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Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Skates!

Yet another reason to love living where we do is that the lake is not just to be enjoyed during the warmer months. Having grown up in FL, it is still taking me some time to adjust to winter activities for my kids. I've got the sledding and snowman building firmly in hand but ice skating anywhere other than a rink is new ground for us. However, if you live here, ice skating is what you do so with that in mind, we geared up. Rather than surprise the girls with ice skates for Christmas (especially with Kate's difficulties with new shoes/clothes and how they feel), we took them to a local resale store today to try on various pairs to see how they fit. We opted for hockey skates rather than ice skates and I'm really glad we did as you will see in the pics to follow! We also got a couple of pucks and some hockey sticks.

We headed out to the south end of the lake where some neighbors had already cleared a few patches of ice and the girls got their ice legs. Len and I had some nifty Snow Trax so we could walk out on the lake with the girls without falling down.








Kate found she could write her name with the blade.
Soon enough, their friends E and L arrived and the rink was set up for a hockey game.
He is as fearless above the water as he was this summer in the water!

Their siblings arrived much to Kate's and Lucy's delight. They get to see one of their favorite lifeguards in the winter too!




I just love how the older kids help the younger ones. Kyle, who was a lifeguard this summer, made sure that Kate and Lucy had plenty of opportunities to try to hit the puck into the goal even though the three boys were skating rings around my girls.
















After almost 2 hours on the ice, the sun was sinking below the tree line and I couldn't feel my fingers anymore, even with gloves on. We called it a day and headed home where Nana had been tending a big pot of pasta sauce all afternoon. They were so exhausted we didn't even broach the idea of them staying up to see the new year arrive. They went to bed talking happily about doing it all over again tomorrow.
Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016!

It's been a very happy season at our house this month. Nana arrived right before school ended so she got to participate in their classroom holiday party. But before that day arrived, we celebrated her birthday.
The girls had made cards for her.
 My contribution to the classroom party.
Before the classroom parties their was an all-school holiday sing-a-long in the gym.

Dressing their teacher up as a snowman was lots of fun.



Crafts and more crafts.
A dreidal was part of a gift bag someone gave them. That provided the evening's entertainment once we googled what the symbols on the dreidal meant.
Getting ready for bed is a family affair... on a side note, notice how short their nightgowns from last Christmas are??
We had a few parties to attend this month as well. I went to a neighborhood bunco/white elephant party earlier in the month. I had never heard of bunco but apparently it's a quite common game in the 'burbs. And for good reason as I had a blast!


The girls, Nana and I were invited to a mommy/daughter tea by a classmate.

We've had a pretty good snow pack which makes looking outside every morning more interesting. The girls and I followed the deer tracks into the woods one afternoon. The spots on the fawns have disappeared, replaced by thick coats.


We've kept busy reading, baking cookies and assembling our first gingerbread house.






Christmas Eve meant that Charlie the Elf would be preparing to leave. He left presents for the girls under their tree.
Dressed in a new nightgown for Kate and PJs for Lucy (from Charlie), they donned their boots to sprinkle the reindeer food on the front lawn.



Cookies, milk and a note for Santa.


With the girls safely tucked in their beds, stockings were filled and the presents were under the tree.

Christmas morning!
What did Santa bring??!
Exactly what they asked for: a Cubs hat for Lucy and a sleigh bell from Santa's sleigh for Kate.
The girls made Christmas crackers for everyone to pop, filling them with small treasures and love notes.




Ear muffs for Nana!
Kate was excited to find we had signed her up for a Brainbusters course through Northwestern Univ. Enrichment Program for Gifted Students and a taekwondo class at the rec. center.
Lucy got signed up for Basketball and Tumbling classes which made her smile!




Night vision goggles from Nana were a big hit!
Snow goggles for the snowball fights to come later in the day!









 A giant 35" square lazy susan game table was a big surprise from Nana.




Bella's gift, some jumping grasshoppers, piqued her interest.
Once the frenzy of unwrapping was over, no one had yet noticed the big gift just outside so I suggested we look to see if their were any deer foraging in our yard. Len and a couple of the lifeguards from this summer had spent a few hours on Christmas eve assembling the big surprise from Santa. We got lucky with a cloudy night so the yard was completely black, hiding the gift. Since K & L had asked for such little gifts from him, we decided to surprise them with something big.


It didn't take long for them to get out there!


The rest of the day was spent playing with various toys, including the snowball makers and snow brick makers which made for a very good snowball fight with Len! Back inside, the hotwheels track provided lots of entertainment while Nana and I prepared supper.

 And that's a wrap! We hope you had a lovely holiday and wish everyone a very happy 2017!

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