Monday, December 28, 2015

On the Third Day of Christmas

Mommy's "This is Harder than I Thought it Would Be Winter Wonderland."

Henry's "Streetlamp Spectacular."

David's "I Won First Place" masterpiece.

John John's ever classic, "Daddy Put Snow on My Roof."

And Chris' come from behind, "Bet You Didn't Know I Had Such Gingerbread Skills" work of gingerbread art.

Gingerbread house making went so much better this year than last, maybe because the kids are older, maybe because the big boys can stick with a task so much longer than they used to be able to, or maybe because I told them it was a contest.  It's hard to say.

Even daddy got into the action which made the whole thing a lot more fun and we were able to get everything mostly done before Margaret woke up from her nap.  I didn't read the instructions before we started that said the houses should sit for four hours before they can be decorated so they are sturdy enough.  Well, no baby naps that long, so we just went for it anyway and only had one total house collapse that needed emergency re-icing to shore the sides up.  Meanwhile daddy was laughing at me and my choice to only use the "good" houses from the kits I bought and not the "weird" ones.  Apparently an A-frame gingerbread house is much sturdier than a regular gingerbread house.  So says the engineer.

Which is your favorite?  Inquiring minds (aka David) wants to know.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

On the First and Second Day of Christmas

Well, we got one day into my meticulously arranged and hand drawn Twelve Days of Christmas plan before it was in need of revising.  I'm not saying it's completely Aunt Kate's fault for bumping us to next weekend but......well, it totally is :)

Maybe next year I'll make our plan using post-it notes for ease of last minute changing.

We did get out to see lights on Christmas day night, but today we opted for the United States Botanic Garden instead of building gingerbread houses.  They have a fun train exhibit there that the kids thought was amazing.  It took a forty minute wait in line to get into the fifteen minutes worth of train display but the kids didn't seem to mind and they loved the rest of the gardens too.  We did a loop around the Capital Building while we were there and saw the Supreme Court building as well so that was fun....and also a little sad that we've lived here for over a year now and that was the first time we've really done any DC sightseeing apart from a handful of Smithsonian museum trips.  Oh well, I have a lot of kids and I can't emphasize enough how much I dislike driving in DC, it's second only to how much I dislike looking for elevators to get into and out of the metro stations with my double stroller.

Pushing most of our Christmas activities until after Christmas day really took the pre-Christmas pressure to get all the things done off and now it's making our post-Christmas day celebrations much more enjoyable.  We haven't had that dreaded after Christmas morning let down once all the presents have been unwrapped (because they haven't) and all the fun is done (because it isn't!).  

Here's to a happy rest of the Christmas season.....may you all drag out your celebrations for as long as you can!

P.S.  Why don't we all just take a moment to scroll back up and gaze admiringly at Margaret's hair?  This unseasonably warm and rainy Christmas weather is a bit unfortunate for creating the ideal Christmas atmosphere but the humidity is doing wonders for her little carrot top curls :)

Friday, December 25, 2015

On Christmas Day

With the kids sleeping in till 5:30, we had our latest start ever for Christmas morning festivities this year.  You'd think the extra snoozing would have mitigated any Christmas grumpiness but alas, some of our children like to open one present at a time and enjoy it for a while before moving on while one of our children would prefer to open every single present in one ten minute extravaganza of bow ripping and paper throwing and doesn't understand why we refuse to go with his version of Christmas morning fun.

Everyone was able to survive the (interminable) waiting, all the presents were eventually opened, and, along with a big Christmas breakfast, copious amounts of candy were consumed.  Or as John would say, they ate a lot of candy lands :)

We lounged around in our jammies all day enjoying our books (me) and building Legos (pretty much everyone else) and finished up the day by driving around looking at Christmas lights.  It was just a perfectly lovely Christmas day.


I hope each of your days was just as lovely and that God's love surrounds you this Christmas season and always!   Merry Christmas!

{p,h,f,r} The Christmas Eve Edition


This year we had Christmas Eve dinner and then went to a seven o'clock vigil mass which worked out really well--two out of four kids slept the whole way through and no one had to be taken out once mass began.  A Christmas miracle!  Once we got home the children went straight to bed and we got busy decorating the tree and working our Christmas magic.  This year was the first time we've pulled off the fully decorated tree plus presents for Christmas morning and it was actually really fun.  There was so much extra to get done than we usually attempt on Christmas Eve though, that I went to bed sure that I forgot something.  I did.  It was the breakfast I had intended on putting together the night before so I could just pop it in the oven in the morning.  And also the candycanes for the tree that are still hiding on top of the fridge.  Oh well, regular french toast and a candyless tree it was. There have been worse Christmas catastrophes.


We started off the day finishing up our Christmas baking which made me very happy and we made entirely too many sugar cookies.  But you know, you need to be prepared for the big guy--no cookies no least I wouldn't want to risk it.  I think making and decorating Christmas cookies is the boys' favorite Christmas Eve tradition.  I can't be certain but it might even beat actually going to mass.......


Of course no one in their right mind would actually want to eat the cookies that the children decorated, except maybe the children.

John John:  Don't take a picture of me with a messy face mom.
Me:  Oh, don't worry honey, I'm not.  (Well, his face wasn't messy......)


I set aside about half of the cookies and decorated them in a way that adults might actually want to consume, which wasn't hard since the children apparently only wanted to decorate as many cookies as they had to before I would let them start eating them and then they were pretty much done.  More cookies for the grown ups!  Because that's what we need.

Make sure to check out Like Mother, Like Daughter for even more Christmas Eve contentment.
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