Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years!  We managed to have a feast, celebrate with friends and family and ring in the New Year.....all before 7pm!
 We convinced the kids that it was SUPER late-- we served them 'a dinner snack' around 2pm and then had our 'New Years Feast' at 5:30.  King crab legs, shrimp and sirloin-- what a decadent way to say goodbye to 2013!

Alex made homemade noisemakers and we changed the calendar at 'midnight'....  Happy New Years!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Breaking (with) Brad.....

I couldn't resist the cheesy title....but Brad brought some Christmas gifts today, and while Justin LOVES Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel, Alex had a fantastic time breaking her geode to see what it contained!

 Gorgeous!  And now we have three new stones for our Winter nature table


The past two days have been downright balmy (in the 30's and low 40's!), and Alex has gotten a lot of outdoor play in! (Justin is back to being sick again....he either couldn't kick the first bug or he picked up a different one-- sigh...)  Today Kolachi and I joined her for a while, and K got the treat of a lifetime-- hand-selected 'pupsicles' to chew on!

Friday, December 27, 2013

In the Kitchen

Well, if one hasn't come OUT of the kitchen, is it appropriate to say one is back IN the kitchen?  Alex tackled gluten free cinnamon rolls with GranMama today.  From scratch. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Settling in

Now we're all settled in and enjoying our guests!  Justin is feeling much better-- but GranPapa and Dave are a little bit under the weather.  But not too much to enjoy some storytime--
 Alex is over her Easy Bake loss, and on to bigger and better things-- we've decided that Easy Bake Ovens are for kids whose parents don't let them in the kitchen anyway.  As she's been mixing and pouring and slicing and dicing since the age of 18 months, she pretty much knows what she's doing.
 So we let her go.  First solo project: gluten free cupcakes with atrocious vibrant pink frosting.  Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dec 25: Happy Birthday, Jesus!

We are so lucky to be able to gather together with family and celebrate Jesus' birthday!  The kids were up at 5:00am .......  seriously.  They were thrilled to run downstairs and find the treasures Santa left for them.
Alex got a bow and arrow, a 'real' Disney princess dress (I know....Santa caved....but it's a Norwegian one, so that has to count for something, right?) AND her long-pined-for LaLaLoopsy.  Santa was smart and got a miniature one-- just like the one that Alex picked out for her Toys For Tots donation.
Justin found out that Santa put BATTERIES inside his vintage Brio 'electric' engine AND set up a little track with his new present, a drawbridge that goes up and down.  He also found a magnetic fishing pole and some art supplies!
GranMama and GranPapa braved the weather and made it up for Christmas Day dinner.  Auntie Carrie joined us later in the day (Uncle Sam was under the weather as well)

After eating, the kids got to open the last of the presents- tractors, books and one Easy Bake Oven!

Unfortunately, Alex learned a hard lesson about toys.  Her Easy Bake-- the one that she'd been wanting forever, broke on the second batch of cupcakes.  The pan became lodged inside-- and since the new design is a 'slide through', there is no way to get it out!
 They have a proprietary screw design so parents can't even take it apart!  She was pretty sad, but we may end up getting her a toaster oven instead- easier to use, she can make much larger batches of goodies, and I can use it too if I need to.   Or she can just use the oven- which she normally does anyway.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dec 24: Christmas Eve

We were originally planning on attending the afternoon 'family service' at Church this Christmas Eve.  They normally have a really nice children's sermon, lots of crafts and activities for the kids and some beautiful music.  Unfortunately Justin is down for the count.  Fever- achiness- you name it.  So-- we laid low today.  Auntie Rorie came this morning, and was able to help read stories and play with kiddos until her boyfriend Chris arrived for Christmas Dinner.  We ate our traditional 'appetizer dinner' early, as the caveat was that we had to eat 'dinner' before family presents were opened.

The kids got to open their gifts to each other-- I was very impressed by both children's selflessness when it came to picking out gifts for the other.  Alex picked out a dinosaur fire truck book (yep-- combined!)  and stuffed dinosaur.  Justin picked out a rainbow loom idea book and a bunch of bands for his sister.
The best gift of the night, however, was Kolachi's --

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dec 23: Holiday Tea (strike that....let's just play)

Our calendar had the Holiday Tea for today, but since we a) already kind of did it with family earlier and b)Alex is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her Easy Bake oven, and wants to prepare the entire tea menu with it, we held off.  Instead we played and enjoyed the last day of calm before the present-opening, guest-receiving happy chaos that is Christmas descends.

Alex and Justin opened their very own 'pet grooming salon' in the living room.  Poor Kolachi and Percy were both frequent customers.

Justin and Kolachi made up a new game that involves the dog walking the boy....and a little bit of the opposite.

Yep.  Justin is still in his red pjs.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


I am totally aware that my son has been wearing the same pajamas for three days straight.  I did NOT just notice it as I was doing my blog updates...........;-P

Dec 22: Cookie-Decorating

Yep.  This is an entire day's activity at our house.  The icing is made, then colored to the exact right shades.  We all have brand new paintbrushes (my secret cookie-decorating weapon) and bowls of warm water to wash them in.  Then it begins.  We had a blast this year-- and the kids made some very creative cookies!
 Grandma Mary and Papa Bob watched via Skype-  since this is a tradition Auntie Carrie and I started at their house years ago, they always want to join us for a while!
 Because nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a buffalo.  Cookie a la Justin.

Black was his favorite color this year.  Apologies in advance to all who join us for Christmas Day-- your teeth will most likely be greenish-black if you eat one of his creations.  But he will adore you.

 My big helper.  She jumped up and started washing the dishes without any prompting.  I think she's trying really hard to impress Santa...and she's feeling a little better since yesterday.
 Our name-cards for the Christmas Day feast.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Kolachi update

Our AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy received her medal in the mail today.  She earned this by completing the STAR Puppy class offered by our German Shepherd Club of MSP.
 What's this?  We've started a new diet- including raw meat and coconut oil in her daily rations (a mixture of dehydrated raw food and a grain-free kibble) to up the silkiness of her coat.  Why?  Because she's going to dip her dainty paws into the world of show dogs.  Her first competition will be in the 6-9 Month category at the Land O'Lakes dog show in St. Paul the first weekend of January.
 Because we JUST decided to put her in the show, we have some scrambling to do.  Her sire's breeder/handler volunteered to handle her in the ring, so all I have to worry about is figuring out how to get her used to stacking (going pretty well),
standing still for exam (something we need to work on-- we're visiting the pet stores to find strangers who want to pet my dog for me!) and gaiting (which she did naturally the first run-through she went through).  We're not expecting any points from this first foray, but it will be really fun to see how she does and if she enjoys it. 
Well....she can't be well-behaved ALL the time.....sorry Percy.