Christmas Break Recap

Our kids school break schedule gifted us a lot of days off after the New Year so we squeezed in as much Christmas fun as we could right before Christmas {and then have been organizing, resting, relaxing and having fun post-Christmas}.

We enjoyed our annual carriage ride in Highland Park with the Shulls to have dinner, enjoy the lights, and scope out some gorgeous homes. This night is festive from beginning to end.

I got to volunteer to help during Britt’s class Christmas party. Lucky me ended up in the game station where I chased bean bags for the 45 minutes. hahahaha! I’m a veteran mom. That’s not what I signed up for but someone no-showed. I was happy to help AND get my steps in. 😉

Tab had a football game on Christmas Eve so our typical church service and fancy dinner out on Christmas Eve had to get bumped to another night. We had reservations at the original Bob’s on Lemmon {for the local Dallas peeps}. It’s our favorite, super cozy, and always decorated for Christmas. The traffic was almost non-existent so we had plenty of time before dinner. We found ourselves at Highland Park Village again {it’s the lights, you guys}. We were hanging out as one of Tab’s good friends from work and his wife walked by. They, too, were early for their dinner reservations so we hung with them for a bit. It worked out perfectly! In the mean time, I got this cutie to take a picture with me. {He’d die if he knew I called him a cutie. haha!}

Ebby Lee obliged me for a pic as well.

And I tried to do that .5 thing that the kids these days do. {Have I ever sounded older?! ha!}

Our entire crew ready for a fun night! The evening didn’t disappoint. One of our Christmas traditions that we started years ago when we began staying here in Texas for Christmas. If you’re starting your own traditions soon, pick something like this…doesn’t have to be a fancy steakhouse {but it can}, hibachi, bbq, whatever…Tab and I did a good job of talking the place up and it stuck.



This non-dog person decided after YEARS of my kids asking that this would be the year we surprised them with a puppy for Christmas. Let me introduce you to Champion “Champ” Slaughter…

We surprised the kids early because once we had him in our possession we had no clue how we’d keep it a secret any longer. The kids FLIPPED and couldn’t believe it. {I’ll have a Champ post coming soon. More details to follow…}

Day 2 with Champ I’m still shocked myself! We have a puppy!

Ebby Lee and I enjoy spending time in the kitchen with a Christmas movie on and a game plan that will make the next few days of Christmas easier. We whipped up a breakfast casserole, sides for Christmas Day, desserts, and a few other goodies. One recipe being what’s pictured above. This is actually what I took to Shay’s recipe exchange party this year but I learned a thing or two on my second attempt. {WHY do I always choose a brand new to me recipe to make for others?! ha!}

Sausage Pinwheels

1 pound of browned cooked sausage {I prefer hot sausage}

1 crescent roll sheet

1 block of cream cheese {I always use reduced fat or 1/3 fat just to make myself feel better}

A handful of shredded cheese {use your favorite}

A handful of sliced green onions {can totally leave this out}

Cook the sausage, drain the fat, and add your cream cheese. Get that mixed in really well. Then I sprayed a cookie sheet with olive oil spray, spread out the crescent roll sheet, and added the sausage/cream cheese mixture. Spread that out really well. Then top it with some shredded cheese and green onions {if you’d like}. Then I rolled the sheet up and covered it with foil. I put this in the oven overnight {which was KEY}. Slice it up the next morning, lay it out on that same cookie sheet and bake these pinwheels for about 10-15 minutes at 350. I served mine with scrambled eggs and I’d be embarrassed to tell you how many kids ate the entirety.

It’d be easier to turn this combo into a breakfast casserole but sometimes you want something a little different.

Christmas Day we went to M & G’s that evening for dinner and gifts.

I look tired in this picture. Can we all say, “NEW PUPPY”? hahaha!

The FUNNIEST thing happened. I bought Marla these shoes and she bought me the same pair! hahaha! Neither of us asked for them specifically but they looked just like her to me. And she felt the same way! The funny part is I’d ordered them for myself but my order was cancelled! They’re a waterproof zip bootie that are more sneaker than boot, which I love. They have a zipper and so far I’ve worn them with leggings out to run errands and jeans with a sweatshirt.

The day after Christmas I found myself waiting for Petco to open in the parking lot at 9:00 a.m. WHO EVEN AM I? :). I learned early on we were a bit deficient in our puppy chew toys.

Right after Christmas Britt had an ear surgery that turned out to be a tough recovery. The doctor told us he only does one ear at a time and that seemed crazy to me, but now I get it. Due to the certain type of ear tubes they had to use on her ears years ago when her tubes fell out she was left with pretty big holes in her ears. {I’m sure there are more technical terms but this is my “mom explanation”}. Those holes are actually the reason she even needed hearing aids. They caused minor hearing loss so we’ve known for years we’d need this surgery eventually but they do better the older they are so we waited until we couldn’t wait any longer. She had the surgery on just one ear and is now doing great. She still has a few more weeks before she’ll be back on the basketball court or even running at recess. But hopefully this works and helps a lot! And then we’ll have to have this surgery again on the other ear at some point later in 2024.

