Sigh, I'm behind again . . .
The Sunday before Christmas Rodney's sister came over for the afternoon. It was so good to see them, and Aunt Lynette managed to convince my children to pose by the Christmas tree for pictures. At that point we were also dog-sitting Jakey, so he joined the pictures.
Little Bit had been begging to make gingerbread houses since before Thanksgiving, when she saw the houses her friends, D & K had made with their grandparents. So somewhere near Christmas, we got out the (graham cracker) gingerbread house making stuff and Little Bit got busy. Lexie was quite sure that Mommy wouldn't know how to do it, and that Little Bit would have more fun with her, so she joined in the fun.
To continue our month of dog-sitting, we watched another friend's yellow lab, Maggie over Christmas. Our Christmas present to her was spoiling her rotten. She took turns sleeping with Ashlyn and Lexie, and tried to sleep in our bed. I think Rodney would have been all for it, but since she was taking up MY side of the bed, I vetoed the idea LOL.
Oh and she and Ashlyn spent countless hours snuggled on the sofa.
Christmas Eve was our normal family traditions of pizza, new nightgowns, and presents of games, books and videos.
Lexie started reading her new book right away.
But Ashlyn and Little Bit did convince her to stop reading long enough to play their new game before everyone settled down to watch a video :)
And Little Bit was just slightly excited to find that Mama had made her nightgown this year out of FROZEN fabric!!!!
Christmas morning was stockings and monkey bread and patiently(ish) waiting for grandparents to get here.
Once grandparents started arriving there was introducing Maggie, and more presents and catching up on what everyone had been doing lately . . . so pretty much our normal chaotic fun :)
Little Bit's Christmas included a though "Frozen-izing" of her bedroom, much to Lexie's annoyance, since they share a room (but I think we did a good job of giving Little Bit the Frozen decor she wanted without encroaching on Lexie's side of the room). We put the big, Frozen Fever wall decal on the wall under Little Bit's loft. It fits perfectly and looks adorable, and is very much in Little Bit's "space".
Little Bit also got a lighted Frozen "Canvas". I had been struggling a bit with how to give her enough of a night light up on the loft bed once Christmas was over and we took the Christmas lights off the railing of the loft bed. This works perfectly! We hung it above her bed and she can turn it on at night and it gives just the right bit of light! She also got a "projection" nightlight (fun, but honestly doesn't give much light), and a Frozen comforter. So her part of the room is well decorated!
Also in the unpacking, Lexie showed Little Bit her American Girl stuff and humored Little Bit by setting it all up in her closet so they can play with it. We've also been reading American Girl books for Little Bit's bedtime stories, so she is well on her way to her own AG obsession :)
We've fluctuated between unseasonably warm temperatures (we had windows open on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, it was almost hot! and bitterly cold! Thankfully, while we've had lots of precipitation it's always come with the unseasonably warm, so we've had lots of rain, but no snow yet. I can live with that.
We're getting back into our normal school routines and Little Bit is asking for more school. She has asked Ashlyn to give her "sketching lessons" which is working well except when she is bitterly disappointed because Ashlyn doesn't have time for another lesson. While she still claims she can't read, I can definitely see progress in the learning to read without having to learn to read approach. She recognizes many words when I point them out to her and figures many more out by context.
To add to her on-going animal obsession, when I organized all our books on the basement shelves, I grouped most of our animal books (some of the "field guides" are in a basket on the dining room windowsill for easy access) on one shelf and she has claimed that as her shelf and has been "reading" animal books to her hearts' content.
And finally, the cats. Other than rather resenting all the dogs who've visited over the last month, they have settled well into life in our new house. As I expected, they love the wide windowsills, and all the windows of the sunroom. Moccasin took over a laundry basket in our closet as a safe(ish) hiding place from the various dogs and continues to consider it his. I finally gave up and replaced the clothes that were in it with an old towel, officially making it his bed. They have all accepted the cat door as an acceptable way of getting to their food and litter boxes and they consider the pile of storage tubs (that are waiting for me to unpack) to be their personal castle, They will be very disappointed if I ever get through all of those bins and they go away :) On the unseasonably warm days I open the garage door a crack, so the cats can come and go as they please and they seem to like that, beyond that, they seem pretty content to stay in the house here though, definitely not going outside as much as they did at the old house.