Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas, Sleighs and Broken Toys, Oh My!

Hello Everyone!
Christmas has come and gone. It's been quite a fun time here at Casa de Peaceable Kingdom. The boys had a fun time with the whole Santa sheebang, and Music Man and I had a fun time watching them do same. It was a low key and peaceful day for all of us. My roast did not turn out the way I wanted for supper, and we had to bring back two of the main gifts for the boys to Santa's workshop because they did not work right (that was a serious bummer all around!), but other then that it was a nice long holiday weekend.

Our festivities really began when I volunteered to make graham cracker houses with 17 six year olds in Maestro's kindergarten class. That was a messy and fun time, the kids had a blast with it and I had fun interacting with them and also getting to know some of the little cherubs that are bound to influence my son's future. They are a bunch of great kids at this age and it was fun for me to have the chance to spend time with them. It was loud, crazy and frosting was everywhere, but we all had fun with it.

The next day was Christmas Eve and we usually get together at my inlaws house and do our Christmas celebration with them. Grammy takes all the kids on the "Light Ride", which is when she drives around and shows the kids that lights on houses in the area. They all look forward to that and they even discovered a new place this year that had their own radio station. You could tune in on the radio and the lights apparently blinked and whatnot in time to the music. Now if that's not cool, I don't know what is! In any case the boys came back to the house full of stories of the lights, and it gives the rest of the grown ups time to chat without the kiddos running amok. They have 4 kids of their own and we have our two and some friends came along and it was a little loud and crazy for a while there, but everyone has a great time. Since my sister-in-law is really Martha Stewart in disguise, there's always good food to be had as well. My South Beach Diet experience took a beating over the last 4 days, but I've managed not to regain anything, and that's all I was asking for this week, just not to regain. So far, I'm succeeding there.
So Christmas morning was fun with the boys getting from Santa what they wanted. They both asked for bongos (which Santa found on a really good sale, so they got some professional ones, quite snazzy), and Little Red wanted a car garage. That's fantastic, it's this three story wooden thing with a car wash and everything, quite nice. Maestro also got an Easy Bake Oven since he LOVES to cook. Okay, the real challenge there is that the oven itself is fairly gender neutral, but the box was all pink and purple, and the tools are pink and purple and all the little food kits are all girly and whatnot. Luckily, he didn't seem to notice too much about that, but what's up with that?? Are there not more boys who might like to cook as well? A little gender biasing there, I think. There were a couple of things that were absurd there, like for one, there's about $.35 worth of ingredients in the food packets, and they cost about $5.00 each. Mrs. Claus got two free ones with the purchase of the oven (gotta love those coupons!) or he would have only had the one that came with the oven. No way am I paying those prices. So, I went online yesterday and found a bunch of recipes that other people have come up with, put a little cookbook together for him in Printmaster and voila! boy specific cooking stuff. When you're watching every dime, you get resourceful.

Then on Friday night, my mother-in-law treated us to our family Christmas gift. We went out to dinner, where we had very good food and enjoyed each other's company. The boys are pretty well behaved in restaurants, so we're lucky there. Then we went to a place that offers sleigh rides with real draft horses. Now, this was a special treat for me on many levels...spending quality time with loved ones, the boys get to have this memory with their grandmother, I get to be around horses for a short time, and it was a fun time with special people. Some of those memories being made, and I know for myself, I will cherish those memories with my mother-in-law as well as the rest of our little family. The air was crisp, it was dark, the horses well cared for and happy and the boys excitement was palpable. Wonderful time. I was having a hard time with the Christmas spirit this year. When we lost power for 6 days, I was already a little into a funk and then I couldn't do the normal baking and things that helps make the season special for me. Not to mention that I couldn't eat any of what I did manage to bake in the end, and that was a bummer as those special tastes are part of the season for me as well. But this sleigh ride brought home for me (and Music Man as well) a sense of an old fashioned Christmas. I am dearly lacking that in my life as I'm a country girl planted in a not-so-country-anymore town and I feel the absence of that simpler way of life tremendously. Someday we really do want to have that little house on a farm, where we come in from chores tired but satisfied and warm up next to the woodstove with a cup of cocoa and hunker down with a good book. And feel the tired muscles of a hard but good days work, and cold toes from working in the barn too long, all those things that I felt as a child with my horse experience. Anyways, I got to connect to that dream for a moment in time and it did my soul good. I'm sure my mother-in-law has no idea how much she gave me with that gift, but I know I will remember it for a lifetime.
So, hoping that all of you shared a peaceful holiday season. I'm looking forward to another weekend of celebrating since my parents are coming down from Maine on New Year's Day and we'll be doing Christmas for my side of the family then. Can't wait to see them and have the boys spend some quality time with their Grma and Papa. I'm going to be careful what I eat since I'm still trying not to regain anything but hope to have one or two special bites of yummy stuff, enjoy too much noise and the warmth of family I've had my whole life. After this weekend, we're into January and a new year. I hope that we'll be able to have a better year on some fronts and stay healthy and happy for 2009.

Wishing you your own country Christmas memories, ~Peacemom

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