Miso Soup Breakfast

We returned from our Christmas vacation to a house full of boxes and an empty refrigerator. With nothing for breakfast but pantry items we decided to go Japanese style and have miso soup. EJ loved slurping away and I must say it was tasty.

I'll have to remember this for future morning when I'm trying to answer "what's for breakfast?"

Doilie Apron

I found two embroidered doilies at a local church rummage sale that I immediately fell in love with.

The petite flower were so delicate and the colors reminded me of afternoon tea. At less than a dollar each I didn't mind experimenting with my own sewing creation. I decided that EJ needed her own monogrammed apron.

It was quite simple. I cut both doilies in half, embroidered an E on the smaller one. sewed the smaller to the larger to make a pocket, and then added binding to the top to make a tie.

EJ was ready to start baking cookies the first time she tied it on.

I love the whimsical feel it brings to our cooking sessions.

Snow Angels

 A second snowstorm hit the morning of our niece's baptism. This one was bigger than the last and left a beautiful layer of fluffy snow perfect for sledding.

DaddyO took EJ to hit the slopes and I bundled CJ up for a his first romp in the snow.

He didn't like lying in it but didn't mind hanging out in a tree.

I "Heart My State" Embroidery Hoops

can you guess the country?
 One of the Christmas present I worked on this year were state embroidery hoops for my family and friends who live away from their families. I have been collecting embroidery hoops at thrift stores this last year and was excited to see the project through to finish.
south carolina
Now I just have to make some for all the places we've hearted while married...

First Snow

It was a white Christmas for us this year. As if on cue the snow started falling Christmas Eve on our way to the candlelight service. EJ got to wake up to a layer of white Christmas morning but it disappeared before we could get out and play in it. Fortunately another storm hit the day after Christmas and we had plenty of time to bundle the kids up and head out with Avia and the cousins.

EJ has been reading about making snow angels in a couple of her winter books so of course that was the first thing she wanted to do.

The second was to see how it tasted.

It was glorious!

This was CJ's first snow and he peeked out and giggled the whole walk.

The cold didn't seem to bother him one bit but Capri needed some warming up.

We weren't sure if we'd need out snow gear this trip and it was wonderful getting the opportunity to bundle the kids up for a walk in the snow.

We warmed up in front of the fire when we returned home and the kiddos gave me a nice long afternoon nap.

Christmas Day

cousin time
This year we celebrated Christmas Day with DaddyO's side of the family. The kids enjoyed lot of play time with their cousins.

 And DaddyO and I enjoyed a delicious dinner with family.

Avia picked out a new dish for Christmas dinner and DaddyO was eager to try it. The Beef Bruccole was delicious.

Happy Birthday Jesus

Birthdays are a big deal for EJ. She pretends birthdays, counts down to birthdays, and gets very excited when someone else has a birthday. So the celebration of Jesus birth is what we are trying to stay focused on during the holidays and we are reexamining a lot of our holiday traditions to see how we can gear them towards his birth.
sugar cookie nativity
Instead of waking up and checking her stocking Christmas morning we had a birthday cake and candles ready to sing happy birthday to Jesus. It was the perfect segue into opening the presents. This year the kids had multiple presents to open but we've decided that in the years to come we will limit the gifts to three (one from mommy, one from daddy, and when they ask for) to keep it in line with the three gifts Jesus received from the magi. Since this Christmas wasn't about presents but about the celebration with family of this special day we were all left with a sense of peace and contentment after the presents were opened and the day was over. I don't think I'll have to worry about the magical feeling ever disappearing.

Christmas Eve

Early in our married life we decided to divide the Christmas holiday between families. One year we spend Christmas Eve with my side and Christmas Day with his, and the next year we usually switch. This year we did just that.

We enjoyed a candlelit dinner.

Opened one present before church with Grandma and Grandpa.

 And visited a family friend before going to a candlelight service at church.

We finished the night with cake at home and It's a Wonderful Life on the big screen. It was a cozy Christmas Eve with family!

On the Ice Again

We are at the stage where traditions are starting to be made. I'm not sure how many times are required to officially make it a tradition, or if just deciding to it every year suffices, either way we have decided that ice skating on Christmas Eve is a tradition we would like to continue. We had so much fun last year that I kept my eye out for ice skates for DaddyO and EJ and they got to hit the ice with their won pairs this year.

EJ still held our hands most of the circles around the ice, but she was much steadier on her feet and I think after a few more times practicing she will be doing it on her own.

no hands
We were hoping that CJ would be able to hit the ice for the first time but found out no baby carrying was allowed.

Fortunately he was happy as could be watching from the other side of the glass. It's crazy to think that he will be skating along with us next year.

We warmed up in the ice house and enjoyed some hot chocolate. CJ was all tuckered out from the excitement but EJ would have continued skating if she could.

This is a Christmas tradition we will have to remember!

Train to Philly

 DaddyO has many fond memories of riding the train into Philly as a child/teenager so he thought it would be fun to have the same experience with the kids. What better time to ride into the city than Christmas?

We drove to his local station. DaddyO dropped us off to buy tickets as he parked and we ran to catch the next train together. Once on the train we got to sit back and enjoy the scenery passing by.

We passed stations that brought back memories for Avia.

Then we were at 30th Street Station and ready to explore the city.

Christmas decorations were everywhere and EJ took them all in.

Our first stop was Macy's for their Christmas Light Show and Dicken's Christmas Village display. We got there early for the show and had fun watching the people around us as we waited.

Julia Andrews narrated the show and the lights and organ music were spectacular.

Then it was up to the second floor for the old fashioned Dickens Village.

Reading Terminal is our favorite place to go for a great selection of food. There is something for everyone.

The kids especially liked the "Holiday Railroad" display with over 500 square feet of buildings and a third of a mile of track.

After a delicious lunch we had energy to see more.

We bustled past city hall and across 15th St. to the Christmas Village in JFK Plaza.

EJ found an empty stage there just asking to be performed on. She stripped off her jacket and did just that.

A small audience gathered to cheer her on as she put on her own little show complete with sung music.

Our last stop was Rittenhouse Square for a stroll through the park.

EJ had a live band to dance to!

I think these were the memories DaddyO envisioned when he planned the trip into the city.

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