I know this pic is blurry, but I just love it of the boys together, in their jammies, choosing a Christmas Eve present to open. Also, if you look to the left, you can see our couch; we live in such a tiny house that the tree is in the entry, and the stockings are hung (with care, of course) on the back of that couch:
It's been a great Christmas, with family visiting, and Santa, and all. I love how Owen plays with toys - he took and built a big playset out of all the different gifts he got. Here's the front:
And the back:
Another big hit was yo-yos from Santa. My Dad, as a boy, won prizes for his amazing yo-yo abilities, and so he got to teach his grandchildren a thing or two with the yo-yo (while the rest of us got out of the way!)
Luke, above, walking the dog. And Owen, below, with Ben winding his yo-yo.
It turns out that this was one of Ben's rare moments out of the basement, where he has been feverishly working to drywall as part of the remodel that's going to make our house somewhat less tiny, with my Dad helping out too. Here're a few pics of Owen and Luke, helping Grandpa put in some drywall screws:
We haven't spent as much time with my nephews (and their folks :-( as we would have liked, because they were sick over there, as is my Mom over here. When she started with a cold, she asked for Cece Soup ("As in Cheech and Chong?" asked Luke when he heard about the soup - we've been listening to their extremely funny skit about Santa Claus and His Old Lady, so he recognized the name). If anyone in your house is sick, Cece Soup might be just the ticket to help them get better, so I'm giving you the recipe:
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil with 1Tbsp butter in your soup pot on med-low until the butter melts. Then add one chopped garlic clove and 1/2 tsp crushed rosemary, and heat until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes.
Add 4 Tbsp of spaghetti sauce, and then simmer on low heat for ten minutes; in my recipe I have written that this is "v. important!" so don't skip it.
Then add 4 cups of rinsed canned chick peas (these are the cece, for any of you non-Italians out there) and 4 cups of chicken stock, and heat until boiling. In a separate pot, cook 1/2 a cup of tiny pasta (we like alpha-bits) for five minutes or so, until they are done; drain them and put them in the soup.
Serve hot, with lots of grated Romano cheese and some pepper on top. It is so good, just the thing for chasing away a cold.
Music has also made this a great Christmas; my newlywed brother and his wife made us a great Christmas mix, which includes some older songs that I haven't heard since I was small, and whole slew of songs that I've never heard but that we are all growing to love. Maybe you've heard the Jack Johnson version of 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,' which is so awesome? It's always bugged me that Rudolph is only loved after the other reindeer find that he's useful to them, and Jack Johnson's final verse addresses that:
But Rudolph, he didn't go for that, he said, "I see through your silly game/ How can you look me in the face when only yesterday you called me names?"
All of the other reindeer, man, well they sure did feel ashamed/ "Rudolph you know we're sorry/ We're truly gonna try.... to change"
As always, the holidays are going by way too fast. I hope yours have been wonderful, and that your 2010 is too!