Friday, December 29, 2006

A few more...

My sister just remembered a couple more brilliant quotes from the festivities...

*Oliver (2 yrs old) grabs a cookie*

Julia: Oliver, did you eat enough dinner to have a cookie?

Oliver: (thinks about it) No. (walks over and gives Julia a big hug, and a kiss, then proceeds to get another cookie)

Courtney: I only got one B this semester, and it was a B+!

Grandma Bev: Good for you! What class was it in?

Courtney: English.

Rob: Have you ever taken French? Because I could see getting a B in French. But Courtney, what language do we speak? ENG-LISH.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Monday, December 25, 2006

Round 2

Got up at 6:30 this morning so we would have time to open presents/have breakfast/shower/etc. and get everything ready for family to come over at 12:30 to eat. The big gifts this year? My parents bought each other a new toilet, Dance Dance Revolution for my sister, and cross country skiis for me :) Oh, and Jazzi got a new bed that she is already super possessive of.

All the food turned out great, and everybody loved it. My grandparents thanked us about a billion times for making it. My cousin's boyfriend Nick came too--we had never met him yet--turns out he's a professional chef. Even he said it was all great, so I guess we must have done OK!

Here's our dining room and part of the sun porch. Great Grandma's china and silver, with paper cups. Classy!

My dad made that stained glass light fixture.

Molasses rolls, garlic mashed potatoes (a la the Stoughton country club, made by my sister), sweet potatoes, beef roast, turkey, corn chowder...mmmm

My sister's boyfriend Josiah with the 'smashed' potatoes. He's a good kid--I approve.

On the couch are my cousin Julia (and the twins in her tummy), and her boyfriend Nick (the chef). Their son Oliver is holding a wrapped present, which is actually a little drum. Courtney asked him what was in it and he said "a chicken!" because it looks like a drumstick :)

Grandma Joy and my mom trying to play DDR--fun for the whole family!

Funny highlights? I told you this side of the family is less entertaining in the humor department. Although ever since DDR, my dad has been walking around singing "ai ai ai, I'm your little butterfly" in a female Japanese pop star voice.

I also broke my news to everyone. They were all pretty excited but grandma made sure to point out that I would probably want to come home for Christmas break next year. I said "we'll see."

So that's about it for Christmas. If we don't get some snow soon, I'm going to be skiing up and down the hallway.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Round 1

*Christmas Eve Day, driving to Rob and Grace's house*

Courtney: Maybe tomorrow I'll go buy some yarn so I can knit a scarf.

Dad: Well, I don't think the stores will be open tomorrow...

Courtney: Oh my God! I totally thought today was Christmas!

*Courtney is talking about her classes, and Uncle Rob walks up*

Rob: What are you lookin' at?

Courtney: The Grinch!

*I am telling Grandma Bev about my scholarship to Norway. Uncle Lonn walks in, I haven't seen him in at least a few months.*

Lonn: You suck!

Me: Thanks, Merry Christmas to you too!
Ally: You are horrible people!

Rob: Hey, around here we call that family!

Me (every time anything embarrassing happened): That's it. I'm moving to Norway.

Josh (laughing): Why?! It's cold all the time, and you can't understand half of what's coming out of their mouth!

*Zac walks in with a sock over the lens of his camera*

"I...uh...may or may not have misplaced my lens cap."

My dad, my sister, and my new cousin Kyla, who I didn't know existed until we got there today.

From left to right: Jayda and Aliza sitting on their mom Jesse, their dad Darren, Aunt Grace, my cousin Josh who quit his job so he can smoke pot and drink beer all day, and the one with the...interesting hairdo is Andrew, Jesse's oldest (of 5!)

Uncle Lonn...who lost his legs in the war

Kyla has a birthmark/tuft of hair on her forehead, and Jack thinks it makes her look like Hitler so he's trying to teach her 'heil'

Aliza got this really lifelike monkey for Christmas, and my cousin Ally was seriously terrified of it

Never have children--this is what it will drive you to!

Christmas Preparations

Alternate title: "Top (insert # later) reasons taking Christmas into our own hands was the best idea we ever had"

(Discussing what to cook for Christmas dinner)

Dad: "The only thing missing is..."

Courtney: "Drinking!"

Me: "Best Christmas ever!"

(Making grocery list)

Me: Do we have allspice?

Mom: No, but we do have vodka. I'm not having it out on the counter but you can keep it back in your room for you and Jessica.

Me: Hey, Court, I think we should make some punch too.

Courtney: Spiked!?!

Me: Dr. Survilla's mom gave me a really great recipe for a roast.

Megan's daddy: Chelsea's Marvelous Mean Dead Christmas Cow! Mooya!

Dad: We'll have to be washing our hands a lot, being around so many people. That cruise ship disease has had an outbreak in Madison this weekend.

Me: Yeah, we don't need to add disease to mental disability with all this family time...

The lowdown

So here's how Christmas normally works in our family.

up until Christmas Eve Day: pretty much ignore each other.

Christmas Eve Day: dad's side of the family gets together at Uncle Rob's (more on him later) in Albany. This is the really dysfunctional portion of my heritage, but they're a can I say...a more festive brand of crazy. Un-PC jokes that nobody wants to laugh at, screaming derelict children running around breaking things, a pilot/race car driver who looks like Santa and thinks he knows everything (and needs to tell you about it), a black-leather-wearin/Harley-ridin grandma, and a massive golden retriever named Budweiser who could take you out with one swipe of his tail. That about covers it. Expect a play-by-play in a later post.

Christmas Day: normally we go to Monroe to meet mom's side of the family. It's a lot quieter than my dad's side. Generally we get there, eat a huge meal, then my dad, my sister and I, and our three cousins make a run for the couch and pile on for a nap. Soon it is time to open presents, but we have to go from youngest to oldest, opening one present and then watching everyone else open one until it's your turn again. My dad is covertly opening his presents under the table because he can't wait for his turn, and my cousin Jessica is making 'shoot me now' gestures on the other side of the room. When we're done (what seems like 4 hours later), Uncle Whayne sets up a projector to show us a slide show of birds.

But not this year.

This year we have taken matters into our own hands. Courtney and I are cooking Christmas dinner, so everything is on our turf. Reasons for taking over? Little things. But they build up. For example, when grandma is hosting, you never get to actually eat, because as soon as some food is on your plate, she is sending the turkey around the table again. And the potatoes. And the you're always passing and all you can do is drool at the first helping that is sitting on your plate, but you can't eat it because you're passing around dishes that everyone already has on their plates. Or because Christmas dinner should not require a seating chart, especially one that puts the prodigal cousin in the corner as punishment for not coming home last Christmas. Or making everyone go around the table and tell everyone what they're thankful for. Or the whole taking turns thing, when opening presents.

None of that this year. We are whipping up some amazing food, and serving it up buffet style. That means everyone can take as much as they want, and if they need more, they can get off their ass and get it, instead of everyone else taking pause from their face-stuffing to pass things. And you know what else? Everyone can sit where they damn well please. Plus we don't have a room big enough to fit everyone in it, so everyone has the option of escaping to the sunroom or living room.

So that's the story. Stay tuned.