December 30, 2014

Christmas Break

We are settling into Christmas break nicely. One week in and almost a week more to go. Today it is sunshine-y, which is rare enough to make it perfectly delightful. It has been warm. (Relatively speaking of course.) I think we hit 45 F on Christmas Day. Which meant we had a multi colored Christmas. Some green/brown showing through the melting snow. And now, almost all the snow is gone. The kids have enjoyed running around outside without their snow pants. And now that the sunshine is back, it is back down in the single digits. Brrrr. It seems colder after it has been in the 30s for a couple days. 

My Elsie baby and her baby

We had Christmas dinner here, for the first time. It was a small crowd, since Tori and Cody are out on the west coast and Clover and Evan were at their own house. Just us, Mom and Dad, and Owen, Ashley, and Hoyt. The kids had fun setting and decorating the table. 

Mom brought me beautiful flowers. I love these flowers (Mums, Alstromeria, and carnations). They last so nicely. Flowers that wilt 2 days later are always a grave disappointment to me. 

Lily had to make play-doh hats for the dinosaurs.

We don't do a lot with Christmas, but the kids each got one present, Gilbert got dinosaurs, Lily got the spirograph cyclex you see here (It is cool! It is spirograph with gears that can't slip!) and a pack of colored pens to do it with. Elsie got a baby carrier that I finished making about an hour before Christmas dinner, and Orianna got a little horse stable full of horses. And then, I had play-doh, so they each got a can of play-doh. 

This was our Sunday afternoon. Lots of game playing! Mom brought over a stack of board games for the kids to use, in addition to the robes she bought them for presents. They are in love with those robes. And the games!

Justin and I playing Dominion. Our new favorite! 

And the girls playing Life. 
This brings back such memories. I used to play this a lot with Lindsey, Nina, and Verity. We had to modify it a little, adding cards for husbands (index cards with pictures cut out of magazines) and I think there were cards for us as well. Cut out of magazines. And if we got one of the less beautiful ones, I think we even had a make over thing where we could pay and get a new person. (We were shallow.) But I remember those cards. All the magazine people so terribly 90's looking....

This is the girls glittering things. 
When I bought this on Amazon, one of the reviewers said glitter was a life choice. Once  you buy glitter, it gets everywhere, and if you are not okay with a little sparkle in every part of your life, then you shouldn't buy it. I have discovered how very true that is! We have glitter all over the place. They are careful when they use it and Gilbert and Elsie are not allowed near it, but still, it just gets everywhere. So forgive us if we sparkle slightly. 

The older girls made a rolling skating rink out of the kitchen since the table was moved to the living room for Christmas dinner. Gilbert and Elsie, not to be left out, made a tricycle race course out of the kitchen, entry, living room circle we have. Putting the dishes away became quite interesting. But I love that they are roller skating and tricycling instead of being on the iPad or the computer all the time.

Yesterday, the girls decided to make an orphanage out of our bedroom, So our room got turned upside down. Lots of babies, blankets, pillows, and food. 

And yes, Orianna is quite in love with her new robe. All the kids are, but Orianna has been wanting one for a few years, so she loves it that much more.

Poinsetta in the sunshine

I let the kids dress themselves yesterday. (Okay, I let them dress themselves every day of vacation. Or stay in pajamas.) This is what Gilbert came up with. Track pants, a tee, and a tuxedo vest.

Yep, he is cool!

And now we are awaiting New Years Eve company, including Clover, Evan, and kids. We fully intend to have a hilarious couple days of it. Hope your New Years is lovely!

December 23, 2014

Snow Day!

