Saturday, December 15, 2018

the Nutcracker

We went to see the OBT's Nutcracker this afternoon with 8 mamas and girls from Liesl's GS troop (and a few younger siblings). We all got very fancy and met up for lunch ahead of time at Nel Centro, and it was a magical day. Liesl's enthusiasm for the Nutcracker is undimmed, and she and Nora were delighted to be there again.

Friday, December 14, 2018

caroling by the GS troop

Liesl and her GS troop, organized by the inestimable Courtney, rehearsed a dozen Christmas carols last week and then sang to various teachers after school yesterday. They got all dressed up in festive clothing and hats and toured around the school, popping into classrooms to sing two songs to each teacher. It was adorable and fun and sweet - really a wonderful little activity for her troop to bring some Christmas cheer.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Xmas cookies

We made brown sugar butter cookies and gingerbread cookies - rolled out the dough, got out all of our cutouts, and made dozens of yummy treats. We have inherited the red shapes of my childhood, with cute decorations and details on the trees and Santas and presents - they carry a lot of happy nostalgic weight for me, and the kids love them, but they are actually terrible for cookie-making. The dough always gets stuck and the cookies rip. But every year we try again!
No photos of the finished products! Forgot to snap one before I packed them all away. And now they'll disappear into hungry bellies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

gingerbread houses

We bought, constructed, and decorated the Trader Joe's gingerbread houses again this year. It's one of my favorite traditions - the scramble to secure a kit (they sell out by early December), making the icing and plastering the thing together, and then going all out on the decorations. I always either raid the Halloween stashes or buy additional candy in order to add more pizzazz to our houses. And I buy two, so the kids each get their own. And then of course, we all look forward to the annual smashing of the houses during January.
We had another somewhat quiet weekend. Liesl was sick again, and it was blustering and freezing outside, so we stayed in and played. I took a photo of our living room, with evidence of a painting project, puzzle, snap circuits, latch hook craft, remote control car, Mancala, and of course many books. We were busy and mostly happy.
Liesl beat me twice at mancala and then twice at this memory card game. She won by a lot. She was super delighted with herself.
What would a cozy weekend be without baking? I made a sticky cranberry gingerbread and it was delicious. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Christmas tree!

On the weekend, we got a Christmas tree and wreaths from Cornell Farms nursery and set it up with lights and all our favorite ornaments. We hung our stockings, put out all our decorations (reindeer, Finnish gnomes, Advent calendar, window candles), dressed up the table with a Christmas runner and snowflake candle holders, and hung colored lights around our garage door and railings. Our home is very warm and festive, and it makes me happy to see.

Sweet Jasper, not sure what to make of all the boxes of decorations.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Seb's birthday party

We belatedly celebrated Sebastian's birthday on Sunday with a crew of his friends - they were dropped off here at 1 for an afternoon of sports, fun, and food. The weather was on our side; the forecast was good all week, and the morning fog burned off, leaving an unusually temperate and pleasant December afternoon. We all piled into a (rented) minivan and drove over to Cedar Mill park. Seb brought a plethora of sports equipment and we started off playing baseball. It was 3 on 3, with the adults (and Jasper) as extra fielders. Jasper is fast to get to the ball when it's hit, but he's not so good on bringing it back or dropping it for the throw-and-tag. :)

We then moved on to laser tag, featuring a shiny new set that Seb and Steve bought that morning. On Saturday night, Steve was struck with the idea that laser tag with the boys would be super fun -- he reminisced about playing it at Amherst, late at night with friends. So my boys snuck out to Target and bought the whole kaboodle. The boys (and Liesl) loved it. They chased each other around the big trees and tried to capture the playground fort.
 And then it was 3:30, and everyone was hungry, so we jumped back into the party van and drove to Little Big Burger - cheeseburgers and fries all around - and then picked up doughnuts and cupcakes for dessert.
We came back home to open presents, but then they couldn't resist the allure of night and laser tag, and headed back out to play on our street until everyone's parents arrived at 6 to pick them up.