Friday, December 25, 2015

Weekend Happenings, Frozen Meals (Tater Tot Casserole), A New Kind of Reindeer Food AND Quotable Quotes

Good Friday evening!

I had a little "life stuff" happen this past week, so I apologize for the lack of a post last Friday.

On the other hand, I am posting ON CHRISTMAS DAY, so I fully expect to be TOTALLY forgiven.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Last Friday night, we had our Palisades Christmas Party in Oneonta with my extended family. If you have never been, The Palisades has everything you need for a family Christmas celebration.

Millions of lights...

And they don't charge you a set amount to drive around the park and look. They simply ask for a small donation as you enter the gates.

Santa Claus has a home mid-way through the park, so you can stop and visit with him for a few minutes.

There are beautiful lodges which comfortably and easily hold 20, 30, 40 or more people. The lodges are decorated for Christmas and have full kitchens, tables, chairs, clean restrooms AND a wood burning fireplace.

We have the same menu each year (soups, chili, sandwiches and desserts).

The "kids" put on coats and walk around the entire park looking at the lights after dinner.

We play games each year. (This year, we played Pictionary, and it was lovely.)

All in all, it is something four generations of my family have been enjoying for years and years and years.

The entrance!

Roxie and Monica.

Katie and Stephanie.

Josh, Brad AND Roxie.

Can you find her?

Judith and Aunt Roxie.

Judith and Uncle Austin.

Monica and Katie.

Aunt Melia, Uncle Austin and Judith.

Nana B and the back of Judith.

Nana B and the front of Judith.

See how much fun everyone is having playing Pictionary?


Judith with Pop.

You may notice Pop is wearing a large peach bauble necklace.

Pop will do a lot of things to make Judith happy.

Josh and Judith.

Roxie, Abbie and Tyler.

Katie and Tommy.

Mallie and Zac.

Is it just me, or do we have some of the most beautiful chicks ever created in our family?


I didn't think it was just me!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Last year, Melia and Austin started a tradition called Sibling Christmas. Melia's younger brother, Payton, and Austin's sibings (you know who they are) went to their house for dinner and a Christmas movie. It was a success last year, so Melia wanted to try it again...

Except tornados were expected during the scheduled party time this year...

And Melia and Austin live in the upper level of an apartment complex...

With no basement.

So she asked me if I minded having the party at the house and she would supply all of the food, entertainment, etc.

And I said, "Okay!"

It was pretty great. She fixed all of the food and hauled it over here. She even made shortbread cookies with royal icing ready for decorating in bags.

Technically, I do not want to ever have another December with 70 degree temps and the threat of tornados...

But if it means Melia and the rest of my peeps will show up at my door with lots of food and homemade cookies...

Well, I might have to reconsider

Austin immediately got into decorating mode.

Josh and Courtney.

Quotable Quotes

I know you've heard it a bunch this year (and every year), but it just happens to be one of my favorites...

"It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags! Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! 'Maybe Christmas,' he thought, 'doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!'" Dr. Seuss

A New Kind of Reindeer Food

I cannot remember where I read it this past week, but a Mom told about their family tradition of feeding Santa's reindeer...

The kids put on their Christmas pajamas and head outside with a bag of peanuts in the shells. They stand in front of the house and try to throw the peanuts on the roof for the reindeer.

I think that is brilliant, simple and fun, and I would have SO tried it with my guys "back in the day."

Tater Tot Casserole

You will need the following:

1 pound ground turkey
2 pound frozen tater tots
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 can evaporated milk

1. Brown meat, drain, separate into 2 greased 8" x 8" pans.

2. Top with tater tots.

3. Mix soups and evaporated milk together and pour over tops of tater tots.

4. Cover with plastic and then foil, and freeze.

Instructions for baking:

1. Bake from freezer topped with foil for about 1 hour, or until warmed throughout.

2. Remove foil and bake for additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Weekend Happenings

1. Tomorrow morning around 10:00 a.m., Mike, Roxie and I are headed to Cleveland, Alabama to Animal Rescue. We're going to love on a lot of dogs, and see if maybe, just maybe, one of them needs to come home with us. (Of course, this will all depend on the lovely weather we've been experiencing this past week or so. If it is going to be too messy, we may wait until a nicer day.)

2. We have church Sunday morning, and Roxie and I may head out for just a wee bit of shopping Sunday afternoon.

I know.

What could we possibly want/need/desire that would make us leave our home and go to a MALL?

I'll let you know.

I hope you have had a Merry Christmas. I'll be back next Friday with a full account of any and all Christmas happenings here in little ol' Gardendale, Alabama.


The Enchanting Belinda

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