Before school started we took our annual sledding trip to Flagstaff. We stayed with our dear friends who own a beautiful cabin in Oak Creek. The weather cooperated and there was plenty of snow on the ground.
The kids could not wait for Flagstaff (or to wear proper pants, right, Maya?). The driveway offered the perfect spot for that evening.
The girls hanging out
Smores... gathering around the fireplace
The first day of the trip was mellow. We ate a fabulous meal, the kids hung out, and the adults played games and laughed (a lot!).
We went to Glendale Glitters after Christmas this year. It was much less crowded, but some of the charming stores I normally like to visit were closed. Since Papa Ed's Ice Cream was closed, the next best choice was to find a place for steaming hot chocolate. I had the herbal tea and it was delicious!
Some great memories here. To make it even more special, I wish some of the special people in my life could have been here with us.
Let's not forget it was Bruce's birthday too. This huge danish from Trader Joe's was a perfect birthday treat!
Mom loves her necklace
My dear boy and I
Super fun game from Grammy Bennie. We played it that same day!
Thank you, Grammy Bennie, for the cool stuff! I love all of it!
Grandpa opening up some gifts too
Sister-in-law Linda is a crafty woman! I love the bag and have already used it on a trip.
Portrait pictures for Grandpa
Maya's new medal holder. She loves it!
We again had a great Christmas together. We had time for some of our traditions: cookie baking, Christmas lights in my favorite neighborhood, and our own Christmas lights (a simple but nice display) and Christmas tree. Most importantly, the children loved being home and taking a break from all the activities.
Oat bran banana chocolate chip raisin muffin. These have a story. My dear friend Raquel used to make banana bread with oat bran (I think she has some issues related to gluten sensitivity). There was not really a recipe for it. She just added a few bananas, a couple of eggs, oat bran, raisins, honey, and a few other ingredients.
Last week I started making muffins the same way. The kids love it! I am tempted to make it with pumpkin next week, so they won't get sick of these. To my recipe I also add chocolate chips and coconut, a pinch of salt, baking powder, and baking soda. They are not too sweet (only two tablespoons of honey per four bananas) and better than any muffin I have ever tried.
Last December, we truly enjoyed the time off from all activities and school. It's nice to spend time together on activities that we would not ordinarily have time to do. The kids are becoming more independent at working in the kitchen and coming up with their own ways of doing things.
These were a hit! I had to go to the store twice to find all the ingredients, so I guess they are becoming very popular.
This is the reason for my blogging -- I get to go back in time to that day and think of our talking, the smell in the kitchen, and their hands working to create something.
Last month I worked on a Christmas project to give as a gift to Grandpa. We fear the time will come when he'll not remember our names, so I printed a picture of each one of us and wrote our name on the mat right under the picture.
Bruce and I took pictures of each other right before we left for a Christmas party.
This is the picture of myself that I chose for the project. I like this other one, too:
Grandpa and Grandma holding the final project as we celebrated Christmas together: