Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Post (Finally)

I'm a little late on my Christmas post but I just downloaded pictures today from Christmas weekend. 

This year, we decided to go to my parents house for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  We surprised my mom by showing up early since Darryl didn't work.  I called her to ask her to leave the door unlocked for us since she would be at the Christmas Eve Service but, than said "How about if you just open the garage door for us now"  She didn't believe us until she actually walked out and saw us unloading LOL

Josh - heading to grandma's.  Notice the shoes?  Yep, those are mine.  He refused to take them off and wore them the whole trip. 

Nate with his laughing frog - ready for the ride!!

 We all went to the Christmas Eve Service together.  Josh was not into sitting quietly through a service so he and I ran laps through the church until I finally locked us in my dad's office.  He drew pictures on Grandpa's white board and ate lots of cashews!!

Once we got home, we enjoyed our normal Christmas Eve Snack fest.  This year we had Shrimp, Cheese Ball and Crackers, Mini Crescent Dogs, and Chili Cheese dips.  Josh's favorite, though, were the peanut butter bars :-)

The last things we did that night was let the boys open their Christmas Eve gifts.  They each got new Pajama's and a musical book.  Nate's plays bedtime songs and Josh's is actually a piano.  After this, we did baths, put on the new PJ's and read "The Night Before Christmas" before putting them to bed.

 The boys each have a stocking :-) Which they don't get to open until Christmas Morning

Nate, waiting for Christmas breakfast, not sure about this look LOL
 Nate got into opening his stocking - trying to save his stuff from his brother!!
Josh loved the little flashlight that grandpa put in his stocking.

Josh got lots of presents.  He loves this sesame street bus.  And he got a big Thomas the Train set which he is figuring out how to put together.  Not to mention a little people fire house, a stuffed elephant webkin, matchbox cars and more.  He was THRILLED!!!

 Nate figured out how to open his gifts slowly.  He got this really neat musical stack able table, some trucks, this great little cow that makes noise when you roll it, a Weebles house and extra Weebles, and more.  He loved every moment of the day! 

We loaded up the car on Saturday night (loaded to the gills) and headed home.  Than we got ready for our little family Christmas.  The kids were in bed so we brought in their toy boxes and bean bag chairs and than put gifts inside the boxes.  We are thinking this will be a tradition - the week before Christmas, we'll go through all of their toys and let them pick out the things they don't play with.  Than, we will leave the toy boxes empty and the night before our Christmas, we'll wrap their toys and put them in their toy boxes. 

 Nate peering into his toy box.
 Josh got a new drum filled with all kinds of percussion instruments (yes, I bought him this LOL) along with a piano, and a 2 in one scooter.  He also got lots of little people stuff :-)

 Nate got a 2-in-1 scooter and a really cool bath toy, plus a driving toy.  And lots of little people things!
 Josh playing with toys as I got them put together - he had a blast on Sunday just playing!
 The train set - Nate loves to tear it apart quickly!! While Josh loves to play for hours with it going "Choo Choo"
The new bath toy - it makes bubbles and plays music.  Both boys love it!

So Christmas was a blast.  The kids were blessed with lots of things from the grandparents, for the church and from others.  My parents surprised us with some awesome gifts too (Like a Tassimo coffee maker!!)  Lots of fun memories and laughs were had by all :-)

Turkey Vegetable Soup with Stuffing Balls

We had this soup last night with the last of the leftovers from our Turkey dinner on Sunday.  It was pretty easy and very tasty. 
This is a Food Network Recipe.


  • Carcass from one 12-14 pound roasted turkey, picked clean
  • 2 large onions, one quartered and one chopped
  • 4 peeled carrots, 2 coarsely chopped and 2 sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, 2coarsely chopped and 2 sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, 4 smashed and 2 chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups leftover stuffing
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups shredded leftover turkey meat
  • 1 cup leftover corn kernels


Put the turkey carcass, quartered onions, coarsely chopped carrots and celery, smashed garlic, bay leaf, and peppercorns in a large stockpot and add enough cold water to just cover, about 2 quarts. Bring the water to a boil, and then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour. Remove from the heat and strain the solids from the broth. Pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and reserve; you should have about 10-12 cups broth.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the eggs, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper together until smooth. Add the stuffing and mix until well combined; cover and reserve.

Wipe the stockpot clean with a paper towel. Heat the oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the sliced carrots and celery, thyme sprigs, and reserved broth and bring to a simmer; cook vegetables are just soft, about 10 minutes.

Roll level tablespoons of the dumpling mixture into balls with wet hands (see note) and drop into the simmering soup; cook until dumplings float, 3-4 minutes. Gently stir in the turkey meat, corn, and season with salt and pepper, and simmer until heated through. Serve immediately.

Note: Moistness of stuffing can vary; if the dumpling dough is too soft to roll, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it is firm enough to hold its shape while rolling

My Notes:
*I did not have a pot pig enough to submerge the Turkey Caucass so I broke it up a little bit and than just filled the pot up as full as was feasible and let the rest of the carcass stick out of the water. 
* I did not have leftover stuffing since I didn't make stuffing - I made a small box of Stove Top and it was just over two cups of stuffing.  Next time, though, I would make the stuffing in advance - I had to stick mine in the freezer because I didn't want scrambled eggs by adding the egg mixture to hot stuffing!!!
*This makes a ton of really good Turkey stock - for our family of four, in the future I will only use have the stock and freeze the rest for another batch of soup later.  I'm thinking of straining out my soup after lunch today and freezing what is left because there is a ton!!!