Thursday, January 20, 2011

Christmas goodies

I took up an old Christmas tradition with Natalie, a tradition from when I was a kid. We made Christmas goodies, using marzipan (with some food coloring), assorted candies, dates, melted chocolate, etc.

As usual, Natalie was very focused on the task at hand:

Working hard!

Here's one of her masterpieces:
That's a good one!

And here are the final results. I think Karsten's favorite was the "Christmas pants", while I like the Santa (his beard is a split almond). And Natalie liked all of them - as long as she got to eat them!

Yummi Christmas goodies!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Christmas lights at the Botannical Garden

Between Christmas and New Years, we went to the Botanical Garden to see all the lights. Natalie's favorite part was riding on the school bus from the parking lot to the entrance:

Riding on the school bus, taking it all in.

Once we got there, we had a great time looking at all the lights. Karsten took lots of pictures, but here's my absolute favorite from that night - it's from a big "caterpillar" made from lights that you can walk (or run) thru:

This is fun!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Slumber Party

Between Christmas and New Years, Aubriella came over for a sleepover! Having a friend over for the night was another first for Natalie.

As always, the girls did really well.

After dinner, the girls helped me make chocolate snowmen and Christmas trees:
Sticky fingers!

Me, too!

The girls played and played, until it was bedtime and time to have a snack while watching a Barbie movie:
Snack time!

The sleep part of the sleepover went really well. And the next day, we played some more. We even got to go outside and play in the snow:

Two person swing - perfect for two little girls!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Christmas Day 2010 - part two

Like last year, we went to Aubriella's house on Christmas day. We had such a great time! The girls play so well together. They both had a blast dancing around in their Christmas dresses:

This is fun!

There was great food, great friends, and lots of laughter. In fact we had so much fun that I kinda forgot to take pictures... Except for this one:

Party time! Yay!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Christmas Day 2010 - part one

Santa brought a BIG present:
Santa always put's a big bow on top of the present!

Inside was a trainset:

But Natalie was just as excited about the candy Santa had left in her stocking:
Look, a sucker shaped as a Santa hat, and a BIG purple candycane!Yummi!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas Eve 2010

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve!

In the morning, Natalie helped me make our traditional Christmas Eve dessert called ris a'la mande. It's a fluffy kind of rice pudding with almond slivers and lots of vanilla, served cold with cold cherry sauce. It's so much more fun to cook when you have a little helper:
Licking the spoons and wisks - a perfect job for Natalie!

We spent most of the day playing around and having fun, and we even spent some time outside playing in the snow.

After naptime, Natalie and I made cookies for Santa. Of course, they had to have lots of frosting and sprinkles on them:

Decorating cookies for Santa!

We continued our tradition of walking around the Christmas tree and singing Christmas songs. Natalie did so well, this year she knew the words to quite a few songs, like Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer and Santa Clause is Coming to Town. Then, it was time for presents. Natalie was so good at handing them out and reading on the tags (She recognizes her name and most of the time the words "Mommy" and "Daddy"). She did well taking her time to open each present and helping us open ours:

One of her favorites was the book she had seen in daycare. When we asked her what she wished for for Christmas, she said "A Big Planet". We asked her daycare teacher what that could be, and found out that Natalie really likes this picture in an "I Spy" book:

Look, it's a big planet!

After the presents and the Christmas dessert, it was time to put out the reindeer food for Santa's reindeer:

Come on, Daddy, let's put out the reindeer food!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas Party at Daycare

I'm usually about a month behind on my blogging, so welcome to January, which will feature lots of Christmas cheer on this site!

As in previous years, there was a Christmas party at Natalie's daycare.
Of course, there was the obligatory cookie decorating:

Yummi frosting - purple, of course!

This year, Natalie was VERY interested in Santa. She sat right in front with the other kids when he told his stories:
Santa, I've been good this year!

There were other activities, but of course, Natalie's favorite was the freeze-dance.
Her jingly elf-hat definitely gave her away when she forgot to "freeze"!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Take me with you!

Karsten was traveling for work last week. Natalie and I had some great "us" time, but I think she missed  her Daddy a little. When he came home, she helped unpack his suitcase:

Look, Natalie's a perfect fit!

Maybe she's thinking: "Daddy, next time you have to travel, just pack me up in the suitcase and take me with you."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Best of 2010

I started this "New Year's feature" last year, and I liked the idea so much that I'll repeat it this year: The best of (the pictures of) 2011! As with last year's post, I picked my favorite picture from each month. Some are funny, some are goofy, some are cute, and a few might even be called beautiful. Enjoy.

The perfect little "I'm up to trouble" smile.

Super-Natalie hiding in the very small ball-pit.



Natalie, Karsten, and Aubriella, enjoying a summer evening at the pond.

Just goofing around. Gotta love those blue eyes.

Family vacation at the big zoo.

Camping with Aubriella.

Picnic with Grandma. The perfect smile and laugh, complete with a little wrinkle on the nose.

September - again.
Breaking the rules and picking two pictures for September. The first for capturing the way Natalie laughs. The second for it's certain something, that elusive quality that is just Natalie.  


Waiting for the Christmas parade.

Christmas party at Aubriella's.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

We had a great New Years Eve!

On New Years Eve Morning, we went to the Children's Museum. Natalie had such a great time.

Shopping in the shopping center at the museum.

The museum had parades every hour from noon, and Natalie got to walk in two of them - making lots of noise with her noisemaker:

Parade time!

At the end of the parade, the kids each got a big handful of confetti that they threw up in the air at "New Years" for a new country for each hour. It was a really great time.

After naptime, we had our own little New Years party at home. We decorated, and had lots of noisemakers:

Happy New Year!

We also had some "party poppers", the little bottle shaped ones that shoot confetti out when you pull a string. And Natalie even did a couple of them herself:

What she said at the end of the video was "Pick it up before the floor goes on fire". Such a safety conscious girl. Though she was a little cautious, she was very proud that she got to do it all by herself!

We had a great new years dinner. Yesterday we went to the supermarket and each picked up something we wanted to eat at our party. Natalie picked a cupcake for dessert - it was almost the size of her head! And no, she didn't eat all of it...

A giant cupcake - the perfect New Years Eve dessert!

Happy New Year to everyone, hope you had a good celebration, too!