We've been very busy this week. There's been baking, shopping, walking around, playing at the park, ice skating, fist fighting, gift-giving, more baking and lots and lots of rain. Somehow I failed to capture our Winter Solstice celebration in photographs of any kind this year. It was lovely, though that day was very rainy, too. Here are some photos of other highlights from our week, for your viewing pleasure.
First, we baked for our neighbors, Steve and Joy and the mailman. The girls especially enjoyed making Oreos, but deserted me while I was making the sugared cranberries.
After all the baking we needed to get outdoors. It was my intention to make them walk into downtown Decatur (their exhaustion being my key goal) but we only got as far as McKoy Park, which is about 1/10 the distance. They then whined the entire, oh, I don't know, maybe half a mile, to Aunt Jo Jo's, then Aunt Jo Jo took them to Target. It's the hard knock life for them.
Then came the rain. We lasted all day Tuesday without much complaint, but when it hadn't even let up on Wednesday, we had some issues. I cheerfully forced them to make homemade puff paint with me. It turns out the fun of making homemade puff paint is in the making, not so much in the painting. Then, concerned that their little bodies had been mostly inert for nearly 2 days, I convinced them to play hide and seek, and was sure to add that the seeker must tag the hider upon finding her, before she can make it to base. This went well for a bit, but ultimately led to a knock-down fight. I was surprised. I opted to photograph the event rather than intervene and, happily, it worked itself out. Then we had homemade hot cocoa and marshmallows (yes, I made marshmallows too. It's fun!) and read Christmas stories by the Solstice tree.
I just thought this was cute.
When Aunt Jo Jo took the girls to Target, they got packets of facial masques from the $1 bins. So, we had to have a spa afternoon. Sarah went for the traditional green mud while Kate opted for the cucumber peel-off masque. She liked how gross the peeling off part looked.
On the Solstice, while the sky continued to weep and the temperature felt nothing like winter, we headed to the Rink at Park Tavern, where we met up with my friend Laura, who'd trekked to these parts with her family all the way from Paris, France, for a bit of ice skating and (more) hot chocolate. Laura's oldest, Irene, is Kate's age. Of course, all they really know about each other is that their moms are friends, but Kate and Irene skated together for nearly the full 2-hour session. Sarah, who started the session so terrified of skating she wouldn't let go of the wall and started to panic when she realized she's inched her way an uncomfortable distance away from the rink's exit, finished the day by dismissing me as her partner (a wise choice, really) and was merrily skating around in circles, not even touching the wall, by the time we had to turn in our skates. The whole thing wore the girls out so completely, they insisted on being carried to the car. Smashing success, and it's always a delight to see Laura and her peeps.
At long last, Christmas is upon us! It's Christmas Eve and since I knew what Aunt Jude and Uncle Kevin sent the girls, I allowed them to open that gift today. Now, they are the proud owners of a cookie decorating kit, food coloring and a book of fun cupcake (for later) ideas. We commenced ta' decoratin'. The kids consumed SO much sugar, I made them take a walk around the neighborhood with me immediately after the mayhem. They look kind of calm in these photos. They were not calm. They have not been calm all day. Who can blame them? We've been watching Santa's progress (thank-you Google Earth!) and he'll be here very soon. I can't wait! Now, I must wrap this up, because we have to eat dinner, so we can get on to sipping eggnog by the fireplace and reading Christmas stories, per Sarah's request.