Sunday, December 28, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up for the Week of December 21

Wishing you a belated Merry Christmas!

Not surprisingly, the "busy trend" continued last week.

We made Dreidels, the girls made brownies, to round out their cookie-making.

We made yarn baskets (that I forgot to take pictures of) and the girls assembled the cookies into bags to put in the baskets as gifts.

We'd also found a recipe for "coal" (make rice crispy treats but use crushed oreo cookies instead of rice crispies) so the girls made "coal" for Papa and their uncles.

Tuesday night was the final night of Hanukkah. With all our menorahs it was quite the display :)

Wednesday we headed to my parents' house for Christmas.

We got there and the girls spent the afternoon helping Mama make food and decorations.

Christmas Eve we made pizza and the girls opened their Christmas Eve gifts:

Our traditional gifts for Christmas eve are books, audiobooks, games and/or DVDS (one per kid, but generally all to share). This year the books and audiobooks were more for the big girls, though the Adventures in Odyssey CDs should start to keep Little Bit's attention before too much longer, but the DVD was most definitely for Little Bit. I wasn't at an angle to get her face, but even in profile you can see how excited she was to get Frozen!

The other Christmas eve gift(s) was new nightgowns for each of the girls from Mama. In the past they've all matched, but when Mama found Hello Kitty Christmas flannel, she decided Little Bit needed that. The big girls were, of course, much too mature for Hello Kitty, so theirs are Snoopy :)

We settled in and watched Frozen while we enjoyed homemade pizza, and cookies/fudge/etc. for dessert.

Our final Christmas Eve tradition before bedtime is making monkey bread for Christmas Morning breakfast.

This year my mom made the dough ahead and froze it. She used a recipe for monkey bread dough that was a sweet dough (more like cinnamon rolls). Interestingly enough, I think we all agreed that we like it better with the plain bread dough that we normally use. Now I'm motivated to try making homemade bread dough and freezing it ahead next year instead of being lazy and buying frozen bread dough.

Christmas morning was stockings, breakfast, and then Papa and the big girls went to pick up my grandma from the Assisted Living Center.

When they got back with Grandma, we started presents. The girls were excited to watch Grandma open the cookies they'd made for her. It seemed like every time I looked over at her she was eating another cookie, so apparently they were a hit, hee hee.

They were also anxious to see Papa's reaction when they gave him "coal". He reacted with the anticipated "offense" at deserving nothing but coal.

Mama and Papa's presents for the girls this year included several hard-to-wrap items, so it was a Christmas of "treasure hunts".

The first treasure hunt led all three girls all over the house to find a dollhouse in the spare bedroom. It's a huge, handmade dollhouse (that I apparently didn't take a picture of) that a friend of my parents was making for his daughter and never finished.

Now the big girls get the fun of helping Papa finish it, and decorate it with wall paper, flooring, furniture, etc. Little Bit is already having fun playing with the dolls and furniture that came with it. Because of it's size, and the fact that it needs Papa's expertise to finish it, it will live at Mama and Papa's house. Proof that it was, indeed, a hit, came that evening when Little Bit wasn't sure she wanted to drive through a local drive-through lights display because she wanted to make sure she had time to play with the dollhouse before bed.

Another treasure hunt lead Little Bit to the playhouse where she found the world's largest stuffed giraffe, sigh . . . Mama and Papa tried to convince her that it should live at their house too, but she wasn't going for that idea. We DID decree that, since she shares a double bed with Lexie, it can only sleep in their bed if Lexie ok's it, which she's done once, so far, I didn't ask her how it went.

The final treasure hunt was for the big girls. They searched the house and outside before ending up in the shed where they found their new, full-size bikes. Ever since they used Mama and Papa's bikes while at their house this spring (during Rodney's surgery), they have insisted that their bikes were too small to ride comfortably, so now they don't have that excuse anymore! Or won't once Mama and Papa come visit us and bring the bikes to our house, since they certainly don't fit in the minivan!

The other present of note, was Little Bit's Frozen Dress-up Dress. When she told me to put an "Elsa dress" on her wish list, I added the Elsa dress from The big girls each had a couple different dress-up dresses from there and I love that they're easy to put on/off and don't have any itchy trim, etc. Some of the other cheaper, dress-up dresses we have, none of my spirited girls have been willing to wear because they don't feel right. So now I pretty much insist on this brand, or homemade. When my parents went to order the dress it was out-of-stock, but they decided to order it anyway and hope it came back in-stock by Christmas. It shipped out soon after ordering BUT when they got it, instead of the requested Elsa dress, they sent the Anna dress. When mom called about it, they said she could, obviously, return the Anna dress, but that the Elsa dress is back-ordered until JULY! With such a long wait time, and with the Anna dress already HERE, we decided to wait and let Little Bit decide for herself if she wanted the Anna dress now, or to wait for the Elsa dress. My mom did say she could make Little Bit an Elsa dress which is less of a wait than July, but still not instantaneous. It took Little Bit ALL DAY on Christmas, and some angst, to finally decide to keep the Anna dress, and put the Elsa dress on her Birthday list. Despite her preference for Elsa, she wore her Anna dress all evening, and even insisted on wearing it for the ride home on Friday. She thought I should let her wear it to church yesterday too, but I was mean mommy and vetoed that idea.

By the time presents were done, and the mess cleaned up, it was time for dinner. My brother, Dan, and his girlfriend and her boys came over.

Dan was trying to get his girlfriend's son, to climb the wall to the loft with Little Bit, but he (the son) was scared, so Dan showed him how it's done. Still didn't convince him to come up, but at least Little Bit had her uncle up there to keep her company :)

We had a nice afternoon with Dan and Beth and the boys. Then walked to their house to meet their new puppy. Little Bit had fun playing with the boys' huge nerf guns :)

Friday morning we had a relaxed morning getting things packed up and just hanging out, before heading home after lunch.

We finished up our week with an eventful Sabbath morning.  Lexie and Ashlyn did the Bible story part for Little Bit's class, by having the kids act out the story of the Wise Men.

Instead of a sermon for church, we had an all-music program. Lexie played violin with a couple other girls and also a solo.

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