Cookie Day & Christmas Village

My kids have no school this week, and boredom isn’t an option.  Fortunately, there is a wonderful grandma in our life who is more than willing to let her grandkids trash her kitchen.

Jeffrey: expert cookie cutter

William: supreme dough roller

Eleanor: takes on any and all flour-sprinkling duties

June: absolute best at smiling for the camera

We made this many cookies.  Lo, the sugar rush was great in size.

To shake off the sweets, my mom and I took my kids to Ogden’s Christmas Village afterwards.  For those of you not in the know, this is a series of miniature cottages, decorated inside with holiday-themed dioramas.

Some of the cottages have little nooks especially designed for children to climb and explore.  Others have buttons to push for special effects (like an animatronic Santa waving his robot arm, etc.).  We were there early in the day, so my kids didn’t have to compete to see the special effects.

I loved this “Hansel and Gretel” house, although I’m not sure if my kids recognized the story.

My mom and I really liked this scene of snowmen at a lunch counter.  The snowman on the center stool foolishly ordered hot chili and, as you can see, has melted, much to the dismay of his friends.

The children’s favorite was a house showing a nutcracker workshop.  There were probably over a hundred nutcrackers on display in the little house — so fun for playing “I Spy.”  Thanks again, Mom, for a lovely winter day out!

Pumpkin Day!

Halloween 2009 kiss

It’s been so dark in the mornings lately that Eleanor couldn’t understand why she couldn’t go Trick-or-Treating the moment she woke up today. 

“You can go trick-or-treating after dinner tonight,” I explained. 

“But it’s dark now,” she patiently explained, pointing out the window.

When dawn broke shortly after breakfast, she became quite Put Out.

“Why is the sun rising?!?” she wailed.  “The sun is not supposed to shine on Halloween!  It’s supposed to be all spooky and scary outside!”

Absolutely nothing I said could console her.  She just stood by the picture window in our front room and pointed at the rising sun, her face puckered with indignation. 


Ah, my daughter: constantly upset that she can’t literally control the universe.

Needless to say, she perked up once the day got going.  I managed to scrounge up orange striped shirts for the kids, and even found a black-and-orange hairbow for her hair.  She loved posing with the pumpkins Grandma & Grandpa helped carve this afternoon.  

Halloween 2009 Ella & pumpkins

The grandparents were even kind enough to bring supplies for making Jack ‘o Lantern pita pizzas so I wouldn’t have to cook today.  My contribution to the meal was to get a box of Halloween donuts from the Banbury Cross bakery.  They make darling holiday donuts in the shapes of cats, bats, pumpkins, and ghosts.  Adorably delicious, and the kids loved going to pick them up with me, especially since we got to sample a still-warm-from-the fryer fresh batch of chocolate glazed.  Mmmm.

Here they are in their costumes, just seconds before heading off to get treats.  Brian’s been out of town all week for a conference, and just got back this afternoon.  The kids were really excited to do this with him.  I was really excited to have some time to myself. 

Halloween 2009 whole gang

Eleanor is Snow White, Jeffrey is Robin Hood, and Wimmy is one cute tiger.  Brian wore the tiger costume when he was a little kid, and his mom was thrilled to see it in action once more.  The Robin Hood costume is one my mother made for my little brother years ago, and she helped me make Eleanor’s costume this year as well.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  But of course, I thought Wimmy stole the show.

Halloween 2009 brian & wimmy

Halloween 2009 wimmy

The kids finished Trick-or-Treating quite early but still brought home a nice haul of goodies.  Other kids were still coming to our door, though, so Jeff, Ella & Wim had the exciting fun of handing out candy themselves.  They scampered to the front door in nightgowns and pajamas, eager to hand over our big orange treat bowl.  Jeffrey even bestowed a glow stick from his own treats on a boy he knows from church.  “Take this to light you on your way,” Jeff said, all solemn.

When we began to run low on candy, the kids became very concerned.  “We’re running out!” cried Jeffrey, counting the last few fun-size bars in the bowl.  “Let’s put in some of the candy from our treat bags!”  It was sweet that he was ready to give away his own goods, but I told them that all we had to do was turn off our front porch light, and the problem would be solved.  This they did with gusto.