Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Christmas!

It's been a very busy several days in our house with lots of visitors and presents! Sara and Gustav came from Sweden last weekend and I promise to post pictures of their visit in another post but first: Christmas. Nana arrived just as the Swedish contingent was moving out. We set to work stocking in for the holidays with a grocery trip. Seems Santa and Jack Frost needed some supplies as well:
Christmas cookies in the making...

Once the cookies were done, the girls decided they wanted to work on their schoolwork while I fixed Christmas Eve dinner. And no, they weren't sent home with schoolwork. Kate brought home her latest workbook because she really enjoys them and Lucy had some worksheets she had stashed in her lunchbag.
Our new tradition, (with the advent of kids!) is to fix the big dinner on the 24th. That way I can enjoy playing with them and spending time with family on Christmas and we can eat all the leftovers throughout the day.

The meringue in the oven for the Christmas pavlova.
Time to eat!
 The pavlova is ready--so delicious!
Christmas Eve morning, our elf, Charlie, left them a present.

After supper they are able to pick one present to open, but not before goofing off in front of the camera.
 They were being silly and mimicking the ridiculous poses some photographers make you do.
They chose to open the largest boxes (gasp) under the tree which were from Aunt Kathy and their cousins. Razor scooters!
They wasted no time racing up and down the hall and around the kitchen island.
 Right before bed we set out cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.
Santa came early to our house and delivered all his presents by 8pm! He brought big girl bikes which are under the green wraps. Yia Yia and Pappou sent the giant dollhouse which Len built over the course of 2 nights in our bedroom. Then it would all get shoved back into our closet during the day to hide it!
Christmas started EARLY...5:15am to be exact. We held Lucy off until Kate woke up a little before 6am and then the fun began.
I think she was happy!

Notice it is still dark outside....grrrr.
 Frozen themed watches from Nana.

After breakfast (and once the sun finally came up!) we headed outside to try the bikes. Although they can balance, they've never pedaled so we are keeping the training wheels on until they get the hang of it.
It didn't take long! They rode for about an hour.

Then we had to try out the scooters. These are so much better than our old scooters since the wheels are built to glide over the cracks in the sidewalk instead of getting stuck. They went around several blocks trying them out.

After lunch Lucy actually took a 2 hour nap. Kate "rested" for about 45 minutes and then came out for Nana snuggles.
Len didn't get any pictures but later this afternoon they rode their scooters to the playlot where they spent more than an hour playing with the remote-controlled monster trucks from Meme and Papa. As I write this, they are playing house with their dolls in the dollhouse (trucks in foreground) before we head for bathtime.
We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and may 2015 be even more fabulous!


Unknown said...

Longtime stalker of your blog here! I really love it and check in all the time. I am adopted myself and have a sister we adopted from Korea. It's a wonderful thing. Your girls are so beautiful and you can really sense the love in your home when reading your blog.

Anyway, I finally had to comment because of that pavlova! I've never seen one before and it looks wonderful. Would you mind terribly sharing the recipe?


Lisa said...

Hi Alice,
So it took a yummy dessert to talk! My kind of girl! I got the recipe from Nigella Lawson's cookbook but here it is transcribed onto someone else's blog. http://foodandspice.blogspot.com/2008/12/nigella-lawsons-christmas-pavlova.html

In case the link doesn't work:

8 large egg whites
pinch of salt
2 1/4 cups (17.5 oz or 500 g) superfine sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon rosewater
2 pomegranates
juice of 1/2 lemon (1 1/2 tablespoons)
2 cups (12 oz or 500 mL) whipping or double cream
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw an 8­inch (20
cm) circle on the paper with a kitchen pencil.
Beat the egg whites and salt with an electric beater until thick soft peaks form. Beat in the
sugar, a scattered spoonful or two at a time, until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over
the cornstarch, vinegar and rosewater, and gently fold into the meringue.
Pour and scrape the meringue into the middle of the circle — if it is well and thoroughly beaten
it should flow no farther than the outer edges of the circle. Using a spatula, roughly flatten the
top and smooth the sides. Place in the preheated oven and immediately turn down the
temperature to 300°. Bake for 1 3/4 hours, during which time the meringue will puff up. Turn
off the heat, open the door and leave to cool sitting in the oven — it should be left to cool in the
oven until shortly before serving, or alternately it can be cooked ahead of time and stored in an
airtight container for a week or so.
When ready to serve, juice and strain half of one of the pomegranates — it's far easier to do
this if you have an electric juicer provided you don't juice any of the skin, but pomegranates
can also be reamed like lemons with a little bit of muscle. Put the strained juice in a small
saucepan with the lemon juice and bring to a light boil. Let bubble for several minutes until the
juice thickens slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, remove the seeds from the remaining pomegranate half and whole. There are
several methods for doing this, including scoring the pomegranate into quarters and immersing
in a large bowl of cool water, then gently prying away the quarters and seeds. Another method,
which while messier is much more satisfying and probably a little faster, is to hold a
pomegranate half cut side down over a large bowl and bash it with a wooden spoon. The seeds
will start to fall out slowly, but after repeated bashing the poor things are practically begging to
get out.
Whip the whipping or double cream until thick and airy but not stiff. Remove the meringue
from the oven and gently invert onto a large flat­bottomed plate, peeling off the parchment
paper. Pile on the whipping cream without regard for neatness — part of the charm of a
pavlova is its carefree dissassembled appearance. Scatter pomegranate seeds generously over
the whipping cream — you may have more than you need, but they are terrific snack by
themselves. Finally, drizzle over the pomegranate juice and bring it to the table.

Happy eating!

Heather H. said...

Hi Lisa. Sorry I don't say hi very often. I'm usually reading on my phone, where it's sometimes difficult to comment. And I'm usually distracted by children. ;-) It looks like a wonderfully fun Christmas for your girls (and you). Well, I guess this comment is done since I need to go wipe a poopy butt. ;-)


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