Friday, January 11, 2013

Stocking Time!

We always opened our stockings just before we ate the traditional Baked Stuffed French Toast casserole as the girls were growing up. So, it is with our bigger family. The only difference is that Santa does not fill the stockings at the Lodge... but rather, we swap names and fill them for each other. It would be a lot for Santa to fill stockings at each of their houses AND at the Lodge... so we all decided that it would be good to give Santa a break. All of us have special Lodge Christmas stockings which I asked everyone to make reflecting something of their personalities. We have a high-heeled Christmas stockings, Carhardt, hockey skates, beautiful patchwork, tooled leather, stuffed toy themed one... quite the variety!  I love using my green and red transfer plates for one of the Christmas meals, saving the Spode for dinnertime. It is a magical time of the year.
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All the kids gave us a new kitchen island counter for Christmas. It is a beautiful piece of charcoal granite with green highlighting. Pictured here however is what the island looked like after Eric chipped off all the terra cotta tiles which used to top it. The tiles were lovely but difficult to clean the grout as that island sees SO much activity when we all gather. It is literally the "hub" of the Lodge.
Not only that, but since the Lodge truly belongs to all of us, it will be very nice to have a piece of Morning Star granite installed by Drew in such a prominent place in the building. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your kindness and generosity... too much!!!!!
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... and to All a Good Night

It doesn't get much more romantic than this... I love the bedroom in its Christmas garb.
It also gave me the opportunity to learn something about the man I have been married to for 38 years.
He has really thin eyelids! We have a joke between us, I can sleep anywhere, anytime... but he is more selective about his environment. I would love to sleep with the Christmas lights shining Christmas spirit down upon me, but Mr. Eric cannot sleep in this manner as the brightness keeps him awake!
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 Allen Family Christmas was blessed with a fresh snowfall, making the slight hill that runs down toward the event feel perfect for little tots sledding. It was great excercise for Kat, Eric and I... especially pulling
them in the sleds on the Woods Walk! The snow was about 10" deep
so we could feel the old "thigh burn". The kids got all the experiences of
 winter sledding, crashes, tipping over, white-washing, snow up the snow
pants, down the boots and in the mittens. They went into the warm Lodge
red-cheeked and ready for hot chocolate! We were a bit worried about Drew and Vanessa travelling up to the Lodge as it was snowing quite hard at Oak Hill. To our surprise they reported that the roads were completely dry until they hit Edgecomb.... "Ha", I said, "just the way I

ordered it. I asked if we could have a picturesque snow falling, but only at the Lodge!"

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The Warm Glow of the Lodge

This was taken just shortly before family started arriving to celebrate Allen Family Christmas. Although it doesn't stay looking like this for very long once everyone arrives, I wouldn't trade the merriment for the tidy look. It's kind of like "Silent Night" versus "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", both are wonderful parts of the holiday season! Casey and Erica arrived on Friday evening so they could get to take in the decor before the rest arrived. It was another wonderful piece to a perfect holiday. I have come to realize the "perfect" in holiday celebrations comes easiest when I realize things will not be perfect and just enjoy my loved ones.
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Our 15 Foot Beauty

Oak Hill Lodge Christmas was highlighted with this magnificent tree. We had intended to go in search of a "woods tree"... but by a happy accident we happened to stop by Clark Farm Stand and they were about to cut this perfect specimen down to "normal" size. All trees were $28.00, so it made it just perfect for our tree. How I love to see all the ornaments each year and this year we added a very special one from Mount Vernon which was purchased with the Frack Fam when we attended Will and Ramona's wedding. Great memories!
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Christmas in Connecticut

We had a lovely "real Christmas" with Kat, Pat and Peighton in the sad little community of Newtown,CT. Despite the solemness of the situation, we were "full of great cheer" within the four walls of their beautiful home. They treated us like the "three Kings"... and it was wonderful to see Peighton enjoy Christmas on a whole new level this year. Kat and Pat prepared a wonderful collection of recipes, both traditional and newly inspired. Here Kat does her usual "ta-da" pose as we prepare to sit down for Christmas dinner.
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