Unlike most of America apparently, (I base this on my facebook news feed) we had school yesterday and today. But then we had a mini ice storm and colder than predicted temps, which made everything icy and miserable. So the kids have a snow day. Which is sort of a bummer, since it was pajama day and mini-Olympics. Mini-Olympics are a bit of a district tradition since forever. (Or at least as long as I can remember, which is all that matters.) It used to be just the high school, but now the elementary and middle school grades have there own mini-mini-Olympics. Basically a field day, but in the gym. Generally involving a lot of silly relay games (popping balloons by sitting on them with a partner holding your hands, getting a paper clip attached to your waist with a string into the center of a toilet paper roll), tug of war, and a faculty vs. seniors volleyball game. All terribly fun and uproarious. So the girls are bummed, but the superintendent, who is wise beyond her years informed everyone that the Mini-Olympics will simply be postponed until after the break. A few years ago, an inexperienced superintendent just canceled them after a snow day on the scheduled day. Sorrow and mourning was rampant.  

Still, it was the last day before Christmas break and I didn't send teacher presents in yesterday. Apparently I didn't check the weather carefully. Oh well. I am sure teachers enjoy gifts in January as much as they would in December. 

And now, for some pictures of our snow day two weeks ago. We rarely have snow days, (mostly because we are such tough Northern New Yorkers) so two in one month is pretty newsworthy! 

Justin and Elsie clearing the front walk. Elsie was integral in this process. 

Orianna and Lily made Elsie a little snow car to sit in. Mostly they just made the seat, but Elsie loved it.

Snow Angels

Droopy hat, Orianna-girl

Kids I like

The chair Lily made for herself

Gilbert decided to army crawl through the snow. So Elsie had to try it. 

And then Lily too. 

Sweet girls

And then cool Daddy came out back to make a snowman. Mommy was mostly standing around being freezing cold and taking pictures. Is it normal to be jealous of your kids snow clothes? Sigh. Adult snow stuff is so much more expensive. And plus size snow stuff? Fuggitaboutit. Both girls got snow outfits from Lands End this summer when such things are so very cheap, and they are so very magically waterproof and warm with all sorts of cool gimmicks and gadgets. I want some!

So Daddy rescued everyone's innocent preconceived notions about making snowmen on snow days. While Mommy went inside, where it was warm, to diligently search for a nose, eyes, mouth, and buttons for the snowman and turn the kettle on for cocoa. I also trekked all the way across our backyard and broke off a dead branch for arms. Yes, I did survive. Listen, it was a nor'easter, so there was quite a brisk breeze blowing across our very cold backyard. It was chilly!

Silly Lily whacking away a the snow to make it smooth for ball rolling.

Orianna's snowman baby

Putting the head on

We used prunes for eyes and buttons, a carrot nose, and we were going to use raisins for the mouth, but the snow wasn't cooperating, so Justin used a little stick. It is a calm and stately snowman.

The snowman creators

And then back inside for hot cocoa and comics. 

Uncle Owen came to plow us out. What a guy!

And this was just a close up of the pictures the girls did for the Thanksgiving wall at Clover and Evan's. Livie wanted me to be sure to get the mathematically confused pilgrim one recorded for posterity. 

December 18, 2014

A cold December weekend

Driving with Owen to see the cows in the afternoon

Moon coming up


Owen and his boy-o

Cows and moon. I love those winter colors of evening--the purple and pearly pink.

It was a gorgeous moon!

Owen let Gilbert try driving through the field. (No cows were harmed in this experiment.)

Lily got to try it out. 

Gilbert and his dogs. 
Gilbert was nervous about the dogs when he was younger, so we stressed how much the dogs loved him and when they came running up, they were just wanting to say "Hello! How are you?" in a somewhat rabid fashion and told Gilbert to pat them. Gilbert now does defensive patting, which has made him an absolute favorite with the dogs. Run up to Gilbert, he starts patting! He is starting to love them. But still feels overwhelmed at times with two dogs mobbing him. 

Union meeting potluck! The desert aftermath.

Bright and cozy living room! 

Ashley and Lily playing Telepathy, a new game we got, pretty good! 

Everyone else.

Tori and Alex

It was so cold that day!

Gilbert and Ethan skating in their boots. Ethan had decided to wear his Dad's jacket.

Frosty clover

Puddle ice

Heading off for a walk

The boys and Coyote (George)

Gilbert and the dogs.