On the 19th of December Mark and I had a lovely company dinner at Mario's in Downtown Riverside. There were four course's before the main course and then dessert. I love Mario's! We also ordered a side dish of their amazing mushroom risotto to take home to eat with our dinner on Sunday.
It is right across the street from The Mission Inn in Riverside. Their lights are spectacular each year!
Since I came down with a cold I lost a few days before Christmas so Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (Christmas Eve) I basically gave it my all working non-stop to finish up all the preparations for Christmas.
On Christmas Eve Mark and I went to a church service. I have been to this church 3 years in a row now. Promised myself I wouldn't go back but I didn't find another Christmas Eve service to attend in the area and Mark enjoyed their service last year because it was all singing and a very small sermon.
The reason I didn't want to go back is because they never sing traditional Christmas Songs which is what I need on Christmas Eve:
O Come, All Ye Faithful
Joy To The World! The Lord Is Come
Joy To The World! The Lord Is Come
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Angels We Have Heard On High
Silent Night, Holy Night
O Holy Night!
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Go, Tell On The Mountain
The First Noel
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Away In A Manger
What Child Is This
Joy To The World (Unspeakable Joy)
Lets just say that we are not going back, third time was not a charm! Okay one man sang a solo of Silent Night but we didn't sing it. Also they didn't do a whole lot of singing this year, just a few song and the sermon went on for 45 minutes.
It was a big sell for donations. I am all about giving and helping others but a Christmas Eve service to me is about the birth of Jesus and traditional music. (okay, stepping down from the soapbox)
We watched White Christmas when we got home and then I went to finish up on wrapping a few more gifts while I watched It's a Wonderful Life. I think I got into bed around 1 am!
Click photos to enlarge.....
What I baked this year, all on Christmas Eve day!
(made into balls because it's easier)
Spritz Cookies (double batch)
Skye posing for a photo.....
Adam and Tristen arrived around noon. They had arrived in CA on the 20th, spent time staying with Tristen's mom and visiting with friends. It was so awesome to see them. I hate them living so far away but I have to admit that the times we are together are treasured in a whole new way. That I believe is a huge blessing in disguise.
Adam and Tristen
Adam and Amber
Must be the angle because Mark looks short here!
A different pose from the one I shared the other day.....
I goofed, had to go back and reset....
Skye resting after getting the heart out of the toy.
On Christmas Day we had a variety of appetizers. Meatballs, queso dip, onion dip & chips, cookies, veggies, chips & salsa, berries, nuts, etc., etc., etc. Then a little later in the day we had Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Pizza and garlic bread. We also had some ice cream sandwiches on pizzelle cookies!
We spent a few hours opening up our gifts. Before we started I have to share that from the time Adam & Tristen arrived until the time we started to open gifts Skye sat by the tree waiting. She loves Christmas! I love buying and giving gift to my family. Most of them are requested items but it is still fun and I always find some awesome extra gifts too.
With Adam and Tristen having to travel by plane back home they appreciate a lot of gift cards too. I will be shipping them a box of some of the items so they didn't have to carry them with them. Of course we all got our Christmas pajamas from Santa too....he never forgets!
Adam and Tristen had a party to go to on Saturday night and spent the evening at his best friend Jason's house. So they were back here on Sunday early afternoon. We made a Prime Rib dinner with several other items that we all like.
Adam baked bread....
(forgot to take pictures after it came out!)
We hung around the house watching basketball and football and just enjoying each other's company. It was all so perfect.
BBQ Country Style Pork Ribs for dinner Monday night with mashed potatoes, corn & green bean casserole.
It was truly the best of times.......