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January 31, 2016

My holiday house(s)

Hard to believe that January is nearly over and February is upon us. 
I made a few modifications to my window boxes at our house and Aframe lake house to celebrate Valentines.
There is definitely a benefit to having two homes...more excuses and places to tuck decorations!

Happy "almost" February!

January 25, 2016

The Annual Harry Potter Yule Ball!

For my long time followers, you know that my husband loves Harry Potter and spends time each week reading Harry Potter during the lunch hour at two different elementary schools in his district. 
 Saturday night was their annual Harry Potter Yule Ball. 
It’s a BIG deal and each year it gets more and more elaborate. 
In the past, he has rented a Dumbledore costume for his special gathering, but this year he decided that he needed a costume of his very own to keep.
The pictures don’t do it justice. It turned out wonderful and he’ll be able to use it anytime he feels the need to be a Professor Albus Dumbledore.

Close to 200 students were in attendance this year.
Loads of creative food and several new activities were added to this year’s venue.
The potions class was a big hit.

Riding the Knight Bus (thank you Grand Rapids Trolley Company) was also very popular.
Several magical creatures were supplied by our local zoo.

We even had quidditch lessons provided by the Grand Valley State University Grindylowe’s team.

Once again, the decorations were nothing short of fantastic.

A truly magic evening.

Chris and all his amazing staff/parent volunteers really outdid themselves.

 Have yourself a magical week.

January 22, 2016

Backyard rink officially open!

It's been a very cold week.
Perfect for making fresh ice. 
The ice rink is officially open for the 2016 season.  

Stay cozy everyone.  For my friends experiencing Storm Jonas, stay safe!

January 13, 2016

Our 2015 Chinese New Year tree

If you've followed me for awhile, you know that we have a year-round decorative tree that receives multiple makeovers every other month (including some made-up holidays).
Now that my vintage Christmas ornaments are finally all packed up, Josie and I spent some time over the weekend working on her special tree. 
Her tree is now featuring an assortment of decorations celebrating the approaching Chinese New Year which begins February 8th.
I've said this each year, but of all the trees that I display in the sunroom throughout the year, I think the CNY tree is my favorite.
Someday Josie might not be as eager to help decorate her special tree, but I'm glad she enjoys celebrating her heritage.
 Happy Year of the Monkey!

January 10, 2016

Return of the backyard ice rink!

Chris is at it again getting our annual backyard ice rink ready for another season. 
With our unseasonably warm winter, we've had to delay setting it up.
Now, that we've got cold weather finally coming, we're ready. 
Let the freezing begin!


January 4, 2016

Welcoming winter

I’m sorry if I scared some of you into thinking I was closing down my blog. I’ve got too much invested in my blog (the original purpose was to document our adoption journey) but it’s also been a great way to record our family’s adventures over the years, so I promise to keep this going. Thank you for all the sweet comments. 
 Christmas break was so nice. A bit crazy to start out with. Chris had a kidney stone that took 4 days to pass and right in the middle of his kidney stone issues, we lost power for over 72 hours (which meant candles/flashlights and being camped out in front of our gas fireplace on Christmas eve). I swear we are the only family in our subdivision that doesn’t own a generator.
As you can imagine, my favorite part of Christmas break was getting to the lake.

It finally snowed and we spent every waking minute outside. 
 I know I’ve said this before, but I love our Aframe more in the winter than in the summer.

We are such a winter sports family.

We took long snowy hikes. 
We found new sledding hills.
Emma tested out her new snow shoes.

It was wonderfully peaceful.

So, now we are back into our school routines and my house and brain are disheveled.

Happy New Year to you, friends.  I hope your January is filled with quiet and peace as we roll into 2016.