My mom made little gingerbread houses from scratch (made the batter, baked the sheets of dough, and assembled the houses!) and brought them over for the kids to decorate one afternoon. It was so much fun! The blank little houses were full of possibility...
I think Robbie is sampling the decorations in this picture above...
It was no surprise to me that Robbie, resident architect and builder of all things, totally immersed himself in this little project. He completed one house, and it was adorable and well thought out. Then, since Maddie was taking a monster nap, we decided he could decorate hers this year. So he was halfway done with house #2 when Ellie was sort of petering out on her half-decorated house! ha.
Her method: pick a candy you think is pretty and throw it at the icing mom slathered on the roof. Then stop and eat a few pieces... She really didn't care a whole lot where things went. But her independent streak did show itself a few times as I assisted her - "icandoit, icandoit!" I love how two kids can sit down to the same activity and approach and execute it so differently.
The finished products were adorable! Maddie woke up just in time to see them as Mima packed away the supplies. She, of course, kept trying to put her mouth on them to lick/bite the candy.
On a separate occasion, the girls and I ventured into making our own Christmas wrapping paper. A very fun, creative idea. The execution was messy, chaotic, and not very practical! (Where to do you let dry the amount of wrapping paper you need for CHRISTMAS!?)
So, we had fun basically painting brown craft paper one afternoon. And it was not used as wrap. :)
This year we eagerly anticipated the week that The Stork's Cradle (local baby boutique) would have live Nutcracker ballerinas in their windows. We loved seeing them last year! My sister Kels, my friend Liz and her little guy Peter came over to our house and we went together, moms and kiddos.
Maddie is a huge fan of Peter.
I think we stayed for a little over a half hour. The ballerinas were just precious - they're young, ranging in age from 12-17, but very talented (I chatted with a few of their mothers!). They smiled and blew kisses to the kids between their little numbers when they were supposed to be 'frozen'. My kids fall in love with the ballerinas every year.
Peter was mesmerized too...!
I have the most adorable, hilarious video of Ellie doing ballet on the sidewalk as the ballerina dances in the window... and she loses her balance and falls over. In her big chunky boots and puffy coat. Classic.
I'm not sure if she's just stretching out here, or what. But she's getting into it.