Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Solstice

 This year we celebrated Solstice on Dec. 21. We had planned on being at camp for winter camp and a staff reunion (which were both cancelled) so we got to enjoy camp all to ourselves.

We started out with the traditional Grandma Weezie's World Famous Cinnamon Rolls
There has been epic snow up at camp this week. It's hard to put into words what 24" of snow looks like. I can say it looks like snowshoeing everywhere since it's much too deep to simply walk.
 Sora loved playing in the snow piles. She also liked snowshoeing (which she has hated in the past).
 We decided to leave food for the birds and animals on the porch, where it was a little protected from the snow. We thought they might find the food easier there.

 After we gave food to the birds, we gave each other presents. We have a homemade present tradition. Kyle and Sora made me hand warmers and necklaces. Sora and I made Kyle custom seahawks socks and a wallet. Kyle and I made Sora a desk (with a new chair) out of an old cabinet. She was pretty excited.

 We also gave her a science book and made her a science kit. She loves science lately, so this was a big hit. Here she is filling up a balloon with gas from a baking soda / vinegar reaction.
 And here she is trying to dissolve the candy coating off of M&Ms to get the M to float on top of the liquid. She discovered that hot water worked best. Vinegar was second best.
 Here is part of the "m" floating. Gross, huh? Apparently that part is made of wax.
 For dinner, we made vegetarian sushi.

 Delish! There was a LOT of snow play.

 It finally ended when it started getting windy and the snow from the trees was falling in "tree-valances" which were getting closer and closer to where we were standing.
Nothing like solstice cupcakes to end the day!

Holiday Countdown

Last year I had to redefine my expectations in December to enjoy life rather than feel so much pressure to do so many things. I still felt some pressure, so this year I chose to do even less. We still did a holiday countdown, but I sacrificed homemade presents for my entire family (as well as some solstice decorations) in order to be happy and carefree (although a little too carefree since I didn't finish the presents I did commit to on time).

Here are a few pictures of our December:
This year we bought a living tree. It will stay in our house for many winters to come, but for now it is tiny. Sora decorated it completely by herself.
 We enjoyed the luminaries at the arboretum again this year. It was a little wet, but still pretty and fun.

 We have had a lot of snow this month! We made snow ice cream, which Sora loved!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Kyle's cooking theme this year was no recipes and Sora as Sous Chef. Sora did a lot of the prep work on Tuesday and Wednesday with Kyle, including driving out to the farm to pick up the heritage turkey. Once my parents got here, Sora lost her cooking focus and Kyle had to finish up the rest of the meal on his own.

The spread: roasted brussels sprouts, two kinds of stuffing, kale/carrot salad, mashed potatoes, sweet potato biscuits, cranberry fig sauce, and of course turkey.

My parents stayed for a few days, and their dog Willow came with them. We have the perfect yard for dog visitors, and we even found a small dog park to take her to.

It was a quiet weekend with just the 5 of us, which was nice and relaxing, but I think Sora needed a little more excitement. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Super Star

This fall, Sora has chosen swimming and ice skating as her extracurricular activities. I have chosen piano for her as well, but we're just doing that at home, so it isn't as time consuming as a full lesson.

Anyway, she has been in semi-private swim lessons with 1 or 2 other kids since school started and she's getting pretty good! Kyle brings her twice a week, but I got to go on Veteran's Day, and it was amazing to see how good she's getting.

She's also pretty adorable as a pink goldfish. One of the two girls in her class is a friend from school that Kyle brings to class. Her mom works with me and also got to see them swim on our day off and was equally proud by her daughter.

Sora LOVES ice skating. Skating lessons come with the chance to skate for free at open skating on the weekends which we have been trying to take advantage of when we can. She goes an hour a week for lessons and wishes it was every day.

She is pretty good. She gets crazy and falls, but always picks herself up and keeps at it. So impressed by her tenacity!

Monday, November 2, 2015


Between Haunted weekend at camp, the Harvest Festival at school, and actual Halloween, I am halloweened-out! Sora chose to be Violet the Incredible this year. Kyle took her trick or treating around our neighborhood. When they were done, she helped me hand out candy. She even contributed some of her own candy to our household pot to hand out. She chose to keep 20 candies and eat two a day for 10 days. She currently hates sour and hard candy and chocolate isn't her favorite. She gave Kyle all of her Reese's. 

Also, she is really into writing lately. She loves to write notes, lists, and anything else. For example, rather than cleaning her mess thoroughly the other day she chose to write a note about it.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dia de los Muertos

Sora and I went to a nearby town (where we hadn't been yet!) to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. Sora's Spanish teacher had been talking about it, and we just watched the Book of Life, so it was perfect timing! 

Of course, the first thing Sora wanted to do was eat. They gave us sweet bread at the door, but we quickly found the food stand and ate tacos (which Sora ordered herself by saying "uno taco por favor"), a tamale and strawberry lemonade. Sora's been trying to practice her Spanish skills on everyone she hears speaking Spanish (so far our neighbors and people at the store) but she's also still very shy, so she speaks too softly for them to hear her say "Hola". 
 Anyway, Sora also enjoyed decorating a sugar skull
 and making her own skull from a plate.
 There was a photo booth for kids, one for adults (which we didn't get to) and a lot of very cool alters.
 Sora even got her face painted!

 One of the last things we did at the festival was a labyrinth which prompted us to stop by the park on the way home to do a much larger labyrinth.

 Overall, it was a lot of fun!