Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Holiday Happenings 2017

December was kind of a wild ride, wasn't it? I can't even believe that we're already on the other side of Christmas! I'd hoped to share all of our fun holiday happenings with you before the big day, but we were so caught up in celebrations and preparations that I haven't been able to get around to it until now!

It was a full, fun, and happy holiday season, you guys. Looking back at our bucket list, we crossed off everything except for number ten. We did organize an amazing family party, but my dreams of a healthy potluck with my inner circle just couldn't make it onto the calendar. No worries, was a holiday season for the record books!

As you saw, we celebrated our North Pole Breakfast during the first weekend of the month.

The following weekend, we had a Polar Express night, which for us involves getting into jammies, filling mugs with hot cocoa, and driving around to look at Christmas lights with some holiday tunes playing in the van. In the past, I've attempted lots of pictures and videos of this, but I tried to enjoy it more and only ended up with one blurry picture...oops!

The next day (well, evening, really) was our annual "pick out Grandma & Grandpa's tree" day. We have an artificial tree in our house, and while we much prefer it that way, it's still pretty fun to get the experience of going to pick one out and set it up. It was a COLD night so we tried to pick quickly, but the evening was fun and cozy!

The next morning, I used some trimmed branches from the tree to cross something off my bucket list - the simmer pot. Which, by the way, was a big hit! It smelled sooo good, the whole family enjoyed it.

On the following Tuesday, Matt took off work so we could have our daytime shopping date together. This is one of my FAVORITE traditions...getting out without the kids when stores aren't too busy to pick out gifts together, get some coffee and a snack, and put a big dent in the last of our shopping. It was snowing gorgeously almost the entire time this was a perfect day!!

Jake finished school a week earlier than the big boys, so on Thursday of the same week, I got to celebrate with him at school. They sang a few songs for us with little instruments before the party, and oh my goodness, the smirks on this kid's face. SO stinking cute. Jake can be a pain in situations like this...turning a little stubborn and refusing to play along. I was so impressed with him being enthusiastic and proud through it!

We had some snacks and time to visit after their performance, and Jake is with his school buddies here (but they're covered up for privacy, obviously!!)

The next day, with Jake on vacation and an invitation from Luke's teacher to join them for gingerbread house day, the two of us went to Luke's class for a while. Jake was SO excited to participate with his brother and his friends, and the rest of the third grade "big kids"!

How cute is this method of frosting graham crackers onto little milk cartons? Genius.

Luke's, you

I can't believe how much more conservative Jake was with the candy on his! Although Luke has a very "more is more" opinion with all things in life!

Speaking of sugar, the next day was cookie baking day. It was an all day production with four types of cookies, making up about 16 dozen! It was a looooong messy but yummy day! The whole family got in on decorating them together, and we tried using piping bags for the first time. There was a learning curve for sure, but everyone was able to get a little extra-creative with them! (These are all gluten free, of course!)

When the cookie mess was cleared, we declared it a Christmas family game night. Everyone got in comfy clothes, got a mug of either coffee or hot chocolate, and some of our freshly baked cookies and settled in for an evening of games together. We played a few rounds of Jenga, followed by Headbands and Uno. We had such a good time, and so many silly laughs! We don't do this often enough....the boys got lots of new games for Christmas, so we'll have to make a habit of this!

The next week was FINALLY the "wrap it up" week! There were late nights of wrapping, last minute Amazon orders, and the main events - the kids school parties and pajama days! Henry decided to make things a little extra-special, and he lost his first tooth!!! Who knew we'd be getting a visit from the tooth fairy, too??

Luke's party came first, and it was a New Year's themed party. This was so much fun, because it had the feel of celebrating all of the winter holidays, including one they'd miss sharing together on their break, and it was just a big party! Jake got to come along to this one again, and though it was loud and sometimes a bit off-the-wall, it was fun to be there to celebrate with friends!

Luke turned into a snowman during the party!

And then after a craft and a snack, we visited with friends leading up to the big countdown (which was actually noon! haha) They all had noisemakers and glowsticks and 7up which was standing in for champagne. It was SO LOUD at the ball drop (which they watched online), but it was so cute!

Next up was Henry's party! His had a Winter-Fairy Tale theme, and this one was a little bit more labor intensive since Matt and I are both room parents for his class and had to plan this one! It went really well, though...the kids loved the snack, craft, and games we planned, and we came up with some amazing gifts for their teacher! There were a lot of little faces to blur in these photos, so I'll just share some of H working hard on his snowman snack!

Henry's party was on the last day of school, so when I returned to pick them up, there were flurries and excitement flying around, as well as lots of cheers and "Happy Vacation!"'s.

I can't wait to share how we celebrated our amazing holiday weekend! We had SO much fun and made so many new memories....I hope you all were able to do the same!!! xo

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