In the Spirit

January 12, 2011

The kids and I stayed busy through the Christmas season with a couple of weeks of preschool, shopping for presents, getting ready to host both the Jenkins and Bradley family Christmases, and doing all sorts of baking and cooking.

First off, Christmas tree shopping.  In the past, we’ve headed to the tree lot the Kings Rd Farmers’ Market, but this year, we thought we would try something new and head to an honest-to-goodness tree farm.  We went to Cedar Lake Tree Farm in Denver, NC based on recommendations from our friends, Anne and Kate.  We had a lot of fun checking out the haystacks, the chickens and roosters, the cows, the brand new calves (born that morning!), and of course, the Christmas trees.  BTW, I totally forgot to take pictures of the Christmas trees; must remember this next year!  Open-mouthed smile

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< Top: Cole and Zoe goofing off while Kirk and I try to get a picture of the 2 of them for the Christmas card.  Bottom: Zoe playing on the haystacks with the farm’s windmill in the background. >

Up next, decorating the tree.  Growing up, my brother and I had our very own Christmas tree, complete with colored lights, tinsel, popcorn and cranberry garland, and all of our homemade ornaments.  I thought Zoe and Cole would like to have one as well, but instead of finding a “Charlie Brown” tree, we bought an artificial one that was pre-lit.  Zoe helped me make the paper garland, and all of the ornaments of the tree were made by Zoe and Cole. 

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Next up, Zoe’s Christmas program at preschool.  It was very cute, and I enjoyed seeing what Zoe is sort of like when I’m not around.

Finally, cookie baking.  To me, baking is a big part of Christmas.  I have so many fond memories of my mom making cookies, sausage balls, truffles, cheese straws, bourbon balls, candied peanuts, and all sorts of other delectable goodies.  So, I invited a few of Zoe’s friends ( Mia, Ainsley (and her brother, Caleb), and Kate (and her sister, Eve) and their mommies over for an afternoon of cookie baking.  It ended up being more of a playdate and less of decorating cookies, but I think the girls had fun, and it was a great way to kick off the Christmas vacation.  Besides the sugar cookies we made with Zoe’s friends, we also made iced sugar cookies, “cowboy” cookies (AKA princess cookies, according to Zoe and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies), reindeer cookies, and cranberry bars.  Again, must remember to take pictures next year!

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< Zoe and Mia decorating cookies. >

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< Ainsley concentrating on making her cookie perfect, and Cole eating the sprinkles that fell off his already eaten cookie. >

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< Caleb and Eve were more interested in hanging out and playing than decorating cookies.  >

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< Kate checking out the tube of gel icing. >

AANNDD, because I wanted to put this into posterity…  After our wonderful afternoon with friends, Zoe and Cole decided to get into some markers while I was making dinner downstairs. 

Here’s the result:

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(I was VERY upset with them and let them know that this sort of behavior would not be tolerated, but after eating dinner and looking at the goofy marker all over their faces, I had to take these pictures.  It was very hard to keep a straight face at this point.  Luckily, the markers were washable!!)

By the time all of the cookie making, tree decorating, and Christmas song singing was beginning to wind down, Santa made his appearance along with my family and then Kirk’s family a week later!  But, more on that in the next couple of posts!