Saturday, December 22, 2012

What I Loved About the Last Two Weeks (55th Ed.)

1. The kids sang at the Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. They did a wonderful job, especially with a Magnifcat in Latin and in rounds. Our children's choir director is fantastic! (And just happens to be a dear friend, so I admit to bias.)

2. First Son's birthday party was a few weekends ago. We had a Ninjago party with some good friends.

3. A few days after the party, we celebrated First Son's actual birthday with chocolate angel food cake. Our parish priest came for dinner, too, which is always a treat.

4. We ate some tasty cinnamon swirl bread for the Feast of St. Lucy.

5. Kansas Dad picked out a Christmas tree for us. We decorated it the day before Gaudete Sunday. Second Son is so funny with it. Every once in a while he walks into the living room and yells, "Christmas tree! We have a Christmas tree!" All the kids take ornaments down and hang them around the room, on the train tracks, or just step on them. We've lost a few already, but I didn't put the most precious ones on this year (having a two year old and all) so hopefully there won't be any really terrible tragedies. At least no one has pulled the whole tree down. Yet.

6. First Daughter made her first cheesecake. I told her she could choose one recipe from her cookbook as an Advent treat (making it more than eating it) and she chose raspberry cheesecake. Given the price of raspberries, it was incredibly expensive, but she made almost all of it herself and it was delicious.

7. I finally made homemade thin mints. They've been in my binder for years. Kansas Dad had expressed interest in them before, so I made them as a surprise for his birthday. The girls helped me dip them in chocolate. (It took twice as much as the recipe said; we did about half in dark chocolate and half in semi-sweet chocolate. Both are tasty.) They weren't quite as thin as they should have been, but still tasty. I still had candy canes left from last Christmas so I smashed one up and we sprinkled bits on some of them.

Second Son only liked the chocolate coating.
8. First Daughter and Grammy went to see The Nutcracker, just the two of them. (First Son went last year and was ready to leave at intermission, so we decided he could take a year off. Second Daughter isn't quite ready to sit still that long; maybe next year.)

With the carolers before the ballet
9. Kansas Dad celebrated a birthday. We served the thin mints and gave him a stuffed aardvark. Aardvarks are a running joke with Kansas Dad and the kids. When he joked we should get one and make them our family mascot, I thought to myself it would make a perfect birthday gift. We don't usually actually buy anything for each other, so I think he was a little surprised, even though he'd said it just a week before his birthday. He and the kids are still debating the aardvark's name. (I wanted to get a picture, but I kept forgetting every night until after we exercised and then he didn't want a picture. Maybe next week.)

10. It snowed! We had our first snow of the winter. It was just a smattering, but Kansas Dad took all the kids out to play. Second Son didn't last very long, but it was fun because he's too young to remember the snow from last year. The kids were disappointed when it started to melt later that day; I think they all want to move to Minnesota.

11. First Son's baptismal anniversary was yesterday. We celebrated with pierogies, inspired by The 8 Polish Foods of Christmas on A Very Veggie Christmas (a wonderful Christmas CD).

12. If all goes as planned, I'm off today for a whole day without kids or responsibilities!

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