Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas break, part I

The first few days of our Christmas break have been partly really fun and partly kind of making me want to pull my hair out. It usually goes that I plan something for the girls and I to do and it works out pretty well until one or both of the girls decides they aren't interested in listening to pretty much anything I say. Ah, well.

On Tuesday we made sugar cut-out cookies. I realized as I was mixing the dough that it is my Great Grandma's recipe that was handed down to me by my Grandma and I made them with my Mom's stand mixer. And along the way, I was passing it all along to my own girls. Five generation of girls all a part of this tradition. Sadly, my girls don't have the pure joy of eating sugar cookies made by my Grandma. I am sure I will try my whole life and mine won't taste just like hers. My Grandma is also the reason that the only other holiday treat I made this year is chex mix, and of course I make it the same way she does. For several years she sent us a care package at Christmas of her baked goodies. This year she didn't, instead opting for a check. I will never be bummed about receiving money, but I would return it in a heartbeat for just one bag of her cookies.

As I was on the phone with my Mom last night I was telling her this same thing. How in my mind, the perfect gift from my Grandma is a box of her goodies. She told me while she was at the family Christmas gathering she would try to snag some treats and send them out to me. Yay!

My Mom was lamenting how much it cost to ship out the Christmas gifts they got (and made) for Matt, the girls and I. She explained that she didn't understand why she and my Dad didn't just order things online and have them shipped, instead opting for shopping themselves and then mailing them to us. I replied that I understood, buying online is totally the way to go these days.

But then, today I opened the boxes she sent. The packages inside were all wrapped by her and her hand writing was on the tags. My Mom and Dad made something for the girls and I could smell the stain on the wood. It reminded me of my Dad. In that moment I was so grateful they paid the arm and a leg for shipping the gifts themselves. Boxes from Amazon are always fun, but they certainly miss that connection to the person they are from.

So, anyways, the girls and I bakes and frosted cookies on Tuesday before heading out to explore the creek near our house. I love the creek, it makes me feel so removed from the city to hang out next to it, but I still feel a little uneasy about it. We are still in a not-so-nice part of town and I know there can be, shall we say, unsavory characters down there. Luckily we have never personally had any issues, but I always wonder.

The girls were playing an elaborate game of spies.

I spent most of the day messing around with a lens my brother-in-law loaned to me. I love the lens but because I have basically the lowest end model of Nikon's DSLR it doesn't auto-focus on my camera. Phooey. I tried to get some decent shots, but they are all at least a little blurry.

Oh, if only we had snow! The weather has been in the low 40's and sunny for a few days. That sounds nice, but it's so unbelievably boring. Seattle hasn't even really had the trademark Fall rains. Just slightly more and less amounts of cold and sun or clouds. I want snow. Heaps and piles of white, fluffy snow!

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