Christmas Day was absolutely wonderful. Ashley was up at 4 a.m. but we held her off until 7!
We opened our stockings and then our gifts. We each were treated very well by Santa! Ashley received a bike and a trunk that Bob refinished for her and those were the highlights of the day. Eric got a charcoal grill and he was thrilled!
Breakfast was chocolate crepes, biscuits, sweet potato butter, au fromage, carmelized bananas and oven fried bacon! Yummy! We had our crackers which contain silly jokes and charms. They were fun as usual.
After the drive back from Wien, we had Ashley and Eric over to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas specials, to have a snack and to open the Santa bag!
Our snack was a antipasta tray with gourmet mustards and homemade Christmas treats!
Santa's bag had the annual pjs and a game (Martini) to play. We stayed up for awhile to get our pjs on and to play our game. As we were watching our specials, though, we got sleepy and went to bed right after!
We were in Wien on Christmas Eve this year. Everyone was there, which is fabulous and I hope it can continue forever! We started out the morning playing Rock Band, Beatles version, which was so much fun! Everyone participated by either singing, playing the drums or the guitar.
We had a fabulous lunch prepared by Joy and Irene. We had Tim's smoked turkey, ham, baked potatoes, corn, biscuits, and homemade noodles. For dessert we had homemade chocolate pie.
Santa came to visit after lunch and brought gifts to Janie, Alex and Adam. They were thrilled!
Our annual gift exchanged was themed Personal Indulgences. Each of us brought a gift that expressed something we would not want to live without! I brought a cookbook and a vintage apron, Bob brought travel books and magazines, Ashley brought OPI nailpolish and Eric brought coffee. We got great gifts in exchange!
The ladies were asked to pick a gift from Irene's closet. We could trade if we wanted to but we all got great things. I received a scrapbook and vintage aprons that belonged to Bob's great grandmother!
After all the festivities we have an annual photo of each of the families. You are seeing ours at the top!
We played games (True Colors) and gabbed a bit before everyone had to leave. Karen and Tim, Susan and Kelley have a four hour drive! It was a fabulous time!
Ashley graduated with a Master's Degree last night!
We had dinner at Boone Tavern with family before and then we went to the Hearnes Center for the ceremony. It was very well done!
Ashley's degree is in Textiles and Apparel Management in the college of Human Environmental Sciences from the University of Missouri. The title of her thesis was "Second Weddings: A New Kind of Fairy Tale."
For fifteen years Bob and I have hosted a holiday party for his staff. We love doing it and have a great time planning the menu and preparing the food. Since it is an adults only party, we feel free to use any liquor we choose in the preparation! Sometimes even while we are making it! ;-)
In all this time we have never photographed the food! Here is our "spread" of food and drink!
We make this simple punch: a bottle of champagne to a large can of frozen pink lemonade. We went through four bottles of champagne! This is very popular!
Bob's staff loves wine. We went through ten bottles, mostly red. I saved the bottles for my bottle tree!
Ashley and Eric host a holiday party for their two families. Last year's is here . This year was fun, too! The menu included a basil/tomato torte, crab cakes, chocolate fondue, garlic dip, pasta bowls, gingerbread men and a spice cake. All yummy! These photos cannot do the food justice!
Bob and I went to Kansas City with another Lewis and Clark couple to see Guy Fieri, a Food Network star who stars in Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. We love that show and his other one, Guy's Big Bite. He's fun and energetic!
Bob surprised me with backstage tickets so we got to meet him! We were given a bag that contained a cookbook and an apron. We asked him to autograph our book. His "food show" is more like a rock concert! There was music, contests, cocktail making (lots of tequila was used throughout the night!) and occasionally some cooking was going on! He had a DJ, too!
He is just like what he seems to be on TV... a guy who likes to cook and knows how to have fun!
Stephens College has an annual Victorian Christmas celebration. We have wanted to go for ages but last night was the first time we could go. The students dress in Victorian garb and greeted us at the door. The walkway was lined with luminaries and, it was lightly snowing! We were seated at a small table for four that was decorated with a candle and teacups.
The rest of the evening was a variety of music. The choir sang, there were solos and duets on the violin and flute, and inbetween, small talk was made by the cast. We were served wassail and figgy pudding!
It was a fun night, no snow stuck to the ground so getting home was a breeze!
I love writing newsletters. I am the only principal I know who writes a weekly one for my school! I decided this year to only do a Christmas blog, but I will make copies of it for my friends who do not use the internet.
Today I spent a couple of hours at school which was fun and tiring, all at the same time! I read the announcements in the morning and surprised all the students! I visited with people and got my paperwork completed for my absences.
In addition to the excitement of work, I started my cancer drug today. It will reduce the chance of my cancer returning to 4%! That means I have a 96% chance of staying cancer free! I will take this drug for the next five years and meet with my oncologist every three months for a year... then annually if all is going well!
Ashley is defending her thesis today all while trying to deal with a herniated disc. We do NOT do things the easy way in our family! She is on some good medication and I am hoping that by tomorrow she feels a lot better.
Tomorrow I go in for another couple of hours. I plan to walk through the building and say hello to as many kids as I can!!