In spite of everything working against me having a happy holiday, Christmas was delightful! We could only get a few little things for the kids, but I did good with it, and they loved what they got!! :-) I found some really cool, fun, inexpensive things for them -- Brian picked out two leather jackets for the boys from the Thrift store for $12 each, I also bought them all a few really nice shirts from the thrift store -- Gap shirts even, which I could NEVER afford brand new! I got a few board games for them, and some books that they were searching the library for (but couldn't find). We got Emily a few bead kits and some new beading tools, and Brian wanted her to have a nail polish set with a nail dryer fan built in to it! LOL She's always complaining about how long it takes for her nails to dry, so she was really excited about that. We got them a table-top foosball game and pool table -- those are really fun!! And we could afford only ONE archery set, but that was a huge hit with all of them! So I spent under $200 and it was all good, they were really happy!
For dinner, I baked a ham, and I made two very yummy dishes -- Cheesy Onion Casserole (from a previous post!), and Cheesy Sliced Potato Bake......
They were delicious, and they all kept saying how yummy everything was! :-D
Here are the links to the recipes that I used.....
Cheesy Onion Casserole
Cheesy Potato Bake
I also owe you guys a recipe for our favorite cookies.....
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling cookies in
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter, molasses and egg. Add sugar and mix well. Combine dry ingredients and stir them into the butter mixture. Stir in the white chocolate chips.
Roll into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Bake 10 minutes. Makes 3 1/2 dozen.
You won't regret making these!! In fact, I'm making another batch tomorrow! :-D Yum, yum, yum!!
Something else I want to share is that I finished my penny rug about 2 weeks ago, and haven't posted about it yet! I LOVE how it came out.....
So.....THE FLOOR.....I CAN'T believe the thing I've wanted, and planned for, and thought about for the past 5-6 years is here -- I HAVE it!! Wow! I told Brian last night that the kitchen floor was the biggest job we had to do in the whole house, and now it's done! The only other tiling we have to do is in our bathroom, and that's less than half the size of the kitchen.
And oh boy, was it a big job!! Saturday we moved all the stuff out of the kitchen.....
After that, Brian and the boys screwed down the cement backer board.....
There was no time to begin the tiling after all this, so we waited until the next day to start -- Sunday!
I couldn't imagine how this whole job would be done.....I mean, it seemed so huge and impossible to me!! But that's where Brian is the perfect match for me -- I'm the dreamer, the planner....he's the DOER. He makes all my ideas come to life!! :-D He had tiled his mom's house years ago, and then when he worked in construction (years ago, too), he did tiling as well. So he has plenty of experience with it. We tiled the kids' bathroom about 3 years ago, too, but it's so tiny, it took less than two hours to do -- this kitchen looked HUGE and daunting to me!!
Sunday morning, Brian started mixing the mortar.....
He "snapped a line" to make sure the tiles went down "right", which I guess means "in line"......
It only took 30 minutes to get the first row done.....
Next, the other row along the other side.....
And on we went.....
It took us about 7 hours to get the whole thing done, and we were exhausted and SORE, but oh, what a difference......
Oh, who cares about that, just look at those tiles!! *Sigh!*
The next day was the grout (oh, and Christmas Eve!).....but it was a much quicker, easier job.....
After we had finished all that, we waited about 30 minutes for it to SET, and then we went back and cleaned all the tiles with a damp sponge.....the first time......
Actually, it took twice more, once that night, and the last time was on Christmas morning, right after the kids opened their presents!! LOL Talk about cutting it close! :-D
The boys helped Brian bring all the stuff back into the kitchen, including the oven, so I could start the ham!
Of course, there is still plenty of work left to do in here -- now we can trim out the doorways, the baseboard, and the ceiling!! And add the thresholds. And I can finish stenciling, and I have to paint the island. But a little cloud has floated into my happy thoughts......as I look at my gorgeous floor, I think I might have to repaint the cabinets and trim.....!!!! I just don't know -- that mustard color takes on a greenish hue next to the floor now.....I don't know if I'm going to be happy with it.....*sigh!* It never ends!! Hahaha!
So, now that all my distractions are fixed, I'm ready to celebrate and enjoy the Christmas season! LOL Uh-oh!! It's OVER......I've totally missed it! :-( One thing I'm really sad about is that we didn't get to go to the living Nativity that a nearby church does the weekend before Christmas -- I LOVE seeing that, but we were busy with the floor while they were doing it, so we didn't get to go. I know it's coming again next year, but I hate having to put it off. Well, I am setting a goal for myself, right here --- I am going to spend this next year getting all my unfinished projects finished, that way I won't have them distracting me next Christmas!! Let's see, I have to get the kitchen all done, then the wood floor in the family room, then finish painting all the trim and the doors, then use the antiquing glaze that's just sitting here on the living room walls, and.....I think that's it, for the main living area anyway! The bedrooms all need to be "done", but I'll focus on that after I'm done with the kitchen, living and family rooms. Then I will have lots of places for my favorite Christmas decorations!!! :-D
OK, this is by far my longest post ever! I definitely have to get back to posting a few times a week -- I've been working on this post now for hours!! LOL Well, it's all too exciting, even just writing about it and looking at all those pictures again.....I am SO happy and grateful, and satisfied, that my years-old-dream has happened! And it's as wonderful as I always thought it would be!! :-D
Brian and I didn't get eachother any Christmas presents this year - there was just NO money, and I told him the best present for me is to save money by NOT buying me anything! LOL But really, my best present is us getting this floor done -- I can't think of anything I wanted more than this!!
I hope everyone enjoyed my mini-novel of a post here, and I hope everyone got their favorite and best presents for Christmas, too, just like me!! ^-^