That's it for Christmas 2013, and I'm officially declaring it a success. Well, except for the ongoing saga of the washer and dryer. But I'll save that story for another day since this post is meant to be about happy things, a category those two appliances are not even close to qualifying for.
We have a big family, and it keeps growing as the kids get older. Our old house in Kamloops easily had room for everyone to stay over, but that is not the case with our cottage here at Cultus Lake. So we decided to rent a small cabin a few miles away, and that worked out perfectly. It was a pretty basic place, meaning the floors were covered in worn linoleum and soap wasn't included in the rental price, but it was clean and warm and only needed to be used for sleeping, so it was adequate.
This year we made two major changes to our usual holiday celebration. Instead of me doing all the baking, everyone made an item and brought to share. It was sort of like an "in family cookie exchange." I think Lucy would have liked to try one. Next year!
The other change was our Christmas meal. This fall we bought some beef, lamb and pork from a rancher we know near Kamloops. I decided with all that meat in our freezer it would be silly to go out and buy a turkey. So this became our year of "lamb and ham." I think everyone enjoyed the change, and the added bonus was I didn't have a twenty pound turkey taking up most of my fridge space leading up to the holiday. I would say the dark horse in terms of food this year was the parsnip and potato puree dish we had. Everyone loved it! The recipe can be found here. It's a keeper, and will definitely make an appearance again next year.
You would not believe the amount of food that was consumed over the course of the five days we had People here. Two mornings I made scrambled eggs for everyone, and that alone depleted the egg supply by some 28 eggs. Massive amounts of cheese, cold cuts, apples, bananas, oranges, and crackers disappeared at an alarming rate. Both the crockpot and the enamelled cast iron pot had to be used to hold all the chili it took to feed us on Christmas Eve. The great thing this year was that Karsten had volunteered to make the Christmas Eve dinner, and Rebekah volunteered to make the Boxing Day meal. I love the fact that all of my kids know how to cook!
The one unfortunate event that happened over Christmas, aside from the appliances that shall remain unnamed, was David had planned to drive down from Kamloops on Christmas Day, but got sick on Christmas Eve with a bad case of food poisoning. We were all sorry he wasn't able to make it, but we did manage to save him some of the cookies and sent them home with Alexandra who is going to deliver them to him.
We managed to work in a couple of walks, which was good given all the food we had eaten. Here we are on Christmas Day. It's a herd of Hammonds.
On Boxing Day we walked along a path that follows the Vedder River. It was a beautiful setting, and we even managed to spot a bald eagle in a tree along the river bank.
We were all laughing at Lucy, who had fallen asleep with her bottom lip sticking out. Here's a closer look.
Another new thing this year was a dice game called Moose Farkle. Of course, this being our family, we couldn't just play the game. There were extended stoppages of play for discussions about probability theory and which rolls of the dice had the best odds of happening. This made me feel like Lucy looks in the picture above.
Lucy's Christmas surprise was discovering she had yet another uncle!
I probably don't need to tell you what the highlight of this Christmas was!
Adding in an extra little person made taking the annual Christmas picture a bit more challenging. I took a lot of pictures before we finally got a keeper.
It was great, but truth be told, I'm tired. Lucy might not be the only one going down for a nap.
I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas, and that you get a chance to put your feet up, drink a cup of tea, and recharge before the New Year!