Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Post Christmas Post

That's it for Christmas 2013, and I'm officially declaring it a success. Well, except for the ongoing saga of the washer and dryer. But I'll save that story for another day since this post is meant to be about happy things, a category those two appliances are not even close to qualifying for.

We have a big family, and it keeps growing as the kids get older. Our old house in Kamloops easily had room for everyone to stay over, but that is not the case with our cottage here at Cultus Lake. So we decided to rent a small cabin a few miles away, and that worked out perfectly. It was a pretty basic place, meaning the floors were covered in worn linoleum and soap wasn't included in the rental price, but it was clean and warm and only needed to be used for sleeping, so it was adequate.

This year we made two major changes to our usual holiday celebration. Instead of me doing all the baking, everyone made an item and brought to share. It was sort of like an "in family cookie exchange." I think Lucy would have liked to try one. Next year!

The other change was our Christmas meal. This fall we bought some beef, lamb and pork from a rancher we know near Kamloops. I decided with all that meat in our freezer it would be silly to go out and buy a turkey. So this became our year of "lamb and ham." I think everyone enjoyed the change, and the added bonus was I didn't have a twenty pound turkey taking up most of my fridge space leading up to the holiday. I would say the dark horse in terms of food this year was the parsnip and potato puree dish we had. Everyone loved it! The recipe can be found here. It's a keeper, and will definitely make an appearance again next year.

You would not believe the amount of food that was consumed over the course of the five days we had People here. Two mornings I made scrambled eggs for everyone, and that alone depleted the egg supply by some 28 eggs. Massive amounts of cheese, cold cuts, apples, bananas, oranges, and crackers disappeared at an alarming rate. Both the crockpot and the enamelled cast iron pot had to be used to hold all the chili it took to feed us on Christmas Eve. The great thing this year was that Karsten had volunteered to make the Christmas Eve dinner, and Rebekah volunteered to make the Boxing Day meal. I love the fact that all of my kids know how to cook!

The one unfortunate event that happened over Christmas, aside from the appliances that shall remain unnamed, was David had planned to drive down from Kamloops on Christmas Day, but got sick on Christmas Eve with a bad case of food poisoning. We were all sorry he wasn't able to make it, but we did manage to save him some of the cookies and sent them home with Alexandra who is going to deliver them to him.

We managed to work in a couple of walks, which was good given all the food we had eaten. Here we are on Christmas Day. It's a herd of Hammonds.

On Boxing Day we walked along a path that follows the Vedder River. It was a beautiful setting, and we even managed to spot a bald eagle in a tree along the river bank.

We were all laughing at Lucy, who had fallen asleep with her bottom lip sticking out. Here's a closer look.

Another new thing this year was a dice game called Moose Farkle. Of course, this being our family, we couldn't just play the game. There were extended stoppages of play for discussions about probability theory and which rolls of the dice had the best odds of happening. This made me feel like Lucy looks in the picture above.

Lucy's Christmas surprise was discovering she had yet another uncle!

I probably don't need to tell you what the highlight of this Christmas was!

Adding in an extra little person made taking the annual Christmas picture a bit more challenging. I took a lot of pictures before we finally got a keeper.

It was great, but truth be told, I'm tired. Lucy might not be the only one going down for a nap.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas, and that you get a chance to put your feet up, drink a cup of tea, and recharge before the New Year!


  1. Glad you and the family had a lovely Christmas, Kristie. Sorry David had to miss it. I'm sure he hated that, but I hope he's feeling better now.
    I love that your family took a walk together -- a herd of Hammonds -- I like that. Sending best wishes for a happy new year too. Can't believe it's ~Kim

  2. What a beautiful post, thank you I enjoyed it so much. Love the pictures of Lucy, she certainly is a beauty!

  3. wonderful pictures, so pleased you had a great Christmas

  4. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaDecember 30, 2013 at 6:02 AM

    Happy New Year, Kristie! May 2014 bring you and your family all the best (and well-behaved major appliances)!

  5. Lovely post Kristie and thanks for sharing your family Christmas get together with us. Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year and a continued blogging friendship.
    Patricia x

  6. It looks like a terrific Christmas, Kristie! It's so nice to see your family together, though I am very sorry to hear about David's illness and I hope he is feeling better now. Lucy is getting so big! I loved having a new baby at Christmas; mine were both three months old for their first ones, being September babies. It just makes the whole thing feel even more special to have a new little one there for it. I can't wait to see her next year, she'll be on the move and really enjoying herself!

  7. Your family is just gorgeous, I am so happy you had such a wonderful time together, eating, laughing and just being together. Little Lucy is a doll, of course she was the highlight of the whole week.
    Hugs to you and Happy New Year,

  8. I hope David is feeling better! I'm sure the care-package of treats boosted his spirits (as soon as he felt well enough to look at them). It sounds like your family had a wonderful time together and this post is a good tribute to that. It does need one thing, though....more pictures of Lucy! :) She's such a little charmer. I wouldn't be surprised if she inspired some of her aunts/uncles to give her cousins sooner rather than later.

    I hope the New Year finds your entire family happy, healthy and ready for a wonderful 2014!

  9. Didn't you all have a wonderful time....and what a sensible idea to ditch the turkey and for everyone to pitch in with contributions.
    Gorgeous, happy photographs too!

  10. Looks like Christmas was pretty special for your family this year. You must be so proud of your children, and especially little Lucy.
    Wishing you all lots of love for 2014 xxx

  11. Sounds like you just had a fabulous time, it must be so great having a large family. Happy new year.

  12. What a lovely blog and a lovely family too!. I shall now have to add you to my list. I know there's something special about line 49, but can't remember. I'll have to look it up :-) Looks like you had a lovely time over Christmas!

  13. Judging by your lovely photos, a wonderful time was had by all, Kristie, especially the belle of the ball. :-) Poor David, why do these bugs always hit at Christmas? DD spent Christmas Eve in bed after a similar attack, but managed to get up for the day itself.

    PS I'm glad to hear that Canadians have Boxing Day too. :-)

  14. That is too bad about David! And I won't ask about the washer and dryer. Your family sounds like a lot of fun. Wishing you and your family as well as your house and all its appliance a healthy New Year!

  15. The food sounds fabulous, the activities sound fun, but I think little Lucy is the real scene stealer in this post. She is a cutie!


  16. It looks like you had wonderful family Christmas despite David not reaching you. Christmas is made with children around and Lucy has stolen the show! That's a good idea of renting somewhere close by so you can all be together.
    Sarah x