Thursday, December 30, 2010

December...parties, birthdays, Christmas, and Reunions!

December is a whirlwind of activity around our house... Here's a sampling:

1.  MacDaddy had a birthday...and the SEC Championship game (MacDaddy just peeked over my shoulder and insisted that this game was the HIGHLIGHT of his birthday...WAR EAGLE!). Alas, no photos (We watched the game and had the birthday meal at DB's new home. And I forgot my camera!!!) But we all had fun! And Marty was so excited about the BEST birthday present of all...Auburn plays for the National championship.  Talk about a birthday present.....

2.  Our annual Christmas party...This is the 16th year of this party. Sometimes we have dinner...most times we all bring appetizers and desserts. This year the food was exceptional! We had everything from Venison Chili to Steak Bites, Crab au Gratin to fabulous Wings. And for desserts, we were treated to Apple Cake with Treacle, Pumpkin Cake, Chocolate Cups with Bailey's Ice Cream, and Cheesecake. We also had lots of wine, Sangria, Hot Apple Cider, Coffee....
I think I gained 10 pounds!!!

(Our "hit" ornament was the very feminine black POODLE...complete with a sparkley crown and red bows. As you can see in the photo, Paul...Mr. Macho...loved the poodle. (He kept offering $$$ for someone to take it off his hands!)

(Hey Lisa, do you see your influence in my decor? Check the back wall...)

3.  The neighborhood annual Cookie and Gift Exchange and Progressive Dinner (so the guys could have fun, too!)
(12 -17-2110 post)

4.  Catherine's (our DIL) birthday was our next celebration. She maintains that her birthday lasts until Christmas day! Her special gift from us was a quilt, designed and made for her by my dear friend, Becky. 

The colors of this quilt will go in every single room of their new house... The photo doesn't do it justice! It's GORGEOUS!

5.  Christmas Eve was quiet...only one son was here. We had our traditional Chinese take-out meal in front of the TV...we watched White Christmas. (One of our traditions is taking a tray of goodies to the Chinese restaurant...they truly appreciate being remembered and their little daughters LOVE the goodies!)
(That's Beau in the green sweatshirt...and black head. He's one of my "granddogs.)

6.  Christmas Day...always FUN!!! All the guys, their ladies, and a "stray" (friend of WG's who couldn't get home for Christmas). The gang arrived in their pjs, jeans, and some were dressed up for their next event...
We always start with fresh-squeezed OJ from a nearby grove stand...and Mimosas...and coffee!!! (after all, it's EARLY). Then the craziness begins!(Here's my Future DIL and our "Stray", Eric. What a delightful young man...and such a good sport! We thoroughly enjoyed having them with us...even in their PJs!)

Music Guy gets a yellow bird to reside in his bushy beard ( one of those "brother" jokes!)

Wine Guy and his lady receive "Redneck Wine Glasses" (Mason jars on a fancy stem!) with Mogen David wine. Alas, Santa could not find any Ripple or Boonesfarm.

Sweet DIL received a very special book...The Men and Women of Marc Jacobs...hand delivered from the author's book signing in LA. She even received a pictorial of the book signing and after party...lots of big-named stars attended. Can you tell she was surprised...

Future DIL was really into the spirit of our gathering...ribbon and all!
(I was impressed...Julie, WG and their sweet friend got up at O-dark-30 to get over to our house to accommodate the others' schedules...hence the PJs., glasses and no makeup.)

Drummer Boy escaped the photos...When I remembered to point and shoot, he got up for another Cinnamon Roll! But his puppies posed...sort of. Hannah kept moving so I missed her whole head. But I loved their air of anticipation...(There were goodies for them on the table.)

We always stop in the middle of the gift-giving to feast on Sausage and Egg Strata and freshly baked Cinnamon Rolls. Mmmmmmmm.....I can still smell the rolls.

After all the craziness...and the cleanup...DB and DIL left to visit with her family, I hit the streets to deliver hot rolls to my special neighbors, and the rest of the gang turned on Top Gear (I think this is becoming a new tradition...YUK!) WG, his lady, and their friend left to rest up before their next Italian feast with Julie's family! At our house, we had a fabulous, yet simple meal later in the evening...Standing Rib roast, creamy mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, salad and rolls (Sister Schubert's this time) with those who were available...

 7.  On Sunday, we all gathered again for the 89th annual Christmas Reunion of the DelValle side of the family. The crowd was a bit smaller than usual...only 55 were in attendance.  For most of my life, my mother (the youngest of the DelValle siblings) hosted this celebration. It was held at our home on the lake. With our usual good Florida weather, we were able to eat outdoors (THANK GOODNESS!) In the "old days" we would have upwards of 90 people at this event. As my generation moved across the country, had families of their own, and the elders passed on, the number of attendees have dwindled a bit...
but we still gather...and will do so as long as possible.
Another branch of the family has taken on the challenge of hosting this event (and I am forever grateful for that!)
This is my Aunt Vic...she's 94! Behind her in the red is my eldest 70!

   Our FEAST included:
     Relish and Veggie trays
     Ham, Roasted Turkey, Smoked Turkey, Roasted Pork with Mojo (our Cuban heritage), Smoked Salmon, Grilled Italian Sausage
     Tons of veggies...southern style green beans, collard greens, squash casserole, etc.
     White Rice with Black Beans (Cuban Heritage, again)
     Traditional Stuffing and Stuffing with Venison Sausage
     Sweet Potatoes with Apples and Pecans
     Green Salads
     Cranberry Salad
     Fresh Citrus Ambrosia (My absolute favorite part of the meal!!!)
                                                   Fresh fruit trays
                                                   Cuban Bread
                                                   A myriad of desserts...cookies, pies, cakes, fudge, and more!

I have to admit...I sampled all the foods, but ate TONS of the Citrus absolute favorite!!! (You can see it in the above the color of oranges and grapefruit, plus maraschino cherries mixed together. My big brother and I even filled cups with the leftover juices and drank them. This is OUR dessert!)

It's time to bring 2010 to a close...TOMORROW night, we'll be watching football and celebrating with our friends...

Here's to a Wonderful NEW YEAR!!! May it bring joy, peace and prosperity to us all...



rjerdee said...

Hugs back to you, dear Jane!
becky (at beachsnaps)

jmac said...

Whew............what a month!!! Filled with Good Times and loving family...what more could a gal want!!!
Happy New Year, my new friend. Hope to SEE you soon!!

Shellbelle said...

WOW, my head is spinning with all the fun activities. What a fabulous holiday you had filled with friends and family, oh, AND food, lots of food!

Everything looks incredible, but that quilt stole the show for me, that IS gorgeous.

Happy New Year Jane, may you and yours have each and every day filled with joy and love.

btw, I'm going to be out on Indian Rocks Beach at 3am Sunday morning for some night shelling at low tide, lol. Darn the cold, full speed ahead!

gayle said...

What a wonderful Christmas!!

Simple Daisy said...

Wowzers....what a fun holiday for you and your family!!!

Happy...Happy New Year to you and your family:)

I am soooooo glad that your peeps loved the Simple Daisy jewelry! Makes me so happy!

Take Care~

Ms. Bake-it said...

You had such a busy month filled with fun and yummy food! Have you slowed down yet and taken a breather? I absolutely love the quilt Becky made for Catherine! I really think I need to get with Becky to discuss a special quilt for my Little Darling's first birthday.