Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas, Y'all

It is time for me to take a break from blogging and wrapping and crafting and bags and so forth, and just enjoy Christmas.  I'll be back soon with Holiday Tales.  I wish you all the very merriest Christmas and a happy 2011!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Twenty-Two and a Party

Yesterday was Daphne's school Chistmas party. Singing, snacks, and a craft as usual. The singing is my favorite.

The craft was a card:

Last night we opened Bag 22, which contained some Christmas M-n-M's and a note that said "Daphne's choice: Play a game or have Family Band Time."

We did both. It was fun.
Two more bags to go.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fox on the Run

On the way out of my parents' neighborhood today, we saw this fox.  He stood by the road and stared at us.  Then when I got out the camera, he ran away.  It was cool.

Twenty One

Twenty-One - Bake Christmas cookies with Grandma:


A good time was had by all. 
Thanks, Grandma.


Bag 20:  Make Christmas cards for your teachers.

Done and done.

And we also decided it was time to get our Grow-a-Reindeer out of his bucket of water.  We were promised 600% growth.  I don't think we got quite that much:

Please go here for comparison. 


Anyway, now I have my bread-dough making container back and some valuable counter space.  And supposedly, Rudolf will shrink back to his original size and we can do it ALL OVER AGAIN!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hey Nineteen

Yesterday, we went to meet my parents and Jeff at P. F. Chang to celebrate Jeff's and Kev's birthdays.  Then we went to their house for two kinds of Birthday pie.  Yum.  Then, we opened Bag 19, which was "Go see the Christmas Lights."  There is a big regional park near Manassas that has an annual Festival of Lights drive-though kind of a thing, so I (cleverly!) planned the bag to coincide with our visit.

The Festival of Lights, which I have been wanting to see since we moved here, was a little disappointing, I have to admit.  Especially for the 20 bucks it cost (per car) to get in.  But Daphne liked it a lot, and it WAS pretty cool.  I think I just had my expectations set too high.  It was definitely nice to do a Christmas activity with my parents, though.  AND everyone was on good behavior.  So, Bag 19 was a success.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Eighteen Rocks

Bag 18 held (drumroll, please)...

Tickets to the Rocknoceros Holiday Show!

We opened it first thing in the morning. Well, after Daphne had enough time to put her antlers on and brush her teeth. The show started at 10:30, and was opened by a barbershop quartet featuring Coach Cotton's dad:

They were great, but the little kids in the crowd weren't really into the whole barbershop scene, so they were glad when Rocknoceros finally took the stage:

I only took one picture. It is blurry as you can see. Coach lost his voice, so WillieBob and Boogie Benny handled things, and did a fine job. Daphne sang along and player her shaker, but wouldn't stand up in the front with the other kids. As usual. Oh well.

We met our friends there and went to lunch with them at a really great Greek place in Vienna called Plaka. Then we stopped at the Container Store on the way home. Even after all that, Daphne ONCE AGAIN took no nap, but luckily tonight's dinner pleased her highness and all went well. After she went to bed, I got all of her gifts wrapped. And now I'm going to bed. Tomorrow is another big day. Stay tuned for Bag 19.

Seventeen, or The Bag that Almost Wasn't

 Bag Number 17.  Oh, Lord.  Bag Number 17 was opened after a very long day of school (on a two hour delay), playing in the snow, and no nap.  So right before bag-opening time, we had a VERY tired Peanut on our hands who was unhappy with the pasta sauce that was on her spaghetti at dinner.  She fell apart, and we almost skipped Bag Time.  But, she managed to pull herself together enough to go to Cocoa with Santa, where she got to drink hot chocolate, do crafts, and visit with Santa.   She told him she wants an apple in her stocking.  I reckon he can handle that. 

You can see in the picture below that by the time the event was over, Daphne was a complete crazy mess, but she had a great time, and was so excited to talk to Santa, so I'm glad she got to go.
I don't even want to know what I looked like at that point.

Sixteen, Going on Seventeen

Sixteen:  Read a very special story.

This bag came with a pop-up book about Jesus.  For some reason, in this particular book, there were bunnies and lizards following the star, but otherwise, it was good.  Daphne likes the kings.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Prepare to be Pummelled

OK, this is probably only fun to watch if you are me, or Kev, or one of Daphne's grandparents, so feel free to make it stop after a few seconds when you get the idea. (For some reason, I can't get the video narrow enough for the blog column, so if you want to see the cut off bits, you can go here.)

Then again, if I have taken a picture of you during the past three or four years, you might be in it. And it's kinda fun to pause it at random and see what picture comes up.

Anyway, this was put together by Pummelvision, which slurped photos from my Flickr account and strung them together, added some annoying music, and allowed me to watch my life (well, part of it, anyway), pass before my eyes. My flickr photos are very random, but imagine the possibilities if you had time to plan this out. For example, if you were pregnant, you could take a photo standing in the same spot every day for nine months, get them pummeled, and watch your belly grow in about three minutes. Or you could show people the 500 photos you took on your vacation to Branson without boring them into a coma. Fun!

The snow has delayed the schools in this county for two hours this morning. So instead of going to preschool from 8:30 to 11:30, Daphne will got from 10:30 to 12:30. That gives me only two hours to myself, so I need to go plan a strategy. There will be almost no time this weekend for Christmas preparations. I'm almost done, but there are loose ends, and things that need wrapping. That being said, I hve remained calm throughout the holiday season thus far, and am enjoying it more than I have in years. Yay, Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fifteen and Snow

Fifteen: Make snowflakes.

