My sister Pat, her husband Rob, and baby Andy, my Mom visiting from Thailand, and my Papa, all came to stay with us for Christmas. We had a great time together. The preparations involved tons of gifts for each other, and for the two little boys.Lots of presents under the tree

They were so excited they woke up at dawn. The rest of us were tired from staying up late preparing everything!

Early morning Christmas excitement

Here’s Tim eating a leftover Linzer cookie from Santa.

Mmm!  Linzer cookie!

Since Tim is allergic to eggs, I took two different Linzer recipes, one with egg and one without, and combined the best parts. I also baked some of the little shapes cut out from the middle to make mini cookies.

Linzer cookies!

Okay, so my sugar powdering skills could use some work. But they were delicious, if I do say so myself!

Of course, Tim and Andy had the best gift hauls. Thomas the Tank was Tim’s big theme this year. I have to say, having a kid obsessed with a certain character makes the gift shopping sooooo easy. He loved everything!

Thomas dinner set from Grandpa Dave

Grandpa Dave sent some Thomas dinnerware, as well as a Big Wheel! Uncle Natty sent this 3-headed dragon.

Three-headed dragon from Uncle Natty

Chris and I expanded his Thomas Duplo set with James, Percy, Gordon, and Spencer with Sir Topham Hatt! He wouldn’t even look up for a picture, he was so busy playing.

Tim's new trains

As for me, my spinning wheel was my big early Christmas gift, and then I got a digital scale from Pat for my yarn and fiber — I’ve always been terrible at splitting skeins of sock yarn in two, so that will help! I also got The Knitting Workshop DVD by Elizabeth Zimmerman from my MIL Judy, and I got a subscription to Spin-Off Magazine from Nat and his family. Yay! Pat also got me Stephen Colbert’s I Am America (and So Can You!). I love him, and think he is an absolute genius. (Okay, so now you know where I lean in terms of politics.)

Chris also got me Mouse Guard figurines. Unless you’re a comic geek you may not be familiar with Mouse Guard, which is a complex and beautifully illustrated series, and of course I can’t resist the cute characters. They aren’t cutesy though, they’re actually pretty realistic. If you’re interested, the first series has been collected in a hardcover edition which I have, of course! It is brilliant.  We are also fans of Osamu Tezuka’s Phoenix series, and have been collecting some of the English versions.  I didn’t have time to read them much during residency, but now Chris bought a bunch and has caught me up to all the ones that have been released to date.  It’s great reading.

Here’s our Christmas dinner spread:

Christmas dinner

We had beef oven roast wrapped in bacon, brussels sprouts with bacon (hey, Tim and I like bacon), and Yukon gold baby potatoes. I watch the Food Network a lot but rarely make anything from it, but Rachel Ray made the potato dish which looked soooooo good, and it really turned out well. It involves chicken stock and butter. Tender on the inside, browned on the outside! For dessert, I made a chocolate ganache pie topped with fruit and whipped cream. Mmmm!

After dinner we did some more photos, here’s one of my favorites:

Christmas nuzzle

Here are the two silly hubbies goofing off:

Goofing husbands

There are more Christmas pictures on my Flickr account, for those of you (Mom) who want to see some more. This is already a pretty long blog post!

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays!

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Here’s the Clapotis I knit for my mother. I was weaving in ends at 2:30AM on Christmas Eve. Oops!

Clapotis for Mom

  • Pattern: Of course you recognize the Clapotis
  • Yarn: Mystical Creation Yarns bamboo in Merlot, 2 skeins
  • Needles: Denise size 8
  • Mods: One repeat wider and one repeat shorter than pattern (not intentionally)

I think it turned out great, and my Mom loves it. As I mentioned in a previous post, the bamboo drapes wonderfully and won’t be too hot to wear in Thailand. You may notice that the two skeins I had didn’t match colors exactly. One is more pink and the other is more purple and burgundy, but there was no way I was going to alternate skeins on this! There was no place to hide the yarn running up the side. So I’m calling it a design element. 🙂 The knitting got a little tedious, and wasn’t great for TV knitting because I can’t purl without looking! But it turned out so nice I may need to make one for myself some day.

Please pardon my pajamas.. My son and his little cousin Andy were way too excited to start on gifts to give me time to change! More Christmas pictures to follow.