill's and even on their 1/2 price day I would have only saved less than $7 than this frame that I bought at Flower Factory. The ones I would have got at GW I would have had to clean and paint. I hope to have family pictures taken this soon so I can use this frame for that later. This is different, but I love it!

These candlesticks were some I had in the dining room. I didn't get candles for these so I just put a band of ribbon around them. It is the same ribbon that is on the wreath and frame. I should have taken a close-up of it because it is so pretty. It is a sheer cranberry with a gold embroidery.

I did get a close-up of this material. I have been eyeing it FF for a while and wondering where I could use it. It is a tone on tone sheer. It is a brighter red and adds the right amount of pop for all of the darker reds.

Here's the overall look of the living room. The three trees are make our own little winter wonderland. With all sizes of trees (those 2 little ones by the big trees being the smallest)
we have 9 trees in the living room. Usually they are scattered around the house. The urns/pots that the smaller trees are in were already in the living room on the hearth.

The hutch in the dining room got most of the attention this year, with jsut touches around the room. I haven't even done a centerpiece yet because Natalie's wedding is this weekend and I still have a tiny bit of work to do on that. (I cannot wait until I can show you pictures from that!) On Thursday we will have our family Christmas so I will have a center piece for that and will probably take pictures then.

I love my Pfaltzgraf Winterberry dinnerware set. As you probably know, I love dishes and I love them even more when they aren't locked into one day. I use these well into February.

This is my Nativity set that my sister Debbi made for my Daddy and when he passed away I got it. My step-mother had it on straw... me... I have it on lace this year.

This is Makenzi's Christmas Corner. The little stove and sink is a set I "helped" a dear friend of our make for Rachel when she was about 4. As you can see I need to get new knobs and a new "sink." And the door to the oven is needing to be replaced. Someday.... In the cabinet is "food" and dishes with pot and pans!

These little friends are jsut waiting for Kenzi to come and play! My sister also painted the little sled on the step. Two little bunnies are putting up a banner that says Merry Christmas!

Debbi also painted this teddy bear plaque. She was amazing! She her work freehand. She passed away in 2000. We loved her work before but they are treasures to us now.

So, there's the 2009 Christmas decor for the Fye Household. I think I made my Scrooge's happy. Now, maybe, just maybe, they won't complain too much when the Christmas music is playing.
I'll leave with this thought as the cry of our hearts:
"Each year some new heart finally hears, finally sees, finally knows loves, and in heaven, there is great rejoicing! The Child is born anew, and one more knee is bowed!"
- Ann Weems