Run-up to Christmas

As I wrote in one of my last posts, the girls were spending Christmas with their mother in Texas, so we were trying to get most of our Christmas in before they left. They were still going to open some presents when they returned, but with the girls likely already tired of the holidays and with school starting back up again, it was best to really celebrate our holiday beforehand. We had a lot to do and a relatively short time to do it, so we dove right in as soon as they returned from Thanksgiving.

Even the Elf on the Shelf is getting into baking sourdough…
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Calkins Family Christmas

It took a long time, but I finally got around to our Christmas post.  You have seen us put the ornaments on the tree, play in the snow, and take part in numerous holiday activities, but the short lead-up to Christmas Day deserves its own post.  Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Calkins Family Christmas!

Arizona Christmases definitely include cacti and rattlesnakes

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Halloween Cookie Decorating Party

It is really funny how fast things can get out of hand.  When the girls came home from Texas on Sunday, I had Halloween sugar cookies waiting for them.  This led Elaina to ask if we could bake and decorate cookies next weekend.  Sounded like a plan, one that would be fun and fairly easy.  While we were eating on the patio on Monday, my neighbor let me know that this was going to be their last weekend in Arizona before the Army shipped his family to Italy for three years, so it seemed right to invite them over for some cookies (and because their household goods are already packed up, their house is pretty much empty).  As we were leaving for school, the girls spotted our other neighbor (whose son is in Elaina’s kindergarten class) and begged that they could come too.  It still seemed to be manageable, so I did and they accepted.  Elaina then told her best friend at school that she was having a cookie party, after which her friend begged to be invited.  After I told Elaina that we could do that the Saturday after, her friend wrote a handwritten card to Elaina asking to please come to her cookie party.  Like I was going to say no after that.  So, I started planning for a Halloween cookie decorating party… for 17 (Note: One of the families cancelled the day before, so while it did not change the spread, the event itself was a lot more manageable).

“We lost a lot of good sprinkles today…”

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