Our December adventures

December has been quite an adventure — full of Christmas preparations and excitement.

In early December, we drove out to Grandma Sue’s abandoned Christmas tree farm. Trees were growing wild! After a trek through the beautiful spooky forest, we picked out a tree. First, we had to check out all the woods had to offer, including this stream.

I love getting the kids out in nature. The trees have such a pull for me, that I want them to develop that same connection.

That said, we did bring Adam and a saw to cut one down and take it home…

After wandering for what probably felt like miles, I chose a tree. The kids watched as Adam cut it down.

I don’t seem to have photos of it, but it was huge. We took the top half, plus some branches to make a wreath for the front door. We tied it to the roof of the mini van, while the kids got warm inside — while rocking out to music from Glee — took it home and propped it up in the corner of the dining room.

You can watch the movie of the event here:

Once it was ready to decorate, I had many willing “helpful” hands. We eventually got all of the ornaments on. By all, I mean ALL, regardless of free tree branches to hang them from. What started out as a lovely, fresh tree cut right from the forest turned into a very well decorated, brightly lit Christmas creation.

You can see part of it behind Princess Berry.

A few days, later, Advent presents from Gramma arrived and Duncan and Berry very much enjoyed opening one each morning when they woke up.

I neglected to take a photo every day, but you get the idea.

The Sunday before Christmas, we went to church. So did Santa. Berry seemed very comfortable in his lap.

She wanted some odd combination of robot toys that all worked together. Duncan, however, just wanted a bell from Santa’s sleigh (we’ve read the Polar Express).

I’m not sure what Emma asked for. And the pic is on Adam’s phone. 🙁

I made egg nog, snowball cookies (pictured below) and mini apple pies. All gluten-free and delicious, even if some of the snow balls were more like snow mounds.

Mysterious boxes kept arriving at our door every day. Lots and lots of presents were wrapped from all corners of the globe. On Christmas Eve they made their way down the stairs to the tree. We had to move the table.

And, finally, on Christmas morning, little children work up bright and early to begin unwrapping them. They Skyped with Kevin to unwrap presents from him, Aunt Karen, Uncle Jonny, Gramma and Papa Rog. They Skyped with Uncle Christopher and Arthur to unwrap their presents. They waited for Nanny to arrive so they could unwrap presents with her. And, finally, Emma and Sam arrived home and more presents were unwrapped.

I fell asleep, exhausted, at 2:30 pm while children frolicked and played. Helping Santa is hard.