Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year!

The new year has arrived and as promised, I am sincerely going to try to blog more often. Obviously, it's not going to be daily, but maybe I could manage weekly... or at least, more often than quarterly. How 'bout that? Reckon that will keep my Fan Club* happy?
While I didn't maintain my blog as well as I would have liked in 2014, there are enough posts to give you a good idea of our Year in Review, so I'm not going to do that. However, we weren't able to be together with any of our extended family during the Christmas season, so I thought I'd share some of our recent activities.
We kicked off the festivities early in December with an interchurch Christmas brunch at Country Buffet. The highlight of the morning was the white elephant gift exchange.

The next week we were invited to an Ugly Christmas Sweater party. Rather than going out and buying ugly sweaters, we got creative and decorated some old sweaters we already had. Our family spent one whole evening working on our sweaters. I said, "After all this work, I hope somebody in our family will win one of the prizes!" And turns out... they did!
 Laura's "sweater" featured a stocking with a teddy bear tucked in it, a letter to Santa, sparkly pom-poms and jingle bells... and the pièce de résistance.. an obnoxious violin that played Christmas songs. She won the Ugly ribbon (3rd place.)
And then Lyle won the Ugliest ribbon (1st place) with his tableau of Frosty getting run over by an SUV! He and I had worked on his sweater design together. I thought he could have a scene of a car hauling a Christmas tree with a snowman as part of the scenery, but he decided that it needed a little more drama than that. I guess it paid off because everyone seemed to love the snowman parts flying everywhere!
The actual week of Christmas was pretty rough at our house, as both girls had a nasty round of the flu... Laura early in the week, and Rebecca on Christmas Day. Lyle and I were grateful to not catch it this time around!
 We had a nice day at home on Christmas Day. The day started off sunny and mild. Lyle built a fire in our backyard fireplace and smoked a turkey breast on the grill for dinner. He enjoyed watching the fire while he visited on the phone with his mother.
We didn't know how smoking the turkey on the grill would turn out. My dad has been smoking turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas for probably 30 years, so it's kind of a tradition in our family. This year between work, church, and friends, I ended up having three different Thanksgiving dinners... and not one of them served smoked turkey. We haven't been with my folks for the holidays for several years, and I just missed Dad's tasty smoked turkey! So I asked Lyle if he thought it would work to smoke a turkey breast on the grill (since we don't own a smoker). He did some research and said he thought it wouldn't be too hard. He has a little metal box in which to smolder wood chips for the smoke flavor. I soaked the turkey breast in my Dad's recipe for brine for 24 hours, and then added a pan of water for moisture. It worked perfectly! So now we know--a smoker is not necessary! I expect we'll be enjoying smoked turkey more in the future.
And then the snow arrived! The clouds rolled in and the wind kicked up on Christmas afternoon, and the snow started falling. It has been cold and snowed more several times since. But still, we have seen some sunshine in between. After all, this is Colorado!

Thus concludes the synopsis of our Christmas celebration. Looking forward to seeing what 2015 has in store!

*Charter members of my Fan Club include my parents, my husband, and my children... and a few others who have let me know that you miss my blog. I do appreciate your encouragement. It means a lot!


Jan said...

I've missed you!! I really enjoyed this post. I would have voted for Lyle's sweater, too!!! Such a cute idea!

My husband smoked a whole turkey a few years ago in the bar-b-q for my whole family. It turned out soooo good! So fun to experiment!

Looking forward to your blog more often this year! ;-) And I am one of your blog fans!

Natasha Marie said...

LOVE those ugly sweaters!! :D
We sure miss you all...especially Laura at game nights, though. ;)
Happy New Year!

pse said...

The first post didn't show up. The last blog post didn't show up. I'll try again and see if this works. Google has sent me on about a ten minute "run-around."

I enjoy reading your post even when I already know what you have written about. It is good to hear your version of it.

2014 was a difficult year, but now we can start anew and hope for a better one.

Farrah said...

Tell Laura I think her sweater should have come in first! Talk about over the top, and the violin?? Oh my! LOVE it!!!!

A Romantic Porch said...

Those so cute

Sheila DelCharco said...

I'm glad you're back to posting too! It's my goal to blog more as well. Maybe we should keep each other accountable...

Sheila @ Sheila's Potpourri