Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Gingerbread Men Ran Away - for Real

Rooster Valley Farm School!  I can't say enough about it.  This is Graysen's second year, and she has never NOT wanted to go in that front door and is usually jumping with excitement before I leave.

Gingerbread week was so great I wanted to post some pictures and try to capture that excitement.

One morning when I walked in, I saw this - all the little tables with each person having their own rolling pin and chunk of gingerbread.

I was a kindergarten aide for 2 years, and I just cannot imagine doing this kind of thing with 4 and 5-year-olds.

They each made a gingerbread house, and that was fun and yummy.

But the gingerbread men and women.  Such fun.  They rolled them out and decorated them and popped them in the oven.

I don't think anyone expected Ms Tricia to open the oven door and find them gone!

They did leave notes though on where to find them.  The first clue was to go to the barnyard and look near Wilbur the pig.

There they found another note telling them to go to the Shell station on the next block where they found another clue.

 I'm a little vague on the rest of the notes, but I see from pictures that they visited a hardware store and crossed the street to check out the big wheel (which I need to learn more about!).

Ultimately, they ended up in the candy store where those runaway gingerbread people had landed in cups of ice cream.  Graysen admitted she was a little afraid that her girl was going to run away AGAIN and felt much better when she had eaten her!


Christmas is almost here.  Elise and I are babysitting for Emily and Ryan to get their last few grocery items for our dinner tomorrow night.  We're responsible for appetizers - sausage balls and dill dip with veggies.  With freezing rain expected tomorrow afternoon and snow during the night, I'm a little worried about getting back and forth on Christmas morning.  Emily reminded me that Ryan is from South Dakota and he'll get us over here.  Somehow, that doesn't reassure me as much as it should!  

Christmas Eve Eve tea party.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Week Before Christmas

Well, unusual for sure.

Everyone except Emily has had a pretty good week.  Unfortunately, her cough and congestion got worse, and she was diagnosed with pneumonia last week and pretty much forbidden to go back to work.  As if she COULD work.  Although rough on her, it has caused us to have a restful, low-key week of just being in survival mode.

I told Emily that I think we've spent more time together this week than we have in the past 2 years of my living here.  It's gotten crazy at times, but we've enjoyed doing the puzzle, drinking wassail and tons of coffee (and cough syrup).  We even made cranberry cookies yesterday.

Even when she's upstairs sleeping, it seems like the girls are happier and better behaved just knowing she's in the house.

I think I've mentioned how much we have enjoyed working on our puzzle.  We were down to the last few pieces when Graysen wandered in and kind of took over.  I'm so glad she likes puzzles, and Emily and I probably would have fought over who did the last few pieces anyway.

We kind of had a letdown yesterday with nothing to work on (but Amazon next-day shipping takes care of the rest of the week).  I was ordered to play double solitaire to take the place of the puzzle.  I think she thought I was going to let her win because she was sick.

Both girls are out of school now.  Graysen had her pajama week one week and gingerbread week last week.  Such excitement!

Poor Tater was not allowed at school last week because of too many yummy gingerbread houses to tempt him.

Morningstar Montessori.  These past few months have been so good for Katherine.  She can now tell me the names of everyone in the pictures and what's on all the shelves.  So happy!

It's still hard to believe these babies are so big now and going to school and having friends.  The little boy in the foreground is a charmer.  He never fails to greet me and show me his shoes or hug Katherine and tell us goodbbye.  I want him to marry Katherine just to see what kind of eyebrows their children would have.

Winter is definitely here, and this was my car window yesterday.  It's okay as long as it doesn't rain, but the next 4 days are supposed to be mixed rain and snow.  One word:  Miserable.  Hopefully, we don't have to venture out much.

The mountains have a good bit of snow and are so beautiful with the clouds.  I never get tired of this drive.

Yesterday we drove to gymnastics about 10:00 and enjoyed Christmas carols while snuggled in the car.  The girls' puffy coats are not safe for buckling in, so we have to undress and redress several times.  Mom tucked them in with a blanket.

Graysen showing Leah her nail polish - purple glitter.  These girls are so sweet together and were the only ones to show up for class.  The big girls were practicing for something, and that was a thrill for them to watch.

Kate just enjoys hanging out.  We let them open a gift apiece this week, and they were Paw Patrol figures and vehicles.  Kate will not let Rocky out of her sight - even sleeps with him.

