Saturday, December 10, 2011

Family Holiday Dinner

We hosted a holiday dinner party for my 2 sisters, 1 brother and their spouses last evening.  There were 4 of us children in the family, and I must tell you that I'm so happy that we are still all together.  I see other families where there is strife and hurt and misunderstandings and where the siblings aren't speaking because of disharmony dealt to their families by parents - and it's just so sad.  I guess what I'm saying is, if you are close with your siblings, celebrate it -- and if you aren't.. it's not too late to let the old hurts go away and reach out and touch your family while you still have them.
Dayle prepared 2 chuck roasts according to the cookbook of Pioneer Woman (one of my fave blogs) and I finished the decorating and set the table for our dinner.  In the shot below the sun was streaming in and had lit up the crystal candelabra.  I used a new Hipstamatic film and lens made especially for photographing food.. (called "Foodie Pak") I noticed that it focused in the center and fuzzed up all the surrounding areas.. kind of fun.
Almost ready.... 
What would happen if I hold the iPhone this way... hmmm... 
Then everyone arrived and we got pretty busy around here.. Dayle had laid a fire in the fireplace several weeks ago -- he was in the kitchen checking the roast so I asked my BIL Teddy to light the fire.. I handed him a lighter.. and so he opened the glass doors and lit the fire.  Pretty soon he starts yelling.. is the damper open???  OH my.. I guess not.. smoke was billowing out of the fireplace.. I run and interrupt Dayle and ask him to hurry to open the damper.. by the time he did we had quite the black smoke coming out!!  We opened the front and back doors to let the wind blow it out.. and then we settled down on the sofas to chat.. and **BOOOOOOM** the glass blew out of the firescreen door!!!  It was like an episode of some sitcom on TV!  After that was cleaned up the rest of the evening went on without any other disasters. :-)

This is my younger sister, Denise (from left), my older sister "Bird", and my sister-in-law, D'Ann.  The roast and carrots came out tender and extremely flavorful.. Denise brought Pioneer Woman's mashed potato bake, Rob my brother brought sparkling cider and Bird brought 2 pumpkin pies.  The meal was delish and we had so much fun chatting and enjoying each others company. 
The guys.. from left.. Dayle, brother Rob, BILs Teddy and Steve. :-) 
After dinner we retired to the living room and enjoyed the tree and more visiting.  After everyone headed home, and the table cleared, time to blow out the candles.   
Here is my Santa's North Pole Village on the piano - the skaters really skate around on the pond, the grandkids love this one. 
I wanted to show you the vintage box of Christmas ornaments that we found in Dayle's parents garage when they moved into an assisted living facility.  I love this old box and especially so since it was his family's from the day they bought the box. 
I wanted to share with you a part of my Santa collection.. these two I made out of a few pieces of firewood.  :-)  They are VERY crude and funny, but I love them.  The one on the right I didn't carve much.. just shaped the point on the top, the one on the left I actually tried carving.. but I decided I'm not much good at it... LOL!
The one below was carved by a GOOD carver.. I had the owl specially added to remind me of an old friend I met in eWorld a long time ago, "NiteOwl".. we still exchange Christmas cards and he lives on Long Island, NY.  The carving was done by another online friend's wife, his nickname was "CabinBoy" and I met him when I was the host of the Sailing Forum in AOL.  I traded her some jewelry I made.  
In a few hours we'll head to Lake Oswego to the board party for the Friends of Multnomah Falls.  It's hosted by Billie, who makes a big feast of Mexican food for us all.  Fun!

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend full of love and the spirit of Christmas.
  *M*E*R*R*Y* *C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S*!*
((hugs)), Teresa :-)  


  1. What a lovely evening and yummy dinner! Your living room looks so nice, and so does your table. I love the "Foodie Pak" picture. Very cool.

