I managed to get my eldest neice's quilt done just barely in time. I figure that it'll be something she will treasure for years to come. Or at least I hope that's how she will feel about it. She's said that she does want the purple bunting on the edges of it, so I'll be sewing that on when I stop over to teach her how to do the needlepoint projects that I gave her along with it. The girl's father and uncle have been doing their damndest to basically turn her into a little boy. I figure she should have some girly things and that's probably one of the most girly things I remember from my childhood. So, perhaps it will prove something she cherishes as well as the quilt.
We got the cookies done in a marathon streatch of baking from the 19th thru the 24th. On the 24th, my dear husband was in the kitchen following orders like a real trooper. The total on the cookies and sweets were as follows:
- Sugar Cookies: 5 dozen (1 dozen w/ candy/frosting wreaths; 3 dozen w/ sprinkles; 1 doz. pre-made, frosted and covered w/ candy)
- Chocolate Chip Cookies: 5 dozen
- Rum Ball Cookies: 4 dozen (1 dozen coated w/ powered sugar; 6 coated w/ sprinkles; 6 coated w/ sprinkles & filled w/ candied ginger; 6 coated w/ coconut; 6 coated w/ cocoa; 6 coated w/ cocoa & filled w/ chopped walnut; 6 coated w/ coconut & filled w/ candied ginger)
- Brandy Ball Cookies: 1 dozen (coated w/ powered sugar; used brandy extract)
- Liquorice Ball Cookies: 5 dozen (coated w/ cocoa)
- Home-made fudge: 2 1/2 pounds (mint chocolate with marshmallows and nuts)
- Home-made chocolate lollipops: 1 dozen
- Home-made chocolates: 4 pounds (included: ginger filled continental chocolates; rocky road cups; orange tipped chocolate snowflake candies; painted chocolate snowmen; mint chocolates; chocolate peanut butter cups; chocolate coconut cups; cinnamon filled continental chocolates; cashew filled continental chocolates)
- Kitty Pillows (1 pink, 1 yellow)
- Candy shop spa bath kit (homemade liquorice scented bubble bath; homemade orange-citrus scented bath salts; homemade chocolate cake bath salts; homemade vanilla bath beads; chocolates; candle)
- Chocolate-Orange spa bath kit (homemade orange scented bubble bath; homemade orange scented bath salts; home made vanilla bath beads; homemade lemon scented sugar scrub; chocolates; candle)
- Bakers spa bath kit (homemade lavender bubble bath; homemade orange-citrus bath salts; homemade vanilla bath beads; homemade chocolate cake bath salts; chocolates; candle)
- Sweets spa bath kit (homemade apple pie bubble bath; homemade orange scented salt scrub; homemade vanilla scented bath beads; homemade orange scented bath salts; chocolates; candle)
- Kitchen devils kit (homemade dried chili & cinnamon bundles; homemade tarragon-juniper infused vinegar; homemade pequin chili infused oil; chocolates; can opener)
- Holiday Home kit (homemade tarragon vinegar; bottle of dry Italian Red wine; homemade tarragon infused oil; homemade dried chili & cinnamon bundles; dried pomegranate; chocolates)
- Holiday Kitchen kit (homemade dried chili & cinnamon bundles; homemade tarragon-juniper infused vinegar; homemade tarragon juniper infused oil; bottle of dry Italian Red wine; dried pomegranate; chocolates)
That includes the funds spent upon a book for my Grandfather, my Mother's chicken knick-knack, my Father's new puzzle, and the tool kit for my brother.
Our celebrations were at the usual locations. On the 25th, we went to my Paternal Grandparent's house. It was good to see everyone again. My brother and his wife were there with the little girls. It was a sight that gave me hope that they will work through the current difficulties and repair their wounded marriage. Just about everyone was delighted to hear our good news about the pregnancy, even if my brothers both laughed at us and called us "suckers."
I'd have to say that the most useful gift we recieved came from the uncle who is infamous for the useless gifts. It was odd. I'm convinced that he was coached as to what to give us by my mother. The new knife/utensil set with revolving carousel is an absolute delight and replaces the 15+ yr old knife set that my mother gave me when I moved into my first apartment a few years ago. I'd also say that the most thoughtful and unexpected gift after that was the wonderful clock that we were given by my brothers. It's a beautiful and very stately wall clock that one would have up in their foyer. It's making me look forward to having a house to put it up in. Generally, the gifts from us were well recieved. My father got a laugh out of the huge pretzel jar full of cookies from the two of us.
The thing that stands out from the party at my Paternal Grandparent's house the most is the screaming monkey toys that my father gave the kids. They turned into toys for the grown men, much to the aggrivation of the women-folk and the delight of the children. The other thing that stands out was the toddler's tantrum during dinner and Mom's suggesting that we announce our good news when her tantrum was over. My darling husband and I both didn't think that was the best time, so we waited until just before presents to let everyone know.
Our next party was over at my brother-in-law's house. I didn't realize just how large their house was until I went upstairs to use their bathroom. That house is *huge* and beautiful. I'm really impressed with it. That party was the evening of Christmas and much more sedate. Ofcourse I don't think we had even half the number we did at the party earlier in the day. We had a small supper of ham and potatoes with greenbeans. I was delighted, because I'd been on a green bean kick for a few days at that time. When it was time for gifts, I was thrilled to recieve a book on needlepoint from my mother-in-law. I think it's kind of obvious to her and maeby the rest of the family by now that I'm a needlepoint/handcraft addict. She has agreed to teach me how to knit, so this is going to just get worse as time goes on! :)
We told his parents in a rather classy way that my mother suggested. He gave his mother a little bag labled "To Baby, from Daddy" with a teddy bear and some baby clothes in it. She lit up in one of the most beautiful smiles I've ever seen on her face. I think it rivaled the one she had when we announced our engagement or the one she had on our wedding day. We had a spectacular time visiting with his brother-in-law, wife and children after everyone had left. We all speculated as to why my husband's sister gave us the two exceedinly useless gifts. We still have no idea why she bought them. My dear husband is suggesting that we sell them on E-bay. :p
The day after Christmas we attended the celebration that is held anually at his Grandmother's house. It was a *huge* party and a bit of a momentous one in it's own right, actually. This year is apparently the 50th year that the party had been held in that house. There was probably more people present then years the party had been held there. Everyone was in high spirits and thrilled to see everyone else. We recieved a beautiful wooden bowl from his Grandmother. I immediately put it up on display when we got home. I'm still stunned by just how pretty it is and I don't think I'll use it unless I have no other possible choice.
When he announced the good news to his entire father's side of the family, there was a roar of approval. Again, I was reminded of the announcement of the engagement and our wedding day. It was a wonderful party, though rather exhausting for me. At the end of the evening, I accidentally dozed off on my husband's shoulder. His Grandmother was most amused by it and found it to be rather charming. The point that my dear husband finds the most amusing, and I'll admit I agree, is the fact that the family gossip was the last to find out that we are expecting to have a baby.
That, my dear Reader, is the saga of Christmas this year and the reason why I was incommunicato for the last few weeks. I'll try to post more regularly, now that my time is not going to be taken up with sewing or cooking. With making baby stuff, I've got 9 months to work on it. I'm not going to panic.
I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year and that the holidays have treated you as well as they treated us.