Monday, December 29, 2014

Second Christmas

The kids were so excited to receive some gifts from Grammie in the mail. Jack and Lily both got a lego set, the first for both of them. 

I never even realized how fun it was to put together the lego creations. I had just as much fun as the kids going through the book and putting together the legos piece by piece. Several hours later we finished both lego creations. And then Jack said "Lily, do you want to destroy them?" and she said yes. And that was the end of all our hard work. 

However, Jack did try to build another lego creation later that day:

Another day the kids were so excited to receive a very large box at our doorstep. So large and heavy that I could barely drag it in. Inside were tons of gifts. Seeing as it was almost bedtime, the mean mommy I am made the kids wait until morning to open everything. Bright an early the next morning it was Christmas again! 

 Lily and her beautiful new outfit
 Josie showing off her new shirt

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Our first Christmas as a family of five! 

Our three beautiful children. We couldn't be more blessed! 

On Christmas Eve we went to our church's candlelight service.

Then that night we had to say goodbye to our Elf Nicky.  Lily slipped in one more request for Santa at the last minute. She old Nicky to tell Santa that she wanted a pair of clip on ear rings for Christmas...

Christmas morning the kids were excited to see all the presents. First they opened the gifts that their Elf left them. They each got a pogo stick type jumping toy. 
Jack was excited to see it and Lily burst into tears "I WANTED EARINGS!!!" She is not the type to throw fits, but she threw one Christmas morning. She screamed and refused to open any more presents since she didn't get her earrings. And since the earrings were a last minute request, I wasn't even sure that we had any earrings in her presents. But then I remembered one small gift of play jewelry that had earrings and I found it and we coaxed her to open it. Once she saw the earrings she was a happy girl and didn't even care to open the rest of her presents. 

Meanwhile Jack was tearing through his gifts looking for the eagerly anticipated skateboard. Unfortunately for him, there was no skateboard

Poor pouty boy was so sad
And then Luke led him to the stairs where he found a small string. Jack followed the string all through the house, upstairs and downstairs and then out to the garage where a big box was waiting for him. He was happy to unwrap his skateboard

Christmas morning after opening all the gifts

Jack enjoying his gifts
Lily enjoying her gifts

And we had a visit from "Santa." The kids were very skeptical "Why do you sound like Papi?" "Why are you wearing Papi's shoes?" "Why are you carrying a trash bag? Santa has a red bag!" It was so funny hearing the questions they came up with and the confusion. Needless to say Santa didn't stay very long...

Lily was so excited for her dress up shoes
For Christmas dinner I prepared a charbonnade similar to what we had in Switzerland. We had raclette cheese and then an assortment of raw meats to cook on the grill: bacon, chicken, steak, pork & lamb with several dipping sauces: curry, horseradish, tomato/ginger and yogurt mint.
As Luke was cooking the snow began to fall:

Nothing like charbonnade on a snowy day

Nani and Papi with the grandkids
After the charbonnade we had a "Buche de Noel" aka Yule Log aka Chocolate cake roll:
And it continue to snow. We have never had a snowy Christmas before so it was really special.

Friday, December 19, 2014

December happenings

December is always a busy month! As soon as we got home from Thanksgiving vacation the fun started. Our Elf Nicky came back, the Christmas tree went up and Luke left for Korea. Right before Luke left, I made sure he went and got our Christmas tree (a Costco special)! Jack and Lily set to work decorating the tree right away:

Lily got bored after a while, but Jack continued on and decorated the entire tree!

Meanwhile Luke left for a work trip to Korea. He stayed at a fancy hotel and ate fancy food and took pictures for me:

 The hotel breakfast:
 Assorted cheeses at breakfast
Assorted sausages at breakfast

 More breakfast:

Back at home, i was looking for crafts to keep the kids busy so we decided to make a wreath. The kids went searching for pinecones and then painted them:

And then we used the tree trimmings to make a wreath and placed the pinecones all around. It turned out really nice!

One of Jack's classmates was the honoree for the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation and they had a 5k Jingle Bell Run. So I braved the cold December weather with all three kiddos to make the race. They had all sorts of fun things for the kids including Frosty:

And Santa
And kids from Jack's class
The girls in the stroller ready for the race!

Also in December we had a visit from my Aunt Kristi. Lily was excited to see her again!
Lily with Farrell:
We went to our local farm for a holiday outing. The kids got to see all the animals and ride on a tractor:

Santa was at the farm
We got to roast s'mores
Drink hot chocolate
And decorate ornaments

A notable event in December was the death of our little frog jumpy. We decided to just set the other frog free so Luke and Jack set out to take Froggie back to his home. They did not come back empty handed, they came back with a beta fish named Zak. We didn't really have anywhere suitable for a fish, so our Elf Nicky brought us an aquaponics aquarium. A hundred dollars later we finally had a nice home for our new pet:
 The cool thing about aquaponics is that the aquarium also grows food. We planted wheatgrass and sprouts
 A week later we had our first harvest:

 And finally, the last day of school before the break was an adventure. As the room mom, it is my job to organize the parties, so we had a holiday party in Jack's class and then later that night we hosted a raclette party for the families in the French class. One of the dads in the class is Swiss and he arranged to get raclette cheese from Switzerland and he even brought his raclette machine:

Our class Swiss dad cooking the cheese:
 In addition to the real raclette machine, we also had three table top machine plus all the raclette sides:

It was a really fun party and I just love being around all the native French speakers

And we also took the kids to see Santa