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.

All over the place, from elves to bread to ornaments

My pantry bread.  Every single ingredient was from the pantry.  Except the water, but I could’ve gotten that from the pantry, too.  Jury’s still out.  It’s totally edible, just a slightly different flavor.  Although granted, this was the first time I’d made bread in like a year or two.

My “helpers” in the kitchen while making bread.

How could I *not* take photos?

He’s just a cute little ragamuffin.

Who happens to be fond of bananas and sitting on the counter.

A free drink shaker we got today.  Score.  It’s a nice glass and stainless deal, too – not goofy plastic.

Part of my Olive Nation order.  Yum.  Vanilla powder and vanilla bean paste (it’s more like goo, paste doesn’t gloop all runny-like) and then some peach extract for fun. 

The other part of my order – a pound and a half of vanilla beans.  Oh my, these were beautiful beans.  So what did I do with them?  Started some of my own vanilla extract.  Yup, a whole quart of vodka there.  Takes about 6 months or so to age it, so I’ve got time.

Spot’s perch the other day.

Different part of the garland.  Apparently Spot was sleepy.

Ah, the joys of a toddler.  Here he is tantruming.  Because grampa let him and the 3yo play in the sink of dirty dishes.  Getting water/mess all over the kitchen and themselves.  Well, since mommy’s the tired one who has to clean it up, it ain’t gonna happen.  22mo wasn’t happy with that idea.

He wasn’t happy at all.  So I did what any mom would do.  I took a video of his tantrum.  I played it back tonight and he was enthralled with the cranky baby on mommy’s camera.  Figures.  Hmmm… maybe I should put the video back on there so the next time he tantrums I can pull it up and stop him in his tracks….

Tonight they were just being goofy.

*giggle*   This one with the silly faces is my favorite of the day.

The tree the kids decorated.  I put on the lights and the star.  That’s it.  They did the rest.  Including the chain (okay, I cut most of the strips – 8yo did the rest).  They did a really great job, too.  It’s not a fancy themed tree and it doesn’t have a ton of glass or breakable ornaments, but it’s perfect.

That star on top?  Hubby and I got at Ikea years ago shortly after we married.  We couldn’t afford the big, fancy tree-toppers out there.  This was close enough, and doesn’t barf glitter on our floor for days.

I also see handmade snowflakes and paper chains by my 8yo.  The painted elf gourds are from the wife of a former coworker of hubby’s.  The beaded ornaments are ones the 8yo and 5yo and I made two years ago or so.  The snowman in the front right there is for the 8yo, from a grandma.  The yarn-embroidered skates toward the top were mine from sometime in elementary school.

The snowman ornament up top (2008) and the 2009 one are from my mom – a little face/name on there for each of us in the family that year.  A few little crystal and stainless ornaments for the kids, again from my mom.  The wooden teddy bear near the bottom is from the church youth group I was in 20 years ago.

There’s a spoon toward the left by the gourd Santa (from old coworker’s wife again) that has a match somewhere else on the tree, from this year’s ornament exchange in one of my mom’s groups.  The quilted fabric ornament is from an online ornament exchange I had with a group of gals I’ve ‘known’ for over four years (the 3.5yo’s pregnancy/birth/growing up).  The little stockings are from various jobs and gifts over the years.  The yarn snowmen/women (with missing eyes – that was my kids’ contribution) are hand-me-downs from my mom that were on our tree when I was growing up.

The 8yo flapping like a gooney bird next to the tree.  He’s so proud of himself.  As he should be.    I could do without the pterodactyl noises though.