Our family has had a pretty low-key week, although we have tried to fit in some fun things for the kids before they return to school (tomorrow!). Happily, we have crossed almost everything off of our bucket list.
Gavin received a "gigaball" from Grandma and Grandpa Bartle for Christmas. On Monday (which Garry had off, as it was a federal holiday!) Garry spent about an hour pumping it up, and then he took the Littles to the park across the street to roll around in it. I tagged along to take pictures, and I'm glad I did! Hearing the kids' giggles as they spun 'round and 'round was so much fun!
The kids slept in a tent in the basement last night. Well...some of the kids did. Gavin and Lexi just couldn't calm down and go to sleep, even though I stayed in the tent for a long time to try and soothe them. They were so excited! So Zach and Tyler spent the night in the tent, and Gavin and Lexi have enjoyed "playing sleepover" inside during the day.
Garry received a new ice cream maker for Christmas and has enjoyed experimenting with different recipes since then. The mint chocolate Oreo ice cream was utterly delectable, but we have enjoyed the lower-fat sorbets as well. On this night Garry poured V8 100% juice in the ice cream maker and this is what we got! It was delicious, and though high in sugar, offered one serving of fruits and one serving of vegetables! It was the perfect Family Home Evening treat, and given the nutritive value, I indulged in some myself.
Also on the treat theme, the kids devoured their gingerbread house one night. It was quite a scene! As everyone scrambled for sugar, Gavin yelled, "Someone get the camera!" I was happy to oblige with my cell phone.
One night I made something for dinner that spilled over in the oven and burned on the bottom. I forgot to take care of the mess, and then baked breakfast a couple of days later. The crusty stuff on the bottom of the oven burned and smoked and stunk up the house at 8 a.m. Zach was so bothered that he taped his nose closed. Hilarious!
The trampoline has been a big hit, as you might imagine. It is a gathering place for the neighbor kids as well as our own. In fact, our kids like to start jumping before breakfast, even though it has been pretty cold! They just bundle up and head on out. On this day Lexi did a reverse bundle, stripping down to her diaper in the mid-30's weather. When I looked out the window to check on the kids, this is what I saw! I quickly took some warm clothes out to her.
I have been reluctant to get out of bed in the mornings, so children frequently join me until I can't ignore them anymore. It's actually pretty charming to cuddle with these cuties at the beginning of a day.
Cuddle time isn't restricted to the wee hours, either. Today Kate woke up from her nap just as I intended to lie down. So I took her with me to the couch. Just as we were drifting off, Gavin woke up prematurely from his nap. I think he just planned to give me a hug, but he ended up lying on top of me and falling asleep. I wasn't super comfortable, but he obviously was! The three of us rested for another half hour until Lexi woke up. There wasn't room for her to join us.
We have been reading a lot. Although I don't think we'll make my goal of reading every picture book in the house during the school break, we have read a huge chunk of them with lots of repeats. Lexi enjoys looking at books before she takes a nap. Seeing a child of mine asleep under a book is one of my favorite things.
Winter break didn't seem especially long and tiresome until this week. I'm not sure how the kids feel, but I'm definitely ready for the return of our schedule, routine, and school-time activities!