Trevor had a 4-day weekend and so arrived home on the 23rd. Unfortunately, since she works retail, Leah was not able to make it down to Quincy so Trev split his 4 days with the first two here in Quincy.
Ditka likes having Trev in the kitchen since he seems to ‘accidentally’ let some samples make their way down to furkid level.
Kyle and Jenni came in the evening of the 23rd since they have a friend have a graduation party. I offered to play taxi service for the evening since I knew ‘tis the season for having sometimes a bit too much holiday cheer. It turned out to be funny because I got the call to pick up Kyle and Jenni. Then when I was halfway to Barney’s to pick them up, I got the call to pick Trev up at Barney’s. They had been at the same place for 2 hours and not seen each other! Well, it made for easy taxi service!
Jenni had no sympathy for Kyle regarding the prior night’s partying. The next morning, she enlisted him to help her in creating her contribution to the next party’s goodies before he’d even had a chance to hit the showers!
It’s always good to have the gang back around the breakfast table.
Jenny was a bit panicked when she realized I did not have a food processor for her to use to grind her cranberries for her covered dish for the Richmiller party. I instead showed her how I ground cranberries using my Mom’s antique food grinder. She used a Cranberry Relish recipe from my mother where I showed her that she could grind up all the key ingredients, cranberries, celery, nuts and an orange (including the rind) through this gadget. The result was very tasty. Grandma Costigan would have been proud!
My contribution was a double batch of my sweet potato casserole, one of Trev’s all-time favorites.
This is the first year we have not had the Frericks Christmas Eve party at our house for, I’m told, 8 years. We were not sure how the winter was going to lay out and did not want to commit in case we decided to head South early. As a result, Ken’s sister, Lois, and her daughter, Erin, coordinated this year’s festivities which were held at the community room in the Quincy Mall.
We kick things off at 4pm with the ‘Switcheroo’ game. Where you pick a gift, either from the unopened gifts, or take one away from someone who has already opened.
Here, Ken’s mom, his sister, Mary, and Ken all seem pretty interested in the next gift being opened.
It seems the gifts with alcohol-content always seem to move around the most!!
We all got some time to talk to cousin, Joe Gallaher, as well, as he called us from where he is currently stationed in Iraq. We all passed the phone around the circle. It was about 3 a.m. there so it was actually already Christmas Day for him.
We did not have a real big turn out this year. It’s getting tougher each year as more of the great-grandkids have Christmas Eve activities and more and more have ‘the other side’ to balance when setting up their family holiday.
We did 3 levels of family Christmas pictures….
Grandma with the grandkids…..
Grandma with the grandkids and the great grandkids!
Grandma and her kids, grandkids and great grandkids.
There was someone on CNN making a big deal of a woman who had 100 grandkids when you counted the great and great-great grandkids, so I decided to count for grandma Milly. By my count she has, if you include those ‘on the way’, 30 grandkids and 40 great grandkids. While the grandkid count is not going to change anymore, she could easily add on a lot more great grandkids since we know of two more on the way right now.
After we’d played the game and eaten, the boys and Jenni decided to teach cousin James how to play ‘hand n foot’. They used regular cards instead of skip-bo cards and it worked ok.
When we got back to the house we opened gifts since Trevor had to leave early the next morning to drive to Chicago.
Kyle models his new hat and scarf. We got each of the couples a carved picture frame with their names carved in and a saying that we thought fit for them.
I also got each couple a wooden recipe box with ‘Frericks Family Recipes’ carved on the top. I’ve transferred about 50 of our favorite recipes to cards for them and will be using down time on our upcoming trip to continue doing that. I’ve also transferred the recipes to a Google docs spreadsheet and developed a really cool database on my android to share the recipes so that they can have the info on their phone. I really like the idea of having access to the list of ingredients for recipes when I’m at the store, especially when I come across a really good buy on something but can’t recall what all I need to include it in a favorite recipe.
I think one of my gifts for Ken was the biggest hit. It’s a backscratcher with telescoping handle. I got him one for the RV and one for the house. He was quick to test it out! He used one and hung the other on his pocket.
By 8am Christmas Day, Jenni and Kyle were off to the Richmillers for Christmas and Trevor was on the road to Chicago for Sobut Christmas. Ken and I had a quiet day together at home with our only added company grandpuppy Staley who spent the time helping Ken with a 1000 piece puzzle while they watched football.
We hope that, like us, all of you have had a wonderful Christmas full of friends and family, love and laughter!