It's almost Christmas

Since we went to Idaho for Thanksgiving, we decided to stay in Tucson for Christmas and celebrate the holiday with the Kalil side of our family. Since Shelby is the only little on the Kalil side, we have the pleasure of hosting Christmas at our home ... that way she gets to wake up in her own home on Christmas morning, open her presents her and hang out with all our toys without having to drag everything to Nana and Big Mike's house.

So, for Christmas dinner we're making Chile con Carne, which is a rather traditional Christmas dinner in Tucson and something the Kalil family has been making for years (umm, like since the arrived here from the Lebanon at the turn of the century). So, Mike and I thought we'd tackle the Chile con Carne on our own and did so with the help of a very old family recipe. Mike's Great Aunt Victoria was well known for her cooking abilities and we used her recipe.

I also decided to do a little baking. And I found some yummy and healthy cookie recipes on the Food Network's Web site. They have a show hosted by Ellie Krieger, which is all about eating healthy and incorporating health foods into your diet. So, she has some pretty great cookie ideas and I picked two of them for Christmas baking -- Triple Chocolate Cookies and Kitchen Sink Cookies, both are ones I can actually eat!

And while Mommy and Daddy were cooking ... Shelby played. With such a large, extended family, we decided to let Shelby open up a few presents early. She started on the 21st and each night, we've let her pick a present (usually from someone who wasn't in Tucson). Here she is playing with her "computer" (a VTech Whiz Kid), which her Grandma Beth sent her. She loves it. I mean, she really, really loves it! She thinks it's the coolest thing ever and she has been mesmerized by it for hours. Thank you Grandma Beth!