Monday, December 10, 2007

It's The Monday After...

a wonderful, family-filled weekend!! We celebrated Christmas with my family on Saturday. There were 33 of us that filled my brother's home for a full day of food; games; family and more food! The day starts at 9:00 a.m. with stocking stuffers. There is a bag for everyone just full of all kinds of fun things. (including a bottle of my brothers' homemade wine, which is just wonderful!)

We then draw jobs from the 'job jar'. This lets you know what your responsibility for the day will be. It may be setting the table; serving drinks; clearing the table etc.. There are even the ever-coveted 'loafs' in there as well! Here you see M reading her job and R reaching in to grab his. Always lots of excitement as people reach in and try to avoid the ever-dreaded jobs of washing and drying the dinner dishes!

This year, that honor went to my oldest brother and his daughter! Of course the big 'perk' of these jobs is that you get to sign and date the aprons after your job is complete!

The rest of the day is spent eating and playing games and just enjoying each other's company. A new game this year for our family gathering was Texas Hold'em. My very own son won one of the games and the big $5.00 prize! Hmmm, does make me wonder what he is really up to at college.....

There is lots of Euchre played. I got several games in and only managed to win one. Bummer. Steve, on the other hand, won every game he played! Lucky!

In between breakfast and dinner there was a large assortment of treats to graze on. Let's just say nobody went hungry!! In fact, most people ate past the point of being comfortable. (Me included!) Our son A brought the ingredients to make his deviled eggs. They were a huge hit! Over 50 of them were gone in a flash!

K enjoyed my brother's grandson. It is so fun to have little ones around again. It's been a few years! (And another niece announced she is expecting, so they'll be another new one next year!)

On Sunday, R's Aunts and my oldest brothers girlfriend hosted a family bridal shower for M. It was a wonderful time. We played some very fun games! I even won one of them! My friend Cheryl won the first two games. She's so competitive! (Like me!!) She and my other dear friend Renae were invited as 'honorary' Aunts. (As I've posted before, they are more like family than friends!!)

As with our other family gatherings, the food was wonderful. My sister-in-law made this amazing Lasagna Soup. I thought I would share the recipe with you. It comes from a Cuisine at Home magazine.

Lasagna Soup

1# bulk Italian sausage
2 cups onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, diced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced (opt.)
2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
4+ cups chicken broth
1 can (14 1/2oz.) Italian-style stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 can (10 3/4oz) tomato sauce
1 cup uncooked mafalda pasta (mini lasagna noodles)
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup provolone cheese or fresh mozzarella, diced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
4 tsp. thinly sliced fresh basil

Brown sausage in a large soup-pot over high heat.
Add onions and carrots; saute 3 minutes.
Stir in mushrooms and garlic; saute 3 minutes.

Add broth, stewed tomatoes, and tomato sauce, bring to a boil.
Drop in pasta and simmer until the pasta is done (+ - 10 minutes).
Stir in spinach and cook until wilted

Place 1/4 cup of the diced cheese into each soup bowl and pour soup on top. Garnish with Parmesan and basil shreds.

This was so yummy!! She even sent the leftovers home with us which we had for supper last night. Now today I am mapping out what the next few weeks will look like. Hard to believe the wedding is less than 3 weeks away!! Excitement is in the air!!

Until Next Time...


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading about your family celebration. I like the traditions you have created. That is the kind of celebration I dream of having. someday.

Robin said...

Wow only three weeks left until the wedding. This year sure went fast didn't it. It just seems like yesterday they were engaged. I wish them all the best. How are you going to find time to learn to spin with all that is going on???????

hakucho said...

You have the nicest family celebration. We had our's Saturday...very boring in comparison. I think I need to be adopted by your family :)

Thanks for the recipe...sounds delicious. I love soups :)

danielle said...

you have such great family traditions! i like the job jar idea and the aprons... do you think anyone would catch on if i tried this and added "laundry", "vaccuum car", etc.?


Jennifer said...

your family tradition sounds great and that soup looks amazing...will definitely haven't try that one out!

Patricia said...

I love the idea of the gift bags and drawing for chores!

I am an Easterner living on the west coast and people do not know about Euchre here.

Love your Blog!

Happy Holidays

Marianne said...

Your family Christmas celebration sounds like it was a lot of fun, making memories to last a lifetime!

I forgot when the wedding is? [Our 35th anniversary is Dec 30, and my Iowa cousin's 39th anniversary is Dec 28. (Oh, and my late parents were married on Dec 24; they were married 55 years.)] The last week in December seems to be a really popular week for weddings! I hope you can take a little bit of time to knit and give Sumo some loving attention in the next 3 weeks! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

what a great party!

Ken would love it if his family played Texas hold'em at a family party.

Caroline said...

What a great celebration you had. I love the idea for choosing the jobs that way.

monica said...

What great fun. That chore drawing jar would be fantastic as far as I am concerned, but I doubt anyone else here would think so. I have to say, my hubby is very good about helping with the dishes after a big family to-do though:) Sounds like it is a fun system that works..

Bonnie D. said...

What fun! You have some great traditions there. Can't believe the wedding is so close. Where did the time go?

Cheryl said...

Seriously, will you adopt me?

rohanknitter said...

Looks like great fun! It also looks like a very well thought-out way to have a large number of people over.
We're having a larger than usual gathering this year, I may have to use some of these ideas!
That soup looks good!

Aim said...

Wow, I love your family's holiday traditions! Sounds like a really fun time.
Thanks for sharing your soup recipe, looks really good.