Sunday, January 10, 2010

Christmas in the Warm South?

Not quite.  Seems like wherever we go for Christmas, we take the cold with us.  Oh well.  It may have been cold outside, but it was nice and warm inside. :)  We spent 11 full days (plus travel) with my family in Charlotte.  My parents, as well as youngest brother and sister were there.  The boys just love playing with their Uncle Tim and it seems like I hardly saw them the whole time we were there!  I, of course, did lots of cooking and baking.  I made a Buche de Noel (Christmas Log) for the first time.  It was a lot of work, and sadly I wasn't totally thrilled with it.  But my dad loved it!  He also loved the fudge and divinity I made...Kroboth family tradition!  The fudge this year was arguably the best I'd ever made. MMMmmm!

Here's Dad with the meringue mushrooms for the log.

And the finished product:

We went to a lovely Christmas Eve service, which the boys attended with us (except Andrew).  We had already gone to see the lights the night before, so we came right home afterwards...that is, after we could get out of the parking lot!  We had opened our traditional one gift on Christmas Even before heading to the service.  Joshua was especially thrilled!

Caleb's favorite gift was a joint gift for him and Philip, Trans America, which is a railroad strategy game. 
He was so excited to receive it!


One of the highlights for the boys was making Marshmallow Soup with Grandpa.  One of Joshua's favorite books is Duck Soup and in it Marshmallow Soup is mentioned.  In the spirit of silliness and adventure, Grandpa decided to invent some for the boys.   It was so much fun they did it twice. :)

We also got to spend time with my Grandmother, Grandma Lucy, and had two lovely visits with her.  Which, of course, included a reading of Duck Soup, by Joshua.

There were many games of chess and our checkers played during our visit, especially by these two serious fellows:

Andrew and Grandpa also had fun playing the mimic game.  Andrew would do something for everyone else to copy.  It started out with tapping patterns on the table and evolved into more complicated things like putting your hands on your head, or your nose, or stretching one direction, or looking under the table.  Andrew particularly liked to look under the table because he realized pretty quickly that Grandpa couldn't do that!

Grandpa also dressed up as "Father Christmas" on Christmas Eve to bring in some extra spirit...or maybe he was cold. :)

Grandma and Andrew:

On Christmas morning, we enjoyed Swedish Pancakes, thanks to Philip!  He wore bright yellow to make sure we didn't miss him in our bleary-eyed tiredness. :)  Just kidding.  We always get up at a reasonable time like 8:00 on Christmas!

New Years Eve was very fun.  We decided at 6:57 to ring in the Italian New Year with the kids at 7:00.  So we did!  Then the adults stayed up playing Wise and Otherwise, which is the most fun when everyone is silly...which we all were that evening.  Philip, Tim, Deborah and I made it all the way until the New Year before heading to bed.  Happy New Year!

Deborah and I on NYE

It was a really wonderful visit and we were sad to have to leave!

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