Here are a few activities that rounded out the year for the Blankenship family.
Family grill-off: Holly's family started a new tradition last year by competing in a grill-off. We were not able to participate last year since we were living outside of Philly. But this year, we were there........and came in dead last. The theme this year was burgers and I submitted a turkey burger, since that's the only burger that Holly and I can agree on. (She doesn't eat red meat.) I was very happy with our entry, especially since I love those burgers. They have chunky applesauce mixed in with the meat and a maple-Dijon sauce on top. I believe there are two reason why we fared so poorly. The first is that some of the judges don't care for turkey burgers and the second is that I totally underestimated the flair that each contestant used to present their entries. I mean we're talking Food Network Challenge material. I will be better prepared for next year, although I have never cooked ribs before. Here are a few pictures.
[caption id="attachment_307" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The Harvest Turkey BlankenBurger"][/caption]
Trip to Charleston: The day after the grill-off we traveled down to see my parents outside of Charleston, SC. This was the first time we had been there since mom and dad moved to Summerville a year and a half earlier. The trip takes around 7-8 hours and we were nervous with how Karis would handle all of the time in her carseat. She is usually pretty good on our trips to the 'boro, but this was the first time doing a longer trip. Well, Karis did great until the last 90 min. She slept a lot and Holly entertained her quite a bit, but she had her fill of the road and let us know. Our arrival time was delayed several times as we had to stop and try to settle her down. Once there, we had a great time with my parents. I had never been to Charleston and enjoyed our venture into the city and through the marketplace. Unfortunately we were only able to stay from Sunday afternoon through Wednesday morning because Holly had to get back to work. But if God keeps Mom and Dad in the area we will look forward to exploring more of the low country.
[caption id="attachment_311" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Karis with Grammy and Daddy B"][/caption]
Halloween: This was obviously Karis' first Halloween and we couldn't resist the opportunity for a photo opportunity with all of the GG babies. (GG stands for great-grandbabies.) Karis was dressed up as a lady bug and was a cutie. After spending a few hours with the family we headed home in time to find out that our neighborhood is a zoo on Halloween night. Thankfully since we live in a townhome a few streets into the subdivision, no one came to our door after we got home. I say thankfully because we didn't have any candy to give out. Next year things will be different as we will take Karis around to get daddy some candy, I mean trick or treat.
[caption id="attachment_309" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Our little butterfly flying through the air"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_310" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="The GG babies"][/caption]
Thanksgiving was kind of weird for us this year as Holly had to work and we both missed our family gatherings. I was lucky to be invited to a gathering of the family of one of my good friends from college, even though they weren't there. So my sister, whose husband was also working, Karis and I crashed the Thompson family Thanksgiving. We were able to get up to the 'boro on the weekend for a celebration with Holly's family.
Christmas was also a busy time as we tried to navigate family gatherings around Holly's schedule. We were able to be with Holly's family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but had to leave on that evening for Holly to work the next day. We then headed up to Gatlinburg to be with my parents for a few days. Both times were great, but just not long enough. We are finding it hard to work around the near impossible schedule that Holly has to keep right now, but understand that it will get better; eventually.
[caption id="attachment_313" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Holly and Karis on the 23rd when we celebrated our family Christmas"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_314" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Karis with Bop on Christmas Eve"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_315" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Karis and BB on Christmas Eve"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_316" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Karis pulling up on Cousin Ethan on Christmas Day"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_317" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Karis on her new toy, a present from Grammy and Daddy B"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_318" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Karis with Grammy in Gatlinburg"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_319" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Karis giving Daddy B the stiff arm in Gatlinburg"][/caption]
Smoked Sausage Baked Beans Recipe
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