Judd Family Christmas Vacation- Part 3

Moving right along…..

Chris was feeling better during the day. We had lunch at my parent’s house and then he left me and Robert to do laundry and lounge while he and Clara headed out to the farm to get the camper set up. That evening, everyone met out at the farm to roast hot dogs and s’mores while kids played and adults chatted.




The next day was Christmas Eve. Tim and Linsey and the kids got to town and we all went to Myrt Myrt and Joe’s house around lunchtime. We played a couple of games, like this one called Googly Eyes.




And the kids played Pie Face. I think it would be funnier to watch adults that don’t want to actually get hit in the face with whip cream play. As it was, all the kids just kept turning the dial until they got hit in the face.



It was really nice outside, so the kids were in and out all day long jumping on the trampoline and the dads took them down the street to ride their bikes at the skate park. I knew I’d be a nervous wreck watching them, so I opted not to go. Clara had a pretty bad wreck only minutes after arriving.








We had dinner then donned our festive hats and got down to business after it got dark.










After the kids got done with it, the birthday girl got to take a whack at the snowman.




Here Cody is stuffing his jacket with candy alongside the kids.


Wyatt and Clara posed with their kill.



We headed out front to sing Christmas carols and Santa must’ve heard us, because he and Mrs. Claus  came around the corner with their bag of presents. The Grinch showed up though and took off with the bag. Thankfully Clara managed to get it back and we could get on with the festivities.



The Grinch was still lurking as Santa was emptying his sack.






I looked down and this lovely sight greeted me. Ewww! Don’t think he wore shoes at all that day.













James, a friend from church, joined us for dinner and fun and Santa even had a gift or two especially for him. I’ve only met James a time or two, but I can honestly say I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who is so filled with joy and love as this guy. He loooooves everybody and lets them know it. Just can’t keep it in :) I think he enjoyed himself.







I was sitting by Clara and Linsey and Tenley were in front of me, so I pretty much only took pictures of them.



I had to capture Robert’s excitement upon receiving this monstrosity of a toy that he really really wanted. It’s a Power Ranger Super Charged Dinosaur Mega Something or other and he LOVES it.


Tenley is really into horses, so she went nuts when she opened this gift. She was clawing at it trying to get it out of the package and then started kissing it. It was so sweet.


It was after 10:00 when we got back to the farm but I forced the kids to take a quick shower anyway. They were not happy with me. Everyone else had decided to open everything on Christmas Eve, but my kids were pretty disappointed to not have anything to open on Christmas morning, so we saved the gifts they made for each other and also their gift from us and then got up early and drove into town to see what Santa had brought.

Santa brought Robert three more Modarri cars and a car hauler and Clara got a Kindle, not to mention an overflowing amount of stocking stuffers.



We got both kids rc cars. Chris really did a lot of the gift buying this year. He researched cars and went with real hobby shop ones that we can replace pieces on. He also helped choose both of their bikes for their birthdays.



On top of that, on his own, he decided to help them make gifts for each other. He came up with the ideas, purchased what he needed and helped them make it. Clara got a string art owl to hang on her wall and Robert received a clock painted with all of the racing flags, with a picture of his favorite race car driver’s car at the bottom. He’s a good daddy.






I had packed a bag to bring in to town with the kids and my shoes and some of our clothes so we could just jump in the car in our jammies and get ready for church at Bia and Pawpaws. Wouldn’t you know it, I left the bag in the camper. So after breakfast, Chris made the drive back out to the farm to get my bag. We had church, lunch at Myrt’s and then back out to the farm for rest and to figure out how on earth we would get all this stuff packed into the camper. We went back into town for dinner and to say our goodbyes because we were leaving early the next morning for the final stop on our Christmas tour.

Ralph S. Mouse Pumpkin

We recently finished reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle, so Robert decided to make Ralph for the school’s Storybook Pumpkin Patch. (He’s sporting a ping pong helmet with a rubberband strap in case you’re not familiar with the daredevil mouse named Ralph.)


I took Robert to school the morning he was turning Ralph in so that he wouldn’t get torn up on the bus ride to school. Turns out cars aren’t too safe for a mouse either. Ralph was sitting on the seat next to Robert and took a spill when I rounded the corner, breaking off his nose. Robert seemed to take it in stride, especially after I told him I’d glue it back on when we got to school. He just laughed and said that Ralph must have leprosy :)

Happy Halloween

Clara wanted to go as Athena for Halloween this year. She’s been very interested in Greek mythology lately after reading the Percy Jackson series, but I was still a little surprised by her choice of costume. When she informed me that Athena, who is the goddess of war and wisdom, has an owl as one of her symbols, it all made sense. So if you’re like me and know next to nothing about Greek mythology, that’s a gorgon on Athena’s shield. Medusa to be exact. I had planned on making a helmet for her as well, but that proved to be difficult when I waited ’til the last minute. She also thought it would be cool to figure out a way for her costume to depict Athena’s birth, which would mean her bursting out of a Zeus head using an axe. Ummmm…..yeah……


Who is this teenager and where did my little girl go? It is so weird to see her without her glasses on.




