Saturday, December 24, 2011


Here are some of our favorite activities this month, excluding all the excavating and demolition, which of course are in a class unto themselves.

Opa's Christmas concert with the Colorado Mormon Chorale 12/2 got us off to a great start this year.  They actually performed up in Longmont this year, so we didn't even have to drive far, making it much easier for us to be on time and not miss anything!  The choir did a great job, and the Stake Center was so pretty.

Go see The Velveteen Rabbit at BDT.  Really cute show.  Even cuter baby afterwards at Red Robbing for lunch.

Cutting out snowflakes -from paper and doilies - was such a big hit we revisited it multiple times.

Christmas glitter nails - Katie went for alternating red and white on her fingers, and white and gold on her toes.  Max went for green toes, and Alex declined, as he was too busy driving the train.

Train show in Longmont - not as big as the one in Denver, but still really good this year.  Added bonus was setting up the Circus Train (electric O-gauge model steam train) and decorating it immediately with various nativity sets.  When Roger's old train set arrived from Grandmother and Granddad, various nativity figures quickly made it to the flat bed cars for immediate transport.

Gingerbread houses!  Alex made . . . a steam train, Katie made the station, and Max went for a regular house.  The writing on the roof of Katie's is 'Cris' and 'Mis.'

The kids all had cute holiday programs at school.  It's fun to see how much the classes change as you go up just one year in age.

 Note to Roger: Max is not the shortest kid in his class, even though he is the youngest.

 Note to Kat: please learn how to take pictures in focus!

Katie's class decorated mini-gingerbread houses after the singing program. This was my first experience with  glue-gun-on-milk-carton graham cracker gingerbread houses.  I'm still a bigger fan of the original, but there was no way I was going to make 30 'real' gingerbread houses.  Another note to Kat: need more graham crackers and frosting for 30 houses!

Making beaded snowflake ornaments - and whatever else we come up with.

Movie night - always a hit with everyone. This one also got a repeat or two throughout the month.

Sleep over at Oma's house - this became plural after the main breaker blew.  Original fears of a new panel were put to rest when Roger figured out how to fix our antique main circuit breaker.  He then discovered that only half of the panel worked - the CITY gets to come and fix their part of the adventure now, as we only have power coming IN to half of the panel.  (Playing electrician was NOT on Roger's list of fun activities, but he was doing cartwheels when he figured out the problems!)

Hot chocolate party. The kids cut out the extra marshmallows from candy making into fun shapes.

Decorate sugar cookies

Make candy - FINALLY Katie is messier than me (her entire jaw bone was covered with chocolate).

Make Christmas cards - I'm so happy my kids like to play with paper and coloring!

Make deliveries -we're still trying to get to our best friends and to the fire station.

Camp out in the basement - this will require more sweeping

Zoo lights will be happening after Christmas - it just got too cold!

Hammond's Candy factory tour:  TOTALLY great this year!  The factory was in full production mode, so we could see them making lots of different kinds of candy, and all the packaging and other equipment going at full speed.  And more exciting, KATIE LOST HER FIRST TOOTH WHILE WE WERE THERE!  She pulled it out all by herself. I am trying to not freak out at the continual growth of my 'babies.'

Today (12/22) we woke up to THIS, so 'Have a white Christmas' will make the list after all!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 23, 2011


This year we finally graduated to a full-sized tree. It's fake, but it is taller than 3 ft. I'm glad we went with the shatter-proof ornaments - I'll save the glass for a less exciting year.  The activity advent has moved to a home of it's own home. Highlights of some of our activities coming next . . .

The kids have really gotten into decorating their own rooms.  The boys opted for snowflakes and ornaments on their window - they had a little help with the tree - and peppermint lights.  The giant penguin snow globe complete with motion-detector-triggered music is a huge hit - thanks Oma.  Katie made each of the kids' rooms a Christmas countdown sheet, so they can cross of the days until Christmas.  She is also very particular about the other decorations in her room - she designed the 'HO HO HO' on her door, and has blue snowflake lighst and a miniature lighted Christmas tree in her room.

Also, she (well, I might have had some input there) decided that every door needed a wreath, so everybody picked out their ribbon and bows.  I may need a tutorial from a more accomplished bow maker, but these worked for the under 5 crowd this year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


In order to remind myself that most days in December have NOT been about blowing the main circuit breaker to the house and having the power steering pump go out on the car, here's a start at what we've been up to this month . . .

Where to begin?  We'll start with mom's birthday.  This year we went with 'experiences' for presents.  We went to Disney on Ice: Toy Story.  In lieu of pictures, of which I took NONE, here is a quote from Roger:  'Hey.  That didn't totally stink!'  It was actually really good.

On her actual birthday, we went down to the Botanic Gardens for the lights.  This is one of my favorite things in December, but luckily mom likes Christmas lights and the cold too.  :)

It is so great to be able to do all these fun things with our cousins/family.  Everyone should just move back to CO!

Friday, December 2, 2011

train show in denver

We went to the train show down in Denver last Saturday - a little 'Advent Calendar Activities Preview.'  SO much fun!  So many train layouts.  Alex made sure that he and Max had their engineer hats for the occasion.  He is still very much a train guy.  He set up 'Team GeoTrax' around the base of the Christmas tree on his own.  My days as track designer are definitely numbered.

SO many G-gauge trains - almost makes you want to switch gauges and join the Garden Train Club.
This layout needs to be replicated at our house.  Rog liked the guy with a million relay switches - microcomputers in the track that automatically switched the track so the trains would change routes automatically and not crash into each other.  Our switches are not quite that fancy . . . yet.

Alex could have stayed even longer. We only got him out of there with the promise of setting up the Circus Train with the new switches when we got home.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

what our christmas photo SHOULD have looked like

We went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to check out the dinosaurs.  I thought the animatronic dinosaurs were AMAZING. I tried to talk Rog into driving down just to try for a family portrait with 'Sue' in the background, but no go so far.  You'll just have to enjoy me feeding my niece to the beast. Hopefully it distracts from my crazy hair.

Alex was not a huge fan of the IMAX movie - 3D screaming T-Rexs don't seem to be his thing - but who doesn't love the 3D glasses?