January 2, 2012

Happy New Year, My 1000th Post and a Giveaway

I noticed when I opened my dashboard, this post will be my 1000th post.  Now that is exciting.

To celebrate I have decided to sponsor a give away from my friend, Laura's, Etsy store, Goose Hill Farm.   To enter all you have to do is leave a comment telling me what is your favorite post at Art's Chili Pepper and why.  Then click over to Laura's store and let me know which item you would like to have.  The deadline is January 11th at 11:59 PM.  On January 12th all entries will be put in the Chili Pepper bowl and the winner will be drawn.

February will mark my third year in blog world.  And what a fun ride it has been.  But more about that in a few weeks.

For the time being, a quick recap of our New Year celebration.  We actually departed from our tradition of making fondue and finger foods while we played games and watch videos.  Allen requested a formal dinner with a tropical theme.  I found a great website full of Hawaiian recipes and put together the following menu.

Crab Wontons
Seafood Bisque
Baby Greens with Sesame-Ginger Dressing
Shrimp and Scallops served over Saffron Rice
Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Brianna put together this beautiful table.  We all pulled out some clothes reminiscent of the tropics and Kaitlin made flowers for the ladies to wear in our hair.

We spent the evening talking about our blessings and accomplishments in 2011 and our goals for 2012.
Allen always does fireworks for the kids.  We were out late the previous evening visiting with friends and decided not to wait until midnight for fireworks this year.
It was so warm, the kids were out in their pajamas and didn't even put coats on.
The girls did some decorating in the family room, too.  A lot of confetti, some tropical themed videos, hula skirts and pineapple lights.
Carmella heard about all the fun and joined us to watch the Muppets video and ball dropping in Times Square.
Everyone got their kiss at Midnight.
Sunday morning, our church had a praise and prayer meeting, followed by brunch before we met for our worship and preaching service.

Love this picture of our precious friend and Carmella loving up on each other.
And the girls gabbing while they load up on carbs.
Two special friends.  Aren't they gorgeous.  And if you don't know them... their hearts are even more beautiful.
We are truly blessed by an amazing church family.  These two engineers always end up swapping war stories at fellowship.
Nathaniel and Nathan were born just 20 days apart and have been friends almost since the cradle.
Carmella finally opened her present on New Year's Day.
Well, she didn't exactly open it.  She wore the bow and chewed on the ribbon...
... and then she chewed on the paper...
... until the kids couldn't take the suspense anymore and Samuel asked if he could help open it.
And then she tried to chew on the piggy bank, too.
So we showed her what it was really for.  Which by the way, isn't that the cutest bank you ever saw?  I love that it is almost as big as Winnie.
The kids exchanged their Christmas gifts with each other.  
I love that they are always so excited to give gifts to each other.  They never have asked me for any gift but instead they are always asking, "Can I give my gifts first????"
It might never be anything big, but each gift is special.  Stickers from Ellie and an Atlas for Nathaniel.
Oh, and wrapping is half the fun.  Samuel spent almost an entire day wrapping his gifts and couldn't resist adding five bows to Elisabeth's package.
We always have a special cake for Christmas.  This year we wrapped up our New Year's Day celebration with the first place cake.  (Not my recipe...)  Gingerbread-Toffee Cake with Ganache Filling and a whipped Cream icing.  Oh so delicious.


  1. I would love to enter!

    Ok, first off the item I would like would be Primitive Raggedy Hugs Set of Decorative Clothes Pins.

    Secondly, my favorite post was "I Would LIke You All to Meet..."


    I like it because I was glad you had your baby. A couple weeks after my mom had hers. :) It was so nice to hear Winnie arrived safely.


  2. I like the winter collection of decorative clothespins, though I also love the ones with the pictures throughout the set.

    I love your ginger glazed spaghetti squash recipe.

    lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

  3. What a great post..
    And you want me to pick one post that I like?? There have been so many..
    I loved reading about your last Disney trip :-)

  4. Hi! I enjoy so much reading here that it was hard to decide which post to pick.Your "Thankful" post was very meaningful to me,because I was able to see how even if we have had a dark past,that God can truly transform us and give a life that we never would have even thought we could have.I see you and your beautiful family and the unity and tenderness and and think ,this is how all christian families should be . And I could go on and on but I'll end here :)
    and i like the primitive plaid and rooster clothespins ,so if i win,you choose,surprise me! :)