Winter Break 2011

3 01 2012

Winter Vacation… One day to go for my girls. Somewhat ended for me yesterday. But it is difficult to call ministry work when it involves my own children. (BTW if you are clicking on this through Facebook and wondering why I have multiple updates, it is because I’m attempting my first post via my new iPad and “update” is near the words I wanted to edit – gotta love new technology).

I have to say it has been a very full vacation time. Ellie started break on the 17th and the next morning we drove to Leavenworth, in the mountains, for a day to support Doug playing with the Brassband Northwest. We listened to them play several holiday tunes, stood in line forever for the women’s restroom, sipped hot cocoa from the Kiwanis, and didn’t brave he shops due to it being an incredibly touristy holiday weekend. Well, except for the toy store selling sleds for the sled hill near the gazebo. Doug pushed the girls down it and I thought they were going to die!

While in Leavenworth, I met a Facebook friend in real life… We’ve actually met before but vaguely recall. Luke, also known as L-Bow the Clown, is a cousin from my stepdad’s side of the family. He lives nearby and performs in a singing group that ended up performing immediately following BBNW. It was fun to connect, figure out how we might be related, and hear about his then soon to be born daughter. If you’re in Leavenworth for a festival – he is the fire eating clown on a unicycle. Look him up for your child’s next birthday! I hope my girls get to see him perform some day.

Monday during the day we had playdate at the church with some friends, then traveled to Molbak’s nursery for our tradition of choosing a piece to add to our Fontanini nativity set (and viewing, rather than breaking, all the beautiful and fragile ornaments). Itbis fun to do this with my girls. That night we took them to see Santa for pictures at the mall, we determined with Ellie that Santa has a deal and direct line with toy companies for certain toy items (like American Girl Dolls), so the elves don’t have to make those. Then wevhadca nice family dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Lynnwood – have you spotted the rubber ducky on the trolley there yet??

During the rest of the week, Ellie & Katie spent Tuesday through Friday with Doug’s parents. This has somewhat become a tradition where they take the girls Christmas shopping for us. It also allows for us to get a date night or two in, gift shop for our girls, and also work extra hours at our jobs if needed. We ended up discovering that in Bothell, Applebees is pretty much the only place open – on a week night – past 10pm for late dinners. They also have a happy hour beginning at 9pm. The Long Island Ice Teas are a bit watered down, but I highly recommend their Lemon Drop martinis. 🙂 it was a good couple of days for all of us.

Then, suddenly, it was Christmas Eve on Saturday! We spent the midday with my dad, his girlfriend, my sister and her crew, and my brother’s fiancé and children, my brother ended up being called into work. It was a nice time filled with pizza, plenty of food, and gifts… especially dolls for the granddaughters. Doug had a fun time shopping for our 2 year old nephew since everything tends to be quite girly in our home. After that celebration we ran down to Seattle for two Christmas Eve services. I was on the docket for children’s sermons, while Doug sang in the choir. Our girls did reasonably well, although we learned dolls in worship do not work very well for our family, as Katie tossed a few items in the air when her tolerance level was low.

The past several years, we’ve rushed from worship tobdinnerbwith my mom/stepdad/sibs on Chritmas eve. My mom & Stepdad moved to Wauconda,WA earlier this year which has caused us to change up our Easter, Thanksgiving, an Christmas traditions. I’ll be honest that this change was not easy for me. My family and life constantly changed through my childhood and for 35 years I’ve clung to holiday traditions as a constant. This year I learned sometimes I just have to suck it up and be OK with not having things the way I remember them to be. My heart broke a bit when I called my mother to wish her Merry Christmas and could tell was probably harder for her, than for me. I also found my attitude towards change ironic, since my career and life is so much about being a catalyst and advocate for change of heart and sometimes tradition.

Christmas Day we had a short time at home, then whisked off to worship – in our Pajamas! I love telling of baby Jesus to little ones while holding a baby doll.They all want to hold him and have so much wonder in their eyes. And the added feature of all of us in our jammies was a special touch. After worship was gifts with Doug’s parents and Skype time with my bro & sis in law and nephew. Christmas dinner was spent with a crew of 20+ folks including Aunts, uncles, cousins and grandfather on Doug’s mother’s side. It was really great to see them all, I’m so blessed to be in their family.

I took time off from work because I have umpteen vacation hours to use and to spend time with Ellie and Katie. One day I took them to daycare so I could go to the dentist and run a couple errands. Most of the days we’ve filled with recovering, cleaning, and playdating. We even held a New Year’s Eve party last minute..l complete with fondue, Killer Bunnies, and children ringing in the new year dancing to music swaying glow sticks in the dark. It was a blast to celebrate with friends from various circles and my brother’s family.

Today we started the morning with Doug baking cinnamon rolls and ended with him baking a delicious quiche. Benefits of a free holiday off or him. The girls and I hosted Drop In Playtime at the church, came home for lunch, got professional manicures (a first for them!), and shopped or way too long at Target to exchange doubled gifts and use gift cards. Tomorrow Doug plans to take them sledding while I am at work praying they all return home alive. Wednesday is back to school and work for us all.

Definitely a full winter break!

Happy New to you and those you love!!




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