Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Time Is Here

I've finally started my Christmas baking!  Okay, so I baked one thing only, but still, better than nothing, right?  Of course, I made the easiest thing on my list, the ultra fattening, clog- your- arteries- with- one- bite cheesecake.  Just think about it.  Among other things, 7 eggs, 24 oz. of sour cream and 32 oz. of cream cheese.  Sounds kinda rich, no?

This year I think I'm going to put blackberry pie filling on top but I'm still not sure.  I did the cool swirly thing with red and green food coloring.  It looks ridiculous from the top, but when I slice it open it'll be gorgeous!

 I wasn't very happy when the first brand new cream cheese I opened looked like this.

Didn't expire until March, so WTF?  That's what you get when you buy your baking supplies at Wal-Mart, I guess.  Lesson learned!  I sent an email to Kraft and am waiting to hear back from them.  Gross.

We finally got our tree Saturday night!  Of course, we had to pick the one day of the week where we'd had nothing but rain.  A usually empty dirt lot, plus lots and lots of mulch, plus lots of rain = yuck.

Here's the tree lot.

Everyone walking ahead of me as usual.  Look at how wet and boggy it is!

So, we did a bit of looking around and just as Jimmy yelled that he found the one, I stepped in a deep, squishy, muddy hole of water.  Ah, that sure did feel good!  NOT!

But look at the attitude I walk into, both Mikayla and Jimmy.  Lovely.

Well, that's the tree we got, and with soggy, cold feet (although it was in the 60s that night) I took some pictures of Charlie (hey, I like to know the name of the person I'm handing over $100 to!) as he worked his magic with a large power tool.

Too bad he has no ass to speak of.


Yippee!  Now we could leave and pick up our pizza next door.  But first, we must look at my feet ensconced in my ugly (wet) shoes.

I have no idea what Jimmy was pointing at here, but I figured if I could get a picture of him in a Santa hat I'd better take the opportunity and just snap.  See how big the tree is?  We (he) actually had to snip some off the top to be able to put the star on.

I'm a white lights kinda girl, but the kids love colored lights, so that's what we go with.  Mikayla was testing all of them for us.

Am I the only one that thinks the star should go on last?

And here she is, all decked out.  I would so love to use tinsel... we haven't done that in years, but with Strudel I don't think it'd be such a great idea.  Heeheehee!

Nope, this is definitely not a designer tree.  Sure, there are some beautiful ornaments on there like Lenox and Murano, but mostly it's stuff the kids have made, stuff I've made, and stuff that my '97 email loop have made over the years.  Lots of memories on that tree.

This is my very favorite ornament.  A Lenox moose.  See Cindy, told ya I love the little boogers!

My one Murano ornament that Jimmy picked up in Italy while on business.

Gotta love a red coffee mug, right BJ?

I love this next one, made by my good friend Janet who is part of my 1997 email loop.  Look at all the work she put into it.  Awwwwww.

This is our newest edition.

Here's a pic of my lower banister.  I never did get around to doing the other, but it is decorated with a stuffed elf and Santa that Jimmy stuck between the rails.

That's my little kitchen tree, decorated in black and gold.

Close-up of the berries I got at Hobby Lobby for only .50 a bunch.  Love these things!

That's about all I have to report, Christmas-wise but I do have one more picture to share.  Our good friend from Tampa, Adam, was in the area on business last week and stopped by the house one night.  I haven't seen him in three years and it was great to clap eyes on him and catch up on life.  I actually got Jimmy to take a picture with him, knowing full well I'd post it here.  Adam was very excited to become famous.  On my blog.  Yaright!

Nice.  Strudel is licking the kitchen table.  What is with this damn dog?

Anyone want a golden retriever?

20 "Sister" Lovin' Friends Said:

  • Anonymous

    Ooooh! Pretty tree! I've never had a real tree-allergies...

    Love that Lenox ornament!! So cute!!

    I bet that cheesecake is low fat, right??

  • blueviolet

    I think the tree looks beautiful, but what a nightmare in that rainy, mucky tree lot!

    I can't believe you even noticed the treeman's non-butt. ;)

  • santamaker

    Hey Jutiney, thanks for sharing your journey in finding the perfect tree, it's a shame that Jimmy was not feeling so "jolly"! The tree looks beautiful decorated!
    Thought of you at dinner tonight...made your wonderfully simple but ever so delicious dipping chicken recipe, hubby loooooved it!

