January 5, 2013

Family, Food, Fun... Christmas 2012

Already almost a week into January and I still haven't posted Christmas.  All day Friday I looked forward to what I would do today since Allen and the kids all had projects to work on around the house.  It seemed so easy and it was just one little task... I was going to work on this blog.  Or so I thought.

Samuel wanted to make Candy Cane Cookies.  No big deal.  I will watch him put the dough together and then I could post while it was chilling, right?

Not quite.  Elisabeth wanted to make lunch for everyone, "... all by herself."  ☺ Which was quite good for her first solo flight.  It took her a long time to do the dishes, though.  She insisted on washing them, "... all by herself."

And then it was time to roll and cut the cookies.  How is it their projects took me 6 hours?  It's now 4:00 and I have but a few minutes before it's time to get the kids dinner and get ready for our date night.

And that's how life goes sometimes... too busy living to blog about it.

Christmas was everything a good Christmas should be.  We have always used the holidays as an opportunity to minister to those without family or those who can't be with their families to celebrate.  We spend days cooking and preparing and fixing.  We always end up being blessed far more than those we are trying to reach out to.

But this Christmas I just didn't have it in me.  For the first time in nearly 20 years we decided not to invite anyone into our home for Christmas.  Not that we couldn't have pulled it off.  My girls are amazing.  And they did pull together a very nice gathering for friends on New Year's Day.  But for Christmas I was able to enjoy the holiday much more knowing I was free to rest when I needed to and we could just go with the flow instead of needing to prepare for people or a certain time frame.  It was really a very hard decision for us and even harder to stick to!  The whole month of December we kept asking each other if maybe we should ask just this one person or family to join us.  In the end we all agreed it was a good decision even though we doubted many times along the way just what would a holiday be without friends coming and going.

It turned out to be just everything Christmas should be.

There was family.

 LOVE... LOVE... LOVE!  Ellie's face here.  We made her and Carmella tutus for Christmas and Ellie wore hers for days straight.

 The girls made a traditional Charles Dickens Dinner.  Allen is such a good Pa to dress the part with top hat and scarf.
My girls are the masterminds and workers behind holiday cheer.  They truly pulled off all the festivities like old pros.  
It was hard to get a good shot of Carmella in this dress because she was so busy fluffing her skirts and  making faces at the photographer.  
There was food.  
(After all what would a Wachter celebration be without it?)

An Aunt sent us this edible arrangement a few days before Christmas.  It was a huge hit!  In fact when we returned from church on Sunday and there it was on our porch, it immediately became lunch.  

Christmas Eve was our traditional Italian fare, including fried smelt.  Which Carmella loved.  I think she ate about a pound herself.

The girls served us a light lunch buffet on Christmas Day while we exchanged gifts and visited with unexpected guests.
To go with the English Christmas theme there were roasted chestnuts and mulled cider before dinner.

Brianna made her first ever roasted goose.  We all laughed a lot as she cleaned and stuffed him.  To go with dinner there was Yorkshire pudding, baked apples, glazed carrots, roasted Brussel sprouts and sage stuffing.

And I made my first ever plum pudding.  We've had plum pudding I brought back from England before but I have never attempted to make it from scratch.  It was surprisingly easy but I was very glad I made it on Christmas Eve.  It took all day, literally, to steam.  This will likely be a regular on our Christmas table from here on out.

Last but not least, there was FUN!

It started with an unexpected snow storm on Christmas Eve (and another on Boxing Day)

 Which meant lots of sledding
And some snowman building
And then there was watching Ellie and Carmella run around in tutus and tiaras swinging their wands 

Last year when we were on vacation Sam was thrilled to find an RC in the thrift store for less than a dollar.  The only catch was the cord kept breaking.  No matter what Allen did to fix it, the wire would come out the very next time Sam played with it.  For Sam's gift Allen got some heavy duty lamp wire and reworked it.  He was so delighted to have his old toy fixed up for good.

Love this picture of chaos.  Also love the pile of pink bike parts laying in the middle of the floor.  During the fall Samuel and Aedan were doing some extreme trike tricks on Elisabeth's radio flyer.  That bike has been through lots and lots of kids.  Leave it to those two daredevils to leave it in pieces.  Anyway, they worked at odd jobs the last few months to save up money and replace Ellie's bike.  They settled on the pink version to suit their little sister's passion.

Ellie was delighted to have the job of placing Jesus in the manger on Christmas.
The evening ended with Fritz, Jamie and Arthur doing their rendition of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol with Sam and Ellie filling in as the Crachits.

Allen took a few days off and we enjoyed a trip to Lancaster to see a Christmas show and lots of time just hanging out and reading aloud together

And as it turned out we couldn't resist some time with friends during the holidays.  Our celebration ended and the new year began with a gathering of friends on New Year's Day.  The girls put together a delicious lunch and the boys served.  I was only able to visit for about two hours before I had to lie down but everyone understood and I am told had a good time playing pool and visiting with each other.

Sadly, my camera is on the fritz so I have very few pictures of the whole Christmas season worth sharing.  But I will leave you with this darling photo of Carmella and the rest you can imagine in your mind, and it's beautiful.


  1. Super cute photos! I enjoyed the pictures, and was glad to read that you had such a good time. Our Christmas was a bit more low-key, and we didn't get snow this year (we hardly ever up here), but we had a good time all the same.

    1. We were so excited to have snow on Christmas. We were truly surprised as the weather called for 40s and rain. Nothing makes it seem more like Christmas than snow. I am glad you all had a good holiday. We are still looking forward to celebrating a few Christmases with those darling nephews of ours.

      Love to all,


  2. What a beautiful Christmas!!! Thank you for sharing your warm family traditions and celebrations with us!

    1. It was indeed! I am so glad to see you back in blog world. I often wondered where you went. I am sorry to hear your health has not improved over time. I think you are dead on with the food. I know when we went to a natural diet about 20 + years ago, it made all the difference. When we stray even a little we all feel the results in a bad way.



  3. Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! And some beautiful snow.

    1. Is there anything that makes Christmas more Christmasy than snow?

  4. Looks like you had a great Christmas! The feast looks amazing and I'm always impressed by your sharp looking bunch :)

    1. We did. Surrounded by loved ones, how can you not have a wonderful time? As for the food, we are Italian, it's what we do best. ☺