Sunday, December 26, 2010

Getting Ready for Christmas...

Christmas came in a hurry it sems and with all the craziness of the new house & trying to get things finished up & settled, there was A LOTof pre-Christmas things we do that just didn't get done this year... but we did manage to squeeze in a little holiday fun here & there.

Melanie & I hit the "Sugarplum Tea" that The Minnesota Conservatory of Arts puts on prior to their Nutcracker performance.  We went with our new friends from preschool, Audrey & her mom Amy. We were certainly in the land of goodies!  The girls had lots of tasty treats to try!  Then a couple weeks later, Brandon, Melanie, Gram & I attended one of the performances of the Nutcracker.  Melanie thought it was neat to see all the dancers that we had seen at the tea!

Although we normally get our tree up Thanksgiving weekend, we were finally able to get our tree & put it up after our fireplace/living room was completed in early December.   We found a nice little tree lot in town & picked the perfect tree!  It came from a tree farm in St. Charles, MN... no too far away from us! 
We had fun decorating our tree & getting a few snowmen out!  That helped make it feel more like December!

The Holiday Train made its annual stop in Winona, so we headed to the depot to see it. We got there just as it was pulling in & stayed for the music & some hot chocolate & cookies!

Melanie's preschool had a nice holiay program the kids put on.  They sang a lot of great songs & even did a little play the night Jesus was born!  They were cute! 

Uncle Chris' visit at Christmas time is something we all look forward to each year.  He & his folks popped over for dinner one evening & we ended up with a surprise visit from another special someone...
...SANTA!!!  We weren't sure he was going to know where we were this year after moving but thankfully he found us!

Finally, we had one last celebration to tackle before Christmas...
... Brandon's 7th birthday!  Poor guy still had to get up early for school but that evening we went out for dinner then back home for presents! 

Hard to believe our little guy is already a big 7-yr old!  It is kind of cool that because of when his birthday falls, Uncle Chris has been around for all of them!

They both bean bags for their birthdays (a belated one for Melanie) from Aunt Dina for their new rooms!  They love them! 

Next stop... CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


We will most certainly be having a white Christmas!  This past weekend's blizzard dumped 18+ inches of snow all around the region!

Our driveway all but disappeared!

The blowing snow left some pretty large drifts as well as a pile of snow on our lower roof!  So Mike won himself a trip out on the roof to clear off snow & dig out our roof vents!

The back of the house had about 2 feet or so... but the south end of the house had about 4-5 ft of drifted snow accumulated!  All in all, Mike spent about 2 hours clearing snow off the roof.  After that we got to dig out our window wells which were filled full!

Ed braved the cold temps (single digits) to start the plowing.  Thankfully the wind was dying, so with the sun shining it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  There was certainly a lot of snow to move & his tractor does a great job!  He had our road & drives cleared before the township road from the main road was cleared by the plows!

One of our snow piles out the living room window from clearing the roof snow!
After the storm, the temperature tanked... the other morning we saw -25 when I got up to take Brandon to the bus stop & daytime temps barlely above 0.  Now we need some temps in the 20s so we can get out & play in the snow!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Slowly getting settled!

Well, it is official... we are in the new house as of Thanksgiving weekend.  There have been some things to wrap up over the past few weeks, so in some ways we were "roughing it" a bit... but we're in!

Friday night after Thanksgiving was our first official night.  We got the kids rooms somewhat set up & decided that we'd be the first guests in the guestroom! (until we manage to get our room set up & the downstairs wrapped up)

We had a movie night & the kids liked watching cartoons in there the next morning too!

Brandon loves his new room... his bunk beds are vintage Superman & Batman.  He likes them both so much he couldn't decide which he wanted on his top bunk (where he normally sleeps) so now he alternates nights between top & bottom bunk so he can sleep on both sets of sheets!

To say Melanie loves her pink room would be an understatement... it's PINKALICIOUS!  She couldn't be more thrilled & squealed the first time she saw it!  Equally as thrilling has been unpacking toys that have been in storage for many months... it is almost like Christmas! (unfortunately not enough like it that it would substitute for Christmas this year... believe me, I tried to get that one approved but was vetoed!)

Downstairs we still have some things with all the cabinets that need to be wrapped up as well as getting counters / center island in the kitchen.  So for the time being, we haven't had a kitchen to use but at least have a utility sink in the garage to rinse cereal bowls!  The other big thing that needed to be finished was our fireplace surround & built-ins.  Last week, those were both completed & we couldn't be more thrilled!  This week the flooring crew was back to complete the carpeting in the living room & stairs, which makes our flooring 100% complete now... YEAH!!! 
With a finsihed living room, we were able to finally move our new living room furniture in & have 1 room that is completed! 

Little by little it is coming together... next week we should have a completed kitchen & even a few Christmas decorations to show!