With the basement finished, we directed our energies to the holidays. Growing up, my family tradition was to put up the tree and holiday decorations during the first week of December, and since becoming an adult, I have mostly upheld that tradition.
Jacob participated in Hannah's long-held salt-dough ornament-making tradition. His are the gingerbread men. Hannah opted for hedgehog this year.
As usual, my family came earlier in the month to celebrate. An awesomely warm December meant we got to spend the day outside, and we even got to have a photo shoot with Grammy (enforced by me with my mom's January birthday in mind) without having to be bundled up.
The dirt bike is Eric's favorite party favor to bring out when we have people over.
Jacob refused to allow his picture to be taken in front of the tree, but he felt fine about posing with the construction costume grammy bought him.
He took that costume very seriously and spent quite a bit of time cleaning his trucks after putting them to good use.
The following weekend we had Hannah's best friend and her family over for an impromptu campfire and their first 'smores experience (they're from France and do not have 'smores there).
Even constructions workers need to take a 'smores break sometimes.
Back to work! Here is driving to his construction site. Ha!
I think I just took this picture because I was so shocked that Hannah was wearing shorts and a short-sleeve shirt in December. In December!! Insane...
The colors in this next picture got all warped, but since Jacob worked on it for so long, I wanted to share his very elaborate construction.
And then came the hand, foot, mouth disease...One day while attempting to swallow a bit of his dinner, Jacob screamed in pain and just kept screaming. I was confused, but we'd gotten an email from the school a few days earlier saying that someone in his class had hand, foot, mouth so I took him to the doctor who took one look at the enormous sores on his throat and confirmed that he had it as well. He sucks his fingers so we expect him to pick up every germ that's being put down. Hopefully this means his future immune system will be amazing! A few days after the throat pain, the spots appeared on his hands and feet. They blistered up and bled on the fingers that he sucked, and a few weeks later, his fingernails shriveled up weirdly and when enough of a new one had grown in, the old ones fell off. It was gross...Grossest disease ever. It went around again this year, and I'm pretty sure he had it again, but the sores were minor, and there were no other symptoms so maybe not.
Their school has a holiday production on the last day of school. Here's a link to the whole production if you'd like to see it.
No holiday season is complete without a trip to Hampden to see the lights!
This year's visit to Hampden coincided with our friends' winter solstice party where the dress-up box was the biggest hit for our kids.
Just a random lazy afternoon...
The book fairy strikes again! This year we were excited to be able to give her books as well to hold onto until baby Zoe made her way out of the belly.
And then it was dad's birthday!
Jacob hung out down below and helped pound nails into this log.
Hannah wrestled with Joel the other Hannah on the trampoline and learned a few jiu jitsu moves.
She got some quality time with Granpah in the tree fort as well.
After the kids were in bed on Christmas eve, we had grown-up game night.
Eric's aunt always sends a big basket of food for the family. Last year she sent breakfast items, which we cooked up for everyone to enjoy on Christmas morning.
This is the awesome hug I got from Hannah for buying her a guinea pig cage. Yes, just the cage. I got a lot of flak from people who though it strange that I just bought her the cage. I had to keep explaining that I told her she had to save her allowance and buy the piggies herself, and I wasn't about to go back on that, but I wanted to help so I purchased the large expensive item.
Grannah got her a joke book, which we've all enjoyed this year.
Eric found a cheap ping pong table on Craig's List and set it up in the newly finished basement where ping pong battles between all family members ensued.
This Design and Drill thing turned out to be a pretty rad present for Jacob. He kept busy with it for quite a while.
With the holidays behind us, it was time for our annual bowling fiasco!
On New Year's Eve we happily accepted an invitation to go ice skating with Hannah's best friend and her family. This was the kids' first time, and Eric and I have only been a handful of times, so we were all a bit wobbly, but we had a ton of fun!
And with that I say adios to 2015!! Finally!