Ok, she’s back. Whew!


And how cute is my little Gilligan?



They both loved their costumes. Anyone over 40 knew who Robert was. I think the life preserver helped. We went to Smash Burger before trick-or-treating and he didn’t have it with him. The guy behind the counter asked if he was a fisherman.




A few minutes after their photo session, Robert dropped his foam life preserver and it broke before he got his picture with The Skipper. We glued it and left it to dry while we went to dinner.




It wasn’t dry when we got back but I found some packing tape and it was good to go.





Our neighbors were getting ready to go out with their almost 2 year old and some friends the same time we were. They’re Chinese and they were so funny. Our neighbors and their friends were directing the kids and snapping pictures like crazy. Clara and Robert were a little taken aback by all the attention. The grandmother doesn’t speak English but she loves Clara and Robert and was trying to get their picture, a picture of them with Laura and she wanted a picture of herself with Clara and Robert. She seemed to be enjoying herself immensely :) It was kinda chaotic as I was trying to translate to the kids what she wanted, so I didn’t get any pics. We walked with them most of the time. I asked Deanna, Laura’s mom, if she knew who Robert and Chris were. I then had to explain what Gilligan’s Island was :) Then we ran into Clara’s friend Lauren and her family and ended up going around the neighborhood with them too. The kids had a blast; it’s so much more fun trick-or-treating with friends.


The Days Before Christmas

Robert was still having occasional coughing fits all weekend, so we layed low instead of enjoying the Christmas festivities. With everything going around right now, I didn’t want to get the stink eye from people wondering why I would expose everyone to our germs. I was a little bummed that we didn’t go to  a single “Christmas-y” event this month. No parties, no church event, no program, no sitting on Santa’s lap, nothing.


We did venture out to church on Sunday morning. We decided to skip class though because of Robert’s lingering cough.




We watched Christmas movies most nights and finished up Christmas shopping and wrapping.




Chris even joined in our Christmas coloring sessions.





I managed to cook a whole Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. I had to take a picture to prove that I’m capable of such a feat :) It wasn’t a huge spread, but I made several things that I thought the kids would enjoy. I made a pork loin over mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, ambrosia salad, green bean casserole and rolls.





We just snacked on popcorn while we watched movies and had leftovers for dinner. Our Christmas dessert was little cherry turnovers that we enjoyed while the kids decorated a gingerbread house.








And here are the ornaments I got this year. I’m not sure how we didn’t already have a Lightening McQueen on the tree, but when I saw him, there was no question he would be perfect for a certain car lover in the family.



I really wanted to find one with glasses for Clara but couldn’t find anything in the stores. With a little help from Google, I found this personalized one.



I went ahead and ordered this one from the same place. I figured a smore’s-making family was a good fit for us.


We brought home ice-skating Mickey and Minnie from Disneyland.



I came across this cute snowflake art idea online a few days ago and it actually looked do-able for me so I grabbed the supplies and got to work. I love how it turned out. and it was super easy.



I’ve almost finished the first floor of the dollhouse. Here it is after priming the walls. We had taped everything off before I decided to just concentrate on the first floor. We primed and sanded the walls and painted the ceiling and I eventually decided to paint the outside edges the same color as the ceiling and stairs. I’m glad I did; it gives it a little more polished look.

Next was the wallpapering. I did a happy dance as the first piece went on perfectly! I couldn’t believe it. I just knew it would be full of bubbles and creases. the hardest part was cutting around the door. You are supposed to wallpaper before putting on doors and windows, but since it was a little difficult to get the door on right, Dan and Linda did it beforehand. I think it turned out just fine. The kitchen was also a little hard to do because of all of the corners.

After the paper was up, I cut out the windows, put in the glass and glued the window frames in. I haven’t glued in the staircase or wall yet, just set it up to get pictures. I will probably do baseboards too eventually since I didn’t get the paper all the way to the floor in the living room.

And then I moved in. We decided to move the wall over a bit on the first floor to accommodate a kitchen and dining room in one space, so the living room is a little small. We haven’t gotten a table and chairs yet, but they’ll go against the window. We hadn’t been able to find an old fashioned kitchen sink, so I finally bought a inexpensive unfinished one to paint. I’ve put a couple of coats on it and it doesn’t look so great. We’ll see if I can sand it and get a little better coat on it.


Girls Weekend

Grandma came to town on Friday afternoon for our weekend of girly fun. On Saturday, we took Clara to the American Girl store so that she could buy Julie’s matching pajamas for herself. She’s been saving since Christmas for them. We had planned on having lunch in the bistro, but I didn’t realize reservations were required. They would have put us on a wait list, but we weren’t planning on sticking around the mall, so we decided to go next door to Panera Bread instead.

