Friday, January 13, 2012

Been a While!

*whew*  where did the last month and a half go?! 

December turned into a super busy month for us (no big surprise there I suppose.)  The first week of December I coordinated a family game night at Big-Bug's elementary school.  This turned out to be a monumental task that involved countless hours of prep work, much coordination with other groups and a LOT of table assembly.  It was further complicated by my husband's out of town business trip that happened to overlap with the fun night, meaning I had all three bugs in tow the entire day!  In the end, I would say the event was a success.  Many families attended, people seemed to be enjoying themselves and there was a nice write up in the student news paper the following week as well.

The second week of December was Baby-Bug's two year birthday party.  We hosted at the house this year and went with a hungry caterpillar theme. I was trying hard to learn towards healthier food options, so a hungry caterpillar party with an emphasis on fruits was a winner! We put out a spread of food that had each of the food items mentioned in the story (minus the salami and the leaves) and it seemed to go over well.

We had apples, pears, plums, oranges, watermelon, strawberries, swiss cheese, summer sausage, miniature chocolate cake bites, mini cherry pies, mini cupcakes, lollipop sugar cookies and icecream cone cupcakes.  The kids made a few caterpillar crafts as well - clothespin butterflies, thumbprint caterpillar bookmarks and egg carton caterpillars.  We also had a basket of caterpillar antennas for each of the kids to wear at the party, it was a pretty fun day!

That same night we attended a holiday parade in town and were able to bring both sets of grandparents with us as well, which was an extra treat!

The third week of December was the annual holiday get together with my mom's side of the family.  This is always a great time, but it also a four hour drive away!  Because of the drive, the party turns into a weekend event, which is extra fun - but also adds a little chaos.  This year we decided to really pack the schedule and aside from attending the party we also met a friend for coffee, visited my Grandmother and delivered a Christmas gift to a friend...all in a 36 hour window.

We had to leave on Saturday night this year instead of staying the whole weekend because Big-Bug and Middle-Bug were in a Christmas program at church on Sunday night.  This was their first ever Christmas Pageant and they were absolutely adorable dressed up like angels, singing Christmas songs :) 

During that same week, we also attended our fantastic playgroup's annual Christmas Party. This year was special because we held it in a local coffee shop that is designed to be kid-friendly.  But this isn't just any kid-friendly coffee shop! It is a brand new shop that was opened by one of our very own playgroup mamas and her husband! They were so generous to open their place to us after hours, and they even provided drip coffee and herbal teas for the party. We really enjoyed our evening with wonderful friends - and the kids had an amazing time playing with their buddies and of course gorging themselves on holiday cookies, fudge, taffies, chocolates, etc.

The fourth week of December was Christmas of course, and we were lucky enough to be able to host my in-laws AND my sister in-law this year :)  We had a lazy Christmas morning opening presents, eating cinnamon rolls and bacon and testing out the new video game santa delivered - lego star wars III for the wii! Once the family arrived that afternoon the bugs headed out with their daddy, grandparents and auntie to test out their brand new Christmas bikes!  They had a blast riding up and down the street.  I started the dinner prep inside and kept it simple this year (I was so proud of myself for reining it in!!)  I made roast beef with oven roasted tomatoes, citrus mashed yams, bread stuffing, bacon wrapped green bean bundles, stuffed mushroom caps and roasted Brussels sprouts with pecans!  I also served shrimp cocktails for an appetizer and my mother in-law brought her signature English Trifle for dessert....we can't have Christmas in this family without it!

mushrooms didn't last long enough to make it into the photo! lol
The fifth weekend in December we headed to my parents' house where we celebrated Christmas with my parents and my sister. The boys had a great time seeing their Auntie and really enjoyed the time with their grandparents.  On new years eve my parents stayed with the boys while My husband and I escaped for a rare night out!  We went for dessert and martinis at a local brewery and had a nice time chatting without kiddie distractions :)  We made it back to my parents' before midnight and settled in to play a HILARIOUS game of "Quelf" with them before toasting each other into the new year.   I have never laughed at a game so hard in my life...I was honestly in pain from laughing.

On new years day we headed further north to spend some time with my husband's parents at their annual new years day gathering.  There was an amazing spread of food to be sampled and a house full of friends and holiday cheer.  The kiddos were in 7th heaven playing with their daddy's old legos and watching a marathon of disney films.  It was a great way to start the new year!

The first weekend of January....we were out of town AGAIN!  This time staying with my parents once more as well celebrated my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary!  They are such an amazing couple and have always been a touching example of the way devotion, tender love and a sense of humor can build an unshakable marriage. We have been so blessed to have them as role models in our lives.

While we were at the anniversary party, the Bugs had a chance to play a LOT with their second cousins. There was a great grassy area perfect for Star Wars reenactments and a big friendly, gentle horse on the other side of the fence who was eager to be pet and have carrots fed to him.

This week has been relatively calm considering the past couple of months, but we have still been running pretty solid.  Baby-Bug had his two-year check up, we have had a couple of fun play dates and my womens' bible study group has started back up after their holiday break.  Oh - and did I mention I am planning the second family fun night at Big-Bug's school? :)  Yeah...that one is a real energy drainer for sure! The event itself is going to be held next Friday night and I have three local science clubs and a local astronomy club coming to set up experiments for the students to watch and the astronomers are setting up telescopes and facilitating star gazing in the school field.  It's going to be amazingly fun for the kids, but boy am I exhausted!

There is only one more fun night on the school calendar this year and I am planning a family read-in in the gym.  Everyone will bring their own blankets/pillows/sleeping bags/bean bags/etc and all I will need to coordinate and supply will be cocoa and coffee and books to read :)  *whew*

So much fun and so little time!!

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