Friday, December 21, 2012

A News-y, Picture-y Post

Yesterday, we completed our last day of school until February!  We slowly found a stopping point in each subject over the last few weeks , but yesterday we finished Bible and math.  Because we start our school year in August and arrange our schedule to allow for an extended break in the winter when Brian is off, we are now 5/9 of the way through our academic year!  It feels good and the break feels good, too. 

December's not been all science and math and history, though.  We've eased  in other activities, too.  Life is school.

Early in the month, the kids made cards with friends. After we put the glue and paper away, we ate Christmas cookies (or sprinkles, depending on the eater) and each mom read a Christmas book or two, which turned into three and four and a few repeats.  The kids really got into the stories! 

Another day we  made "gingerbread" trees out of sugar cones, green icing, and candy.  So much more manageable and displayable (Is that a word?  I think maybe not.) for our family of five children. 

We whipped up a few Christmas treats.  The kids and  I had an all-day cookie baking session with my mom and sisters.  After getting into a comfortable baking rut, we branched out and tried a few new recipes this year.  Stop on by our house if you want to help us sample Chocolate Sugar Cookies, Shortbread Cookies, Iced Orange Cookies, or Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies between now and the new year. (You can stop by after January 1, too, but  I can't guarantee cookies! 

At home, we made what we've come to call our "Family Cookies" which are really not cookies at all, but a super-easy chocolatey treat we make together every year.  (recipe here)

Our December food wasn't always sweet, though.  The boys enjoyed homemade candy cane pizzas, though they were slightly bothered by the name until they saw them.  I guess candy cane pizza doesn't sound too appealing! Benjamin's and Gavin's had pepperoni for the stripes, but I made Owen's pizza with alternating stripes of sauce and cheese. 

In the midst of the Christmas celebrating, we had a celebration of another sort.  Gavin turned ten and celebrated with a Lego party and lots of cousins (and aunts and uncles and grandparents and even a great grandparent!).

It's hard to believe we've been parents for a decade. 

We had to bump our annual evening at the beach up a few days due to rain.  As it turned out, though, it was a good move because, aside from an ocean breeze, the open train ride through the lights display was warmer than usual.  Not too warm for a cup of Starbucks caramel apple cider, though. 

I'll leave you with photos of a very special family tradition.  We spend a busy Christmas Day with family and the days surrounding it are also full, so we began years ago to have our own big Christmas dinner-- just us-- the week before Christmas.  We use our embroidered Christmas table cloth, given to us as a wedding gift, and eat by candlelight.  This year each of us was to also bring to the table two of our favorite memories of the past year. 

The next few days are a happy mix of cleaning, cooking, and a party.  We're even squeezing in an evening without kids so I can get my hair cut and pick up a few groceries alone-- a married-people's date night. 

Merry Christmas to you, my friends!


  1. I love the ice cream cone Christmas trees and the candy cane pizzas! The Chocolate Sugar Cookies and Iced Orange Cookies sound especially yummy.

  2. I love this post!!

    I love the Gingerbread Tree, the pizza shaped like a stocking, the fun Christmas activities!

    The family photo is amazing!

    I'm so glad you are able to take off and enjoy time with Brian! Homeschooling really is the best!!

    Merry Christmas!!

  3. You two look too young to have kids, let alone a 10 year old! :) Maybe kids really do keep people young.

  4. What a fun post! I loved seeing all that your family has been up to. :) The candy cane pizzas would be a hit at my house. Must try. :) And, Kristin, you look so beautiful! Merry Christmas to you!


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