Today my wife had a well deserved "run away" day and the kids and I had an unaccustomed day when we did not go to church. We slept in till the unusually late hour of (wait for it. . . 7:00 a.m.!) and then eventually got up, and went shopping for groceries. Came home and unloaded and then I took Chet out to do his holiday shopping.
Allright, so i just wished for the Chard. I did make a giant mug of tea, take many deep breaths and sent him upstairs to wrap his gifts, after reassuring him for the 5th time that we did not need to worry about KC's birthday gift purchase today. (KC's birthday is in April.) LOL
Then the little boy from next door came over to play. The kids were outside with him for about 30 minutes but it was really cold and they were not going to be out there much longer. I invited them all in to create our annual gingerbread house. Neighbor boy has never had a chance to do this before and was enchanted with the whole experience. KC and Lissa loved including him and it got Rob off the hook so he could start watching some football. Totally a win/win. While they decorated the house, I baked a small batch of sugar cookies shaped like cookies so they could frost and decorate a snack for themselves.
After that, we went into the dining room and they all started working on the annual Christmas mural. This year it is Christmas town (like in Rudolph, I think). KC came up with the idea and drew the rough sketch for us to follow. My wife and I put his idea onto big mural paper and then turn the kids loose. They can paint, color, use markers, stickers and other embellishments. Pretty much anything goes. Neighbor boy was again enthralled. Understandably he had never seen anything like that. Our family are always featured in the mural, our heads put on various things in the mural. This year we are elves and snowmen. Ben wanted to be in it too, so I took his picture and he made himself an elf looking out Santa's castle window. It is very cute. The mural is not done, it probably as a good 3 more days of work in it to get the details in and the rest of the family. But it was begun and gave a good solid hour of creative fun to all three of the kids. I love this tradition and know it is one of the things I will miss the most when suddenly the littles are too old and too cool for such things!