What a busy week! Sunday we drove home from our Thanksgiving trip. It was still Hanukkah, and Sunday marked the beginning of Advent as well. AND, I typically do my Christmas decorating on Thanksgiving weekend, so I was "behind" on that too.
Monday was a school day. For the most part we did our normal school stuff, but I'd seen the cute idea to do "Cranberry Science" near Thanksgiving, and since we hadn't had a chance to do it BEFORE Thanksgiving, AND the big girls were planning to string the cranberries, with popcorn, for the tree that afternoon, Monday was our day for Cranberry Science. We watched the "Dirty Jobs" episode about Cranberry farming (it's on Netflix), and then we put a bag of cranberries in a baking dish and the kids "flooded the field" and then "harvested" the cranberries by scooping them out into a bowl. The big girls did it enough to not feel left out, and then the 3 littles happily spent the rest of school time doing it over and over and over again :)
Monday afternoon was Christmas decorating time. Lexie and Ashlyn, with a little help from Lina, strung the cranberries and popcorn, and then declared that our team needed to have a "theme" this year. Since they'd already decided on the cranberries and popcorn (it was suggested in Christmas Comes to America and they'd been impatiently waiting for it to REALLY be Christmas time so they could try it), they went with that, and sorted through all our ornaments to find the red & white ones. It turned out really nice :) They also put paper snowflakes all over our big front windows. My tree skirt is a piece of white twill that I have the girls all trace their handprints, and write their names/dates each year. To help with their theme this year, I put a red fleece blanket under it. The white basket next to the tree holds our toy nativity sets and on the other side is a big basket of throw blankets (it always lives in our living room, but had to move to that location to work with the tree. In front of it is a red & green hatbox with all our Christmas kids' books in it.
We had more sensory fun for school on Wednesday. I'd seen an idea on Pinterest to mix baking soda and shaving cream to make "snow", so we tried it. It worked pretty well, but was messier than I anticipated, though I still don't think it would have to be. Little Bit and E tend to "rev each other up", so they're wilder and tend to make bigger messes when they're together. On the plus side, I had some stains on my table from other art projects (paint, glue, marker, etc), that I figured would wear off in time or I'd attack with a magic eraser someday. The baking soda/shaving cream mixture, with a damp cloth, and slight scrubbing, cleaned all but the wax drips from the candle (my finger nail did that just fine) beautifully, so now my table's white again :)
When they were done with it, I set the pans of it in the bathtub and have been using it to clean the bathtub, shower, bathroom sink, my glass-top stove, and kitchen sink :)
Wednesday night was the last night of Hanukkah. That's the night for the girls to get their "big gift" for Hanukkah. This year, the big girls had gotten theirs early, when we got them a sewing machine while we were reviewing a sewing course. I'd struggled alot with what to do for Little Bit. I knew, if I asked her, she'd say she wanted another big LaLaLoopsy doll, but she doesn't really play with the ones she has. I'd seen 2 or 3 really cute hand-made ideas that she'd LOVE, but with Hanukkah so early, and us travelling right before it, I just didn't have the time, especially given that she doesn't nap anymore, to make something by hand. . . so I was still struggling, when, a week or so before we left to travel for Thanksgiving, I stopped at Goodwill during a rare shopping trip without any of the kids. I was looking for something else, that I didn't find, but I DID find a fold-up play kitchen! She had seen a big plastic play kitchen in a magazine advertisement and said "oh, mommy, look at that!!!" And she HAS been playing with the play food stuff alot lately. So when, I found a play kitchen (stove/oven and sink) that fold down completely flat, AND that I could get for $3. I was thrilled!! And when she got it, she was thrilled too! And has been having a blast with it!
Thursday was my husband's office Christmas party. The food was delicious, the big girls had fun playing the gift exchange game (it runs too late at night, and Little Bit's too young to understand/enjoy a game where people can take your present away and you can get stuck with something you don't want, so when the game started, she and I came home). The big girls each managed to walk away with a box of chocolates, so they were happy LOL. Little Bit thought the plastic glasses they passed out to the kids were fun though.
We finished up our week by celebrating our 16th anniversary :) My parents came up on Sabbath afternoon and picked up the girls. They took them to a hotel with an indoor pool for a fun evening of swimming, with more swimming the next morning before taking them out for lunch and bringing them home.
Rodney and I enjoyed a nice dinner out and some quiet time alone :)
And one final picture for this week:
Ashlyn's cat, Moccasin has decided that the bathroom shelf right above the heat vent is HIS shelf. He randomly rearranges the towels that are there, or pushes them off altogether, to get it just the way he likes it LOL. I think I'm just going to give up and surrender that whole shelf to him for the winter LOL.