There were lots of these views over the break. Lots of friends over, lots of cooking because kids are always hungry, lots of snuggling on the couch with Britty, and LOTS of puppy potty breaks.

My parents and brother/his family all came to visit over New Year’s weekend. I scheduled a carriage ride in another more local neighborhood.

This house had the most GORGEOUS trees!

And the Texans are PROUD of their Rangers. I saw a few of these displays. ha!

The weather was absolutely perfect which made our carriage outing even more fun. {My mom volunteered to stay back with Britt and Champ.}

Five cousins around the table.

My mom and Ebby Lee had gotten some new make-up at the mall and we were trying it out. Britt went up to her closet to grab her little make-up kit. My mom let her go to town. So sweet!

New Year’s Eve we had games planned with soup/snacks for dinner.

Everyone obliged me with the New Year hats/crowns.

What it looks like when you try to use the self-timer for a group pic. haha! We made it to midnight!

The fun didn’t stop in 2023! When they visit, I always try to come up with something new for us to do so when I heard about this place called The Game Show Experience I knew we needed to try it! My family loves games so this was right up their alley. We played games like Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, Price is Right but due to trademarking purposes they can’t advertise that those are the exact games we’ll play. There’s a host coordinating all the games as well as someone running all the technology complete with fun music. It took about an hour and fifteen minutes for us to get finished and my goodness-the competitive juices were flowing! ha!

When we arrived they split us into two teams, had us create a team name, and we all used nicknames on our tags instead of our real names. In this particular moment, we’d just completed a little physical challenge and Tab’s team was realizing they were going to lose. We had to throw candy canes on little Christmas trees and our team won. Nixon’s face cracks me up!

We walked into the studio and this was the set up…one team on one side, other team on the other.

Even Britty got in on the action!

Drop-O-Rama to some but possibly Plinko to others. 😉

Any guesses on which team WON?! hahaha! Team G.O.A.T.’d came out on TOP! {Credit to Bowen Slaughter on that name-ha!}

The entire crew…this would be a fun spot for a birthday party, team building, or family get together. We had a great time!

And that’s a wrap on Christmas Break 2023! Today the kids are BACK in school and we’re looking forward to what 2024 brings!

Happy Tuesday, Friends! I’ll be back here tomorrow!


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  1. 1.9.24
    Elspeth said:

    What a fun recap! Can’t wait to hear more about the puppy! So sweet!

    • 1.9.24
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Thank you!

  2. 1.9.24
    Sara Bruyere said:

    I love your posts.
    You have a beautiful family and the new addition is adorable. Would you mind sharing the breed ?

    • 1.9.24
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Thank you! Yes, Champ is an Australian Labradoodle.

  3. 1.9.24

    Awwwww! So many sweet pictures from your Christmas break!! I do think though that the first picture of all 12 of us *might* be the best photo ever taken of this group!! We look GOOD!!

    • 1.9.24
      Erika Slaughter said:

      AGREE!!! It’s almost like they used some sort of tanning filter. It looks like we’ve all been at the beach with a little sunkissed glow.

  4. 1.9.24
    Sara said:

    What a fun break! Of course, love the new pup, too! What a darling addition to your family. Prayers for healing for your girl; she’s brave!

    • 1.9.24
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Thank you, Sara!

  5. 1.9.24
    Amy Wolff said:

    Such a great break! Post please on the finished house! I’m loving what I can see…

    • 1.9.24
      Erika Slaughter said:

      It’s on my to do list! I have a couple random things that need to be finished in each room. Working on those now!

  6. 1.9.24
    Lauren said:

    Your puppy is adorable! What type is he? We surprised our kids with a cavapoo for Christmas! Best reaction ever…definitely going to be hard to top that Christmas gift ever again! ha

    • 1.9.24
      Erika Slaughter said:

      AGREE, Lauren! It’ll never happen! haha! Champ is an Australian Labradoodle. I bet your Cavapoo is adorable!

  7. 1.9.24
    Lisa said:

    Hi there…can I just verify something from your sausage pinwheel recipe? You mentioned it was key to leave it in the oven overnight. Was that supposed to be refrigerator?

    • 1.10.24
      Erika Slaughter said:

      BAHAHAHAHA!! Oh my gosh, YES! I need to change that ASAP!! Yes, put it in the refrigerator overnight! Then when you cut it the next day it’s SO much easier!

  8. 1.10.24
    Sheaffer said:

    So many great pictures and so many memories. That game show night looks so fun, and I really love the picture of you and EL before dinner. So pretty! Y’all had a great break!

    • 1.10.24
      Erika Slaughter said:

      When you turn 50, let’s celebrate there! 😉

  9. 1.10.24
    Sheaffer said:

    WAIT! I didn’t comment on Champ! He’s in the Top 3 cutest dogs EVER!

    • 1.10.24
      Erika Slaughter said:

      BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Thank you!

  10. 1.11.24

    I love the puppy! What a fun addition to the family!

    • 1.12.24
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Thank you!