(And, yes, I've used this pattern before.)
On New Year's Day, the boys & I started a puzzle that I've had down the basement for years. (It may even be older than Henry.)
I let them stay up late to work on it, and we finished it up the following day. Sammy uses it as the stronghold for a giant plastic beetle.
We did succeed in making it, but it took several hours of stirring until the temperature was high enough to pour. After it had cooled, it *really* stuck to your teeth. (Henry actually has the smile he has in this picture because he has a piece stuck in his mouth. It didn't stop him from going back for several more pieces. (Truth be told, it didn't stop me, either.)) We're not likely to try this experiment again. It was pretty, though.
And at the very last second, Sammy decided to join us as well.
(At least the weather was somewhat mild.) The train looped through the gardens and several light displays.
My favorite tree was one where they provided paper ornaments for people to write their wishes down. Henry, of course, wished for something food-related:
Sammy, on the other hand, wished for his current obsession:
(There have been many mornings where he wakes me up, asking to go to London.)
Christmas dinner was at Mom's house and was somewhat low-key (which is nice). The boys even helped with dishes after dinner (without too much complaining).
Mike had to leave after dinner so that he could work the next day, but Karen, Kevan, Maya & Zeke came by on their way to visit with Kevan's parents. (We did some shopping before they arrived since Henry packed very few pairs of pants. (And I wanted to see what sort of sales were happening (I was disappointed.))
We spent most of the day visiting with them. The kids liked being able to see their cousins and play some of their new games together.
The day after Christmas, in order to accommodate 18 people for dinner, we took over Uncle Gary's living room. We set up lots of tables in order to make it work, and no one could move anywhere once they were in place at the table, but it was nice to have everyone together.
It's rare that all the Szczepanik/Penvose/Stringer cousins are together, and they had a good time playing games. (Henry's been addicted to Heads Up, so we played several rounds of it over the weekend.)
One of my favorite traditions about Christmas is the sharing of oplatki. There are a couple explanations of rituals on
Tuesday, December 23, 2014