Last year my sweet sister Betsy decided to host the family Christmas at her lake house. Since all our kids are now grown and they have kids of their own, it gets a little loud and crazy at home and since she has a great “great room” at the lake it just works out better to gather there. If you’d like to see our first Christmas at the lake, check it out here.
It was a cold day on Lake Martin and my brother-in-law kept a fire going all day in the fireplace. Each family was to bring either steak or chicken for their family and Betsy and I supplied all the fixins’. I brought marinated cole slaw which everyone loves (recipe to follow). Shannon made red velvet cake cupcakes in the shape of a Christmas tree. DIL Jennifer brought buffalo chicken dip --- yummy!
This year instead of playing dirty Santa or drawing names, we decided to make a monetary contribution to needy and underprivileged families. My sister is a social worker and had over 800 names of families that needed just the necessities we take for granted. But hubby still wanted all the grandkids to have a present to open so I went to Dollar Tree and Big Lots and loaded up….the kids were so excited to get all that “junk”!
Here’s my sister drinking her favorite drink – Diet Sunkist! Coming back from our cruise to Mexico last year, she couldn’t find Diet Sunkist anywhere until we got on the other side of New Orleans!
She has some really nice pieces here at the lake that came out of her MIL’s Mountain Brook home. I’d love to have this table.
Her husband surprised her with this faux Christmas arrangement by sending it to her office. She has lots of allergies and can’t handle real flowers. She said she kept waiting to sneeze when this was delivered and it was hours later she figured out it wasn’t real (duh!)
Simple mantel decorations
She used two of my mom’s birdhouses on the mantel
McKinley wearing some of her Dollar Tree finery!
Pop with his two favorite girls (check out Taylor’s hat!)
This butcher block table was in the kitchen at the Mountain Brook home.
This round Santa puzzle was a dirty Santa gift last year. Betsy and her husband spend two weekends putting it together.
Cute little ice creme table and chairs bought for sister’s daughter who is now grown with a child of her own. The little ones love eating here.
Wonder what those two sweethearts are cooking up?
This unusual piece and the secretary below came out of her MIL’s home.
Steaks marinating in Dale’s steak sauce
My sister spreads butter on her chicken (I’ve never seen this done) but she says it helps lock in moisture
Three little girl cousins – Taylor, McKinley and Erica
My sweet boy Jackson discovers the toy cabinet (he’s getting a haircut this week – thank goodness!)
Jackson and Mason “discuss” who’s getting this toy
Mason getting advice from his “older” cousin Taylor
SIL Don and Jackson enjoying “Christmas Vacation” (I love that movie)
Taylor showing off an early present – two bottom teeth!
Jackson meeting me on the dock (it was soooo cold!)
Austin discovers pots and pans
My favorite picture of all – son, my mom and daughter
McKinley showing off her Wal Mart shoes Aunt Shannon got her (that child loved those shoes)…and I won’t say what kind of shoes Shane called them!
When Taylor was a baby, David was always holding her like “a little bitty baby”. She still wants him to hold her like a little bitty baby!
Okay, pop, that’s enough!
One wall is a entire bank of windows overlooking the lake – so pretty in the summer
McKinley is having a party for 3!
Here’s mom’s new home. She (and all of us) love it there. So homey and everyone is wonderful to her.
MARINATED COLE SLAW
1 large head of cabbage, shredded
1 onion, chopped fine
1 large green bell pepper, chopped fine
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
Combine cabbage, onion, pepper, celery and sugar. Mix and set aside. Combine vinegar, oil and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over cabbage mixture and stir well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (I recommend marinating overnight –the longer it marinates, the better!)