29 December 2014

Christmas Morning

The girls both had Influenza for Christmas. The doctor quarantined us for a week. She was very careful to tell the girls that quarantines DO NOT apply to Santa Claus.

So we had a cozy Christmas morning with just the four of us!

Christmas 2014

Santa added some furnishings to the dollhouse he brought last year. Santa freakin' LOVES this dollhouse.

Christmas 2014

Mimi got the Kit doll she asked for.

Christmas 2014

Bella can't believe she got an iPad mini. She said, "Daddy I accidentally opened your present!"

Christmas 2014

I finished Mimi's quilt in time for her to open it Christmas morning. It turned out so cute.

Christmas 2014

Bella had made it very clear that ALL she wanted for Christmas was a giant Olaf.

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

The girls got matching necklaces that say Big Sis and Little Sis. They fit together and make a heart.

Christmas 2014

There can be no gift giving around here without some Frozen merch.

Christmas 2014

The girls gave Brent popcorn seasonings and a bag of popcorn.

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

This year I wanted to sew the girls Jess Brown dolls. Because of all the Influenza-ness, I only got Bella's done before Christmas morning. But that turned out to be ok, because Mimi had a lot of special requests so it was good to have her available to direct the making of hers. (Bella's was a surprise!)

Christmas 2014

Update: here's Mimi's doll, with red hair, hair bow, tutu, dress with pocket, and socks, all specially requested:

New doll

New doll

20 December 2014

Minnesota Adventure: Holidazzle Market

Alison and I decided to see what this Holidazzle market in downtown Minneapolis was all about. We had heard there was hot wine and reindeers and shopping and let's be honest, you had us at hot wine.

Holidazzle Market

I was very glad I brought my nice camera, it was fun to try to photo document it.

Here is the hot wine, which most people were drinking out of commemorative pottery mugs which brought your hot wine bill to like $25 or something. We did not do that.

Holidazzle Market

I loved the morovian stars on each booth.

Holidazzle Market

There was food and shopping, and live music. I bought some candy for the girls. We browsed at a very nice artisan jeweler shop.

Holidazzle Market

I thought there'd be more of this German/Scandinavian kind of stuff.

Holidazzle Market

This brat was delicious. When I told the guy that I didn't like sauerkraut, he was personally offended and made me take a little sample on the side.

Holidazzle Market

Here you can glimpse the musicians on the stage.

Holidazzle Market

Here is a potato cake with sour cream. Also delicious.

Holidazzle Market

It is actually not mine, but the nice person next to me offered me a bite! for the blog!

At this point it is about 9 degrees and we are FROZEN through. Also, the reindeer are only here on weekends or something. Boo. We decide to head across the street to Brit's pub.

The old man who welcomes us in takes one look at us and plops us down right next to their large wood burning fireplace.

Brit's Pub

Before long we are warmed up and enjoying a pint. Ahhhh.

Brit's Pub

I miss the real Holidazzle, and this is no substitute. It's not very family-friendly and was so cold. So. Cold. But I was glad to see what all the fuss was about!

14 December 2014

Saint Lucia Day

There's something I just love about St. Lucia Day. Maybe it's the idea of flaming candles in a wreath on your head. Or maybe it's the idea that a girl would get up before dawn to bring her parents hot rolls and steaming coffee.

See, what's not to like?

Here's our St. Lucia dolls, made many years ago. We love getting these out at Christmas time.

St. Lucia Day

When Mimi was little she'd toddle around with a doll clutched in each hand, their little pipe cleaner arms all akimbo and occasionally their head would pop off and roll across the floor.

ST. LUCIA WOMEN ARE STRONG WOMEN.

St. Lucia Day

Last summer we got this little tile to add to our decorations.

St. Lucia Day

It even has a recipe for the traditional buns on the back! And we love us some traditional buns!! (recipe below)

St. Lucia Day

Didn't they turn out pretty? I even happened to have the Swedish pearl sugar (from a previous belgian waffle experiment) so we used that for maximum Lucia authenticity.

St. Lucia Day

Mimi approved!

St. Lucia Day

I teased Bella that she would have to put candles on her head and get up before dawn. I love teasing her at this age because she is never quite sure if you are joking or not.

St. Lucia Day

Saint Lucia Buns

Makes 24
Traditionally served by the eldest daughter before sunrise on St. Lucia Day, December 13th.

1/2 cup warm water
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
2/3 cup scalded milk, cooled
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron
5 to 5 1/2 cups flour, divided
1/2 cup raisins
softened butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons sugar

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in butter, milk, sugar, eggs, salt, cardamom, saffron, and 3 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour. Knead until smooth. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled. Punch down. Take a lump of cough and make it into a rope. Cut rope into 8-inch lengths. Cross one piece over another forming a cross. Shape a coil at end of each rope, having all coils facing the same way. Place a raisin in the center of each coil. Place rolls on greased baking sheet. Brush lightly with butter. Let rise until puffy, about 30 minutes. Mix egg and water; brush buns lightly. Sprinkle with sugar, bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. 

10 December 2014

O Christmas Tree!

The girls are not huge fans of the tree selecting tradition. I don't know why. It is usually cold and I sometimes don't pick the tree they like. But it's a family tradition, so smile for the scrapbook girls!

Christmas tree

I think we picked a pretty nice one!

Christmas tree

Time to make some hot chocolates, put on some Christmas music, and decorate!

Hot Cocoa

We got the idea to time-lapse the decorating! It turned out so cute. Why don't we time-lapse everything?

Decorating the tree!


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