  • Anonymous

    Great tree! $100 for a tree, wowza..........I'll stick with my artificial one thank you very much!!

  • Amy

    Love the tree!! The fancy designer trees are nice, but your tree is a FAMILY tree.. and that is so much more beautiful to me. My MIL, just moved to FL.. and it's been raining so much, I don't think she was anticipating that.. lol. I'm curious.. are those branches strong enough to hold all those ornaments? I've never had that type of live tree before.

  • Shelia

    Dear Justiney! Lovely tree and I love all of your ornies! I'm a little sad that I gave all of the kiddie ornies back to my children when they got married!
    Ooh! Yummy! That cheesecake will be so good. Love the look of the food colorings.
    Sorry you were up to your tiny knees in yuk to get your tree! :)
    Strudel is adorable, licking the table or not!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  • Michele

    Love the tree....and the lights/decorations. I'm with you..I love white lights. can so see the attitude from Mikayla and Jimmy...reminds me of the times I used to get that lovely attitude from Cassie. Never from Mark tho!!!

    I'll take Strudel in a heartbeat, but I don't think Bear would be too please...unless we swap!


  • Amy

    Ooopps.. I forgot.. could you post a picture of the cheesecake when you cut it? I'd love to see how it turned out on the inside. ;o)

  • Cathy

    I love your tree.. I'm with you- white lights and star on last. I love the look of your cheesecake. I have never had bad cream cheese that is just nasty.. Great pictures... OMG save me.. I am listening to one of G's conference call..omg they are idiots..a bunch of techno nerds trying to be funny.. save me..

  • Ginger

    I guess that is why I have a fake tree...
    I like all your fancy ornaments, and the one of Strudel is adorable. Your staircase looks nice too.
    Your cheesecake sounds good, especially the blackberry topping.
    Did you get your shoes cleaned?

  • Tootsie

    looks wonderful Justine!!! I got mine up, and decided not to put the others up this year...the girls have theirs in their rooms...and that's good enough for me this year!

  • Stephanie

    I love your tree! Your house is so nice and festive. And I want. some. cheesecake.

  • Anonymous

    Your family looks like they had a great time picking out your tree and then decorating it. I think my favorite is the moose and then the berries. I wish we had a Hobby Lobby near us. One of my favoriye stores.

    Love Ya,

  • bj

    Oh, Justiney...I love this post. Loved going with ya'll to get the right tree...and you did get a great one. It's so pretty all decorated...and I love your stairs and your kitchen tree. Everything looks so pretty..the cheesecake ...o, I do love me some cheese cake...
    Now, i think I need to know about this chicken recipe you have...I'm pretty sure I need it for Christmas Eve....
    Poor ole Strudle...he KNOWS you aren't gonna give him away...just look at those sweet eyes...

  • Sue

    Nothing says Christmas like trudging through a rainy lot in 60 degrees with a husband and kid with attitude!

    The tree looks beautiful though!!! Who needs designer trees when you can have trees of love!!!

  • Elizabeth

    What a gorgeous family tree; exactly the kind I love. I'm a white lights girl myself, as is my sister. Probably because our dad is a colored lights guy. I have to say I definitely don't miss putting up the real tree. I got a 6 ft pre-lit for $25.00 on Black Friday 4 years ago and haven't looked back.

  • Sassy Pants Freckle Face


    What a magical house for those Kids!!!

    Way to rock the Holidays Mama!

  • Cole

    I love that moose; so cute!!

    Your banister looks really pretty too! And NO, NO ONE wants Strudel! Let me rephrase. We'd all love her... but you're her mom and we all know that you'd never let her go.

  • Rena

    I love your tree. We have a 9' one and it's almost all ornaments my kids have made. I wouldn't have it any other way. :) LOL @ "the atitude" -- did you ever find out what that was about?

  • Amy K.

    What a bunch of grinches there, I mean grouches... no... I actually mean grinches! I wouldn't touch them with a 39 and 1/2 foot pole! Ha haaaa!

    Yes, the star does go on last. But "rainy orbs?" You are NUTS!

    Anyway, that's one wonderful tree. Great job to you and the fam with the decorating!


    Okay, I'm caught up with blog reading now. :P