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December 23, 2016

I was pretty impressed that Yukiko and Chris managed breakfast cheese in Japan. We were thrilled to be able to eat "together" despite being so far apart physically.


This was probably the most difficult holiday meal for Auntie Janice as she can't have pickles, cold cuts, cheese, salad, potatoes or cookies - in short all the main components of our traditional raclette meal. Next time we'll have to try having a more formal dining space for the kids; they were pretty excited and had a hard time remembering that they couldn't attack Janice with their cheesy, pickly hands.


The cheese this year was from Quebec and was extremely nice. The number of options we have to contemplate for cheeses has really increased in the last five years or so. Not that we are complaining!


December 21, 2016

There were many cards and homemade boxes of fudge to make this year. We tried a new gumdrop fudge recipe that I got off one of those "Tasty" videos that play endlessly on Facebook and quite liked it. Matthew thought maybe we should give less away!


Elizabeth still has many teachers but agreed that it was acceptable to just give a card to her main teacher. I was extremely relieved.


Matthew had a few more people but worked hard on his drawings and especially writing his name (and hey - it's coming along!).


December 18, 2016

Andre didn't quite finish his gingerbread in the time he had to work on it, so he and Heather came back the following day. Heather showed us how to make special sugar icing using only sugar, which is amazing because it is Janice-safe! Basically you pour sugar into a pan, heat it until it melts and dip the edges of your structure into the sugar glue. When it cools it holds extremely well, but it is decidedly NOT kid friendly as an activity.


Janice had started making her own structure at the beginning of the day but as more people arrived we got nervous about the potential for cross-contamination so she opted to put it away for later.


I didn't even try assembling my own structure (a basic house) and while the kids put together theirs they didn't have time to decorate because they were too busy "helping" other people. So after church we had a decidedly calmer gingerbread part II in which we used up as much of the leftover candy as possible!


Janice made an ambulance, which was very fitting. Elizabeth made a Pikachu (with a tree and dance floor). Matthew made R2D2. He's currently very into Stars Wars, not that any of my kids have any actual idea what that is, but I guess they hear about it from friends.


December 17, 2016

Not sure what to say about our annual Gingerbread party except that it was wonderful to see everyone as usual. All sixty-seven of you (!) We missed those of you who couldn't come and hope you managed to make some gingerbread.


It was the first year that we had some extra help (thanks Alida and Emma!) and that definitely made the whole afternoon and evening so much more manageable.


David's bridge was probably the most impressive creation this year but there were many delicious and creatively decorated structures. Heather and Andre's house was a pretty close second...


Also, I'm pretty excited about how elaborate some of the kids are getting...


December 16, 2016

I have always been completely fascinated by buttons and I remember spending many an hour playing with my mother's collection.


So I was completely thrilled when I inherited both of my grandmother's button collections. Of course I let my kids play with them too and it's always a very popular activity.


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