Festival of Lights

We don't often go to the Cincinnati Zoo Festival of Lights, even though we have season passes, because of the cold and the crowds. Mamma can take one or the other, but BOTH together is pushing it. Well, and since they replaced the regular lights with LED lights, it just wasn't pretty any more.

However, the 30th of December proved to be a fairly warm night, in the 40's, and we heard that the gray-white LED lights of previous years had been replaced with colorful LED lights, and it was a huge improvement. So we, along with many others, visited that night.

She wasn't crying, it was a bad setting on the camera for a portrait. But I couldn't resist posting a pic of the Wannie smiling!

For some reason, there was something about looking for fairies or a fairy garden or something, I don't know, but anyway, here is one of the fairies. She is kind of gangly and athletic, don't you think?

The little kids really like these puffy things. Well, they are cute.

The little kids had an obsession with the Cannon version of Hansel and Gretel at that time, and were watching it daily with horrified fascination. Bert especially liked the witch being thrown in the oven, and the credits, where the gingerbread man gets eaten bite by bite. Yes, he is *that* kind of boy, with oodles of morbid curiosity.

However, when they happened upon a "real" gingerbread house, the story became a lot less fun, and a lot more scary. Bert would not go near the house. Roks was pretty nervous. It took a lot of cajoling to get them to actually go up and knock on it. It was a good joke. Suckers!

Seriously, they need someone else to set up this poor creche. They used to have it in the actual stable, where the cows and sheep and donkey are, but for some reason, they moved it into this obscure little pen, and there wasn't enough room. Not enough room in the stable, ha ha.

Roks is showing you how flamingos stand.

And you can't really see it here, but this was the first time Gater ever wore a ponytail.

Oh, and here is Hansel and Gretel if you want to see it for yourself.

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Little Princesses

Nothing to say here, really, just -- aren't they cute!

After three boys in a row, we were so ready for this.


Christmas Day 2010

And then, it was CHRISTMAS MORNING!

All the children got up suitably early, and Mamma and Daddy opened their bleary eyes, and we all soon wandered into the living room for -- PRESENT TIME!

Grandma and Grandpa usually come over for the opening of the presents. It is kind of a madhouse but they enjoy it. Maybe they like my homemade cinnamon rolls. Even though the ones last Christmas had too much brown sugar in the middle, and they got kind of extra-chewy. They were more like toffee-stuffed rolls, but hey -- the extra chewing had to be good for alertness, and nobody lost a filling, so all's good.

THE STOCKING! thestockingthestockingthestockingthestockingthestocking!!!
Yep, I got it done, just in time. Roks was too thrilled.

Wannie got to be my sixth baby to use this "Baby's First Christmas" stocking. Remember way back when, in the 80's and 90's, everyone was edging appliques with puffy paint?

Gater had a *thing* for "siwwy banz" and she received about 400 of them for Christmas, and I have been picking them up off the floor ever since.

Miss Rose, who suddenly became a young lady over the past year, got her first makeup. All in pretty, subtle shades of peachy pink. She doesn't need it, but I figured she might as well learn how to use it while she is still non-adventurous in that area, am I right?

New jams. SO CUTE! It was just funny to think of 2yo Gater as a "big" sister.

All three of the older children love to needle-felt and have made some gorgeous creations. Miss Rose was really thrilled to receive some new wool in natural colors --

--and a pattern book to go with. My sisters and mom and I traded present-buying since they live overseas, and shipping is prohibitively expensive. For example, I was going to send one sister a photography book and two knitting magazines, and the Post Office wanted $60 to send them. Ridiculous! So anyway, many of the gifts my children opened on Christmas morning were really from Aunts & Uncles & Grandparents who sadly, couldn't be there to see the joy.

Yep, still Spongebob addicts. Although, to be up to date, I have not seen Spongebob on the telly for a very very long time, so I think they finally bored of him.

Here Wanny is opening a handmade blanket and teddy bear, which were a collaborative effort between Joman and Miss Rose. I love it when my children make things!

So cute! Such hard work!

The Fashionista was in fine form on Christmas morning.

It was a bit big, but she still wears it almost every day. She just hikes up the skirt and parades around the house. And annoys people with her incessant begging to "hep put on my gwubs! Pwease! Pwease, Mamma!"

The Princess, gwubs and all.

This present came from both aunts, to both little boys. Oh my, the excitement.

The total excitement.

Joman got big into Lego this past year, and we really didn't have any, due to the large influx of small people, but it was time.

Bert sat in this position, almost without moving, for about 30 minutes.

Meet Baby Kim.
Gater hates her. I thought she was so adorable! But Gater throws her out of the crib, leaves her n*ked and lying on the floor. She does not want Baby Kim. She only loves Baby Shooshie.


And here is the blankie, all finished. The pattern is from a gorgeous baby-afghan crochet book, and I have made almost all the afghans in it. They are so delicate and pretty, and the patterns are well-written and easy.

So, after a crazy day of opening presents and then cleaning up presents, and madly cooking and stuff, we hosted Christmas Dinner at our house, for sixteen.

The kids played games in the living room


and the grownups socialized in the family room

and the candy/cookies got nibbled in the dining room

and we all had a lovely Christmas dinner together.



I so wish you all could have been there.

Christmas Eve 2010

The night before Christmas, I was up way, way late --finishing a certain little boy's Christmas stocking, and wrapping presents, and baking cookies, and cleaning -- we were to host the big Christmas gathering the next day.

In the wee hours of Christmas morning, while I had my Anne Sofie von Otter
and Libera , and-- to my surprise-- public radio playing gorgeous Christmas and sacred music, I finally finished my work and sighed a contented, quiet sigh.

Everyone was sleeping, and the house was so peaceful -- dark, but for the Christmas lights and the candles -- and the snow was falling outside.

I iced the cookies, and filled the stockings -- which were too full for the pushpins on the mantel --

and, like everyone else, I fell into a warm bed, and fell into a sweet and peaceful sleep.

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