I hope you have had a great Winter break! I know we did. Quiet and cozy, just the right amount of time to relax and rejuvenate. We spent one day taking the kids to OMSI (the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, and if you've never been and you're ever in the area, definitely make the time to go!), and spent some time in the kitchen baking cookies and making fudge, and a lot of time cuddled up on the couch reading good books and sipping hot cocoa.
I'll get back into the swing of blogging lunches most days soon, but for today enjoy a random glimpse into How We Spent Our Winter Vacation!
Our favorite cold weather drink - hot cocoa with marshmallows! For kicks, I added a face using decorating gel for the kids.
For Mom and Dad, the perfect hot cocoa includes Peppermint Schnapps and chocolate whipped cream on top. The only Ski Lift I need!
Christmas tree decorating (and redecorating, and redecorating, and redecorating...) is a favorite December activity in our house. The kids look forward to the day when the Dude and I finally buckle under their pressure, pop up a tree (fake this year and last, and so much easier), and let them loose. They then spend the next two weeks rearranging the ornaments within their reach over and over and over. Normally we don't put the glass ornaments on the tree - only the non-breakables, due to little fingers - but this year the Dude thought we could risk it. No such luck; we lost a dozen or more glass balls, including several I handpainted the first year we were together. Sad. But I can't be too mad... Beaker had SO much fun moving the ornaments around, telling made up stories about each one as he swapped their spots.
Christmas Eve we began a new family tradition, by letting the youngest three kids camp out in the family room. They loved sleeping next to the shiny bright tree. I did not love them being awake until well after 2 a.m., too excited to sleep.
On New Year's Eve we had friends over for a night of junk food and video games. It was a blast, and the kids did great together! Right up until the last few seconds before midnight, when the late hour started to get to the preschoolers. They did really great with the long night, all things considered, and Beaker is already asking when his friend can come back to play all night again.
One of our NYE activities was crafting "gingerbread" houses with graham crackers, icing, and a variety of candies. Easy Luncboxes were a great way to keep everything together and organized! The largest section was a good small space for building, and the smaller sections held the icing 'mortar' and the candy decorations.
I will spare you the morbid tale my sweet little darling 7 year old told about her Haunted Christmas Cracker House. She used an entire tube of red decorating gel.
NYE morning we had our first snowfall of the season. And hopefully only. Mama don't like snow. However, the ducks seemed to love the stuff. I was worried that they would be cold and made sure they have plenty of places in the yard to keep themselves warm and protected from the wind and cold, but when the snow was coming down they were out romping in it, nibbling at the little bit on the ground and trying to catch snowflakes from the sky. The chickens seemed pretty much neutral on the subject.
Tomorrow I will share a few of our lunches from vacation.
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