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!

My sweet silly Christmas elf

Eve used her “Christmas Shopping” coupon today and we went shopping, to the grocery store! That’s where she wanted to buy presents, and that’s where I needed to buy groceries, so it worked out very well. Lex came with us, which complicated matters a touch because her main idea was a gift for Lex. Luckily she is a clever one and turned a complication into a great time at the grocery store! She took one of the paper bakery bags and carried it with her, sticking gifts in it along the way. She snuck away from Lex (I knew where she was going) to get his, then discussed gift ideas with me for a few other people. At one point, standing in the candy aisle, she lamented that she would never be able to buy a present for me because I was with her. I asked if she had an idea and she said yes, it was right in that aisle. Silly girl. So I walked on down the aisle and she snuck something in her bag. A few minutes later she started a story with, “Mom, when I was getting the Swedish Fish… OH NO!!”  She’s so dramatic with her reactions and I was laughing hysterically.  The whole way through the store she was talking about how excited she was and she kept asking Lex if he wanted clues about his present.  When we got to the checkout she slipped back to the candy aisle and swapped my Swedish Fish for something else.  Then she asked the checkout lady to put the bar code reader INTO the bag so Lex and I would see her presents.  The lady was very sweet and played along happily.

The whole way home Eve talked about her gifts.  “Mom, do you think dad will like the gift I got for him?” “Lex, can you guess what I got for you?” “Mom, your gift is the biggest!”  On and on she went and I enjoyed every minute.  She was so excited about giving gifts.  Then she says “Oh, I feel like a million pounds lighter.  Like a big weight is off my shoulders” (or along those lines)  I asked why and she said, dramatically, “I was so worried that I wouldn’t have time to get these presents.  I’m so relieved that we went shopping today and I was able to get this big job done!”  Ha.  She cracks me up!

When we got home she went right down to the basement to wrap everything.  She told us that she would probably be down there for hours!  Not that long later she was done and she snuck all of the presents under the tree, giggling and merry the whole time.  Grocery shopping with Eve has never been more fun.  That was my true gift from her.

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Sweet gifts from Santa Eve nestled all snug under the tree.

La Salatte

After karate tonight I took the kids over to La Salette to see the lights. It was very dark, but not too cold, so we had a great time! We looked at the lights for awhile, then headed indoors to check out all the beautiful nativity scenes from around the world. I took many pictures, but my lousy phone didn’t save them all, so I have just a few.

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The lights are so pretty.

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A nativity from Germany. There are so many beautiful ones there. I wish my camera had all of the pictures I took!

We went over to the big outdoor manger, where Mary and co. patiently await Baby Jesus. I know every year that the baby isn’t there yet, but somehow I’m always surprised too. This year someone left a little gift to keep the baby warm.

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Sweet baby mitten!

Then we snuck into the snack bar and warmed up with hot cocoa, Cheetos, and popcorn while we continued looking at the lights through the windows.

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My other indoor picture was much better. :(

Every year I try to go to La Salette on Christmas Eve, since we’re in the neighborhood anyway, and most years it’s stressful and rushed. Tonight was perfect. Not too cold, no time frame, we took our time and left when we were ready. Happiness is.

Tiny teacher treats

We got presents for the kids’ classroom teachers, but we like to make a little something for everyone!  This year the helper teachers, specials teachers, counselors, and office staff will be getting festive little bags of candy.

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Assembly line holiday treats. Eve fills the bags, Lex wrote the tags, and I tied them all together.

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I love Christmas!

Actually not everybody gets a treat this year.  In the past we have made little treats for the students as well, but this year we didn’t get to it.  Both kids are bringing in cookies for their holiday parties though, so we’ll just call those the student gifts!

Tomorrow is the last day of school before vacation, and my last day in preschool.  I’ll miss the preschoolers, but I’m ready for vacation!