Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas House Tour 2015

A peek inside our house this Christmas:
(Because this is the backdrop of our memories.)

 (A gift to the squirrels and deer. ;)

A few notes:
1.  The asymmetry of the yarn puffs on the mantle bothers me--but not enough to fix it.
2.  The Christmas cards on the wall are currently overflowing.  M literally runs to the mailbox every day.  They are one of the most fun things about this season.
3.  The snowmen have been collected from Santa on the firetruck each year.
4.  We just tossed the gingerbread houses to "quiet" the room for Christmas day.
 5. The cookies in a tin bring back childhood memories.  They also make a good midnight snack.

A Look Back:

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Third Week of December (Our Week)

A look at the week of Sunday December 13-Sunday December 20.

Tuesday/December 15
We found reindeer while running errands (aka: grocery shopping).

The slant of the sun against the dark stormy clouds.

We've been reading Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent for advent and we're LOVING it!  (If you haven't read it, it's like a daily advent reading written like an on-the-edge-of-your-seat historical fiction.)  We were six days behind so we hunkered down to do a bit of catching up.

Wednesday/December 16
Watching The Nutcracker.

Friday/December 18
M helped me write messages and address all of our Christmas cards--it's so nice to have a card-writing companion. :)  It always feels so good to get them out in the mail.

A Christmas Vacation toast with friends. ;)

Saturday/December 19
It has been so warm lately.  It's crazy how cooler temperatures make it feel more like Christmas.  BUT, there was a lot of excited jumping up and down when a few snow flurries fell.

We did just a few (6) "Secret Santa" cookie drop-offs before dinner out.

And then, as has become our tradition, we grabbed pillows and blankets and couch cushions to sleep under the tree.  From Instagram the next day: "Last night we all fell asleep under the Christmas tree. (Then some of us spent the night tossing and turning because somehow two mattress pads piled on couch cushions are still uncomfortable or because it was too quiet or because there was a cat on your head or walking on you.) Tonight our own beds seem quite dreamy."

Sunday/December 20
Santa visited before Church.

After Church we spent the coolest time with a college student who so graciously showed our kids the pipe organ.  T even played a few Christmas songs. (Including Jolly Old St. Nicholas on the foot pedals.) They haven't stopped talking about it.  Such an amazing experience!
 (M playing on the beautiful Steinway piano.)

Then while doing a bit more grocery shopping (and dropping off the contest pictures they were coloring on Tuesday), Beza asked to meet with Santa. :)

Whew!  Christmas is just a few days away and we are so excited!  We still have a few more Christmas movies and books and a bit more cookie-baking to squeeze in before then.


Monday, December 14, 2015

December's First Two Weeks

Whew!  I think that I am finally all caught up with all of the December craziness of card- and photo-book-making.  Time to play a little blog catch-up.  Here's a look back at the past 2 weeks.

Sunday/November 29
We brought our tree back over Thanksgiving from J's Grandparents' Tree Farm and decorated it that night.

Monday/November 30
Errand morning.

Tuesday/December 1
J got home a little early from work so we started the official month of Christmas with a completely uncrowded rainy-night view of the most amazing lights.  (Last year we waited in line for nearly 3 hours--this year we sat alone for 20 minutes just watching.)

Wednesday/December 2
Trying to get all of the Christmas-y errands done early so that we can enjoy time later without so much business.  On the to-do list--lunch out.

Then we made our first-ever cranberry garlands.  (Very fun.)

And later we attempted to make popcorn strands while listening to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  But, that was way harder than we expected!  The popcorn kept crumbling.  Later I discovered that popping it and then letting in the refrigerator for a while helped to make it stale and less likely to fall apart.

Thursday/December 3
We collected berries to help decorate outside.  Sadly, M also collected a tick. (Bah!)
(After dinner she was super motivated to wash the dishes, clean up the kitchen and even to vacuum.  She thought it was fun--I thought she was crazy helpful.  Then after all of that she discovered the tick--so NOT right.)

Also, T has been using this scarf as a "zipline" to get down the steps.  The carabiner attaches to the top of the steps to keep it in place when it's not in "use."

Saturday/December 5
Christmas-card-making day.

Sunday/December 6
St. Nicholas Day morning treats outside the door.

T was deep in aquarium world--pretending that he was training dolphins.  He was pretending to be driving the dolphin in a tank to somewhere.

A bit of "unwinding" with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  

Then we had dinner out before watching the college students/faculty at their Lessons and Carols.  (Beautiful voices!)

Monday/December 7

Tuedsay/December 8
The backyard has been alive with birds.

And I finally hung up some outside Christmas lights.  (This year we--the adults--decided that we wanted white lights on the tree--and that left us with quite a few more than our usual two stands of colorful lights to "decorate" with outside.")
Thursday/December 10
The day started with a great parent-teacher conference for Beza and M's 10-year physical and then some Christmas shopping with Beza along.  The day ended with a spur-of-the-moment decision to eat at Cracker Barrel while J was out for work (he's had a lot of those lately).  M and T were obsessed with this game.

Friday/December 11
After a lot of busy days, we joined J out for dinner again.  (M and T almost always leave a note when we leave.)

Saturday/December 12
M had her 3rd annual Christmas recital with her guitar.  It's fun to watch her grow.

Then after pizza out, they spent the rest of the night watching Christmas movies (while I got to work on those photo books :).  

I can't believe we're just a little over a week away from Christmas.  I'm so excited for Christmas but I also want to slow time down.