Saturday, November 28, 2009


When the girls woke this morning, they discovered that Elfie had made a house overnight! A little gingerbread one. They thought that was pretty cool, although they kept mentioning that the door doesn't open (serious design flaw, Elfie).
Christina and Elena both felt a bit under the weather this morning, so we waited until after the girls woke from naps to decorate the house (they didn't understand that this was the intent, anyway, so they just thought the house was fun to look at till then). Clara woke early from her nap, and got some "only child" time with us and with Elfie. She read a Santa book to him, and shared her applets and cotlets.

Then Clara had a fun game going where she would ask Christina for "one more please" of a doll/animal/figurine, and was lining them up beside her. She had quite the line-up going!
During naptime, Elfie had put a little decor on the roof, but when Elena woke up we started decorating in earnest.
Happy decorating crew:
And the bigger crew - we were all in on it.

Christina was spreading "snow" around the house, as directed by Nana Rose. Nana won first place in a gingerbread house decorating contest, so we definitely took her advice!
Elfie and his finished house - Clara said that he liked it.
And the back:

So far, Elfie seems more helpful than mischievous! We'll see...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Although we missed all of our family and friends who weren't with us, we had a truly wonderful Thanksgiving this year. We weren't stressed out, we had great food, and we had wonderful guests.

Plus, the girls are much better at helping than they ever have been. They helped bake a cake, make the placecards, and clean the house. And here they are helping Christina make the crescent rolls:

These are Christina's specialty - here they are with their egg wash, ready to go into the oven:
Caryn came over to cook - this is the sixth year running that she and her husband and Steve and Christina have co-hosted Thanksgiving, and we love this tradition.
We cleared all the furniture out of our upstairs living room, and moved it to the garage, which Steve heated and strung up with pretty lights. That left the living room open for big tables:
And a little table, for the little people:
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Here's our bird - it was truly wonderful. It was from a local farm (Prairie Heritage Farm) and it was a heritage turkey. If you've never considered getting one of these, we strongly encourage you to. These birds live really lovely turkey lives (ours wandered around a farm eating swiss chard and tomatoes, soaking up the sun - we have the pictures to prove it!) and they have a relatively long life, and are the only naturally-procreating turkeys. So, you know, they get some fun in their lives, too. And man, when their lives are done they are tasty, TASTY birds!
Christina dressed and cooked the turkey, and made the maple rosemary gravy. Steve carved the turkey admirably.

We got everything cooked and dished up, and sat down to eat. Here are the adorable little ones:
And the not-quite-as-adorable-but-very-nice big ones:

Silly Clara:

Sweetie Leni:
The girls were really keyed up, and so after everyone left we danced around and re-arranged the house. Then we got silly again - here are Leni and G-Daddy playing:

And a blurry but very happy Clara and Nana Rose:

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving - we are so thankful for you all!

Moving right along...

So, yes, it's only the day after Thanksgiving, and a bit early for Christmas, except that Christina has never before been so eager to celebrate the season. It all just seems so FUN this year! So today we brought out the Christmas clothes, decorations, and activities.

Here is Clara, with our first nativity set. She loved wiping them off and setting them up.

Christina has very fond memories of a fake bird that would perch in the Christmas tree all during her childhood. So this year she bought the girls a set of red cardinals to grace our own tree. However, the girls thought they were too much fun to wait for the tree we'll cut down next week, and played with them today. Elena requested one be put in her hair:
We decided this year to invite an elf to live with us for the holiday season (click here for the background on this idea), and called Santa to ask him to send one over as soon as one was done with its work for the season. While we were watching the old Christmas classic "Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer" this afternoon, we got a call that Santa said one would be arriving, and that it would knock at the window when it arrived. We heard a knock, ran to the window, and found Elfie!

The girls were overjoyed. They took turns carrying him around:
And then they decided to feed him some crackers, so he could fuel up after his long journey:
There were lots of kisses to be shared:

They thought he might like to see his elf counterpart in the Rudolf movie, and Elena held him up to see:

Elena brought Elfie down to make turkey soup with us:

And he came outside while we hung lights, and helped the girls sing and dance to Jingle Bells (you really have to strain to hear them here, but boy were they cute, until they got to the "no" part!):

The girls have gotten into dancing quite a lot lately. We are taking them to see the Nutcracker this year, and in honor of both of those things we got them new ballerina pajamas today. They were so cuddly with these on!

Goodnights to G-Daddy and Nana Rose:

And then goodnight to the stockings and Elfie. We'll see what mischief Elfie gets up to tonight!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Odds and Ends

Clara, after having devoured a cup of huckleberries, upon seeing herself in the mirror:

Elena, having perfected a wink that Christina does not yet even come close to achieving:

Elena, while Christina tried to get her to gaze off into the distance for a dreamy-type picture (that failed, but cuteness was definitely achieved):
"Pretending" to sleep - serious-at-playing-pretend Elena and impish little Clara:
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Clara, in a significantly-cropped picture of a very proud moment with the potty (details need not be mentioned):

Monday, November 9, 2009