Monday, December 13, 2010

the first half of december

The activities are underway! This year, I wanted the advent calendars to have more doo-dads than candy - except for mine, which is mainly Lindt, because I'm me. Some favorites: Max loves the dinosaur key chain that growls, the blue koosh ball and his Snoopy socks; Katie likes everything pretty much equally, but has YET to show any interest in the glitter glue!; Alex likes the cars and the croaking frog key chain. Now they aren't even interested in the candy. I might have created a problem for myself.

We went to the Christmas lights at the Botanical Gardens. FREEZING cold, but so fun! I love Christmas lights! The warming hut had a little craft for the kids and 3 live birds with their handlers to talk about them.

I loved the lights so much, the next night I went to the lights at the Botanical Gardens downtown with some friends. SO GORGEOUS!

AND I got the coolest glasses ever. These pictures don't do them justice, but they turn the lights into snowflakes, snowmen and reindeer. The snowflakes are my favorites. We keep them in the car for when we're driving around at night. Best $4.50 I ever spent.

We did gingerbread houses with some friends this year. They all had such different decorating styles. Most of the candy did actually make it onto the houses - well, at least 50%. Meringue powder is my new favorite cooking item - much tighter frosting than the batch I made with actual egg whites.
This past weekend we went to 'Santa's Workshop' one night and the parade of lights the next. Who knew Longmont actually had live reindeer running around? Katie wanted to visit Santa - the boys wanted mom to come along. There were tons of craft tables set up in the gym of the Memorial Building: Katie wanted to do them all, and the boys opted mainly for playing with the blocks. To each his own.

Lots of our activities so far from the ornament advent calender have been craft - making bead ornaments of various shapes, glitter snowflakes, and glue trees. The hot chocolate party has become a daily request. I found peppermint candy-cane straws on our trip to Hammond's Candies.

We finger painted some wrapping paper to cover our packaging needs.

Now, with any luck, this week I might get some dipping done!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thanksgiving stay-cation

This Thanksgiving we WERE planning on meeting Roger's sister and family in Moab. And then Cynthia acted like a responsible adult and checked the weather. 22 degrees in the daytime made us rethink our plans. Instead of Moab, we ate an early Thanksgiving dinner and then checked in to the Holiday Inn half-way to Boulder for a night.

The perfect pool for our little friends! We spent at least 5 hours playing in the water.

We lived off of casadillas and cheese and crackers for the evening and any needed snacks. High class all the way.

We had 'Thanksgiving dinner' again with Oma and Opa on Saturday. Above is what Alex does/will be doing every minute we spend at Oma's house. He literally can run that train for HOURS.

We also drove down to Denver and took a tour of Hammond's Candies. FUN! Fun to see the old equipment, fun to watch them form the huge block of candy that would turn into candy canes. Fun for the kids to score big suckers. This place needs to become a tradition, although I need to control myself better in the candy store.