Monday, December 29, 2014

Our Christmas

I am in California! We are trying something new this year and renting a house in Palm Desert for a whole month. Dan is here this week and then he will be back on most weekends. As long as I am homeschooling, and the girls don't have to be at home for school, I might as well be warm!

Before driving out here, we had a very nice Christmas. We switched things up a bit this year. Ever since moving to Colorado we have had everyone over for Christmas Eve and then spent Christmas Day in our pajamas, relaxing. This year we just had Becky, Arek and Maks for a casual Christmas Eve, everyone else over for Christmas Day, and stayed in our pajamas the day after!

We opened presents before dinner on Christmas Eve with Becky, Arek and Maks.

After some play time, we enjoyed a baked potato bar for dinner and then headed to church at 6:00. Normally we go to a crazy crowded service at 4:00. It was nice to be able sit in a pew in church. All the kids were very tired and let's just say not on their best behavior!

The next morning we opened presents with just the four if us.

For their big gifts Anna got a new bike and Mia got a battery operated car. It was a nice sunny day in the morning so they got to play with their new things. But by afternoon we had a White Christmas!

Bill and family, Becky and family, and Lorelei and family came over later for a big prime rib dinner. Dan made some peppermint martinis which tasted like candy and, well, I had fun!

The day after Christmas we had to pack and put all the Christmas stuff away. We got it all our pajamas! The girls did shrinky-dinks while we worked. I did give them a few things to help with but mostly I gave them things that kept them out of the way!

Anna ate most of the leftover homemade applesauce. It was clean out the refrigerator for a long trip day!

At 5:00 AM the next day we left for our two day drive to California. Becky and Maks hitched a ride with us. We had to leave early because we knew with all the snow that the ski traffic going up the mountain would be bad. Yes, we do have some bad traffic in Colorado.

Now we are here. It's a little bit cold for Palm Desert, 50's and 60's. But it's not the 1 degree it was when we left!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Crafty Stuff

We have been a little crafty lately. We put together some birdhouses that have been sitting in the garage for months.

And then one of our babysitters gave the girls a little crafting project for Christmas.

We've also been doing a couple of other Christmas activities. On Friday we went to our coop Christmas party and I forgot to take a single picture! But I did take a few pics at the library Holiday Hoopla we went to on Saturday. It was a very silly show that the kids absolutely loved.

We are just about ready for Christmas and a fun trip to California.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Parade

Every year our town has a carriage Christmas parade. This is the first year we've attended. To tell the truth, it's usually too cold for me. But this year December has been warm like October was.

The parade was mostly horses with a few marching bands. I thought I would get really bored looking at horse after horse, but they were all so different that it was really wonderful to watch. I only have two still pictures as I put Mia in charge of the camera and she is trigger happy with the video button.

After the parade we visited the ice sculptures.

We topped off our outing with pony rides!

I am always amazed how much there is to do with kids in Colorado!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Library Visit with Santa

On Friday Becky and I took Maks and Anna to a Christmas activity at the library while Mia was at school. I wrote down the name of the wrong library so we missed the first part of the program. But we got there in time to see Santa recite the Night Before Christmas by heart.

After that, he spent 3-4 minutes visiting with each little child. He was a very sweet Santa.

He was even able to bribe Maks with a candy cane to get close to him.

Have I mentioned before what great libraries we have around here?

The next day we watched people wait in line for hours to see Santa. Too bad they didn't check out the library!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ice Skating

I don't know about where you live, but small ice skating rinks are popping up all over around here. There is a new one in the town between where Lorelei lives and we live. So we headed over there Wednesday afternoon. The girls had the skating rink pretty much to themselves.

The buckets are great! Anna did not even need me to be out there with her and I got to chat with Michelle.

The only disappointment came when it was time to go. Lorelei lay down on top of Mia and they clung to each other and would not let go! Michelle and I were cold and hungry and not laughing! They miss each other and did't like that they only got to spend an hour together. Since two years old they have had a very special bond. But it can be frustrating!

Breakfast with Santa

Last Sunday we went with Becky, Arek and Maks to Breakfast with Santa. The kids had so much fun! Before we got our food, Santa stopped by to see one little girl. He put on a nose and a pair of antlers on her and then had us all sing Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. She was quite embarrassed, but she had fun.

After we ate from the yummy buffet, the Balloon Lady stopped by. She was really good and able to make whatever they requested.

Surprise, Anna wanted a crown and Mia wanted an animal. True to form as well, Maks wanted a helicopter.

After Santa visited all the tables, it was time to visit him in his big chair! Anna told him she didn't know what she wanted for Christmas. Dan hinted that a bike would be nice. Mia asked for Pink Baby, her doll we left in a hotel room two years ago and have never been able to find in any store or online again. Ugh. If we had known how traumatic losing Pink Baby was going to be we would have driven the hour back through part of Utah to retrieve it.

Don't worry, Maks. You are not on the naughty list!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Frozen Skate

Last Saturday we took the girls to the place where we go skating with other homeschoolers once a month. They were having a special Frozen skate. It started out pretty good. They wore their costumes and skated peacefully around the rink. Mia is insisting on not having the locks on her skates so she falls about every ten feet. But it doesn't seem to bother her!

After about 30 minutes, Olaf made an appearance. Not good. At least not for one little girl who has a huge fear of people with costumes on that cover their faces. I asked Olaf if he could lift the mask up so Anna could see he had a face inside. He said no! So she spent the remainder of the time here, safe with her daddy.

Mia, on the other hand, couldn't get enough of Olaf and tried chasing him around the rink, causing her to fall about every five feet now.

I think we are finally ready to "Let it Go". We are putting away the Frozen costumes and hope to not see them again for a long time!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree

Christmas is almost here. Is there nothing better than a four and five year old at Christmas? They know there is no Santa Claus but they pretend anyway. They are SO eager to decorate the tree. As they hang the ornaments they jump with excitement.

As the older kids grew up our Christmas tree was a mishmash of store-bought (mostly hand-me-downs from my mom) and kid-made ornaments. I didn't appreciate it. I always admired my sister's perfect tree with just the right colors and ribbons. So when Becky was a senior in high school I asked for a whole new set of Christmas decorations for my Christmas present that year. I loved it. It was perfect. Then we moved and the colors didn't go with the new house. So again for a Christmas present I got all new ornaments. After a few years of having these ornaments I found myself not even wanting to decorate the tree. I was bored. Ornament after beautiful ornament, the same. I started to wish I had kept a lot of the sentimental ornaments we had in the old days.

But not to worry, I have young kids who are at the perfect ornament making stage. Our tree is starting to look like a mishmash again! I love it. Now if we could just get them not to put all the oranments on one branch...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

More Wedding Pics!

We have some more pics from Joey and Brittany's wedding!

The groom getting ready for his big day.

The handsome groomsmen.

The bride getting ready.

The amazing venue.


The wedding party.

The happy couple.

The family.

The fun reception.

Happy four month anniversary Joey and Brittany!