Advent

I got the Advent boxes up just in time! They just have chocolate in them this year, no toys or games, but I think that will be ok. I couldn’t resist the beautiful Advent calendar in the background. Each window has fun suggestions for holiday activities. The Advent cookbook has a sweet new recipe for each day. Eve has been so excited to bake cookies, so I know she’ll enjoy that. ❤️❤️❤️🎄 Happy December!

Christmas!

Hey, Christmas happened this year! With the usual trimmings and trappings and fanfare. :) We had Rosy and Barney with us, and Grandpa Don and Pat. We missed Pop Cube and Grandma though. The kids are growing up and (slightly) less exciting at Christmas (shh! don’t tell them I said so), but we had a house full of puppies to keep us all on our toes.

The fun started Christmas Eve when everyone arrived. Well, we had fun cleaning on Christmas Eve EVE (and teasing Eve, Eve, Eve), but the party started the next day with company and pizza at our house. Fortunately the pizza place is open on Christmas Eve. Fortunately for us anyway, maybe not for the pizza place employees.

After a nice dinner and family catch up time, the kids went to bed and Santa came!

I always love our living room on Christmas Eve. <3

Santa leaves two presents in for each kid in their bedrooms (in the hopes that mommy can get a little extra sleep). This year the presents were books and Legos and the kids gloriously stayed upstairs until 7am! Then they had to wake Aunt Rosy, wait for us adults to get some caffeine, then pose for pictures before finally, FINALLY, busting into the living room to examine the goods!

I love watching them look from afar. :)

A Beanie Boo!! What more could you ask for than a weird, big-eyed stuffy in your stocking!! She has dozens already, but she still loved this one too.

Even Arlo got a stocking full of treats, and even Arlo ended up with a belly ache from eating too many treats on Christmas morning!

Then it was time for breakfast (who am I kidding, more candy coming right up!) and waiting patiently (ha!) for the rest of the family to get done with church and come over. We do presents in stages around here. Bedroom presents first thing in the morning, stockings when the parents are awake, then the rest of the presents with the whole family. Good thing those early presents are strategically chosen. :)

Bodhi is getting so big! And so very tolerant. Arlo would never calmly allow this to happen to him. :)

For all the present unwrapping pictures (and all the pictures from Christmas), check out the Google album.

The kids got Ozobots for Christmas and had fun drawing paths for them to follow.

Lovely ladies.

Christmas dinner consisted of ham (honey glazed or something with pineapple and stuff, someone else could give you a much better title than I), and veggie lasagna, and salad. It was all delicious, of course. Then we washed it down with wine and cookies!

The obligatory selfie-stick pic. The crowd was small this year.

The next day we spent exploring our presents, reading lots of books, painting, and shopping with holiday gift cards. :)

Eve got face paints, which she promptly turned in to whole body paints!

Fruit Ninja on the XBox Kinect with Uncle Barney. Life is good.

Something went wrong that evening and several of us ended up throwing up all night. Not really the best way to spend a night (or the following day!), but at least it was over vacation. Poor Rosy had to drive home with a sick belly. :( Fortunately it didn’t last long and by the following day we were all feeling better again.

We are home today, totally snowed in (or so the weather forecast tells me, I don’t know, it’s dark outside), eating dinner on the couch, watching a Marx Brothers movie, and enjoying our vacation to the fullest.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

For all of my Christmas photos, head on over to the Google album.

Holiday Parties

This year we managed to double our holiday party invitations (received!), going from two to four! For the past many years we’ve needed a babysitter just twice a year, both times in December. Once for Alan’s company party and once for Elizabeth’s Christmas party. It’s hard to keep babysitters when you only use them twice a year! :)

This year we also got invited to my school staff party and the town staff party! So fun! :) Unfortunately, due to weather and illness, we only made it to two parties. Sigh.

