Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Cash Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and yours, bloggers. If you're still off work enjoy every last drop of vacation because I went back to work yesterday and it was depressing. Here's a recap of our Christmas adventures:

Gin Blossoms in Effingham
Brent and I headed for Effingham right after work on Friday to meet Mom, Dad, Rob, Lori and Dan for the Gin Blossoms concert at Effingham's new theater, The Rosebud. A band called One Lone Car opened for them, and they were awesome. Dad bought me their CD, which was being sold by none other than Nikki Pope's parents from Alton, IL!! Weird. When I heard that the band was from Alton, I thought, "Hmmm, Nikki Pope's from Alton. Wonder if she knows them." That is a small college girl's mentality that people from big state schools find annoying. "Ohhh, you went to Purdue? Do you know my friend so-and-so?" They never do. However, if it's flipped and they know someone from Manchester, chances are very good that I've at least heard the name.

Cash Family Christmas
On Saturday we celebrated Christmas with my mom's family. Four of the five siblings were there with families, so it was a pretty good turnout and a pretty good time. We planned to go caroling but it started raining. I was so disappointed...I even brought my pitch pipe and everything. Back in high school and college my friends and I always went caroling one evening before Christmas, and I would like to think that we were a big hit. Maybe we'll have better luck next year.

Christmas lounging: poor Brent knocked his kneecap out of place when running on Thursday night. He has a month of physical therapy ahead of him starting next week. He was pretty miserable, especially having it bent on our long car rides.

Cousin Jensin lounging

Dog Whisperer Michael "Pack Leader" Cash and his faithful followers...although I don't think dog nor girl paid too much attention to his commands.

We watched the movie Waitress over the weekend and after it Mom told me I was her LuLu. Here we are, getting ready to go whip up some Falling in Love pie.

We also celebrated Springfield's Most Famous Baby Landon Kutscher's birthday. Did I ever mention that he won a cutest baby contest sponsored by a Springfield radio station? Well he did. We hear that Regis and Kelly are having a cutest baby contest and first prize is a $125,000 college scholarship. If the picture can be baby+bulldog I would say he pretty much has it in the bag. (Sorry to all of you out there with babies.)

Landon on top of his scribble pad

Auntie Lori and her nieces

Monday, December 17, 2007

"Festivus for the Rest of Us!"

Hello you Bloggers in Blogland! Our weekend was filled with holiday fun and hopefully yours was too. The fun began with a Christmas dinner party at the Sinders'. Jen and Kevin were there and it was the first time we'd seen Lee Anne since she surprised Rachel by coming home from North Carolina for her birthday in February. Rachel made a wonderful meal of pork loin, a sweet/regular potato bake, asparagus, salad, bread, and carrot cake (in remembrance of all my ruined carrot cakes last week). We played a rousing game of Uno, struggled to answer questions in Trivial Pursuit, and enjoyed the annual Christmas showing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and...uh...Dumb and Dumber. Charlie the Corgi seemed to really love us on this visit (even Brent), but I attribute his affection to the bites of pork I gave him. It was either that or the bacon grease I rubbed behind my ears on the car ride there.

Trying on Justin's Ugly Sweater for size...
Before the Great Goodwill Hairball of 2007 came flying out of it...

Saturday morning started bright and early with an 8:30 a.m. trip to Marsh for party supplies as we hosted the 1st Annual Stevenson Family Ugly Christmas Sweater Party/Adopt-a-Family Extravaganza. People had gone plumb crazy in anticipation of the approaching snowstorm and all seemed to rush to the store at once. You would have thought it was December 1999 and we were gearing up for Y2K again. I was just there for wine and meatball-fixin's...I was and continue to be very unconcerned with the danger of starving to death during a weekend snow (knock on wood). I hate to brag, but I think I could sustain myself for quite awhile with my own reserves.

The Ugly Christmas Sweater party was not only a blast but we also gathered a lot of great goodies for our Christmas family. Thank you everyone! The weather really did shrink the guest list, but we were so glad that a lot of our Indianapolis-ites could still make it and were surprised and thrilled that our friends Emma, Greg and Laura from the North came anyway!

Lana (a.k.a. - Santa's Little Helper), Lindsay, and Craig

Justin and Rachel - Christmas pin, anyone??

Brent and The Oglesbys

Greg and Clinton

Manchester Laaaaadies....a few who aren't wearing pants

The Wal-Mart Christmas Vest

A proof of our Christmas card for 2008

Another potential Christmas greeting

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

You Know it's Christmas When...

...there are shopping bags all over your house, Starbucks puts your mocha in their Christmas cup with the pretty blue sleeve, and you find yourself developing the most efficient agenda to enable you to celebrate Christmas with multiple relatives in multiple states over a 36 hour period.

Christmas is in the air at the Stevenson household and I'm sure it is in yours too. Last Friday I had a Christmas party with mainly former BKD girls (and two who are still hanging on) at our friend Christi's house. My job was to bring the dessert, and I chose to make a carrot cake. After various problems, included expired baking powder, expired Baker's Joy, and just plain old bad judgment, at 11:30 on Thursday night the tally was: 2 ruined carrot cakes, 0 edible carrot cakes. Needless to say I hit the Panera on my way home from work on Friday hoping to pick up some brownies and shortbread cookies. They had no cookies and two brownies. I ended up with a holiday plate full of assorted breakfast pastries but it was better than nothing.

Christi, Lana, Ashley Carrie, and Candy

On Saturday we decorated, cleaned, put up the tree, etc. One project of the day was to make a lighted star that I found in Martha Stewart Living. Martha said to use 5 bamboo gardening stakes of equal length, but I used dowel rods. Come on Martha, let's not make this harder than it needs to be. You arrange the rods into a star and then secure all the inner and outer points with zip ties. Then I ran a string of lights up each side and secured that with zip ties too. Below are some pictures...I think it turned out pretty well...the star isn't quite as even as I had hoped but it was easy, inexpensive, and a lot better than the inflatable snow globe with Pooh and Friends down the street. I will try to post a picture of that house if I can get one tonight without being creepy.

The frame of the star

Star on floor

Neither of these two shots look quite right to me...I'm thinking I don't know how to use the camera or something...

Our very small but cute Christmas tree...a door buster from Black Friday 2006!