What fun it is to celebrate the holiday season through the eyes of a child! We had St. Nick visit us.
He left gold coins in our shoes, new nutcrackers, and books.
It wouldn't be Christmas if you didn't do this...
We cut our wonderfully sparse Charlie Brown christmas tree on the island. Can you see the trunk? George cut it with pruning sheers. It's utterly imperfect making it perfect for us!
Here are these two before we go ice skating.
Guess which two stayed inside Starbucks by the fire while we skated?
Magnolia's first time skating! I told her we'd probably fall but I should have known...we didn't! How can she be such a natural at so many things? She amazes me.
Magnolia and George look very carefully for the correct date on their advent calendars. They love this but what they have loved more this holiday season is our Elf on the Shelf; Candycane. He has gotten into more mischief this year. One day he was taking a bath. Another day he got caught outside and was pressed up against the glass door. The morning after that he made hot chocolate for himself and left a trail of marshmallows across the kitchen to a setting for two to have hot chocolate with him! Magnolia and George wake every morning with excitement wondering what he's up to next.
I feel like I waited all my life to go to my child's Christmas concert and this year I finally got to! Magnolia's school had a wonderful Festival of Lights. She practiced for a month and not once did she let me hear one of her songs, she kept it a big surprise like they asked her to! She stood in the front row and sang her heart out. She didn't skip a beat. What a delight to watch her perform!
She was so cute waving to me from the stand and giving me and Nana and Papa the thumbs up sign!
It's funny how you'll fall in love with the same things your child loves. Magnolia's passion for deer, reindeer, and horses wore off on me. If you look closely at my car, you'll see what I mean. This is how we've been rolling this holiday season.
And last but not least, we are one day away from having our annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party. This year I didn't get one "no" so we are having a full house with 20(!) kids. It will be wild and crazy and hopefully worth all of the hard work it took to get this organized!
After that it will be smooth sailing through the holidays. Just lots of good cooking and hanging out with family.
We had a very quiet Thanksgiving. Just the four of us! It was very relaxing. Lots of good cooking and lounging around the house. We took a long walk right before dinner. When we came home I brought out a game to occupy the kids while George and I put the finishing touches on the meal. Just as we were going to sit down to eat, Magnolia said she swallowed a game piece. It was a large game piece too which put me in a completely panicked state. We were a wreck through the meal not knowing what was going to happen. Later as I was cleaning the kitchen I found all of the game pieces. Magnolia had a piece in her mouth (they were spitting game pieces at each other ((wonderful)) and said she thought she swallowed it. Turns out she didn't. Thank goodness. I don't think she'll ever do that again...she was pretty scared when we told her should would have to "pass it." Needless to say, the only photograph of our meal was when I set the table. A thanksgiving meal to remember!
The next morning we headed up to the island. Last trip of the season to close it up and cut down our Christmas tree. (Stay tuned for our Washington Island Blog...our cabin will be open to renters next season!)
Here we are on the shore. The water was extremely low so we got to explore the flat rocks.
The kids loved coloring at the desk.
We stopped at the local fiber arts school for some shopping. I just couldn't help photographing this road, it sums up the island perfectly...untouched, quiet, and so peaceful.
Feeling like we were missing out on the start of the holiday season buzz, we caught the early Sunday ferry so we could stop at our favorite Norwegian breakfast stop (goats are off the roof for the season). After swedish pancakes, the kids pose with the gnomes.
In other news!!!
George is no longer in a crib. The two Georges built this "wee-eww" bed this fall. (Wee-eww is the sound a fire engine makes). I asked George to build it now since I knew it would be too cold in the middle of winter to be in his shop. And, I was afraid George would climb out by then and we wouldn't have a toddler bed. So, he made it thinking we would store it until we were ready for it but oh no, George wasn't going to wait one minute to have his new bed. We were SO nervous about the transition but it has been so much easier than we thought. He loves waking up and coming downstairs all by himself the most. This photo was taken when he first saw it in his room. Since then, George has screwed the ladder along the top to make him feel more secure and we've lined the edges with pillows. His Nani sent him a fire dog to sleep with which we gave him on his first night in his new bed. Such a big boy! I have to admit I feel sad the crib has been stored away...it goes too fast!!!
(George used the mudroom closet doors we saved during the remodel to make this bed!)
Magnolia had her last ballet class last week. They put on a little recital like last year. This year I noticed a huge difference in what they learned. Magnolia has such grace. She smiled the whole time and did a great job! Most of the photos have her friend from school, Leah, in them. These two were so cute together!
Here they lined up ready to do their chasses.
Magnolia was the first to raise her hand to go. She did them beautifully!
So much fun!
Afterwards Magnolia poses with Miss Ceci who is famous for teaching ballet to every little girl in our village.
We took the kids out to dinner in the city afterwards to celebrate. They were troopers eating spicy food. On the way home we had some fabulous Christmas lights to look at along the lake.