December 12

I can’t believe it’s mid-December already.  Time is flying by and we are in the last pre-trip prepping stages!  It’s going to be so fun!  And for trips like this, even the getting ready is fun, too 🙂

There’s been a lot of little things going on around here lately.  I’ve taken quite a few photos over the last couple of weeks to share with you.  Time to get started!

Do you remember how snowy it was on Halloween?  Well, we got a little bit more snow after that, and then it warmed up again.  Pretty much all the snow melted and I was able to get in a couple more really nice runs.  The sun was out quite a bit not last week, but the week before:

It’s out, but it’s never out overhead.  It always seems like the sun is shining off in the distance somewhere else.  This photo was taken at 9:30 am.  That’s how low the sun is these days!

And then it started snowing again.  There was a thunderstorm and no snow on the ground on Monday, and this next photo was taken on Tuesday.  The kids had two snow days in a row!

They’ve decided that the backyard is suitable for sledding now 🙂

A snowy dog:

I finally got in my first ski of the season.  It was great!

And then ALL FOUR of us got to go on Sunday.  This is significant because I remember before I closed up my photography business that I was really sad about not getting to do things like this with the family often enough.  So we did it and it was great!

The kids are getting a lot faster on their skis now.  And they still don’t usually use polls:

Poor Dad always ends up carrying them:

After we skied, the kids sledded while Jim went for another ski workout.  They worked hard getting up and down the giant hill at Swedetown:

And they had a lot of fun doing it, too 🙂

Here’s a video I loaded onto Youtube of them sledding.  I’m telling you – it’s a big hill!  If you watch it, please ignore my voice and comments in the beginning, but listen at the end.  Their laughter is priceless:

https://youtu.be/RueMJWA_asU

I went out for a ten miler yesterday morning and took a couple of photos before my phone died.  It really can’t do cold anymore 🙁

Anyway, get the picture?  We have a LOT of snow now!

Remember that special project I was knitting last post?  Well, I finished it and am proud to show it off here.  It’s a scarf I knitted for my neighbor who is currently going through chemo treatments.  The cold can feel painful while on the medicine, so I thought she’d like a scarf to cover her face and also keep her hands in the fleece-lined pockets when they need to be warmed up.  She loved it!

The light one afternoon last week was really nice coming in through the kitchen window 🙂

We’ve gotten into the Christmas mood – well, at least a little bit.  We put up the tree and got out a few other decorations.  I think it was just the right amount!

It’s too bad you can’t see how much that star sparkles in these photos.  It’s really pretty!

The kids even made some cookies.  We thought we’d make a couple of different kinds, freeze half of them, and then have them to take with us on our trip.  Lewis can’t just pick up any old cookie and be able to eat it.  So we’re bringing some with us this year.

The twins are becoming quite independent in the kitchen:

On one of those snow days, we decided to throw together some cut-out cookies:

I read a blog post about a new technique for decorating.  It involves outlining the cookies ahead of time, melting the frosting, and then just drizzling it inside the outline.  It’s supposed to spread around and fill it in really easily.

But guess what?  It only kind of works.  I’m not sure it was worth the hassle.  But it was fun to try something new!

We were getting a little desperate with all that time off in the middle of the week.  Here’s a photo of the kids making salami snowflakes!

Cat drew this.  She’s getting really good!

The girls had a sushi party last weekend.  Sooooo good!

We ran out of rice, so here’s a pic of Darcy spreading cream cheese over the better half of a nori roll:

We did one with avocado, too:

And it actually worked!  I’m pleased to say that it tasted pretty darn good.  I guess it turns out that you don’t really need rice.  Remember that next time you run out and want to use up the rest of your fillings!

We had some perler bead fun last weekend.  The whole family got involved:

We made these two colorful designs to give as gifts.  I won’t tell you who they’re for:

Lewis learned how to play chess late last school year and now Cat has learned as well.  Lewis’ teacher invites any kids who would like to play during Friday lunches to come and eat their lunches while they play in his classroom.  It’s called the “Chess Club.”  My two love it.  And I love their teacher for being willing to give up some of his own personal time to encourage the kids to use their minds.  Anyway, there’s been a bit of playing around here lately:

The countdown chalkboard is starting to fill up.  Here it is from the 18th day left:

And this one from yesterday.  Some of the words (because they are pretty hard to read) include: alligators, Mississippi River, swamps, bayou, jazz, French Quarter, Cajun, St. Louis Cathedral, voodoo, and Bourbon Street.  This has been a fun project and is working to get us super excited!

That’s all for this week!  Thanks for reading!!

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