After we got home from our Thanksgiving trip, December was here and we had a very busy and fun few weeks getting ready for Christmas.
Here are a bunch of photos and some stories from December --
First day back to school after Thanksgiving break week, in her new outfit and jean jacket from Grandma and Grandad
Ella really, really wanted a pair of sleeper pajamas with the feet built in, and was so excited when we got them. She asked me to wash them as soon as we got home so she could wear them that night, even though it was close to 70 degrees so I thought they would be way too hot. BUT, she wouldn't be dissuaded and so she wore them to bed. When I came up to give her a kiss before I went to sleep, here is what I found! Could she be any cuter?!?
Going to feed the ducks with Alyssa - which required her wildlife vest!
Up on the ladder "helping" Steve put up our lights
And the final product!
Ella and I decorated the staircase one night and she tied neon shoelaces in bows on the other railing. She was so proud of her work that we left them up for a few weeks.
Having fun at Addison's birthday party
One evening, I took Ella to an HOA meeting that ended up being way more contentious than I had expected and really I wouldn't have brought her if I had known the direction this was headed. But once we were there I figured it was a good learning opportunity and a chance to talk to her about the political process, opposing opinions, etc... She listened to my explanation after, and had plenty to say with lots of questions, including: 1) Why was everyone talking without raising their hands?; and 2) Where do they keep the treasure box??
Aunt Erin & Uncle Josh gave Ella a kit to create your own books. Here is Ella's first book, "The Flying Monkey"
And a video clip of her reading it (several hours after she had written it, so she forgot a bunch of it!)
Making gingerbread dough
What started as a simple gingerbread making project turned into an epic all-day adventure with many obstacles along the way. Most disheartening was when we were finally done (the first time) and Ella was happily showing off her completed little man to Steve, and then she accidentally flipped him off the spatula onto the floor...at the exact same time that Cory ran and ate a big bite!
But, by the end of the night she had a (second) little man that she was extremely proud of and so project was a success! He's still hanging out in the kitchen and I don't think she's at all willing to consider throwing him out.
Squeezed into the baby swing at the playground on a sunny afternoon
In front of the tree, all dressed up for her last day of school before Christmas break
I had to include this one - Ella wanted a picture of both of us in front of the tree before school. She was frustrated that I don't have a timer or a tripod on my phone and so the only way to take the picture of both of us is by flipping the camera and holding it out at arm's length. When I showed her this picture she laughed hysterically for about 5 minutes straight.
Resting with Cory on the couch
Asleep and snuggling with Cory
We took Ella for a low-key Santa visit to Breakfast with Santa at Jumping Jungle, which she loves. She got to jump, talk to Santa and eat donuts, so it was a great morning all-around.
Not so sure about him (look at her body language!) but willing to give me a little smile :)
Warming up and giving some requests
And for the real fun - lots of jumping!
At the "photo station" at church on the way to Ella's classroom the last Sunday before Christmas