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Sunday, January 1, 2017

December Miscellaneous

December felt like a non stop party with a lot of big events, but there were plenty of every day moments that are worth remembering....

Luke got these stuffed snowmen at "shopping" and they made the perfect winter companions.  He slept with them most nights unless he thought someone else was lonely - then they could sleep with one.  Somehow one of the friends ended up finding a permanent home in our room, lucky me.

Luke got his own Christmas tree and couldn't have been happier about it.  We spent all month adding ribbon and new ornaments.  Ruby has put in her request for her own tree next year.  

Bonding with Brycen

Years later and Sheepie is still his favorite!


I love to watch them sleep.

Not sure the reason for the naughty face,
Hopefully Santa didn't see.

Indoor picnics are the best,
Especially in costume.

Best buds!

A quick visit to Aunt Marlene.

Cozy!


Luke loves Mrs. Fox his preschool teacher and was 
So excited to take her a Christmas present.

Taking advantage of a "warm" day.

Best buds and elves.

Luke spent about a week wearing this costume




Fresh snow called for a day of sledding.  It was quite the adventure to find some sleds to buy, we weren't the only ones that thought it sounded fun to play in the snow.  The kids didn't seem to mind the cold at all and said they were warm and cozy in their snow clothes.  They struggled to walk up the hill and Ruby constantly fell over, but that gave me an excuse to get some extra exercise for the day.







Luke and I spent an afternoon making banana bread. I had planned to just make it quickly by myself, but Ruby was asleep and Luke wanted to help. He was the best helper and so proud of himself for working so hard to smash all of the bananas and turn them into "banana soup".  I was so glad that I shared the experience with him.


Lots of playtime with new Christmas toys and puzzles


1


It was a very long day!

New ballerina clothes, she is a natural.

Year in review.



The Christmas Afterparty


During the last week I had a lot of time off work and it was really nice just to have so much family time.  Because it has been so cold, we have avoided outdoor activities and spent a lot of time playing with new toys and watching movies.  After getting a little stir crazy, we decided that bowling was a perfect activity - a little movement and out of the house.  It is seriously so fun to watch the kids bowl, they absolutely love it.  Tim and I both started off with several strikes and spares and Luke desperately wanted his own chance to knock down all of the pins.  He took the game very seriously but Ruby would dance her way up and down the lane and of course, got a couple of spares without even trying.  It took Luke until the seventh frame, but he did finally get the strike and was as excited as though he had just won a big tournament.  Activities with these little ones are my favorite.












  

Several years ago I started hosting a little party/get together with the cousins around Christmastime - I'm pretty sure it started before my kids were even born.  I hadn't thought much about it this year since we had been busy with so many other activities, but then the kids started asking me about it and Miles reminded me that it was a tradition that we did not want to let go.  Because of schedules we weren't able to make it happen until the week after Christmas, but I was so glad that we did because we all had the best time together.  I always tease about how hard I work to maintain my title as World's Greatest Aunt, but the reality is that I consider myself so lucky to have had all of these little ones to love for so many years.  They are growing up so quickly and I love being able to make such fun memories together.

We started the night by filling out 2016 Year in Review sheets.  It was pretty funny to listen to their favorite memories and their plans for next year.  I'm pretty sure my "party" made it onto at least one of the pages as a favorite memory.




For this non-crafty girl, coming up with a fun craft that I can actually do is quite the project.  This year we made little tote bags.  The kids found pictures online that we printed, then they traced the outline onto the bag and then colored with markers and fabric paint.  They kids worked really hard and had definite ideas of how they wanted the bags to look.  The bags turned out so cute and are the perfect size to pack around a lot of little treasures.  

  


After crafting, the mini chefs created their own pizzas and then we watched Trolls.  Our 2016 party was a lot of fun and the kids are already talking about what we might do next year. 

Brycen turned 15 years old on the 28th of December.  He was lucky and went skiing with cousins to celebrate so we got to party with him a few days later.  He chose a restaurant with kebabs and gyros and we finished the meal with a tres leches that I brought, his favorite and a new favorite for all of us.