What a busy week! I think I'm going to do a separate post for Christmas, to keep this one from being quite so long, since even without Christmas, we had alot going on this week. The girls are starting to have fun with hair styles and such, so when they saw directions on youtube for a 4 strand ribbon braid, they had to try it out. Here's Ashlyn's first attempt (using Lexie as her model. Not too shabby huh? Something tells me that my extensive ribbon stash is going to get more use for the next while :)
On Monday, E & J were at our house all day, so we had time to do some extra "school" stuff that is hard to fit in during our normal 4 hours. While Lexie was helping E with his math, the little ones thought they needed to "do math" too. So I got out some dice, playdough and number magnets. The idea was to throw a die (they each had one, to avoid arguments), make the same number of playdough balls as there were spots on the die, and then find the corresponding number magnet and set next to it. J wanted to use the magnets like cookie cutters on the playdough, so I also dug through our bin of playdough cookies cutters and found them at least some of the number ones. They had fun with it, and when E finished his math, he joined in, and we let it morph into general playdough play which nicely filled a good chunk of time on a rainy day!
For several weeks I'd been toying with doing a cute snowman face for snacks, but since our normal morning snacktime is also our history read-aloud time, I try to keep the snacks simple so I can read while they eat. Since the boys were here all day, we also had an afternoon snack, which was the perfect time for our snowman snacks. We used mini-bagels, and the kids spread cream cheese on them, stuck a baby carrot in the center hole for a nose, and used raisins for the eyes and mouth. They had fun with it, and the snowmen turned out pretty cute, but E and J weren't impressed with cream cheese. E's comment was "cream cheese sounds better than it tastes" LOL.
Tuesday was spent getting ready for Christmas, and as I mentioned above, I'll cover Christmas (and Christmas Eve) in a separate post.
Thursday we had MORE SNOW!!! What is UP with that?!?! Which would have been fine, except E&J were there all day again, and I had hoped to be able to send the kids out for several short outside times throughout the day. Not gonna happen with snow clothes involved, sigh . . . add to that, the fact that all 3 of my girls had colds, and we had a pretty laid back day. Did school, watched a marathon of Magic Schoolbus Episodes on Netflix (shhhh, don't tell them that it's teaching tons of science!), played with Christmas presents, read a basket-full of books . . .
Friday morning the girls and I headed to Mama and Papa's house. They had mentioned, on Christmas, that that the National Zoo has a "Zoo Lights" thing that they were thinking of going to this weekend, so we decided to tag along. By Friday evening, we decided that, with all 3 girls having colds, we'd be better off to do something indoors. So Sabbath afternoon we headed to the National Botanical Gardens Conservatory. They always have Christmas displays and, in the past, have never been crowded, so we figured it would be ideal. We got there and it was PACKED!!! Claustrophobically packed!
We spent a little while there, to see the orchids and herbs and such, but didn't even try to go see the main Christmas display. The crowds, combined with the girls not feeling good, were not a good fit, so we decided to abandon this idea and head to Brookside Gardens instead, hoping it would be less crowded.
Our main "goal" at Brookside was the greenhouse, which also does a train display for Christmas, but Dad decided to park at the Visitor Center, which has a bigger lot. That meant walking through the gardens to get to the greenhouse. There's not tons in bloom, obviously, but it was fun to see the unlit "flowers" for their garden of lights, which is AWESOME, Seeing it unlit made it easy to see "how" they create the illusions they create.
We stopped in the Children's garden and the girls played there for abit. It has a "school theme" now, so they played in the schoolhouse, and such.
Then, as we continued through the gardens, they discovered the gazebo. Lexie and Ashlyn decided the gazebo would be the PERFECT place for a wedding. When I told them that I had actually BEEN to a wedding there, when I was younger than they are now. They were even more intrigued and begged to stay there and "plan our weddings" instead of going on to the greenhouse. So they spent the next while figuring out who would stand where, and where the reception would be and every other minute detail, except, you know, inconsequential things like the groom, or whether they will live anywhere near there when they get married LOL.
Even Little Bit got in on it, offering her suggestions, and asking if she'd be in their weddings.
After supper we went to Seneca Creek Park to drive through the Winter Lights (I tried to take pictures, but my camera couldn't handle it, so you'll just have to see the pictures on their site). We used to go every year, and have gone a few times since moving away, but it's been a couple years and the big girls didn't really remember it. I'm not sure Little Bit had ever been, but if she had, she didn't remember it. As we started through, the first part was just driving under arches of light, and Ashlyn commented "is this all there is?" Once we got into it, she decided it was worth it afterall LOL. Little Bit was as enthralled as I'd hoped, and as her sisters were at her age :)
A final stop on our way back to Mama and Papa's house was the park in Williamsburg, a little town near Mama and Papa, that does a free (but donations appreciated) drive-through lights in their park. Considering it's a small town, it's pretty cool too, and there was nobody there, so we could actually stop to take pictures if we wanted. Since J LOVES firetrucks, I took a picture of the firetruck to show him when we get home.
It was a long day, but a fun way to close out the Christmas season. When we got home, the girls were all ready to fall asleep quickly :)