I haven’t updated in a while as we’ve been having technical issues: for a time the blog was down entirely, and now it won’t let me post photos, so instead I’ll direct you to our Picasa Albums where you can see what we’ve been up to!
Since I last posted, the boys have been busy playing with their trains, we took a day trip to “Oma Beach” (aka Drake’s Beach), and have spent a good deal of time prepping for Oliver’s fourth birthday party – it has a train theme (again).
A family friend was kind enough to send us a gingerbread train and train station, and a rice krispy treat train as well. Oliver and Patrick have enjoyed decorating these hyper-sugary creations, and they will adorn one of the tables at his party!
In other news, we have the LEAST energy-efficient furnace allowed to be sold in California. On a scale of 78-96 (78 being the least efficient), ours is an 80, so the thermal curtains have been taken from the playroom and are currently hanging over the two main windows in our living room. Not the greatest look, but it makes a noticeable difference.
We had some technical issues over the holidays so the blog was down, but everything appears to be back up and running. We had a low-key holiday season, spent Christmas at home with family, did nothing exciting for New Years, and are looking forward to regularly scheduled activities to start up again this week.
To celebrate the new year (and the addition of a second bridge), the trains have come back to the living room (as long as they’re not being fought over and stay off the floor/on the table, they’re allowed to stay).
I was going to put a really cute photo of the boys playing with their trains here, but the media uploader isn’t working. I will try again later.
Oliver has been on winter break from preschool since Friday and we’ve been busy. We’ve baked cookies for ourselves, and biscuits for my mother-in-law’s dog, Winston.
We also went to the grocery store and we didn’t find any peppermint ice cream, so we came home and made our own. Early Saturday morning, after the custard had chilled and the ice cream bowl had frozen over night, we churned ice cream. The boys were quite excited about it.
After we finished the ice cream, it had to be sampled. It was very popular.
We also worked out a way to hang the stockings so they could all be seen.
When all that was finished we went outside to lighten the load on our lemon tree. The lemons are not quite ripe yet, but some are more ripe than others so they came off.
Then the boys went to work in the yard making “mix” (aka a muddy mess).
Every now and then when the boys drive me absolutely crazy I send them out to the backyard to search for Unicorns. I used to send them out looking for gnomes, but that backfired.
I’m fairly sure one day they’re going to find a unicorn, and then I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but until then I’m going to enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet while they’re out searching.
Until such time as they do find unicorns, I plan to “find” the occasional unicorn poop cookie (recipe below the cut) to continue the notion that there may be real unicorns visiting the yard. We have deer, wild turkeys, large domestic cats, and large domestic dogs which wander in the back orchard, why not have unicorns visiting us?
I’m also considering making some out of salt dough and hiding it in the yard once the weather dries up a bit.
This was our Saturday afternoon project while we waited for the notary to come by with our refinance paperwork.
It was inspired by the Tutorial: Gift Box Wreath at Dana Made It and then taken to the logical next level of over-the-top kitschy Christmas the addition of extra ribbons, bows and package tags. It’s going to hang on the inside of our front door, as the security screen would smush it and it is simply too fabulous to share with the neighbors.
This morning, in a fit of desperation and desire to get out of the house and see other grownups I called one of my mom-friends to see if she wanted to get together and do SOMETHING outside the house. She mentioned she was considering going to the local library because they were having a “decorate gingerbread houses” activity for children 0-5, and it might be fun.
Half an hour later, the boys and I were at the library, plates, milk cartons and plastic knives in hand. We found a table, generously laid out with tubs of frosting, twizzlers, hand candies, fruit loops, candy canes and mini-marshmallows, and set to work on creating sugary masterpieces.
Once I got Oliver started he was quite adept at piling on frosting and decorations.
Patrick had a fair bit of help from me, and enjoyed sneaking fruit loops.
Our friends joined us, and we had a good deal of fun piling more candy, fruit loops, frosting, and trim on to our little houses. They were topped off with “rainbow snow” (colorful sugar crystals).
When we were finished, we went for a walk to the park, which had many huge puddles for the boys to splash in. Patrick face-planted in the deepest puddle (about 6-8 inches of water at the deepest point), and got thoroughly soaked so we headed home (it was also nearing lunch time).
More photos of today’s adventures and the inevitable consumption/destruction of the gingerbread houses can be found in the December 2012 Picasa album.