Making our own gingerbread houses has become a tradition for our family. This year was a little different because all the kids got to decorate their own house rather than doing one corporate house as a family. The results were very unique! Elliana won the perseverance contest. Everyone was eating chili dinner and she was still decorating away. Instead of snow for the “lawn” of her house, she loaded it with a bunch of sprinkles.
Our new friends, the Bennett family, joined us for the evening. Their family is very similar to ours: they also just moved from Chicago for an ortho fellowship here (just a different hospital), they were in Chicago for both med school and residency, they have 3 girls, they’re homeschooling this year, they’re believers, Dave Ramsey came up in the course of conversation as well as Entrusted with a Child’s Heart. We met them at a playgroup and later had the girls over for a tea party. It was then that we discovered that we signed our girls up for the same Awana program. We’re just sad that we didn’t know them for all the years we were in Chicago. They are the first family we’ve met who are finishing training and have a child older than us. Grace is thrilled 🙂
We went on an adventure down to DC today with Becky and her boys plus one of beckys friends. It was a great day and aside from a broken elevator at the first train station which was still not working when we returned and the absence of an elevator on the side of the tracks that we needed at a different metro station. 6 kids ages 7 and under, 3 adults, 2 strollers and lots of stuff on an escalator is…interesting, but possible!
We started out at the Botanic garden which had a really cool train exhibit made out of natural, plant based materials. There were models of many iconic DC buildings and monuments made out of sticks, pine cone flakes, acorn tops and many other items. If you looked closely at the trains an toadstools and such, you would find they were comprised of dried flowers and mod podged, vibrant, fall-colored leaves among other things. It was all very creative and very well done. After that, we had a picnic lunch outside, walked kitty-corner to the U.S. Capitol to see a giant Christmas tree, then headed west toward the Washington monument and then to the White House. It was a very fun day, topped off with a Starbucks hot cocoa treat (which they never get-so it really was a treat!) The highlight of the whole trip I think was the train ride and the albino squirrel grace spotted running around on the national mall 🙂 Kids 🙂 I loved it all, especially all the walking! Reminded me of home in Chicago.
This train exhibit was so creative! There were all sorts of insects, toadstools and iconic DC monuments and buildings made out of natural plant materials: sticks, vines, acorn tops, colorful leaves, flower petals, etc. It all looked like it had been shellacked with something to preserve it.
The tour guides 🙂
Becky, Louis, Dean, Sarah, Grace, Elliana and Clara
Update: Pictures from the real cookie exchange have arrived!
I guess I didn’t get a picture of the actual cookies. They were very good! I did get a picture of some of the kids though!
A week ago, I was thinking it would be fun to host a get-together at our house with some of our new friends. The girls and I decided to host a cookie exchange. For new, the motivation was more a social event than to get cookies, but hey! The cookies were an added delicious benefit! Every kind was so yummy! We had 7 ladies come and lot of kids. I made beef/veggie/barley soup for lunch, another lady brought rolls and another, delicious Cajun red beans and rice. Everyone came around 9:45 and the last people left close to 2! We all had a great time!
Per my sister Therese’s advice, we made this recipe of toffee http://fiveintow.com/2013/11/16/simply-homemade-butter-toffee/. It was delicious!!!!
My pictures of the cookie exchange are on my camera. These are from a different cookie baking day at our neighbors’ house. We see Becky and the boys almost every day and are so thankful for their friendship and proximity to us! It’s nice to know that there’s someone around if I need anything. I think Becky has become my adopted sister 🙂
Yesterday was Lydia’s first birthday. To start the day, the girls thought she should have her breakfast with them at the little table, not her high chair. Later that morning, we went with some new friends to the Science Center. The girls love that place! We got to see a presentation on static electricity. Grace and Elliana were brave volunteers 🙂
Lydia turned one year old today! This has definitely been a whirlwind year, with her birth, the fact that she’s our fourth, George’s graduation, moving and all that entails, and the ongoing job search that is currently in progress. We are so, so thankful that God blessed us with Lydia Elise! She’s a delight!
We had a little party for Lydia with our neighbors, the McMillins. After all the cookies we had from our cookie exchange, we decided Lydia wouldn’t know the difference if she didn’t have a birthday cake and went with birthday yogurt instead 🙂
Singing Happy Birthday to You!
Becky and Louis
Mark and the two-year-olds, Clara and Dean
Lydia’s new birthday present
I think she was trying to tell a story 🙂
This WordPress app may be blog-changing! Why I didn’t think of it before is beyond me. Maybe I’ve been too busy to contemplate things like this. 🙂 Anyway, we are alive and well! I can’t believe it’s mid-December! Lydia will be one next week! With all the changes and moving our family experienced this year, it seems somewhat of a blur! George is currently interviewing for jobs and we are looking forward to making a decision soon! It will be nice to know what the next step is!