Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas Break 2015: His

We headed to stay with my in laws Christmas night and packed in tons of fun at their house.

We helped my MIL with projects around her house in preparation for events she was hosting and played with lots of Olive's toys.  Olive chased their cats, enjoyed their claw foot bath tub and admired all the ornaments on their trees.  Our room was all decked out for Christmas - bedspread, towels, treats and our own mini tree.  It was like we were staying at our very own Christmas Bed and Breakfast this year.

We baked cookies.  Kevin's mom is Nanny to Olive and she let Olive help out with everything from cracking eggs, mixing with the mixer to dumping in dry ingredients.  Olive was thrilled and she had a major cheering section to oversee her sprinkling :)

 Time to start baking.

 Olive knows her grandpa is a doctor so she loved when he let her use his stethoscope.  He taught her some basic cardiology skills and she listened to everyone's heart beat.  She said our heart beats sounded like "thump thump" and bunny got a check up too.

We went to Christmas Eve service and Olive lasted for about 15 minutes.  I offered her a sucker, but didn't have the color she wanted.  She shouted I want a red one and started crying.  Kevin promptly took her out and we met up after the service.

We had delicious food and loved visiting with family on Christmas Eve.

 Christmas morning at Kevin's parent's house.
We all arrived in our pjs, enjoyed a delicious breakfast and opened gifts.

 Olive loved ripping off the paper and insisted she get every scrap off.
Her Great Grandma was happy to help with the sticky tape.
We listened to some Christmas music after gifts.

 We changed clothes and headed to Kevin's grandparents for Christmas lunch.
Olive found a Santa hat and an oversized Santa to dance with.
She was in heaven.

  I helped my MIL host a shower the day after Christmas.  We made several salads, cheese balls and I forgot how much I enjoy hosting events.  I only knew a few people at the shower, but it was nice to be able to help out.

 My in laws got Olive her own car back in the Fall and she finally learned out to drive it (push the "gas pedal" and steer on her own).  We had a really rainy Christmas break so we had to take advantage of the brief pause in the rain to go for a drive.

 We ate off of Christmas dishes - I can't wait to get mine out of storage :)

The girls made treats and Olive wanted to be right in the middle of everything.  She stirred the cinnamon and sugar and coated the dough balls for monkey bread.  She did great and was really proud of her efforts.  Everything had a light dusting of sugar by the time we were done, but it was all worth it.

 Happy New Year!!
Hope you have a safe, fun & happy time celebrating :)
We have fun dinner reservations and some new games to play after Olive heads to bed.
What are your plans for the evening??

Christmas Break 2015: Hers

It's been several years since Kevin had a college sized Christmas break.  He has almost three weeks off where he's not teaching since the college kids are home for Christmas and he's just got to determine his own schedule to work on prepping for next semester.  He's meeting free, class free and that means a lot more free time to hang out with his girls.  I'm a fan of this whole professor thing :)

We headed home several days before Christmas to spend the week with our families.  We divided up our time and started the week staying with my family and finished by staying with his family.  We attended lots of parties, gatherings and ate great food all week long.  We had a nice visit and loved only having to travel 2 hours to get to everyone.  What a luxury that is after traveling hours and hours for the last 11 years.

We baked cookies, made candies and just enjoyed hanging out with our families.  Olive was really excited about Christmas and talked up Santa, his reindeer and all the festivities this year.  She wanted to help with the baking and I think I heard, "Watcha doin Mama?" a million times.  I worked hard to include her in what we were doing and then worked like crazy through her nap times to accomplish the non-toddler friendly tasks.  It's exhausting to travel with little ones, but I think we made the best of it.  We kept her routine close to usual and I'm thankful she did really well.

We got to have dinner with friends at our favorite Freddy's Steakburgers.
It was delicious and was just as good as I remembered.
Look at that chocolate shake with the giant straw :)

 We had a breakfast date with my parents at their favorite Panera.  I introduced Olive to chocolate chip bagels and she was a big fan.  Then we headed out to finish some Christmas errands.  We'd never been to Rural King so Olive thought that was quite a treat.  She was hoping to come up with a $12.99 bunny, but Santa decided Bun Bun was all the bunny we could handle.

 We spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my Mom (aka Mimi).  I've been helping my mom dip her candies for several years now.  She makes all the candy filling and I do the dipping so it works out pretty well :)
Buckeyes, Almond Bark Mix, cherry candies and Almond Joys

 She made sugar cookies so we threw caution to the wind and deemed them a great Christmas break breakfast option.  Olive was thrilled.

 "Don't worry Mama.  I just smelling them."
Seconds later the blue sprinkles around her mouth blew her cover.

We woke up at my parent's house Christmas morning.  Olive woke up crying at 5:00am and went back to bed.  When we woke her up at 9:00 she was ready to tell us what was wrong.
"Mama a snake got my bunny and it got me.  I so scared.  I don't like snakes.  Save me"
Her first bad dream that she could tell us about.
Poor thing kept her eyes out for snakes all day long.
No idea where that came from.

She opened one gift and was thrilled to have her own rolling pin, cooking cutters and measuring cups.  She practiced using them on a finished sugar cookie.  We headed to my inlaws for breakfast and lunch on Christmas.

My parents always host Christmas dinner so we hurried back to their house to open gifts.  We did that first and then had a delicious dinner.  Here's the little cousin table.  The adults were all busy corralling kiddos and I didn't get any pictures.  Maybe next year :)

 My mom also makes the prettiest fruitcakes.  My brother loves them and I decided this was the year to give it a try.  It didn't sound good in the least, but I figured I'd taste it before being too judgy.  It was actually quite yummy.  Kind of like a dense cinnamon cake loaded with pecans and sweet spots of candied cherries & pineapple.  I doubt I'd ever crave it, but I think I could enjoy a piece of it around the holidays.

Stay tuned for Christmas break part 2 with Kevin's side of the family.