Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday happenings

I cannot believe that Christmas is just a few days away!  We have been making the most of our holiday this year.  My big girls and I went to see a (very) abbreviated version of the Nutcracker.  It was probably just the right length for Laurel.  Afterwards we headed to Sweet Frogs for some sweet treats then a little Christmas shopping because Laurel was intent on picking out her teacher's present.  With a lot little guidance, we were able to get something that I think her teacher will actually enjoy! (Hint - it wasn't the large, pink, gemstone necklace!  You can thank me later, Ms. Shiflett!)

Dinner before at the mexican restaurant

Sweet Frogs

Reynaldo, our elf, has been very active this year (when he doesn't get so comfy in his spot that he chooses to stay there night after night!).  Below have been some of our favorite spots where he's shown up.

As close as an elf gettings to swinging from the chandelier!

This cracked everyone up!

Elf prison?

While Cadence has enjoyed looking at pictures or dolls of Santa, we have found out that she feels the same way about the jolly red guy as she does about clowns.  My dad has been "playing Santa" since I was a kid and Sierra and Laurel now know that he is one of "Santa's helpers".  A few weeks ago we were at my parents house and he walked in wearing his Santa hat.  Cadence has since refused to go into their house unless I'm carrying her until she sees that no one is in Santa uniform!  Regardless, like any good memory making mama, I REALLY wanted to get a picture of her with Santa.  We decided to let her watch my dad put on his Santa outfit so that she would know it was only "Papa" in those clothes.  She managed to stand next to him (in my arms) but couldn't wait for him to take that suit off!

Another holiday favorite, making cookies with Gramma!  I cannot recall a year that I haven't done this... I hope this tradition carries on through the generations!

I think Sierra and Cadence both had a mouthful

This reindeer is a relic!  My grandmother gave this to my brother and me.  She passed away when I was 12.  A few years ago I commented "Wow!  I can't believe that thing is 11 years old!".  That's when my dad reminded me that I was 33, not 23!  Dang! When we turn him on he creaks and groans and moves a lot slower than he used to, but he's still got it in him!   I'm thankful every year when we turn him and I think of my grandma.

No Christmas season is complete without a gingerbread house.  We've learned to decorate all of the sides and roof while they lie flat and then put it together once everything dries.  Our friend Lisa came over to help out!  Decorating it seperately worked out great!  I was able to maintain my OCD perfectionism on my one little slab of roof and largely ignore the rest of the house being annihilated decorated in child- like fashion.  The result:

Lisa's roof, Sierra's front, Cadence's side (with my help)

My roof and side

Our most recent event: a ride on the Minivan Express! (aka, a much tamer version of the Polar Express).  I told the girls that they were heading to bed early and needed to go brush their teeth.  They each had one of these tickets stuck on their bathroom mirror.  Pajama clad, hot chocolate and popcorn in hand, we piled into the swagger wagon to drive around and look at the Christmas lights. We admired all of the colors through trippy little glasses (they made the lights look like Santa's and snowflakes!) and sang Christmas carols.  It was exactly like I thought it would be!  Laurel didn't want to throw away their tickets so she creatively hung it on the tree... an new ornament for the year!

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