Tuesday, December 31, 2013


It has been a busy and FAST month of December!  We've had a lot of fun celebrating Christmas, and still have one celebration to go this weekend with Dave's parents.  Here is what we've been up to:

Early in December, we visited Santa.  We always love going to Kubes Realty in New Prague--this year, it was way too cold to be outside, so they moved Santa inside.  Abby was excited to see Santa, but Norah didn't want anything to do with him...  Dave had to work, but we were glad that his mom was able to join us.

The week before Christmas, Dave joined Abby at school to make a gingerbread house.  Here she is with her creation:

We knew that our Christmas week would be busy with traveling and celebrating with extended family, so we did our Christmas with just the four of us the Friday night before Christmas.  We watched part of "A Christmas Story" and had fun opening gifts.

Abby had her Christmas program at church the Saturday and Sunday before Christmas.  They only had three practices in the weeks leading up to it, but it turned out really cute.

After Sunday's Christmas program, we drove down to Albert Lea to celebrate Christmas with Dave's extended family.  We had a great turkey meal, the kids opened presents, we had treats, and Santa visited.  Norah was not thrilled once again to have to see Santa...

Christmas Eve day we drove down to Iowa for lunch at my grandma Carlson's house.  This year, we had a variety of yummy soups for lunch before the little kids opened up presents.  Of course it wouldn't be complete without treats and homemade ice cream in the afternoon...  We went to the Christmas Eve service at my grandma's church that night.

We spent Christmas Eve at my aunt and uncle's new house, and the girls were up at a little after 7 to see what Santa had brought.  Norah got two tractors and Abby got a Leap Pad and some ballet clothes for her American Girl doll.  We had a great breakfast (our family's traditional caramel pecan rolls/cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs) and when my mom and sister joined us, we opened presents with everyone on my dad's side of the family.  Unfortunately, my dad was sick with the flu so had to stay back at the hotel.  We had a fun day of playing games, Minute to Win It, kazoo concerts, Family Feud, a yummy soup lunch, and more.

On Thursday, we drove to Rochester to celebrate Christmas with my parents and siblings.  We hung out that afternoon, then opened presents and had a pizza supper.

We have been thoroughly enjoying the rest of our winter break and just some down time at home, playing with new toys and even enjoying a little bit of time in the snow on one of our few nice days lately.  Looking forward to a few more days at home before heading back to work and school!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


We had a fun time celebrating Halloween this year!  It started off the weekend before Halloween with the ECFE Halloween party.  Abby has always shied away from the games, but this year she enjoyed playing several and collecting sticker prizes.  Norah wasn't quite so sure, but did play a couple.  As always, the story/song time was a huge hit!  We didn't stay too long, since it had been a busy week, but the girls had fun!

Abby had a Halloween Party at school, and actually got to wear her costume all day.  She decided that she wanted to be a fairy at school, and then she'd change into her pig costume for trick or treating at night.  I wish I could have volunteered at her party, but I'm glad Dave was able to.  He helped out at a pumpkin math station.

The girls scored big trick-or-treating!  Dave decided to join us since we get so few trick-or-treaters.  We just left a bowl of candy outside of our door.  Abby took the lead walking up to each door and ringing the doorbell.  At a few houses, Norah walked behind her and got some candy.  Mostly though, she just wanted me to hold her and watched Abby.

We had a TON of pumpkins/gourds this year to decorate with.  Someone Dave works with let us pick several from his garden, and my uncle took us pumpkin picking in one of his fields when we were in Iowa in early October.  We split up the carving between the Sunday and Wednesday before Halloween.  Norah and Abby aren't interested in pulling out the insides of the pumpkins, but they decorated a couple with stickers and Abby chose some designs/drew a face to carve on a couple.

At the end of the night, Abby was SO hopeful that a trick-or-treater would come to our door so she could hand out candy.  We really don't get many, and the few came while we were out.  I was putting her to bed when the doorbell rang--Dave had dressed up as Prince Charming and was coming to "trick or treat" so that Abby could hand out some candy.  Abby was excited!