Today, it started snowing.

I call the photo below "Eating a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich in Snowboots, Looking Out the Back Door, and Waiting for Mommy to Finally Let Me Go the Heck Outside."

At last, her dreams came true.

I stayed inside, warm and dry, and watched through the windows. She had a blast. So did I.

Good food with good friends last night. Slightly less homesick today.

Next time: Bag 16.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fourteen and More Sewing

 Bag 14 contained "just a note."  Daphne is always disappointed when there is just a note.  And I was a little worried too, because the just a note said to bundle up and walk down to the pub to see Big Al and the Acadians play some Dixieland Jazz.  It was about 19 degrees with a wind chill near 0.  So, we drove.  I had to let go of my original idea of a delightful winter stroll.  But that's OK.  As it turns out, I think this was my favorite activity so far. 

We got to the King's Court Tavern just in time for the first set.  We ordered delicious fish and chips (voted Best in Virginia!) and settled into our booth.  The band (above - I got this picture somewhere on the internet) played, and we ate, and it was like we were in New Orleans and London at the same time.  Daphne tapped her hands to the beat and made quite an impression on the old guys, because they all came over to talk to her after the first set.  The drummer even took her back to see his drums because she told him she had drums at home.

The best part was when Big Al himself came by and told Daphne he was really glad she came to see them, to which Daphne replied, "Well, I'm really glad the bag told us to come to see you, you see we have these bags at home and they tell us what to do and..."  And I could see a giant question mark forming over the head of Big Al, so I chimed in with some sort of small talk and we all moved on.  It was a good night out.

This morning, after dropping Daphne at school, I worked on the requested red robe with a white collar.  It is now finished:

If you do not look closely, it's a pretty OK-looking robe.  I was baffled by the instructions for the collar, so I just winged it (wung it?).  It isn't going to win any sewing awards, but Daphne will think it's just fine.  And that's what counts.

All the sewing has caused me to neglect some things in the kitchen, like the breakfast dishes, so I am off to TCB.  Coming soon:  Bag 15.  You see, we have these bags that tell us what to do...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thirteen and Some Sewing

Thirteen - Make Christmas cards for the neighborhood kids.  I got two DIY card kits in the Target $1.00 section.  Daphne made a list of the kids in the neighborhood and needed to make seven cards.  We got four of them done.  We can finish today.  I am not leaving the house.  It is 19 degrees.

Yesterday, while Daphne was at school, I made her these Christmas pajamas below.  She also wants a robe, so I got all the pieces cut for that and I'll start working on it tomorrow.  I'll probably give them to her on Christmas Eve, so she can wear them Christmas morning.  I am worried about the construction of the robe.  It looks kinda hard.  But in the words of the great Tim Gunn, I'll make it work.

Actually, now that I think about it, tonight's bag involves leaving the house.  Hmmm...may have to do a swap...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Half-Way There

Day Twelve, and the paperwhites have started to bloom.

We opened Bag 12 before dinner so Daphne would have something to look forward to. The note in the bag said "Family Movie Night" and there was a special package containing:

After we ate (Guinness stew!), Daphne waited on the couch for me to clean the dishes and Kev to finish something upstairs. He came down and started to make popcorn, and I went into the TV room and this is what I saw:

Poor kid. Sound asleep at 6:30 (she didn't take a nap), with a hat and a backpack on. We thought about taking her on up to bed, but we woke her up and watched the movie. Tomorrow when it's time to get up for school, we will find out if that was a bad decision. I love "Elf." Now, it REALLY feels like Christmas.

Eleven and a Parade

 Saturday morning, the Christmas Parade came past the house.  There was no camel, but there WAS a reindeer: 

In the evening, we opened Bag Number 11.

There was no camel, but there WAS a reindeer:

Specifically, it was a "Grow-a-Reindeer."  When I bought it, I didn't read the instructions.  I assumed it grew quickly.  You know what they say about assuming.  Apparently, it takes this thing up to TEN DAYS to reach its full size.

After visiting a certain stable, Rudolf was placed into a large container of water so he could do his thing.

He is ever-so-slightly bigger today.  Should be fully grown by Christmas, I guess.

Ten - Family Band Night

 Daphne got a pink tambourine and Kev got some Christmas song books.
 And Daphne played drums with her mittens on.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Eight and Nine

Bag Number 8 - We were instructed to read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," which I got at Kohl's for 5 bucks.
Daphne let Kev open the bag this time.

We enjoyed the story, but there was some controversy because the characters in the book look different than the ones on TV.  The Grinch TV special is pure genius.  Chuck Jones is pure genius.  I hope we didn't miss it this year.  We never know when things are on TV.

Bag Number Nine contained a very homemade Christmas Charades game.  I was worried it would be kind of a lame night, but it was really fun.  Playing charades with Daphne is hilarious.

 Below, she is acting out a popular Christmas character.  We thought for sure it was Rudolf, but we were wrong.

Because Rudolf, which she acted out later, actually looks like THIS:

Notice the difference?  We didn't get the first one until she started doing this dance: it all makes sense!

Today it snowed for a few minutes and then it stopped.  I was glad.  Visions of last year have been dancing in my head, and I don't think I want to go through all that again.  Snow loses its magical quality when it is taller than you and is frozen into a giant iceberg at the end of your driveway.

Daphne was VERY excited about the snow, and tried to play in it.  She had a blast.  Being four and a half is where it's at.