Ken’s training is easier and easier to deal with at the kids settle into the idea of longer periods of time without Daddy at easy reach. We kept busy with school and just general hanging out.
Zander working on his money counting skills
The 18th marked the end of of the first week of training. I don’t think Ken learned much but he did not feel it was time wasting. For us, Friday was our last projected nice day… so my plan was – SEND THEM OUTSIDE!!!!
Chilly but fun
Of course we still had other things to do – spelling tests… dinosaurs… Emanuel made his own tally of what we have covered to date.
Herbivore, Carnivore… and both
We also rolled hotdogs in crescent rolls to make lunch with Nana! The kids loved it!
Making lunch with Nana
We finished our evening with a dance party… being restrained is NOT the way of our kids!!
Some post dance quiet time
On the 19th we had our last full day with Karyn… and with Ken and Bree’s help we made it a busy and fun one! We hit Mall of America on a rather busy day and shopped our hearts out.
At the mall
Add in lunch at an Italian restaurant when we first got into the mall.
And supper at BW3’s and we had great food, great company and some AWESOME deals.
I can truly say my Christmas money is well gone and spent. At MOA I got EVERYTHING I purchased ON SALE. Including my most unexpected purchase – a dress from an amazing store called Bettie Page! Bree and I are totally going back to play around and buy dresses later in the year. So much gorgeous!
I am not sure when I will do a model of it to take a picture of but I LOVE the shape of this dress!
We stopped in at a real hat store, perused the books at Barnes and Noble and tried on bras at Victoria’s Secret. I picked up a set of headphones from Typo for a mere 10.00. I love the look of the buds but they really do hurt my ears.
So our very last day together with Karyn was pretty much kid free… we got out, about and around. I am so glad that we did!
Christmas party had come and gone and was a lovely success… we filled our home with friends and some family, children and food… oh and PRESENTS!! Hmm guest list, I am sure you are all wondering! Lots of familiar names… first was Cousin Veronika and her Adam (nice and early – COUSIN TIME!), though of course the night before was Ted and Sean. Then Karyn, Kristen and Fydo… Alan and Xinny and their 3 (Izaac is so TALL!), Lauralee and of course ESTHER. Kathy called to send her regrets (she was getting over a cold) and He Chris was late (car trouble) while She Chris had to work. Definitely a FULL house!
Babies on the floor
Gavin and Alex playing on Uncle Ted's iPad
Pre present photo
Some of the girls
We did up a potluck and had a large variety of food – everything from candy sushi (made by the amazing Karyn) to “ducklings” by Xinny (Chinese dumplings) and two slow cooker items, a Japanese salad… oh and the chocolates and not to be forgotten deviled eggs AND homemade orange chocolate croissants!! We were well treated. I have to say the table was over full. Not a person went unfed, and I think most were OVER fed.
Chocolate candy cane cake
Presents were the usual chaos of wrappings, squeals and confused parents. BUT it seems like everyone was well pleased. Veronika and Adam had Santa’s number and found out what the Christmas wishes were and got each kid the thing off of their list!!! There were hand made scarves and more chocolates… boardgames, oh the list goes on and on!
The inside joke present
Echo with jelly fish
Lego! We were told Star Wars is the BEST Lego!
We had some stay later than others and left a lovely mess to face in the morning but it was all worth it! With less than a week until Christmas this was my largest and most exciting commitment. Every year we try to host a party and this year it was a full house. And now we work towards the next adventure – our first trip to Grandma’s in a long time! Months actually! It will be an interesting pack as we are going for multiple days and the current van (no repaired) is not a large one. I do miss my stow and go.
Hanging with Santa... Sheep??
Pre drive nap
This is one of Zander's favourite pictures
I got some interesting mail today… beyond the no loner lives here letters I also got a Christmas card from my cousin, his wife and their adorable baby boy! AND a package – another one from the UK!! This one was beautifully decorated by the daughter of the house. Another package to hide from the kiddos of course. But I feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends.
Such a lovely illustration
I love their family picture!
Now to deal with the rest of the month, the non Christmas related stresses, the Christmas ones… they all bundle together and have managed to wear me down. BUT some time with a wonderful friend (Karyn of course), a trip to mail an envelope, visiting the library and other random fun has helped the smile back on my face. The nap in the afternoon during the Uno tournament helped the stress relief along. Although choosing to nap on the couch in front of said tournament was not the brightest choice!
Pre Karyn Uno warm up
Post tournament dance party
It is odd not to have a million commitments to my time though a few rare things are outstanding. We have not done much by the way of homeschooling lately, just our Advent colouring BUT tomorrow we will probably catch up on our Bible verses. They were so over done from the day before’s party that really settling them to learning was not possible.
Of course I got lazy and chose bath and library book over resizing pictures… so this is being posted the next day (oops) and will be followed by ANOTHER blog post! Sorry all… Christmas is almost here and I am determined to squeeze some relaxation here and there anyway! Merry Almost Christmas! Enjoy the Christmas video! Sorry just one for two days!