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.
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...