Christmas catchup, first post.

Spot hung out in several places.  (yes, I know I need to dust, it happens)

He sure likes hanging out.  *snort*

He’s also quite adventurous.  He was zip-lining to the tree with a piece of wrapping ribbon.

So he could leave a gift in the tree for the kids.  Because, of course, Santa picked up Spot on his way through town.

So not a flattering photo, but hey, I guess we were all in it.  Sigh.  I have like no photos on my wall.  Just clutter.  Maybe we’ll get around to fixing part of that, but I’m still not holding my breath for a good family photo.  Oh yeah, this was on the yearly lake cruise to see Santa at the North Pole.

I made special hot chocolate for the boys at some point.  Can’t remember which day.  They were beyond thrilled though.

Apparently elves and water heaters don’t mix

Our silly elf Spot…  He has a bit of a sweet tooth apparently.

Hanging out on a twinkle garland.

Here’s the garland.  We still don’t have our tree up.  I just bought it the other day, it’s acclimating in the garage right now.

Our water heater went on the fritz.  Gas valve/ignition issues.

So hubby called up the company, again (if you remember, we had to entirely replace this sucker a few years back due to a leaky tank – and this is all under warranty, again).  They sent out the part asap after he told them exactly what was going on.  The guy asked him a few questions to the tune of “how do you know it’s this” and “are you sure it’s not that” and hubby’s response of “I’m a biomass engineer, I know what I’m talking about” seemed to work. 

This is the old part.  That plastic tube with the copper spike inside?  Totally full of buildup.  We have major lime and calcium in our water.  It just, is what it is.

Here’s the two parts – old and busted on the left, shiny and new on the right.

Hubby installed the new one, and we’ve had reliable hot water ever since.  Knock on wood that it stays working for at least several more years.  We certainly won’t be buying another water heater manufactured by this company again, that’s for sure.

Today’s experiment.  I’m making bread using all pantry ingredients.  Powdered milk (well, I reconstituted it last night), powdered honey, powdered butter, powdered eggs, flour, yeast, etc.  I could’ve even used water from the pantry as well, but since I currently *do* have running water figured I was fine on that end.   

We shall see how it turns out in a few hours.  I just need to rotate through/make use of my pantry goods, and making bread takes care of several of the items down there.

Here is Spot the Elf.  He’s hanging from a hook above the tv here.

And here he is on the doorbell chime just inside the front door.

This is where he was today.

Silly Spot.

He found some of Daddy’s ski/winter goodies.

And then some hand-me-down slippers.

Those hand-me-down slippers?  Only part of it.  All this mess?  Clothing the kids aren’t currently wearing.  I stock up in sizes ahead when I get freebies from friends or screamin’ deals at consignment sales, whatever.  So I have 2T through 16 in these suckers, plus the current sizes in dressers upstairs.

Here they are all done being sorted and folded and put back together.  Still need a decent piece of real estate though, that’s the current conundrum I have.  I can’t just take them off to the storage unit because I’m perpetually digging in them every so often, and if they’re out of the house, I forget about them and what I *do* have.

I think this was a drill?  Or a fancy screwdriver?  Something that he kept trying to poke me with.

Another…. something?  Another drill maybe?

A goofy sign contraption the 8yo made.  To make sure kids wouldn’t play behind the recliner.  Sigh.

Okay, here’s the icing on the cake here. 
I found this photo on pinterest or something, and thought my boys would go bonkers.  Well, I was partly right. 

I didn’t have the time to construct something as pretty and perfect as this one, and kept telling the 8yo to wait until Grampa was here or the weekend when Daddy didn’t have to work (I have that whole pesky kid-caretaking and feeding and house cleaning thing to take care of throughout the majority of the day).
The 8yo decided that just wasn’t good enough.  So with my blessing, cardboard boxes, scissors and a roll of tape, he holed himself up in the laundry room (away from the prying eyes and fingers of the 22mo) and came out with this.

He is totally smitten, and I’m so proud of him.  He took the photo (just a photo!) and made it happen.
It’s not designer or totally perfect, but it’s perfectly his.  And really, they all have just as much fun with it as they would anything else.