Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

I love Christmas! I have my nativities up on November 1st, I start listening to Christmas music as soon as Chris will let me! I love the smell of a real Christmas tree, I love giving to others. This year, as I sit here at the end of Christmas day 2013, I'm happy!

I wasn't really feeling the Christmas feeling this year until about a week ago. I was driving into Lethbridge listening to some of my favourite Christmas carols. My favourite carols are the Forgotten Carols. I love the message each song has and they remind me of those people we often don't think about, like the inn keeper, Joseph, and those that weren't there, but heard about His birth and still believed. As I listened to the songs I was struck by gratitude for my Saviour and His sacrifice for me. I love that we can celebrate His birth and His life, not just in December, but all year long!

We've started a tradition in our family of having Santa Claus come a few days early. That way the kids can open their presents and enjoy the gifts they receive. That leaves Christmas day a day we can focus on the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

This morning we started with stockings and had a great Christmas morning breakfast:
Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole
4 cups of shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
10 eggs
8 pieces of cooked bacon,chopped
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/3 milk
4or 5 green onions, chopped
Hot sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of additional shredded cheese for top of casserole
Mix all the ingredients together except the 1/2 cup of cheese. Pour into a greased 9×13″ pan. Top with the shredded cheese. Cover and put into refrigerator overnight. Let sit on counter for 5 to 10 minutes and then bake uncovered at 325* for about 45 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.
(I actually cooked it for about 1hour and 15 min), It was great, even Ryker, who "doesn't like eggs" ate it!
Then we acted out the nativity. We don't have enough in our little family to fill all the parts, so we enlisted the help of some "buddies"

This Christmas has been a little different than most, we started renovations on our bathroom last week Friday and we've been slowing working on it since then! so today we kept working on that, I'll post pictures of the final project when it's done (soon I hope!)

We had the missionaries come over this evening. I remember being a missionary at Christmas time, and I appreciated the members that allowed us to be a part of their Christmas and I wanted to return the favour. It was the beginning of a new tradition, Velata for Christmas dinner. Everyone loved it! Raclette to grill up the meats, Cheese fondue, and Chocolate fondue! One Elder was very adventurous and dipped everything in the chocolate! I mean EVERYTHING, including pickles, cheese, carrots and shrimp!

After dinner we tried a new program from the Friend magazine...

Elder Jones played piano for us and Kayla and Blakelee held up all the letters for us! It was a great way to end the day and remember again the true reason for the season!

It's been a fabulous day! It is my hope and prayer that all of my friends and family had as good a day as I did! MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours!!

(I'll admit I love my Scentsy buddies and I did my own nativity when the kids were done)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Raclette. Serving up Memories

(check out even more great raclette ideas at

I love traditions. I love doing things that bring my family together. As Christmas comes I start to think about traditions that I have...
I loved fondue. I don't really remember when we would do it as a family, but I remember my mom pulling out the fondue set and we'd sit around and enjoy the food and fun and family. It could have been just once or twice that we did it, but I remember it and remember loving it. As a young adult my favourite group date was fondue! When we got married I loved it so much that we made it a yearly tradition for new year's eve. Some of the best times were when we shared the tradition with friends! The prep was fun, the clean up wasn't, but it was all worth it!
I do remember New Year's Eve as a kid, it would be one of the few occasions when the fine china came out and we got to have a "fancy" meal. The one thing I do remember eating was cream corn. I always thought it was such a special food that we only got it once a year. I later learned that my mom hates cream corn and my dad loves it, so she would let him have it once a year! :)
I remember visiting my Grossmutti and Grossvati (Grandma and Grandpa, Dad's parents). They came from Switzerland and my favourite meal was when the raclette came out (I didn't know that's what it was called at the time). We'd start with a vinegar/lettuce salad (I don't know the exact recipe, but I found something close below) then fry our potatoes on top and melt swiss cheese underneath. I loved being able to melt my own cheese and fry my own potatoes! As I started my own family, I searched for something that would recreate this experience. A few years ago I finally found one, it was cheap and didn't work perfectly. Then, Velata introduced their own Raclette this past October. I am in love!! I love being able to cook at the table and share this tradition with my children. As well as introduce many more traditions (we made french toast, turkey bacon and fried eggs last night for dinner on the Raclette)
This is why I am in love with VELATA! I love that it brings family together (even when I don't really want to share, as soon as my Velata warmer is going (with either cheese or chocolate) I am guaranteed to have someone wanting to share :)

Lettuce Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce (I like it shredded)
1 cup vinegar
sugar (enough to make a thick syrup consistency)

wash and cut lettuce, set aside.
put the vinegar in a bowl, add sugar to desired consistency and mix well so sugar is dissolved.
spoon the syrup onto the lettuce and mix lightly.