Sunday, November 25, 2012

Snow Day

Sora woke up to the first "real" snow of the season this morning and was very excited to play outside!



 We got about 1.5" of snow, but it was enough to make snow angels and take numerous runs down the sled hill.
Hopefully there will be much more of this in our future this winter, but ideally after the lake freezes so that we have a nice, smooth ice rink at our house instead of the nasty, rough, bumpy ice that forms under the snow... We've already bought Sora skates, skis and snowshoes, so hopefully that guarantees the good snowfall!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

 As is our new family tradition, we enjoyed a delicious, unusual Thanksgiving dinner on a beautiful day here at camp. Kyle loves planning the menu, and starts thinking of concepts a year in advance!

 Here he is sampling his delicious menu.
This year we bought a turkey breast instead of a whole bird. It was a wise move, plus it made cooking time so much shorter.

 This year we had a tapas feel to the menu. Here is Kyle's twist on green beans with bacon (wrapped in crescent rolls).
 Mini-muffin style stuffing with cranberry balsamic dipping sauce
 Potato Au Gratin stacks
 Turkey and veggie spring rolls
 Sweet potato "cannoli" stuffed with mashed sweet potatoes
 This sums up our entire family's feelings about our fancy meal.

After our dinner, we went on our traditional Thanksgiving day walk. It was 64 degrees today - unseasonably warm. Last year, there was ice on the lake during our turkey walk. While we did see a little ice last week, there was no trace of ice today!

 Sora's obsessed with letters right now and she loves helping me read the little words on the signs.


 Exploring the wet sand near the pond. There were a lot of great animal tracks and empty snail shells.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our friends and family! We hope you have as much to be thankful for as we do!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Naughty or Nice

Every year, the nearby library hosts a "naughty or nice" night before Santa starts keeping track. Sora abhors Santa this year, which is a topic for another post, but apparently there was just enough of the Santa concept to make this a fun daddy daughter date!

After an appropriately themed story, the kids sang a song about gettin' nothin' for Christmas.

Then the naughty stuff began. On the list for the evening:
 Coloring on the walls
 Drawing on and defacing dolls (with permanent markers!)
 Taking funny school pictures. There was also soda drinking (which Sora thinks tastes "sour") involved.
There was also a nice project - writing down what you're thankful for on the number 4. Sora has done similar "thankful" lists this year, and they always involve the first few things she sees. This list involved hats, camera, and Grandma D.

For the naughty grand finale, and because the children's librarian is the best person I've ever met about going one step further than you think she will, Miss Cindy covered her face in Karo syrup and let the kids throw popcorn all over her face.
Now, hopefully Sora has gotten all the naughty out, rather than just come away with new ideas of how to be naughty!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stuck Inside

Our fall weather has turned colder and with Kyle busy most Saturdays this month with work, Sora and I have been coming up with more creative ways to spend our time at home.  Here is a peek into our latest "preschool" theme of community helpers.
 Fireman. Sora bravely saved dolls and animals from high places by climbing a tall (step) ladder.

Playing "old school" library. The whole stamping/card system was hard to explain since I could barely even remembered how it worked, but Sora loved "helping" find books and stamping the number of days to check it out and an initial for who was checking it out.

Delivering mail as a postman.
 First, we wrote a ton of "letters" to various animals and each other.
 Then we inserted them into the mailbox (inspired by this)
 Sora took them out of the box and delivered them to the correct individual mailboxes.
 Clifford and Turtle, anxiously awaiting their mail.
 Scooby and Horton also got in on the action.
Of course, some mail was for Sora too. We deposited half of the money in Sora's piggy bank a few weeks ago and she got to spend the other half on a toy at the toy store. This mailbox was what she chose and it's been a lot of fun! I'm surprisingly in love with the crayons involved - they are super washable.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween: Take 2

This past weekend, Sora and I took the train around the big lake over to see my brother and his family. My parents were also visiting at the same time, so my mom got to see her 3 favorite grandchildren at the same time, which is too rare.
I heart Amtrak! Overall, it's not very cost effective vs. driving, but it is much more pleasant and their customer service is really good. I accidentally bought tickets for the wrong day, and was able to switch it on the train at no additional cost. 

While visiting, we found a big "Trunk or Treat" that Sora decided could count for actual Halloween (even though it was on Saturday). We were greeted by the most amazing costume I've ever seen:
 It's hard to tell, but there's a guy in there! You can see his hand if you look closely. He was on some type of stilts, but he walked very fluently.
 Here is a tiny portion of the line into the event. It moved quickly, but they expected 5000 kids! There was free donuts and coffee while we waited in line which helped it go more quickly.
 The trunks had a competition for best decoration, which made it a step up from just taking candy from strangers in cars.
 This reminded me of the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Notice the taxidermy deer head.
 There were some other things going on like balloon animals, face painting, and bouncy houses.
 We also went to Sora's cousin's 2nd birthday party and had a lot of fun playing with both cousins, grandma and grandpa, and Uncle Travis and Aunt Kandis.
Here we are waiting for the train to take us back home. My only gripe is that the train stops 3 hours from our house, so there was still a long drive home after we got off the train. Sora tested out "Mr. Red", her Trunki suitcase. She liked sitting on it while it was wheeled around, as well as the ability to easily pull it herself. She got a lot of compliments and was adorable.