I'm so glad you've decided to stop by and I hope you enjoy the tour. If you're wondering what this is all about go HERE and read all about it. Ok, now that you're back please take some time day, tomorrow or however long it takes, to visit the "homes" represented here. Since each person has opened up their home to you, I would encourage you to say hello and leave a comment after visiting. Doesn't have to be major, a simple Merry Christmas would do!
There's still time to join in the fun - at any point really, even if you've stopped by here from another blog! Please let me know through a comment. I'll add you to the list and make sure I note it so people know there's an addition.
Here's the list of your tour... (some of these might not be posted when you click - keep checking throughout the day)
Renee @ Hangin' with your Naybor
Greg @ Agent Orange Records
Christina @ Crafty Pumpkin
Nancy @ Tulipa Murillo
Julie @ Green Eggs and Hammes
Dawn @ The DiCo's
Megan @ A Day with the Demos - just keep scrolling and mine will start
Erin @ Flimsy Dress
Jessica @ Me Myself and I (new)
So sit back. Make yourself a cup of hot chocolate and grab a few cookies (it's never too early for Christmas cookies) and enjoy Sharing Christmas....
Christmas 2007 with the deMontaigne's
First of all - welcome to our home and thanks for stopping by! If you were to really come by
you would be welcomed by our twinkling stars hung along our porch and some real garland (gotta love Produce Junction!) covered with white lights. And our crazy little trio of Christmas trees.
We have a pretty small house so I basically put alot of decorations in a few rooms and hope that Christmas spirit flows through the rest of the house! This first picture is of our TV armouir. The tall wooden snowman in the back is a new addition this year. The bright red candle/snowman holder doesn't really fit there but I didn't get around to moving it. In year's past I've had pillar candles of various heights lining the top but never got to it this year. Notice the lighted garland going up the stairs - wrapped in a "believe" ribbon (Matt's touch).
On the radiator cover near the door, I'm able to use some of the holly from a tree out back in a simple piece of pottery that I bought in Germany. I love using fresh foliage in the winter and that tree is really a pain in the butt the rest of the year because it's leaves are so prickly - using it for decoration helps me not hate the tree. Next to it is a satchel of pot pourri that has a quote from my favorite Christmas movie It's a Wonderful Life - it says "Everytime a bell rings and angel gets his wings."
We have a tradition of sending Matt to Home Depot and buying our tree there. It's real though and it smells wonderful. Don't you love that crooked angel? How many of you are just itchin' to fix it?
Our tree is filled with a variety of decorations. I use simple red and gold Christmas balls to keep some sort of theme but it's downhill after that. My parents bought me an ornament every year and I got to take them with me when I got married and moved out. Included with those were numerous extra ones received as gifts and all the beautiful crafty ones I made in school. More than enough to cover our tree entirely but there are definitely some weirder ones in there. The funny thing is that because of the way the trends are (or perhaps some things just are classic) some of the ornaments I had when I was young are things that Ella knows. For instance, she was so excited by this ornament....
I also have an oreo cookie ornament that she was equally excited about!
Of course we've started our own collection of ornaments. Many first Christmas, first baby and even a first home one. I really like this cute little bear one...
Here's a shot of our lovely dining room table, free from the clutter that usually decorates it. Say hello to Matt! (our new computer came today and he eagerly unloaded it onto the table and was forced to remove it for the picture)
The stockings were all hung on the play kitchen with care??? This was Ella's idea and it actually works pretty well since we don't have a mantle. Yes Catherine does get a stocking. I believe she took it up to her room one afternoon so I'll have to rescue it before Christmas Eve.
Final room is the kitchen. Our kitchen table is something we bought right after we got married. It cost us $20 and it's still going strong. And only four of us are allowed to eat at the table at a time. No, actually we bring in a chair from the dining room. The kids really like the placemats and it helps keep things neater.
I really enjoy baking and like to bake cookies to give as gifts to people. Last year I posted the recipe for my yummy Chocolate Caramel cookies so take a second to check them out if you're a fan of that kind of thing. You know, chocolatey goodness and all. I made them again this year along with sugar cut-out cookies, peanut butter cup cookies, craisin white chocolate and oats cookies and pumpkin with burnt sugar frosting cookies.
I'm not going to post any of those recipes, instead I'm going to give you the recipe for our Christmas morning breakfast. I grew up always having a special Christmas breakfast and it's continued on as a tradition in our home as well.
These two recipes are from Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals and they are both so "yummo!".
1 pound bulk breakfast sausage - definitely use maple
8 large eggs
A splash of milk
6 ounces (1/3 pound) Cheddar - or whatever - add as much as you like!
Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, add sausage and brown and crumble the meat, 5 or 6 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pan and drain off the fat. Return pan to heat and reduce the temperature to medium low.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Scramble the eggs until soft, then add cheese and continue to scramble another minute or so to finish cooking eggs and to begin to melt the cheese bits. Remove pan from heat and combine sausage and eggs.
Pretty basic but the maple sausage makes it really tasty.
This next one is the best.
Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 ounces,
1/4 cup, chopped walnuts (optional, we don't add them)
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 really ripe bananas, mashed up
3/4 cup raisins 1/2 stick butter,
1/4 cup, melted butter, plus additional for buttering skillet (I don't bother with buttering the skillet)
Here's a great tip: if you cannot find really ripe bananas, just nuke them in the microwave for about 15 seconds and they will become super soft for mashing.
Mix dry ingredients, the first 7, in a bowl. In a another bowl, mix the wet ingredients, the next 4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, then fold in the mashed up bananas and the raisins. Stir in the melted butter.
Heat a griddle over medium heat and brush with additional melted butter. Cook pancakes, each about 1/3 cup, until bubbles form on the top, then turn. Cakes will cook in about 2 minutes on each side. Keep pancakes tented with foil as they come off the griddle to keep them hot. Serve with drizzled honey or maple syrup over the top.
The batter is very thick and different than your typical pancake. Maple syrup goes really well with these.
That is one of our traditions. Similary to many of you, we are a young family still starting to figure out our own family traditions. One thing I've enjoyed doing with the kids is an advent tree/calendar. We take turns putting up a day and dancing to the music that the star on top plays. Ella also has a Santa from school that she adds a cotton puff to each day to show her that Christmas is getting closer. We go to our church for a Christmas Eve service and do Christmas morning and stockings at home.
past few years we've made it a point to stay home for Christmas day for a number of reasons. We really want to establish our own family traditions and be a family unit. With having both families far away we couldn't see both on Christmas and this way we don't have to pick one over the other. We will travel and have Christmas in Clearfield with my family right after our Christmas. We'll go to Maryland for Christmas with the deMontaigne's after that and stay through New Year's. Both my brother's live away from our hometown so we try and coordinate our plans so we have time together. This year it looks like we won't be seeing Mike and Sharon as she is 37 weeks pregnant and their insurance won't cover them out of state. That's sad for all of us and for them, but I know that this will bond them together as a unit even more as they prepare for this crazy adventure of parenting!
As far as gifts, Matt and I decided not to exchange this year because we've had alot of expenses and have some house projects coming up. The kids get gifts from us and I told Ella that the unwrapped gifts are from Santa - which is an easel and art supplies for both of them.
Thank you for sharing in our Christmas with us. We wish you a Christ-filled Christmas (and I just realized I forgot to post our mangers....picture at the very end - Ella "set" them up for the picture - actually four different mangers/baby Jesus' - can you find them all?) and a blessed New Year....