Right after we ordered and sat down, Clara realized she was missing one of Julie’s shoes. Looking at this picture we had just taken as we left, it was on her foot, so it was lost between there and Panera in the span of about 5 minutes. We looked for it and even asked if anyone had turned it in, but no luck.

After lunch we stopped in at a miniatures store in an antique mall to look for things for Clara’s dollhouse. There was a sign on the door when we got there that they would be right back, but it was about half an hour before she showed back up. We spent the time peering in the windows all around the store marveling at all the tiny things. We were so excited to finally go in.

Poor Clara kept getting in trouble for touching stuff. To be fair, it was a bit irresistible, but there was a lot of antique, very expensive things in there. We spent a looong time in there and picked out a Victorian era living room set, an old wood stove, ice box and sink, along with some wallpaper for those two rooms.

That evening was The Wizard of Oz at the Hobby Center. It was raining when we left and we knew that several streets around the theater would be closed for an event on Sunday, so I was a bit apprehensive about the drive and making it there on time. Dinner didn’t go quite according to plan, and then I remembered I didn’t bring cash for parking and when we got in the car, we didn’t have enough gas to get us there and back. So I was a little frazzled getting us there, but we did fine and got there in plenty of time.

We all enjoyed the show but agreed it wasn’t as great as others we had seen. The set wasn’t nearly as spectacular as other shows. Still a fun show though. Toto was awesome; he didn’t miss a single cue.

The next day we were up bright an early for church and then came home to start work on the dollhouse. Clara was getting ancy to do something, but Linda and I were having to do a lot of brainstorming on exactly how to go about the process. It seems easy until you actually start planning out steps and figuring out what order to do things in. She wasn’t real happy when I told her we wouldn’t have a finished room that day. We finally decided to prime and wallpaper only the first floor. Here Clara is gluing the stairs and priming the movable walls. I’ve painted the stairs and ceiling and cut the paper and sprayed it with a sealant. I should be able to glue the paper on tomorrow. I’ll post pictures when I get the first floor done. I hope it goes on ok. Eeek!

Jewelry Organizer

I finished making this jewelry organizer for Clara a couple of days ago. My inspiration came from Pinterest (of course), but I can’t give credit to any one person because I used several different ideas. Am I the only one who starts a project and things don’t go according to plan? The paper I planned to decoupage with was not long enough, so the sides don’t look perfect. The first set of hooks I bought were too small, so I had to go buy new ones. They were too long and stuck through the top, so I had to have Chris use the dremel to cut the ends off.
But it’s done now and I was happy with the way it turned out. She loves having it all on display and comes out with a necklace, bracelet and ring almost every time she leaves her room. I’m thinking about making myself one;  I just haven’t decided what to do yet because I want something that will hold my dangling earrings also (all 5 pair).

Oh, Clara has finally given me permission to paint over the sheep in her room. She wants her walls to be a brighter pink. I was all ready to say, “Oh no way!” but surprisingly, Chris thinks she should get to choose her paint color. I think he’s just trying to mess with me. This is not going to be easy, but I’m about to let go of my pride. It is only paint after all. Don’t worry, it will not be super bright pink. I refuse to have to squint anytime I walk into her room.

Dr. Seuss Had One Too

A birthday, that is. We share our big day, actually. Us and Sam Houston. And Texas.

Anyway, Clara got to dress up as a Dr. Seuss character at school. I put together a Max costume (the Grinch’s dog) and she loved it. I just attached a cardboard antler and felt ears to a headband. To my surprise, it actually made it to the end of the school day and she was wearing it when I picked her up in the car line.

Hanging Book Display

I just have to tell you all about this awesome little project that I just did. I wanted to figure out a way to organize the books that Clara takes onto her top bunk. They were constantly strewn all over the end of her bed or being thrown off onto the floor; never did they make it back onto the shelf.

I perused Pinterest for a while and came upon this perfect solution. It turned out soooo cute. I just love it. All it takes is a couple of double curtain rod holders, dowels (in whatever length you want), and fabric. I also painted the dowels and added ends to them to give it a more finished look.

It’s worked perfectly and Clara loves it. I made hers fairly short because there wasn’t a whole lot of room up there, but on the website there were plenty of examples and most of them were a much longer length.
This is Clara’s new bedding by the way. It was her gift from us for Christmas. She had picked out the set back in November not long after her sleepover with Leah. The minute she saw the paisley print, she was set on this set. (The shrinky dink jewelry they made at the sleepover was a groovy theme and there was lots of paisley.) It’s not what I would have chosen, but it’s not my room now is it? I’m learning to let her have a little more say in things like this and I think she chose very well.
Ok, now go make your kids a book display and report back.