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.