Daddy's aversion to the Euro exchange rate and Mommy's aversion to stray pine needles convinced us to purchase an artificial tree this year, but one thing that doesn't change is the tradition of Daddy's lion as the first ornament on the tree ... only now he gets a little helper.
Here are the girls opening the first presents of the season ... Christmas dresses and a new seasonal wall hanging from Gram and Pops.
Unfortunately, after that, Daddy was off for a two-week trip. In the interim, the girls passed the time by making Christmas cookies and getting ill. We'll only include pictures from the more fun tradition.
Here they are taking a much needed break between rounds of cookie decorating. Don't worry Kate's tongue is very clean.
Here are Kate and Ellie decorating "Welcome Home Daddy" signs for his return ... thankfully just a couple of days before the winter weather really started to set in.
The day after Daddy got back, one of our friends had a birthday party and the girls got their first chance to go bowling. They had fun for two or three frames and then scampered back to the play area.
A couple days later we got our first real snowfall of the season. Daddy got sent home early from work and got to pick Kate up from Kindergarten. They spent the next hour together in the front yard ... Daddy shoveling the sidewalks and driveway (you can get a ticket in Germany for failing to do so) and Kate asking Daddy when he was going to be done so they could build a snowman.
After Ellie's nap time, everyone ventured outside to build a snowman, have snowball fights and enjoy playing in the snow. Some of our neighbors joined in too. Here's Ellie helping Daddy pack more snow on the snowman. Kate has already moved on to snowball throwing.
Ellie proudly standing next to the completed snowman. Next it was a series of lessons on the differences between clean and dirty snow, focusing on which kind could be eaten.
Christmas Eve morning Ellie helped Daddy make pancakes. Christmas Eve dinner will be French bread pizza followed by our traditional Christmas morning breakfast burritos. Why is it the majority of traditions seem to center around food?
We'll sign off for now but will be back soon with more about the coming week. There's Christmas Eve service (hopefully with some pictures of the girls in their dresses) then Christmas morning, of course, followed by a trip to Strasbourg and Colmar, France for some last minute post-Christmas Christmas market shopping. We'll see if Europeans have after-Christmas sales like us wacky Americans. Merry Christmas!