Friday, December 16, 2016

Life at the Elliott Household

So . . .is it really Christmas week?  When you work in a church, you get so caught up in all the "stuff" that you can't really breathe and celebrate until AFTER Christmas!  So what have we been doing?

I told you about Hey Kat Bakes last week.  She made some Star of Bethlehem cookies for us and I made a cute label.  Laura gave these to her teachers and some other folks in her school. 


Does anyone know what this is?  It is two giant bags of cheese straws -- one "hot" and one "regular."  I've told y'all that I love "local" - this is truly local!  East Lake UMC is another United Methodist Church located in Birmingham.  There is a man who makes wonderful cheese straws out of their kitchen and he sells them - for $25 a bag -- 3.5 pounds of cheese straws - and they are delicious!  Check out their list of baked goods/treats.  I love when a place like a united Methodist church can have outreach into the community through different avenues!!


 I've packaged up a mixture of cheese straws to give to friends.  I found these cute little boxes . . .and when I ran out of boxes, I have cute little bags!!


We had our Sunday School party last weekend.  I pulled out an old recipe - chicken log - and made it into the shape of a Christmas tree.  The recipe is sort of a chicken salad but made with cream cheese and a dollop of steak sauce rather than with mayonnaise.

Here is the recipe if you would like to try it - I promise it is good!  I use fresh parsley and I actually bought the store brand steak sauce (like A1 -- a tangy thick steak sauce).  You can cook your own chicken, use a rotisserie chicken, or you can even use canned our "pouch" chicken.  I've done it all three ways and it is equally good.  I have friends who do not like curry but they love this recipe.  Chill before serving and serve with good sturdy crackers.


 This is a horrible picture (quality - not people!!) from the Sunday School party.  Some of us were getting ready to play Dirty Santa with our Christmas ornaments.  We are in a large class but only about 11 of us played this year.  I took home a really cute reindeer (bigger than an ornament!!).  We've been in this same Sunday School class since we were newlyweds!!


I took this picture last night.  I wanted to use the selfie stick to get a picture of Mark and me but I think the battery was dead because the clicker wouldn't work.  So - young friends - how in the world do you keep from crossing your eye - look at that eye!!  I was trying to look straight at the phone and I had one eye "cut" looking over at the phone.  Silly me!  It would have been a good picture otherwise -- I need advice on taking selfies!!


Our Sunday School class (again - see - they are a big part of our life!) participates in  "out to eat supper clubs."  If you want to participate, you sign up.  We have a team of two ladies who spearheaded the project (thanks Rhonda and Jean!!).  They randomly draw names and put everyone in different groups.  Groups usually have from 8-12 people and are oftentimes a mixture of married and single folks.  Our fall group met for the last time last night.  We rotate every four months.  Each month has an assigned "host/hostess" and the host picks a moderately  priced restaurant, picks a date and emails the group to see if the date works, makes the reservation, etc.  Each couple pays for their own dinner.  We've gotten to know some other couples much better.  Last night, we went to The Club to celebrate since it is Christmas.  The view is spectacular!  We had the weirdest thing happen.  It was FREEZING cold and we valet parked.  After dinner, Mark gave our ticket to one of the valets.  The other people in our group got their cars and left.  They brought up about 10 more cars and we were still standing in the cold.  Mark walked over to their room and asked about our car.  Our valet had lost our ticket!  I had to go in the little room and find my car keys on the board.  The valet apologized a million times.  Let me just tell you -- it was cold up on that hill!!  We missed one couple last night - they had out of town company and were unable to join us.  We will be assigned to a new group after the first of the year.


If you've received a Christmas card from us or if you are my friend on facebook, you've seen a few of our photo shoot pictures.  Brittany Sturdivant, with Love Be Photography, does mini photo sessions before Christmas.  Brian (my boss) gave us a session with Brittany so that we could have pictures taken with Emma.  Mark hates to have his picture taken but was a good sport because he loves Emma so much!!  We love the photos.  Here is just a small sampling!





We are crazy about this baby girl!!



So what have you been up to in December?  I've ordered all of my Christmas online and there are big cardboard boxes stacked in the family room and I plan to wrap gifts on Saturday afternoon and evening.  I'm headed to Auburn today with a car load of furniture for Laura and I'm going to spend the night with her.  I got new tires this week!  Life - even on the worst days - life is good!

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