So, here we go...
January 1...we rang in the new year with a pretty fun day. We all slept in wonderfully late and had pancakes for breakfast. The older girls and I went to a chick flick, complete with popcorn, nachos, sodas and candy (starting the year off right). Then we came home to put together our holiday gingerbread house. To set the stage, we've never actually gotten around to making one before. We've done mini houses with graham crackers (years ago...you should have seen that mess), but that's about it. So I learned a few things in the process. Such as cleaning the floor in the 24-hour period preceding this project was a waste of time. And waiting the suggested 15 minutes for the walls and roof to set before decorating wasn't a suggestion, but a requirement. And that flinging sprinkles at the dried cement (I mean, frosting) is not effective. But it's the process, not the product, right?
January 2...ah, yes. I have yet to tell the tale of Santa and the big girl bed. Santa was quite busy on Christmas Eve. All the kids slept together in Mickey's room while Santa's elves dismantled the crib, put together the new bed, and did a mini-overhaul of Caroline's room. I have a whole series of photos to document the occasion, but here's a sneak peek. Caroline is absolutely in heaven. She's invited each of the big kids to take a turn sleeping in her bed with her. I found Mickey curled up with her Saturday night. They're so sweet when they're not scuffling and screeching.
January 3...Caroline's new fascination is the game of Sorry. And, trust me, she's not one bit sorry when she sends you home. We were all a bit mournful of the holiday break being over, and we sat down to play one last family game on Sunday night. We should have called it Crabby, because they all bickered and grouched their way through the game. It was a little funny, in retrospect. Please take note of Abby with that infernal phone up to her ear. She rarely actually talks on her phone, but she's a texting professional. She got her cell phone for Christmas a year ago, and I think she went through several hundred text messages in the first two days. That keyboard was smoking, and Sprint was questioning the wisdom of its unlimited texting plan.
January 4...now I'm getting all creative on you. This is my dining table centerpiece. It's actually just a large vase with a candle stuck in it and a wreath without a home. I was bored with my old one, and I came up with this from stuff we already had. I ended up just loving how it made the dining room glow, and I'm sad to have to pack it away. And, for the record, I'll be re-taking this photo next year when I finally have a camera that can handle an ISO over 200. Oy.
January 5...pretty, huh? This is my little tree I keep in the office window. It shines through the side window on my porch year-round. What you don't know is that last Christmas season some of the lights started to go out. The bottom third of the 200-light strand went out, and I just never got around to doing something about it. Then a week or so after Christmas, the top third went out. For an entire year, that tree sat in the window with its middle section pathetically mocking me. Every time I would round our corner, I would think about what my neighbors must think. I must not have cared all that much because, alas, it sat in glowing disrepair until Mindy and Alex ripped the old light set off the first week of December. Now it's all ready for the Chinese New Year ornaments!
January 6...no big story here...just my cute little snowman on my front porch. He makes me smile. He gets a little more face time than the rest of the decorations. He will stay up well into February, as will my banister lights on my stairway. The bright lights lift my spirit. And they hide the handrail that desperately needs painted.
January 7...it was tough to pick one picture from this day. This was the day of our first big snow of the season. I have lots of favorites, including that pine branch photo from my previous post. I have some cute shots of the kids playing outside. I also took some absolutely lovely photos of Abby. That would be before she got into a snow shoveling battle with her older sister. And lost. You should see the photo right before this one. The one where she sees what's coming. Hilarious. Yeah, yeah. I know. I'll get to them eventually.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that two more of my blog pals are participating in Project 365. Allyson at 3 Boys and a Princess has some awesome photos you won't want to miss, and Allison at Maggie's Red Thread has a new blog set up with her photos. Allyson is one of my plane-to-China buddies...she and her husband were the first couple from our enormous travel group that we met in Newark. She always has such an artistic angle in her photography! I can't wait until we have a chance to meet up and work on our photography together! Allison is one of those people you just know you'd be friends with (yep, I'm leaving that little preposition hanging right at the end of that sentence). I think I found her blog through the adoption agency we both used for our adoptions, and her daughter, Maggie is from the same SWI as Caroline! They are just a few months apart in age and were adopted within months of each other. They have similar personalities, and I hope they get to meet someday!