Christmas Eve Par-tay Recap

Note:  Music from the Elf soundtrack

After reading review after review and watching youtube videos, I decided on my camera for it's high definition video capabilities and really good reviews.  I have to say, I have taken two videos and I am not happy with either.  It may be that there was not enough light when the video was shot.  Therefore, I won't tell you what kind it is yet, until I'm sure it isn't "operator error".  So, anyway, instead of getting mad and fighting it, I worked with it.  I think the black and white effect works well w/the quality of the video.  Can I just say how much in love I am with my great-niece and great-nephews???!  Anyhow....

Well, I gotta tell ya...the past few days have been "couch potato" days.  We have done very little.  Its been very chilly outside.  Whenever we think we might like to get out and do something, we let the dogs out, feel the cold and change our mind.  I must put this in perspective, though...we are in Texas, so it isn't like snow is piling up outside or even a little ice, haha.  As I write this, Mom and I are watching old Martha Stewart shows (love them!) and Ronnie is taking a nap after a serious case of the "head bobs" while trying to read his new book, The Confession, by John Grisham.  Basically, we have just been winding down from the chaos excitement of Christmas.

Oh, the excitement of Christmas!  I mentioned in the Holiday Traditions entry that the Castillo side of the family always gets together on Christmas Eve.  It was the same this year and it was great.  I Believe when everything else in the world and our lives are changing, it's the family traditions that keep us grounded.   

There were a couple of traditions that we consciously let go.  I am happy to report that there was NO wrapping on Christmas Eve.  I finished it all the day before! Yea!   In the past I have tried to keep up the tradition we had with Chris of going out for nachos.  This year I did not.  In a way it was sad, but it was ok.  I think this year I came to terms with letting that one go.  I guess it was mostly a way to make myself feel as if he was still here.  But, I guess really, it was just a source of sadness as it was a sore reminder that he is not here.  So, I let go.  I came to terms with the fact that letting go of the traditions doesnt mean he is in my heart any less or that we love him any less.  Plus, all the Mexican food places were already closed! (didnt leave me much of a choice, huh?)  So, We ate bar b que sandwiches at moms house instead.  Talk about doing something different.  Mom and I did random things - we went to the cemetery and put some poinsettias for Dad and Chris, went to CVS to buy batteries, went to Green Bros. to try to find a last minute gift for Ronnie and then finally back home to make Olive Balls for the party.  I will make a post soon in case you are looking for a good little somethin' somethin' to take to a New Years Eve get together.

Finally, the time came to head over to Jeff and Melissa's house.  Yee haw - food, family and funpresents!  We had a really good time visiting with everyone and watching the children open their gifts!  The food was delicious...chicken salad on croissant, three different types of chicken wings, 7 layer dip, bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos, chips, cookies, mm mmm mmm. 

Just to put it bluntly...my pictures of the evening suck.  Many of the blogs I read suggest using only natural light for photos, so, I keep trying it.  Luckily, I took a few with the flash.  I will continue to do that till I figure out my camera and the techniques.  Geez.  So, again, sorry about the not so great pics.  Chris used to say that Dad passed on his carpentry skills to Leo as a trade, photography to him as a trade and that he just didn't have enough time to pass a trade on to me.  Meanie, haha.  He was funny and right, it seems!A few of the beautiful women in our family

Baby boy and his favorite blanket

Baby Girl "making" chocolate milk.

Aw, sweet!

My sweet, sweet husband. Muah!

He learned how to dip from Dancing with the Stars

One of our handsome great-nephews that didnt want his picture takenOur other handsome great-nephew. He is a runner.Oh, how I love that face! 

 

Can you make my helicopter fly? Poor baby thought the remote to his Tonka truck would work on his helicoptor

Lookey what Iwe got from my niece, the boy with my favorite name (you can read about them here) and Drake!  Very sweet!  Especially from a couple of Longhorn fans.  tsssssss.

We came home that night and Mom came with us.  It was a nice Christmas morning...

Ol' dawg is pretty creative, isnt he?

Ronnie got the new John Grisham book and Mom got an electric throw, since its always so cold in here.  Later, Mom helped me chop stuff for the dressing and we had a good dinner of ham, dressing, sweet taters and green bean casserole.  All in all it was a good day, but I have to admit...I really missed the few hours we normally spend with the rest of our family when we eat dinner together.  This is also the first year we have not had Christmas with the Smethers kids and grand kids before Christmas.  All I can say is...

We definitly missed that visit.  Hopefully, we will get to see them soon after the New Year!

Speaking of New Years...it will be a busy weekend. So, if we don't post between now and then...Happy New Year!!!! from Casa Causpanic.  Thank you so much for spending some of your valuable time visiting our little blog.  We look forward to seeing you more after the new year.  Be on the lookout because I think there will be projects-a-plenty!