We’ve had more spare time this week than we’ve had for quite some time. The main reason for that is because we babysat the grandsons less this week. That is one reason I’m writing this post early. We spent a little of that time decorating for Christmas, did some shopping, cooking, and extra cleaning.
My sister and brother-in-law put a wreath on our door while we were out. I added a few decorations to it from my stash.
I was able to use some art my niece made as a backdrop to the little trees Rob made last year. I love putting things I already have together in new ways to get a whole new effect from them.
Now I feel ready for the next few weeks. We kept it simple. I will not host the “big family” for Christmas, instead, I will go to my sister’s house. I will have a few of my children over at least once, my niece and nephew staying for a few days later in the month, and our own nuclear family to enjoy the Christmas cheer.
Most of our gifts are already purchased, and those remained simple this year, as well. As tempting as it was, we did not go overboard with buying things for the babies. Instead, we got a few useful items, and we plan to spend time with them.
This was clean-the-fridge week. I only bought a couple of items, including whole milk for the baby. For the rest of the meals, I used all the leftovers I could find in the fridge from Thanksgiving and we pulled several proteins from the freezers and thawed them in readiness for quick meals. This picture is spaghetti made with home-canned pizza/pasta sauce and some buckwheat noodles we got at a scatch-and-dent store for 99c/box. They look kind of funny, but taste great. Contrary to their name, “buckwheat”, they are a gluten-free option and I’m all for it when I get anything gf for 99c!
My Mom left some cranberry relish here after Thanksgiving dinner. I ate a bunch of it because it tasted amazing, but could not eat it all. I decided to make some cranberry bread with the rest of it. I just put it in instead of the cranberries called for. The bread came out great, even though I was afraid it would be too moist. I have no idea how much I put in or anything, so I can’t exactly make it again, but I’m glad I found a way to use that delicious relish up! We will eat one or two of the mini loaves and freeze the others for later.
As always, we filled our days with simple activities and children. I took my niece and nephew to the park. We got some library books and movies for the now-open (finally) library–ahhhh:). We watched some movies on Disney+ since one daughter put it on our t.v. and we could.
I did watch Malcolm one afternoon/evening while his mother and auntie cleaned like maniacs for a walk-through by their landlord. They had plenty of notice, but the babies are messy so they wanted to finish without the 16-month-old. It went well for them, and I’m glad. While he was here, I pushed him up and down some surrounding streets in his stroller as it was getting near dusk. We both really enjoyed the lights and decorations we saw. He’s at the stage where he waved at every car, called out “dog” to every reindeer he saw and craned his neck almost backwards to see things he really liked. Fun! I’m glad to let the girls clean and keep all the fun in these cases:). Then we danced to the Wiggles, played with the cloth Nativity set, looked at books with Grandpa, and the girls ended the evening by bringing take-and-bake pizza for us all.
Enjoy the season. That’s our plan for the next few weeks. We’ve made a good start.