To give Emily a little more quiet time, we ventured down to Dairy Freeze (Corn Dog Place) for lunch.

We may have to choose a new place.  They're still excited when we go, but it's getting a little familiar - and just when the Dairy Freeze lady already knows what we want!

It's time to start the day, so I'll get some gingerbread man pictures later.  The kids at Rooster Valley made gingerbread men, and they actually did run away.  It was pretty sad for awhile.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sick Day/Good Day

I have to say this is one of the best days I can remember lately.  I admit I didn't have much hope for it since Emily and I have both been as sick as we can remember this week.

She finally went to the doctor a week ago and was found to have an ear/sinus infection and has been taking antibiotics and working as much as she can, including hosting her office party. Friday night  Ugh. 

After 6 days of nonstop coughing, I finally gave in yesterday and went to my PA who told me that my lungs looked good and that I didn't need antibiotics.  I knew I had about waited it out, but this coughing.  It's been going on day and night to the point where I could hardly stand up to pick up my prescription for my heavy-duty cough syrup yesterday.  I did sleep last night and woke up feeling not as achy and sick. 

Emily didn't have a to leave until 10:30 for a meeting in Seattle, so I went over about 9:00, and we drank wassail and listened to the news a little.  Then Emily worked in the kitchen while I read to the girls.  In the meantime, she decided she could do a conference call for the meeting, so we kind of got excited at having a "sick day."  We guzzled cough syrup and Mucinex and even Fire Cider in an effort to feel better.  The girls played sweetly and watched the complete Nutcracker, so we had time to talk about last minute Christmas gifts.  And we're done. 

After lunch and her conference call, I put Kate down for a nap.  Twice, since we saw that she had taken off her diaper and was jumping around in the bed.  She was glad to "try" to nap for a couple of hours but mainly just played and read her books.

In spite of feeling lousy, Emily was determined to keep her promise to Graysen to make Christmas cookies.  They had a great time, and I was no help at all except to clean up afterwards and admire the cookies.  Here are some pictures:

It was a good thing to do for this sweet girl, and she loved every minute of it, especially sneaking bites of dough.  I forgot to take a picture of the finished cookies.  I'll see if any are left tomorrow and do it then.

She got a little Grinch watching while Kate pretended to nap.  I like her choice of clothing, especially with the fire in the background.

After getting Kate up and finding out that she had taken off her diaper again and wet her sheet, we figured it was time for a bath, which was a good idea.  After I got their pjs on, we decided to bribe them with a little Paw Patrol time so we could put together a puzzle that I bought us for Christmas, never thinking we would get any time to work on it.

This is what I saw when I came downstairs:  Wassail, cleared table, and the puzzle.  Ready, set, go.

And a bonus.  Elise had had a dental appointment today and stopped by on the way home.  She's not a crazy puzzle lady like Emily and I are, but she wanted to live in the house on the puzzle box and wanted some wassail, so she helped us.

Those 1000 puzzle pieces are teeny pieces, and we had a really hard time finding all the edge pieces.  We're still missing 3 of them, but we won't start the fun part until we get the outside done.  We all promised each other we wouldn't sneak and put any pieces together until we all get to be there. 

It's funny the things that give one pleasure, especially after being sick.  Just sitting there for an hour, knowing the girls were enjoying themselves and fake-insulting each other over our abilities made for a special time for us.  A time we never make just for ourselves.

Ryan has been threatened about working on it without us - he's a crazy puzzle guy - but with as little time as us.  Maybe I can find the missing 3 edge pieces tomorrow afternoon, and we can have another hour tomorrow night. 

No pictures of Kate today, but she is very quickly learning to go to the potty for a candy cane and is so proud of herself - even did it twice at school. 

These are two plates that I brought the girls from Andalusia when I was down there last fall.  I just love them with their names on them.

My favorite Christmas ornament this year - so far.  Graysen insists on spelling her whole name, even when she runs out of room.

These are the favors I've been working on for her class.  They were really a lot of fun to do, but I got kind of tired of cutting around those ears after about the 10th one.  I kind of like in-the-hoop embroidery.  I hope the children like them.

I know this was a day of simple pleasures, but it was so special to us, and I hope by writing about it here, we'll remember it when sadder days come.  This year, we're allowing ourselves to enjoy things without being so devastated that Mike is not here to enjoy it with us.  I know he would want nothing more than for us to enjoy each other and laugh.