Brunch with Santa!

Grannie wanted to do something “Santa-y” this weekend for the kids, so we found a Brunch with Santa… Unfortunately I think it might be the last year to see Santa—neither one wanted to sit on his lap (though honestly, neither has ever loved the idea) but they agreed to stand at his side. They did enjoy the crafts afterwards, though. :)

The kids doing pysanky with Gramma Jean for the first time!

They’re a bit behind—I started at age 3! They were both excited to sit down and do it. Gramma gave them a quick lesson on how to hold the egg and kistka, but unfortunately both of them forgot and ended up grabbing the hot metal end…which is why you see tears on some of Katie’s close up pics. They both had fun and enjoyed doing two eggs—I was only going to watch but then couldn’t help myself and had to jump in and “do a quick egg” which of course turned into more time than I planned and I ended up sitting there finishing mine while the kids were done and outside playing. :) (Note: The eggs are done but are still at Gramma’s house being varnished so the finished product photo will come later.)

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Pumpkin Day

I volunteered to help with Pumpkin Day in Katie’s classroom. I had no idea what would be involved but then I got the email saying we’d be carving pumpkins so bring a knife and bowl if we could. Hoo boy—I hadn’t carved a pumpkin in years…

The classroom was a bit insane (I don’t know how she does it without an assistant—we were spoiled with Owen’s class having one) but overall it went well. There were four moms total so we each had a group of six. We had to measure the pumpkin with blocks and chain lengths, write what the pumpkin felt and smelled like, weigh the pumpkin, see if it sank or floated…and then design and carve the pumpkin. In an hour.

As you can imagine it was pretty much like herding cats. It started with the teacher switching Katie’s seat with someone so we could be at the same table…and the kid completely lost his shit and was a crying hot mess because “he wanted his seat.” Really, kid? You lose it over moving seats for an hour? And then some kids couldn’t pay attention for more than three seconds. One had no idea how to draw an H (“we haven’t done that letter yet”). A few wrote their numbers backwards (71 for 17) but fixed it after I told them—except one kid who literally kept writing it 71 no matter how many times I told him it was 1-7 not 7-1. One kid wrote all his letters on top of one another. You get the idea. I’m not bragging when I say that Katie seemed among the most advanced in her group (able to pay attention, answer questions, write her letters and numbers correctly, and follow instructions).

This is a snapshot of mass chaos before we even started.

 

I didn’t take many pictures because I was very involved in every step of the way—plus I didn’t have pockets, remember. 

   
    

Katie was the badge collector.

  

And then it was time to go home so Katie got to ride home with me. She had a good time and was happy I came. 

Happy 16th Anniversary!

Waiting for Tom to get home and enjoying the weather on the front porch. 


Of course we had to start with a traditional anniversary selfie. :)

Our dinner of choice this year was…sushi! This was called the Willis Tower and had layers of crab salad, sushi rice, avocado, spicy tuna, and a few sauces. You ate it with a spoon!

We couldn’t decide between three rolls so let the waiter choose for us. Why yes, that IS gold leaf on there (right).

We wanted dessert and were trying to decide where to go. Our waiter, knowing it was our anniversary, said he’d give us a mochi on the house. We’d never had it, but were game to try it—all we knew is that it would be strawberry flavor. This is what came out: it was strawberry ice cream on the inside. It was tasty but not quite what we had in mind. (I Googled later and learned that mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice. The rice is pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape.)

So we headed toward home and somehow ended up at The Chocolate Sanctuary where we both indulged in our own desserts! (We rarely get dessert and when we do it’s shared between all for of us.)

Tom had Pecan Bourbon Crème Brulé (Jim Beam infused crème brulée with toasted pecans, topped with toasted meringue and Sanctuary caramel) and I had S’mores Dark Chocolate (Dark chocolate flourless cake with toasted meringue, cocoa graham cracker sable, cocoa graham crumble, Sanctuary spiced caramel, and cocoa-candied bacon).

We may also have let it known it was our anniversary (the couple across from us was celebrating their 38th!) so we may have also indulged in free champagne and raspberry chocolates. 💕

And then this was waiting for us when we got home. (Well, they actually weren’t quite finished when we walked in so we were forcefully instructed to go wait upstairs!)

The kids helped Grannie make rice krispie treats (decorated with our cake topper!) and they drew and colored a sign. They were so excited to surprise us.

It’s kind of hard to see, but they drew and colored lots of wedding-related things (my ring and flowers, the train, the cake, the horse and carriage) as well as some of our favorite things (Petoskey stone, a saw, dolphins). We loved it! And then of course we had to have a bite of still-warm rice krispie bars!!

It was a good day. :)