Thursday, January 24, 2013

Christmas Break

I thought our Christmas break would drag this year, as it often does, and that I would need to make lots of plans to keep us all busy. But Nels was getting over being sick, so we had to stay home. Thankfully, the boys have taken their hobbies to the next level, which means they can (and do) occupy themselves for hours if they're in the right mood. Or if they have a fresh stack of craft books from the library.

Nels has become very proficient in origami. He brought home a new origami book from the library and created this fighter squadron in short order, all on his own . 

For filling serious chunks of time, model-building can't be beat. Here's Nels building the battleship Missouri, a Christmas gift from Grandpa Scott and Grandma Juli. I can't believe his patience--the guns are the size of fleas. He's also built the USS Arizona and a B-17G Flying Fortress.

Willem, as usual, made stuff out of whatever he could get his hands on, like these bugs made out of Bendaroos. Bendaroos are just wax-coated strings, in case you aren't familiar with them, and I think they are pretty great. To be fair, Nels had the idea to make bugs first, but I think Willem executed it with panache.

Here's Willem punching out the pieces for a model of a cricket that we found for $3 at the antique store. His tongue was out the entire time.

Nels asked me to teach him how to braid, so I did. Here he is practicing on his brother because I wouldn't let him practice on me.

Willem had a little crisis of conscience when he found out we would be having crab bisque for Christmas Eve dinner, and he made this poster to hold up to passing traffic. He loves all creatures, but the pricklier they are, the softer his heart for them is. His stuffed animals include both a crab and a lobster (or crawdad. We're not sure.) He also finds all shellfish to be delicious, which may explain why he never took this poster to the streets. 

The company Shaun works for gave t-shirts to all of the employees' kids this year. Willem was into it.

Speaking of Shaun's work, we decided to host an office Christmas party this year. (There is no official party.) Because Shaun likes to cook dishes that are labor intensive and require special equipment, he decided to make his family's traditional krumkake for the party.

He did the family proud. They were beautiful and delicious.

I don't know why we bothered to clean the house, because everyone hung out in our hideous carpeted kitchen for the duration of the party.

This takes the prize for generous and thoughtful hostess gift. One of our guests brought us this bottle of bitters from The Meadow. And although tamarind is one of my least favorite flavors on earth, this concoction is very tasty. I'm looking forward to experimenting with it.

We were so busy that Christmas was upon us before we knew it. And that was just fine by us.

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