Our Tree

This year we went to Applewood Farms with Mom, Dad, Jenn and Shawn to cut down our own tree. How Christmas Vacation! Actually, it was a pretty awesome day. Ella was running through the tree fields singing Christmas songs, we had hot cocoa and so on...
In the past out here in Maryland we have spent upwards of $60 a tree so we were pretty stoked that these were under $30. Thanks Dad, who paid for all of our trees.

Tree looks pretty great, right? When we first found in, however, Ella said it was too "poky." We laughed it off and thought she was just being 5 years old.

Turns out, however, that this was a cactus in tree clothing. My entire arm was marked in little red dots after I put it up. We waited a week for it to soften up and it never did! Natalie had to wear long sleeves and gloves while she decorated, we wouldn't let anyone go near it. We even left Santa a note.
More trouble arose when we left the tree alone for a week. Turns out a freshly cut tree needs LOTS of water. A week before Christmas our tree was throwing needles when anyone even grazed it. We couldn't unplug the tree at night because a few hundred needles would shower down and then would feel like sewing needles when you stepped on them!!!

I ended up taking down the tree on Christmas morning, right after Christmas breakfast. It did not go well! By the time I was down (3 hours later) there were hardly any needles left.
The tree outside, still just as deadly as ever.
By the back door.
Where the tree sat, it doesn't come out of berber carpet too well.

Back Up and Running

Now that the Fios is hooked up and we are back "on-line" I wanted to throw a few pictures up of the snow storm right before Christmas. Over 20 inches of snow in a day and a half. We missed 2 days of school and were delayed on the third day. Of course the delayed day was December 23 and was scheduled as a early dismissal day for kids, meaning they leave at 1:30 instead of 4:00. Of course when there is a delay on an early dismissal day the early dismissal is canceled. So kids were in school from 11:00-4:00, as soon as they got to school we went to lunch.

Let's tally this up, students had 4 days off with the weekend and snow days, then came to school for 5 hours and then were off for 11 days. In a 16 day span they had 5 hours of school! Of course, since those 5 hours were right before the Holiday/Christmas break it was songs on the guitar and gingerbread houses complete with pattern fences and symmetrical roofs.

Daddy running Ella to the top of the "sledding hill." Grams swore she use to sled in laundry baskets and on boxes. I have a bruised calf and gimpy knee that says otherwise!!!

Mommy and Ella weren't to anxious to head down the hill. Come on! Toughen up kid! It's not that bad.

Oh, I guess that's pretty cold. Who is taking that picture instead of helping that poor girl out of the snow! BTW...nice crash!!!

Ms. Claus (Grams) walking Dougie, against the wind.

Who knew Minnie Mouse would be so into the the snow. A walk sounded like a great idea. Actually, when we were walking with the snow to our backs it wasn't bad. This walk was one of my favorite parts of the storm.