Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Sad Story

At the end of the year, I evaluate how I did on my New Year's resolutions. This year it is a rather sad story. Not so well.

Resolution number 3 - Declutter.

I actually have *more* stuff at the end of a decluttering year than at the beginning. So this is a Fail in that sense. On the other hand, Mr. Wonderful's mother moved into assisted living in February. We ended up with several pieces of furniture, lots of glass ware, lots of art and art supplies (his mother majored in art), a multitude of books (his mother was also a special needs teacher for many years), and just a lot of miscellaneous. If I hadn't been in declutter mode, we would have been buried. So it was a success in that sense. It is what it is.

Resolution number 2 - lose 20 pounds

I had always resisted actually putting a weight number in resolutions, but the year before I had managed to lose 20 pounds, so, hey, let's do it again. How hard can it be? I really don't know what I changed, but not only did I not lose 20 pounds, I regained 15 of 2015's loss. Such a discouragement. Big Fail on this one.

Resolution number 1 - do 5 years of scrapbooking

Did not touch this one. At all. Big Fail.

So that's the sad story of 2016.
But 2017 is a new year.
I can always try again.
:-)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Garden Lights

Tuesday evening, the littles, the geologist and his girl, and I all met Mr. Wonderful in the city to visit the gardens. It was a perfect night, enough chill to suit the season, but not so cold as to make it miserable to be out.

The gardens are such a magical place when the holidays lights are on during the dark evenings.

Our first stop is always the model train. My Guy loves to watch it.
 
 
 
 

On a back trail, we found a number of miniature houses.
 


The area where the lights are set to music also fascinates my guy. He quietly watched for the whole song.

White lights across the large lawn are what is mostly used, but I loved it when all the colored lights went on.
 

It was after Christmas, so Santa was back at the North Pole leaving his chair empty for photo ops. :-)
 
 
 
 
 

Goofy kids.
It was a great evening for the gardens.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Family Fun

On Monday, my family gathered here to celebrate.

My sister brought some very well wrapped gifts to play the oven mitt game with.

Even our father got into the spirit of things.

This was followed by an intense game of Bop-It.

Then my sister appeared with shrunken hands. For some reason we found the tiny hands hilarious.
 

Aunt also brought presents for the littles. Miss Adventure received a couple of toys and some great clothes. She is stylin' now.
 
We then played a rousing game of Pit, in which the Geologist was triumphant. Miss Adventure really wanted to play Monopoly. We were hesitant, but gave in, but insisted on regulation rules. (If you follow the actual rules, the game truly goes a quicker.) Miss Adventure enjoyed it for a while, then grew bored and ended up trading with the Geologist, giving him waaaay too much for a railroad. From there, it didn't take long for him to wipe out the rest of us. We had 6 playing, which really made a difference in the opening rounds. Who went first was more likely to find property to buy. Although Uncle went last (and he had to go completely around the board once before he landed on unpurchased property), he did not end up being first bankrupt. He actually finished third. Not bad.

I finally have a board game playing child.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas at the Zoo

It was misty, but warm for our regular Christmas Day trip to the zoo. This has been such a fun tradition for us.

Every trip to the zoo begins with feeding the goldfish.

As it was so warm, we skipped the indoor exhibits and headed for North America. The black bears were actually active today.

This one had just finished getting a drink. The littles were delighted when he then decided it was time to poop. :-D

The river otter keepers had just put some live fish in the otter's exhibit. We spent quite a bit of time watching the otter chase down and devour his lunch.
 
 

The Mexican wolves were also out and active today. This one kept a wary eye on us.

On the other hand, the bison were doing what bison do.

When we arrived at the tiger exhibit, this guy was laying in the stream.

Up close and personal!

We stopped by the gorilla exhibit to see if the baby was out. But no, we just keep missing the days he's out.
 

Someone was not in the best of humors, . . . 

. . . but the crowned cranes were doing a cool dance.

Next we headed to the elephants. We were enjoyed the great weather, when I looked back to the west. The clouds had gotten very, very dark.

We decided it was best to scoot along, but visit exhibits as we headed for the exit.

The lion was pacing; he could sense a change in the atmosphere. Then it started sprinkling, changing quickly to a cold rain. We began hustling straight for the exit.
Enough zoo for today.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Presents

Saturday evening, we opened presents. Not so many this year; we have so much, more seems excessive. But we do have a few, because it is a joy to bring joy.

Miss Adventure is still young enough to love stuff. But she is also very easy to give to because she pretty much loves whatever you choose to give her.

My Guy got a bigger bicycle this year. But also a few legos. He loves to put them together. Then they stay together on his shelf.

This year the chemist had the joy of disposable income. She really enjoyed being able to get her younger siblings gifts. She really knows her little sister. A big fuzzy blanket elicited squeals of delight.

A Goldilocks holiday as far as presents went.
Not too little. Not too much. Just right.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Santa's Helpers

When Mr. Wonderful and a fellow employee visited customers with holiday cheer, they took along a couple of elf helpers.

Miss Adventure and her new friend had a blast delivering goodies. Then Daddy took his little girl (and the other employee and her little girl) out to lunch at Miss Adventure's favorite place in the city.

But by the end of the day, both little elves were very tired.
(Yes, my little drama queen.)

A fun day in the city with Daddy.

Snowman!

Miss Adventure has been determined to build a snowman this winter, but when our first snow came, it was too cold.


But a few days later warming temperatures had made the snow suitable for building.

She built Lila . . .  

 . . . then decided she needed a little brother, Joe.
 
 

They lasted a day. Continuing warmth caused destruction. Lila was ruthlessly murdered. Joe was barely hanging on to life.
Mayhem in the cul-de-sac!