The school party was last weekend when Alan was still wiped out from pneumonia and I was resting my voice after surgery. I was disappointed to miss the first one, but it had to be done. Last night we went to Alan’s company party. It was nice enough. It’s a cocktail party, which isn’t my favorite style, but everyone is nice and we had fun. Tonight was Elizabeth’s party, but she cancelled it because the roads were AWFUL! I took the kids to a birthday party at 1pm and the roads were barely plowed with snowbanks everywhere! We made it to the party, but it took awhile! I was sad that she canceled her party this evening, but also glad that she didn’t leave it up to the guests to decide whether or not to risk her long, hilly dirt road. So I cancelled the babysitter and told Alan when he came home from karate. He immediately said, “Get the babysitter back! I have a backup party!” Haha.. Ok! I had forgotten that the town staff party was that day and Select Board members were invited. The party was right in town and easy enough to get to on the bad roads (and the snow had stopped by then, which helped!) so we went to the backup party and it was TONS of fun! It was great to finally put faces to all the names he talks about from meetings and names I see in the paper. They had an excellent buffet, hosted the party in a renovated space down town, and cleared the tables at the end for dancing!! I haven’t been to a party with dancing in ages! We’re all a bunch of old folks so the party ended at nine, but it was a great time and I’m so glad that Alan had a backup party ready to go. :)

Happy Holidays!

Holiday Concert

We had Eve’s holiday concert last night.  Alan was sick and didn’t attend.  😢  The kids and I showed up early to help sell raffle tickets.  The kids had a great time walking through the crowds, hawking tickets.  Then Eve took her place and the show began.

Select Chorus singing “Mele Kalikimaka,” a Hawaiian Christmas tune.

Eve had a speaking part this year. Her and a classmate introduced the best song of the night, “Candle light”Save

It’s beginning to look a little like Christmas…

Today was free and decoration day, starting with the return of my adorable reindeer who spent the summer at the neighbors house, awaiting repairs.  He is all put together again and ready to jingle all the way!

How does he not have a name after all these years?! I’m always happy to see him each year.

Then, after pancakes and a shower, we headed out to get a tree.  Out past few tree outtings have been less than idylic (though I probably didn’t mention that on the blog), and Alan stillnisnt feeling well (did I mention his pneumonia?), so the kids and I headed down to our local Christmas tree parking lot.  We quickly found a perfect tree and I tied it into the new car platform.  So much easier than the roof of the car!

My camera sucks! It randomly doesn’t save pictures I take. It didn’t save the adorable picture of Lex standing by the tree, but it did save this silly rearview mirror picture. Dang technology! 😕

We spent the afternoon listening to Christmas music and decorating the house.

It was fun to see the kids getting out the Christmas stuff together and reminicing over the ornaments.

Haha. It looks like we have balloons on the tree!

This is a blurry picture, but a funny situation. Eve was putting out the nativity scene and Arlo came over to check it out, unbeknownst to her. She turned suddenly to say something to me and bumped right into Arlo’s nose. We all laughed. 😄

It’s important to hang candy canes ON the tree topper …

… and to take advantage of climbing on the furniture whenever possible!

Happy Holidays!

There are only four of us and we still can’t get a picture with everyone smiling. Goof balls. We tried to get Arlo in the picture too, but he wanted nothing to do with any of it.

The annual clearing off of the table. Don’t blink of you’ll miss it!

My grandparents crèche. I told Eve that baby Jesus doesn’t arrive until Christmas Eve, but she didn’t care.

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A little holiday cheer

Today I put aside all of the work thoughts and health issues and clutter (mental and literal), and went out for a day of holiday fun!

We started at the karate holiday party (and sale) where I purchased a few Christmas presents and the kids played games and are donuts! 

Look at Miss Eve back on the floor! They had a blast!

Then we headed over to the annual Gingerbread Festival where we looked at houses, lamented the old days when the crafts weren’t so babyish (or the kids weren’t so not babyish), and had a little lunch.

An ice blue castle, an Appalachian cabin (notice the snow shoes?), and 17 Cherry Tree Lane from Mary Poppins.

The GingerBand Stand with ice skaters out front, a Hobbit hole, and the three little pigs.

The Dothan Brook School subdivision.

Eve decided to decorate a cookie, but Lex’s face says it all about the babyish craft projects.

The kids weren’t interested in bidding on a house, so when we finished lunch we headed out.  We dropped Lex off at home, then Eve and I headed to a holiday craft fair where we found great little teacher fits and Eve made a cool coaster.  Then I dropped her at a birthday party and I went to the pharmacy and swung by The Paper Store for some impulse shopping! 

Home again for dinner and a movie.

Happy holidays! 

December

December is (almost) upon us.  Just a few more hours.  The kids are so excited fornadvent boxes each year, which is awesome because I really wanted to make a tradition that they looked forward to, but also stressful trying to come up with something new and interesting for those tiny boxes each year! 

This year I got the boxes up, but there is nothing exciting in them, just candy. In fact, Eve even saw me buying the candy! It’s hard to be sneaky when you have no free time! Sigh. I’m sure they will love the candy and the annual count-down, and who knows, maybe I’ll come up with a few fun surprises to add to the boxes along the way. 😊

Puzzle time

Yes! I finally finished that “fun” Christmas puzzle I bought. It took just a measly two weeks, including most of today! But now it is done and I can finally start to put away Christmas. :) This was my holdout! No room on the table to pack up the decorations with a puzzle in the way.

It is a lovely picture.

It is a lovely picture.

Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas 2015!  Another one on the books.

We went over to Grandpa’s house for Christmas Eve dinner.  The sunset was amazing!

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I love how the sky in front is blue and pink, but the sky in back is on fire! I also love the reflection along the car and window. I took a lot of mirror pictures on the way to Grandpa’s house. :)

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So pretty!

As usual we did our secret stocking stuffing Christmas Eve. Everyone taking turns sneaking into the back room to do a little Santa magic.

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I think this would be a good Duluth photo. :) A stocking full of Duluth shirts, held by a guy rocking his Duluth shirts. :)

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Grandpa Tom knows how to keep the kids in line! Actually, I missed the better picture when she was completely under the ottoman and he was staring at his phone. By the time my camera was ready she was rolling away. :)

Back at the house the kids went to bed with minimal fuss and Santa came at last!

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All Eve wanted for Christmas was a puppy in her stocking. She’s been reading one too many Little Golden Books, I think! I was hoping this big eyed cutie would suffice.

Before I went to bed I realized that we had completely forgotten the cookies and milk this year. Oops! The kids didn’t say a word about it (still haven’t!), but I’m not going to point out the oversight! Santa was good to us all anyway.

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Shaking the presents on Christmas morning. A tradition in every home, I’m sure.

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Opening stockings. She looks wide awake and raring to go, doesn’t she?! :)

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Lots of sweets to get them going.

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Her bedroom gift was Chinese Checkers, a game I loved as a kid. We played a few rounds while waiting for everyone to arrive.

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The breakfast spread. We had a tater tot casserole, fruit platter, cherry almond scones, blueberry muffins, oranges, grapes, coffee, and mimosas. Something for everyone!

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Let the unwrapping begin!

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Eve got several doggies for Christmas. :)

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A typical Christmas morning.

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A candy dish for me, that I painted years ago, and Popcube admiring his new calendar.

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Eve painted a squirrel mug for Mema.

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Lex got a few new pets for Christmas too! Aquabots. Two jelly fish and a hammer head shark! Luckily they all get along well. :)

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This girl wore down fast. Luckily she has a great Grandpa to cuddle and read to her.

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The gift we’ve all been waiting for! Thanks, Rosy, for another awesome calendar!

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Dr. Alan and Dr. Eve, hard at work operating on a poor man with a big red nose.

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She almost made it! As we were getting dinner on the table she was passing out on the couch. I tried to rouse her to eat, but no luck. I brought her up to her bed later and she slept right through until morning. Tired girl!

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Merry Christmas!

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Let’s eat! Awesome veggie lasagna, salad, bread, and endless cookies and ice cream. Yum!

The next day, as we were tidying up the living room and trying to bring some semblance of order back into the house, another box arrived in the mail and Christmas just kept on going! Thanks West Coast Santas!

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A very cool balancing Gyrobot. Lex loves anything he can build.

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And a dart board! Lex also loves anything he can throw. :)

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A grainy picture of my Christmas kitty enjoying a good long snooze behind the Christmas tree.

We are now finishing off leftovers, exploring new toys, building puzzles, eating sweets, and thoroughly enjoying our Christmas vacation. I hope yours was merry and bright as well. Much love for a peaceful start to the new year. Life is good.

Merry Christmas Eve

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire’s so…. unnecessary! The weather this year is frightfully warm! As one who doesn’t love winter, this isn’t particularly concerning to me, as long as I don’t think about the reason behind the warmth! For today, the windows are open (fresh air to clear out the sniffles that have settled in this house!), the kids are riding bikes, and one is even in shorts!

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When they came in we decided to pretend it was winter and they had popcorn and hot chocolate with marshmallows and candy canes for lunch. Streaming sunshine and nosing daffodils be damned, it’s still Christmas Eve!

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Tomorrow is supposed to be much colder, only high 40°s!