Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mini Does Dinner and Vegas

I am so very blessed to have wonderful, smart, considerate and talented children. We have had so much fun with them as they move through different stages of their lives. Since BDJ moved cross country mid-year last year I am finding myself clinging to Mini a little tighter in an attempt to hold her back from growing up too quickly and starting her life on her own too soon. I might as well ease up because as we say where I'm from, that horse is already out of the barn. She amazes me at what she will tackle at her age!

This year she is saving for her first car so her Christmas gift fund was limited. We all know how even small gifts can bust the budget pretty quickly so Mini decided to host a Christmas dinner party for her friends and for her grandparents. Isn't she smart (very smart if you ask me, I've been doing this for years and it doesn't count an in lieu of gifts)?

Her schedule for December was packed. She had end of term tests, cheerleading practice/games and a trip to Vegas to visit BDJ. Despite her crazy schedule on December 10 she hosted a wonderful party for 11 of her best buddies. She had to use two tables for this party, one snowman themed (which I failed to photograph, opps) and the dining room with traditional red/green and toy soldier themed.

She prepared a Chicken Spinach Pasta with french bread and salad and finished off the meal with brownies warmed with ice cream and caramel, yum!  I think attending a dinner party was a new experience for some of them but they all seem to enjoy dressing for the evening and enjoying a nice dinner together.

 After dinner they hung out, played games and then had a gingerbread house decorate competition.  In truth I saw none of this, things got pretty rowdy during the gingerbread portion of the evening and I retreated upstairs :) 

Sorry the photo is sideways but truthfully, I don't think it would make much difference upright.  I don't think including teen boys in gingerbread decorating was really smart!

One party down, one trip and party number two still to go.  Back to school on Monday with only 4 days left till her trip, Mini came home sick.  I had been running around spraying lysol, pushing plenty of water and hand washing for a week and yet here we are SICK.  Bless her heart she was so congested I couldn't imagine how flying feeling like that would be.  So for 4 days I pushed  steaming Vicks (wonder stuff in my opinion), drinking tons of liquids, and taking decongestants.  December 16th, stuffy but determined, Mini headed west (I prayed that she would not arrive in Vegas with burst eardrums).  Despite the fact that I was a complete basket case over her traveling alone, she was ready to go and showed no fear. Of course, this could be due in part to my weeks of incessant nagging  preparation trying to cover all possible scenerios.  You know, don't talk to strangers, be careful in the bathroom, sleep on the plane with your purse gripped tightly, make sure to tell anyone that wants to chat with you that you are on the way to visit your brother who works for the FBI.  More likely I had come up with so many possible horrible scenerios she just wanted to get away from me! So off she went (naturally I had 3 different flight tracking services running in different windows as if I thought I would actually catch a glimpse of her on the plane icon on screen), she managed the tram to the main terminal and claimed her luggage before BDJ even got to her.  Savy, smart girl that she is!

I was so glad she was able to make the trip since this was the first Christmas our family had been separated.  BDJ had plenty of plans for them (more than Mini was up for I'm sure).  They spent day 1 touring the Strip and BDJ's office.

Day 2 they took a trip to Mt. Charleston and got to play in the snow.

Took in the nightlife, freaky people, and Santa getting stuck on the zip line on  Fremont Street

Since BDJ was away from home and working on Christmas, he hadn't bothered with a tree yet, so, using a Groupon a college friend gave him, he and Mini got a tree. Mini and BJD got a Mini is too cute!  That is a memory they will have forever and be able to look back and laugh about.

All in all they both seemed to have a really good visit.  Mini headed home and began preparing for her Grandparent dinner on Friday night.  After deciding her menu, off we went to shop.  It is amazing how when kids are buying groceries with their money what brands are do-able!  She decided on a menu that I thought was pretty complicated for her but that is what she wanted to do.  Her menu was Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloins, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower , Sour Cream and Chive mini-biscuits, and Cherry Delight for dessert.

First she had to butterfly the tenderloin, make the stuffing and then literally tie it all together.  Finding the  "tie" is a story in itself.  All ready to head to the oven now.

Sadly I didn't take more photos of the tenderloin presentation or the dessert.  It was all so good. 
Mini and The Grandparents
Mini with The Grandparents, Uncles, Wonder Hubby and our spare Bri
After dinner Mini showed her video and pictures from Vegas.  I think everyone enjoyed the evening and that this gift meant more than anything she could have purchased and wrapped.  I am so proud of the young woman she has become.


  1. Can I just say WOW?
    What a wonderful young lady she is! I love the idea about the dinner parties, and I'm so glad she was able to make the trip and have fun.

  2. Of course she's become a sweet, thoughtful young lady,...she has a great role model!


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