Posted by Karen in Day to Day.
Sunday, February 11th, 2007 at 8:04 pm

Duoteam, Sierra, Justin, and Juliana hosted Christmas for the Schroeder family here in the Twin Cities. Christmas Eve was at J & J’s house and involved a delicioimg_4024.jpgus lasagna – and ping pong! Juliana had recently surprised Justin with a ping pong table in the basement, and it was soooooo awesome. We definitely covet it.

There was one… incident at dinner. As part of a Schroeder tradition, Sierra and Juliana had hidden an almond in the lasagna, and whoever got it in their piece won a prize. They made sure to warn us that there were almonds in the salad as well, so don’t mix them. But Rick either wasn’t listening, or just REALLY wanted that prize! He found the almond pretty darn quick, but Sierra and Juliana were a little confused since they knew where it was and that it shouldn’t have been in the piece he got. But deciding it must have moved, they awarded him his prize, a big ole bag of Jelly Bellies! However, not long after, Freddie also found an almond! After much commotion, it was revealed that Rick "hadn’t heard" the part about the almonds in the salad and had gotten them pretty mixed together on his plate, while Freddie’s almond was definitely baked, and definitely came from his lasagna which was far away from his salad on his plate. Jelly Bellies were re-awarded. Scandalous.

We all went to a service at Justin’s church, and it was cool not only to see the place for the first time, but also to see him in action. We opened presents from the Schroeder grandparents that night. Personally, I felt that the highlight was the "Lady’s Grab Bag", put together by Grandma Schroeder.

The next morning J & J came over for breakfast, and then we waited for like ever for Scotty Mowey and Rick VanRick to come over so we could open presents! Everyone got some pretty great presents, but let’s talk about what I got, shall we? Great. Turned out that Laurel was my Secret Santa, and boy oh boy did she go above and beyond the gift-giving call of duty! First: Smartwool socks! Everyone was all, "I can’t believe you seriously wanted socks for Christmas", but say what you will. I pretty much hated socks my whole life until I discovered these babies. Next was this awesome book that I also totally wanted, Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century. So I was super thrilled and thanking her, when she tells me I still have to open the card. I open it, only to find that she and Nate have collaborated to get us tickets to a Surly beer dinner at the Happy Gnome! (Fun fapict0010.JPGct – Nate and I are in 2 photos on Surly’s website. One is kind of Where’s Waldoey though, a little tough to spot us.) Seeing as the last beer dinner we went to was one of my favorite dates of all time, I was pretty excited! (Little did I know that in a tragic turn of events I was to get the stomach flu or food poisoning days before the beer dinner and have to cancel. We are rescheduled for a Bells beer dinner, which is still super exciting, but… it’s not Surly. Teardrop.) Quentin sent a pretty sweet package from Scotland, along with a letter that made us all cry – tho that might have been Sierra’s dramatic reading of it.

I was still furiously baking cookies all day, because I was sure we didn’t yet have enough to fill the lazy susan. A family tradition that may have been made up by my grandma was filling this big lazy susan with a million different kinds of cookies. When my aunt died last year, the lazy susan came home with me and was put temporarily in storage in our basement. In my head, the lazy susan had grown to a monster size, like a trout in a fishing story. So when we finally busted it out, I couldn’t believe how NOT huge it was! And how we could barely fit all of the different kinds of cookies on it!

While stuff was baking, it was time for the second annual Schroeder Jeopardy! This year it was brought to us by Rick and Marianne, and had categories like Quentin and Scotland, Significant Others, Geography, Birds, North Shore, and Schroeder family. I quickly dibbsed Laurel after hearing her say she had memorized Quentin’s blog and knew all of Rick’s most important birds. I was pretty sure we had all of the categoriesimg_4039.jpg covered between us. And I was right. We made a strong showing, but got tripped up with some of the wording of questions. Meanwhile, Freddie and Justin snuck up with out anyone noticing and nabbed a bunch of 500 pointers for the unexpected win. Prizes were awarded and suddenly there was a potato gun war. Such a great prize. Nate got a Scottish beer and I got a page-a-day calendar of Bushisms. One of my favorites so far: "The best way to find these terrorists who hide in holes is to get people coming forth to describe the location of the hole, is to give clues and data." Sigh.

Nate led the efforimg_4041.jpgts with the main meal, and it was a doozie, as usual: curry squash apple soup, vegetable pot pie, and cracked whole wheat rolls, all from scratch. mmmmm. Oh but it was not over yet. Nate had made little individual creme brulees for everyone. Probably just an excuse to show off his new fire toy, but who cares with results that yummy! By the time we were done with that no one really wanted Christmas cookies, but I tried to make everyone eat them anyway.

Marianne and Rick gave Nate an addition to the basement fun room, the game of Crokinole. I had warned her about his rage attacks when he plays games, so when he first sank into depression after losing a few games, then threw a little "everyone’s a cheater" fit, at least they were prepared. He has since discovered some new rules which helped the situation, thank god. It has been super fun having it down there. We even had a New Year’s day date in the basement with fondue and Crokinole.

One other exciting thing was that with the totally sweet present from mi madre Mary Jo, a shiny green iPod, I was able to fill the house with Christmas cheer for like 2 weeks straight with my awesome Christmas music mix. It made Nate so crazy that he bought me a new Christmas CD that he thought he might actually like in hopes that I would play it instead, but I just added it to my mix.

And lastly, a memorable Christmas moment for me was the night when I put something away in the freezer and accidentally knocked a can of Kong Stuff’n Paste off from on top the fridge. If you’re not familiar with it, Kong Stuff’n Paste is totally disgusting liver paste in like an EZ Cheese can that you squirt inside a Kong toy to keep your pooch occupied for awhile. Bruno is craaazy about the stuff. So the can fell off the fridge, hit the marianne-konged.JPGground, somehow got punctured, and started spraying EVERYWHERE! Marianne was in the kitchen with me, and we both started screaming and trying to dodge it, and I finally got my foot on it to block the spray. Nate comes running from the office, Bruno comes running and happily begins the clean-up effort, and Rick comes up from the basement and says "What’s this?" as he wipes some from the wall and puts it in his mouth thinking it was EZ Cheese or something! GRROSSSS!!! I take one look at Marianne and start laughing hystericaly, because she had a spray of liver paste starting at her toe, running all the way up her leg, all the way up her shirt, straight up her whole face and into her hair! I’m sure I must have looked pretty similar, but somehow no one got a picture of me…

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9 Responses to “Christmas”

  1. Rick Says:

    OMG! I am still laughing. The liver paste, the almond, Nate and crockinole – that was a fun Christmas!

  2. nator Says:

    Best. Post. Ever. :)

  3. Laurel Says:

    I’m sorry you weren’t able to make it to the Surly beer dinner.. But at least you were able to find something else! Bells will do in a pinch. :)

  4. marianne Says:

    Great post! It was such fun reviewing the holiday. Go Crokinole!!

  5. Mary Jo Says:

    Wow, you really did a great job on that lazy susan–I haven’t seen it that full in years! Sure wish some of those cookies had found there way here, but then we wouldn’t have been here when they came anyway, but boy, they sure look yummy.

  6. peter Says:

    fire toy?

  7. Karen Says:

    AKA “blow torch”. He opted for that instead of the fancy dancy kitchen version that is specifically designed for such things as creme brulee, because he said this way he could also do plumbing and stuff! Sweeet.

  8. Madeline Says:

    Thanks for the mid work day laugh! (and good use of OMG, Rick!)

  9. troy Says:

    Super fun post!!