Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Christmas RE-CAP

January has been the most hectic month so far ... go figure. I know I am about a month late ... but I HAD to share about winter break and Christmas parties ...
I just love Christmas too much to let it slip by regardless that it is January 25th! *sigh*
So bear with me ...

     As many of you experienced, getting out of school the day before Christmas eve was a bit like holiday hell. My husband (KC) is always so upbeat and eager to help with the house, shopping, and even classroom fun, but with him stranded on the couch still recuperating from knee surgery, I was left with most of the holiday decorating, classroom party set up, cooking, and shopping ... alone.
Our classroom Christmas party was exhausting went spectacular! I was blessed to have both my dear mom and grandmother join in on the fun. We did stations between my classroom and my partner teachers all morning. My grandma ran operation decoration sugar cookies, my mom was at reindeer puzzle ornaments (a fabulous blogging craft find!) a parent was on reindeer food, and a couple other parents helped out with our gingerbread house decorating station - always messy a favorite!
Ginger Bread Houses
Santa Cookies
 My Amazing Grandmother :)
My incredible Mother! 

     The afternoon was filled with hot chocolate, stocking stuffers, Christmas movies, and our annual whole school sing-a-long put on by our music teacher (picture is of 5th graders performing a song with motions for the whole school).
On a Personal Level:
    All this wonderful fun, left my only open shopping day to Friday - BIG MISTAKE! I have never gone shopping that close to Christmas ... NOTHING was left, entire stores were wiped out! I was about in tears after not being able to find half of my Christmas list (that I was planning on paying FULL price for! due to the 50%-70% off! But God is good, and I managed to make it home with a full car load and at least half my sanity.
    We spent Christmas with my mom's Grandparents. With both of my parents being teachers, we have always had LOTS of vacation time, so I grew up spending WEEKS at a time with family. My parents drove up from Ohio, and KC and I made the 25 minute trip over to my grandparents (Southwest Michigan). I love cozy, family Christmas. Hallmark movies, hot chocolate, Christmas wrapping, soft Christmas music playing, women in the kitchen, football in the living room. It was a pretty traditional Christmas.
The day after Christmas my parents, sister, KC and I headed up north to my dad's side of the family (we had already celebrated Christmas with KC's family week before due to circumstances). My family lives in an old mining town three hours west of the Mackinac bridge. Unlike the rest of blog world, I was completely void of any internet connection during the next fun filled week in the winter wonderland of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Life is so much slower up there, oldies are still in, camouflage is all the rage, and not even the teenagers are too familiar with the internet/facebook/blogging. It is a simpler, rustic, envious life. A bit like a hallmark movie in its own charming way.
     There are 26 of us when we are all home. Needless to say, there is never a dull moment! What a glorious week we enjoy baking cookies, eating grandmas good amazing food, swimming in their indoor pool, playing games (Outburst, Scategories, Sequence, Catch Phrase, etc.) snowmobiling through the woods, watching football cheering the Packers on to victories! Shopping the cute little gift shops, going to their beautiful little church, playing with little cousins, watching old movies (My Fair Lady, Sound of Music, The Kind and I), loads of snow covering the surrounding forest ... it is one of my most favorite times of the year.
    We stay until New Years, my history teacher father started work today. We watched the ball drop, celebrated with New York, but had to stay up another hour waiting for our New Year - The U.P is on Central Time. Then, as custom has it, we done our festive garb and welcome the New Year Yooper style - shooting guns off into the night sky!
Now, we're back home. We didn't  start till the 9th (Praise the Lord!) and I happily enjoyed post-vacation time .. jammies, blogging, hot cocoa, un-decorating the house, doing laundry was so wonderful to have TIME!

Happy {BELATED} New Year! May God bless each of you in this coming 2012!
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