Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Housewarming and Conehead

Happy New Years Eve!  I have always loved New Years Eve.  It is so fun to me to look back on a year, good or bad, and countdown to a brand new year.  We are having some friends over tonight to hang out, eat, play games, and watch the ball drop at midnight!  Hopefully I will remember to take pictures!

This past weekend, we finally had a housewarming party for our families.  Total, I think we had around 35 people come over.  We ate, talked, and showed the house off to everyone!  It was a lot of fun.  I meant to take pictures but I was too busy playing hostess (and making sure Penny didn't knock anyone over with her cone...more on that further down) and forgot!  It was really nice to have our families over to enjoy our house and each other's company.  We did miss our family that couldn't come and those in TX, CA, FL, and MI!

We made a bunch of food for the party but I think everyone's favorite appetizer were the Bacon Wrapped Sausages.  People were standing by the stove eating them instead of waiting for me to put them on a plate!  The recipe is from my friend, Lindsey.  If you like trying new recipes, you should check out her blog here!  She is always trying new recipes and they are always yummy!  I modified her recipe a bit but basically I just used regular brown sugar instead of the Splenda brown sugar.  I also doubled the amount of cayenne pepper since I like a little more spice!  With the substitution of the regular brown sugar, it wasn't low carb anymore but still just as tasty!  I also didn't put the toothpicks in until after because we bought the plastic sword toothpicks and didn't think they should go in the oven :) I want to try it with turkey bacon to see if they taste just as good.  So if you're looking for an easy appetizer that is a guaranteed crowd pleaser, check out Lindsey's bacon wrapped sausages!  Here are some pictures of these tasty treats.

Bacon wrapped, ready for sugar!

Mmmmmmm, so good.

Don't these just look amazing?!

Our families were so sweet and brought us some housewarming gifts!  They were too nice to us.  Some of them were very sentimental and I wanted to share a few with you.

It's a little hard to see but this plate used to be my great grandmother's.  She would always set it out on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day filled with treats, like Rice Krispies.  I am really excited to use it next year!

This decanter set has been in my family for many generations.  It comes from my grandmother's mother's side and has been passed down to the first daughter or granddaughter.  My grandmother had three sons, so I was lucky enough to be the first granddaughter!  Isn't it so adorable?

We think it was used for communion, which would explain why the glasses are so small.  Now I just need to find somewhere to keep it safe from the dogs running around.

This little ornament was my great grandmother's as well.  It actually has the WHOLE bible in it!  The WHOLE thing!

Okay, I promise my fingernail isn't dirty...it's a bruise that has finally grown out to the tip from when I smashed my thumb back in October.

Very tiny print!

This last one is a picture of an embroidery that my great aunt started back in the 70's.  She didn't finish it so her three aunts and mother finished it for her as a Christmas present.  Now she has passed it on to me which is very special!  I'm trying to think of the best place to hang it!

Our families also gave us some money, a pretty Nativity scene to use next year, a fun chip and dip tray that we will be using tonight, and a fun sign for the front of our house.  We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family!

Now to get back to Penny....We have had one fun winter break with Penny.  The first Saturday of break, Penny started throwing up and we realized that she had at some point found a sock and eaten it whole.  She threw up half of it and with lots of prayers and asking of God, she finally threw up the other half!  I was so relieved that she didn't have to have surgery to find it!  Then things were okay for a few days.  The day after Christmas, Penny was spayed.  That night, she decided to remove half of her stitches while we slept.  So back to the vet's on Friday, where she was awarded the cone of shame. (If you haven't seen the movie Up!, you should definitely put it on your to watch list.  It's adorable!)  God was watching out for Penny and us again because somehow, her spay site didn't reopen, meaning she didn't have to get stitched up again.  Phew!  So we came home with the cone of shame.  

Penny spent Friday pouting about the cone and learning how to get around with it.  Pretty soon, she figured out that she could run around with the cone on and just run into things as she went.  She is seriously like a bull in a china shop.  She runs into everything and everyone with that darn cone.  But she stopped pouting!  Then Sunday night, I noticed her surgery site had some swelling.  So I called the vet again on Monday and we went right on back.  All I kept thinking was, "Please God don't let her have a hernia! No more surgery please!"  Once again, God was keeping his eye on Penny.  She thankfully didn't have a hernia.  The vet thinks she had a little reaction to the internal sutures, causing some fluid buildup which should go away in a week or so.  It does look a little weird to have a big bump over her surgery site though! It's very squishy and doesn't hurt her a bit.  And then today, she managed to get her cone off so Ben and I had the fun task of wrestling that back on her.  She gets her sutures out Saturday and that can't come soon enough!  She has also managed to crack her cone twice so we have now fixed it up with some duct tape.  That stuff fixes everything!

With all of this, she isn't able to sleep in the crate at night.  She likes to sleep stretched out and with the cone, she isn't able to do that.  So she spent most of Friday night banging the cone on the crate and whining.  Ben slept through it so I got up, took her and my sleeping bag into another bedroom, and we camped out on the floor together so we could both get some shut eye.  Since then, Penny and I have been having sleepovers together so that we can get some sleep.  Again, Saturday can't come soon enough!

Here are some pictures of Conehead, as we have affectionately started calling Penny.

Running into chairs.

Happy New Year's Eve!  Stay safe and have fun!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Cheer

Once again, Christmas has come and gone.  Such a build up of excitement only to be over in a few short hours.  Even so, I love Christmas!  Our Christmas was over two days.  We headed to the Eastern Shore on Christmas Eve morning with the dogs.  We had lunch and exchanged gifts with my family before heading to my grandparents' house for dinner.  We had Christmas Eve dinner with the whole family, which is about twenty of us.  It is always crazy with so many people and the excitement of Christmas!

Playing around with the settings on my camera.

On our way to Easton!

Don't they look ready to open presents?

Oakley and Riley

Oakley and Mali

Mali was very comfortable.

Here are some pictures from the Hill Family Christmas Eve Extravaganza!

After eating so much yummy food, we went back to my parents' house to pick up the pups and our goodies, and headed home.  We were exhausted by the time we got home so we went right to bed so that St. Nick could come visit!  I woke up around 5:30am, wide awake and excited!  Ben made me wait till 7:00am to wake him up.  Once we got up and took care of the dogs, it was time to enjoy our first Christmas in our new house!  Riley knew right away that there were some goodies in her stocking and she wouldn't budge until we gave her the rawhide.

After enjoying our Christmas together, we went over to Ben's parents' house for our third Christmas celebration!  We also enjoyed more yummy food and played some games together.

We had a wonderful Christmas and were truly spoiled by our families.  We are so blessed to have such fantastic families to share this holiday with as we celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas as well!