One of the first things I want to share with you is Grace's plan to do something extra special for Santa. This was totally her idea, inspired, I believe, from the book, A Year Without Santa Claus by Phyllis McGinley. Basically this book talks about how Santa is tired of all the work it takes to put on Christmas. All the kids everywhere are devastated, except one, who says Santa should have some time off, that they should give to Santa. So they do. The end.
This whole idea really stuck with her because she came to me with a plan to do something really nice and could we please give Santa a special present. Yes and yes.
She suggested wool socks ("like Daddy's because his feet sure do get cold while he's riding in his sleigh..."). I keep lots of these packs of socks around, so we got some out, tied a ribbon on them and they were ready.
Then she colored a poster for him to hang in his workshop and made a card.
Now here's proof that Frank's tax dollars are working!
(and that Grace's sainted kindergarten teacher is performing miracles in the classroom)
Grace wrote this whole note, spelling and all (I drew the lines on the card) by herself.
I was mopping the floor at the time (ultra-luxo, I know!) and she followed me around the house, sounding out words and checking with me when she had a question until she was done. This is what she wrote:
To be fair, I did tell her what the date was.
And I reminded her to use spaces between the words.
But that's it.
She decided that Santa would want something different to eat and drink, so we left tea and brownies.
I was so proud of her that she thought to be giving by herself.
Maybe she is actually listening. Maybe.
The rest of Christmas morning was blur.
Frank and I were awoken by four little feet thump, thump, thumping out to the Christmas tree and then even more excitedly, thump, thump, thumping back to our room to drag us out of bed.
Up and out we went.
I pushed go on the coffee pot as I past by the kitchen and flipped the oven on to 350* to get ready for the cinnamon rolls.
Mark stumbled up the stairs with the Breakfast Strata (more on that later...) and the wrapping paper flew.
Most of our pictures were just a blur of fleece and happy smiles, but these were a success.
Up top you see Frankie with one of his new puzzles and Grace twirling in her new skirt that she and Nana had picked out the material for together.
The bottom row is Frankie showing off his antique train coin bank (that sucker weighs a TON!) and then of course Grace, holding up her new Tinkerbell Fairy hairbrush. Joy of joys.
After all the gifts were opened and I had taken all the cardboard and paper out to the recycling center, I got my much needed first cup of coffee.
Then the cinnamon rolls went in the oven, followed by the Breakfast Strata.
Both were delicious.
Strata was even better the next day.
I found the recipe for this tasty-make-ahead dish here.
I used bacon instead of sausage because that's what I had.
Oh and I added an extra egg because I was going to use a bigger pan.
I spent the day cooking (our bird was SO juicy!) and packing for our first snowmachine trip the next day.
Dinner was delicious and the kids stayed in their pajamas the WHOLE day.
They love it when I let them do that.
Frankie slept with his 18 inch hard plastic firetruck.
Flash forward to the next day.
Our trip ended up not happening because after a quick stop in at the urgent care clinic, showed that Frankie had borderline pneumonia and an ear infection.
Wait, what?! Back the truck up.
Yeah, three days before Christmas, we went into the the clinic for Grace because I thought she had pink eye.
Turned out she had a sinus infection.
So when Frankie started in with the same symptoms on Christmas Eve (and we missed the clinic open hours by twenty minutes), I thought we could stop in real quick, grab the prescription and go anyway. He and I could hang in the cabin and all would be fine.
But then the PNEUMONIA bomb was dropped and all was cancelled.
Frank, Mark and Grace went snow-machining for the day and little man + I took it easy at the house.
Everyone is either well or on the mend now.
Not that you would ever know anyone was down, what with the crazies running around here...
Hope everyone had a great day and that you can again take a deep breath because all decorations are put away.
I know I can!
p.s. our tree was on the porch Christmas night! I couldn't take it ANYMORE!!