  2. Teresa, I love your creative celebration of life! So glad you had a safe and happy visit with your family even though the fireplace protested briefly. (:

  3. What an adventurous start you had with the family dinner! :-) I love your living room, it looks so cosy and inviting! xxxx

  4. Well, wasn't this just the most fun post! Once again, I'm sitting here drooling over all the details in all of your photos! Your home is absolutely charming with all the lovely decor! I've been a bit of a humbug this year. The tree is up and my window lights are up, but I haven't decorated my mantle, nor have I brought out the multitudes of Rubbermaid buckets filled with the things that fill every available flat surface! Looking at your photos makes me rethink my decision to keep it simple this year. There's just something so warm and inviting about all those little things! And I loved seeing the vintage box of baubles. My Mom had a box just like that too...brings back memories! And your comments about family. Well, I was JUST talking about similar issues last night. I'm an only child and have always dreamed of siblings. But as life has gone on, I've observed those families I know that are broken apart as a result of parents passing on and estate settlement issues. Oh so ugly - and oh so hurtful. You are, indeed, so blessed to have an ongoing closeness. God bless you all for sharing your love with one another. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post, Teresa! Hugs to you, Annette

  5. It looks like you had a wonderful time with your family. So happy that you are all close and can celebrate together. Love your hand painted Santa's they are really adorable. Love to you as always,

  6. I had to return to share one more thing that I forgot in the last comment! Your story about the fire and the smoke...oh my...that brought back memories. When first married and in our first home, we had another couple over for a Thanksgiving feast. The fire was lit by the boys, the smoke started to fill the room (same reason that you noted) - and that black smoke stained all the walls, all the mantle decor, etc. Many things were ruined. This was This was topped only by the fact that as this was all occurring, I was pulling the turkey out of the oven and discovering after hours of cooking it was not cooked because the oven wasn't calibrated properly and the temperature wasn't as hot as what I'd set it for! I erupted in tears, very immaturely threw my friends out of the house because I was humiliated by all the failures...and had a major breakdown! The years have passed and those friends divorced, but the husband is still in touch with us - and he laughs regularly about that fateful night. I can now laugh also...but it took some time for me to get to that point! What a mass failure! LOL NOT one of my prouder moments. I am now OCD about checking for proper ventilation before lighting a fire! I have flashbacks!

  7. Such a gorgeous warm and Christmassy post, Teresa, as delightful as watching a Christmas movie! Your home looks so welcoming and wonderfully cosy. It's so nice to spend time with your siblings like this, and as you say not to be taken for granted either. Have a happy week and keep enjoying your festive times.
    Helen x

  8. What a wonderful family meal Teresa. Your house looks so cosy and festive. You are lucky to have your siblings living so brother is a long way away and often works abroad too. Enjoy!
    Jane x

  9. Hello Teresa another lovely post from you and I guess all's well that ends well. Glad that after the hitches at the beginning you went on to have a wonderful time. I do envy you your relationship with your sisters. I have two but we don't see each other often nor my brother. Not for want of trying on my part but there you go - perhaps one day.
    Your meal sounded delicious and everywhere looked so cosy.
    I wonder if your ears were burning yesterday- though I think you may well have been tucked up in bed. It was Saturday morning at 10.15 here. I arrived at cardmaking class. Mandy who is the owner of the craft barn (well it's her business) had looked at your blog-finding the link via me. She wa in raptures about your house. I was also singing your praises and telling the ladies how talented you are. Take care. Anne x

  10. This looks like such a wonderful time with family! Enjoy the holidays!

  11. Teresa, your posts are always such a delight to read and I loved seeing all your beautiful Christmas decorations. That candelabra is something else !! Sounds like you had a wonderful family gathering.

  12. Teresa your home looks absolutely beautiful. LOVE all the lights and decorations. Nothing like a dinner party with some excitement! Looks like it didn't spoil any of your fun or delicious dinner. Hope you have a merry week. xoRobin❤

  13. I'm glad nobody was hurt when the glass doors blew. Your home is always very lovely.

  14. What a wonderful dinner! Aside from a couple of mishaps, it looks like everyone had a great time!

  15. Your house is beautiful! So glad everyone got to spend time together. :)

    Blessings always


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