Thursday, December 31, 2020

Goodbye 2020!

I don't think any of us us sad to see 2020 go. Between politics and the pandemic we are ready to move on to better things in 2021! We spent the last days of the year in Carpinteria. We needed a change of scenery from home and time to relax before school resumes and facing the pandemic again.

All throughout Carp there are signs to remind everyone to mask up and stay safe. 
While we walk through town to the beach we all mask up. Even the beach in Carp can get crowded so we wear masks until we find an empty spot. Our walk on Padaro beach is deserted and we can play and breathe the fresh air. 

These two girls took ahold of my phone and did some glamour selfies. 

It was clear and beautiful. Even if a bit windy and needing sweatshirts. 

There was a big old tree that drifted on shore. 

One morning we headed to Santa Barbara to ride scooters on the path by the ocean. It was a bit crowded and it is not so fun wearing masks walking on the shore. We did one big loop but then headed back to the condo. Still playing board games and trying to fill the time indoors. Lots of Roblox playing. This year has definitely been the year of Roblox and electronics time. 
The next day we returned to Carp beach and walked a way to find a empty spot. Gemma did some yoga poses by the shore. 

Finally nailed some good sunset silhouettes.
We played some volleyball and some frisbee. 
The girls got drawing supplies from our Oregon fam and did some drawing. I didn't get any beautiful sketches of the setting sun from them though. 

I agree Gemma, peace out 2020!
The golden hour setting sun and the iphone on timer is the best family photo we can get.
So much for New Years resolutions to cut the sugar. We opted for one last breakfast treat from Santa Barbara Hook & Press Donut shop. Their holiday flavors were worth the splurge. 

We worked on a coloring puzzle project over winter break which was a gift to Lily from Scarlett. Who knew it would take so long to color all the pieces?

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas is Here!

Even if this holiday season did not look the same as years past we still tried to make the most of it and honor some traditions in a different way. We watched Christmas Eve church in PJ's on the couch. 
We tracked Santa's progress on the Norad santa tracker site. We was wearing a mask this year so we were glad he was safe. He is a jolly old fella who used to smoke a pipe, which puts him in the higher risk category!

Rosie prepared to leave us and waited by the fireplace in a cozy sock that Gemma left out. 
We prepared our plate of cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Winston was very interested in helping himself to Santa's treats. 
Of course we cannot end Christmas Eve without reading the Night Before Christmas.

We like the pop up version best which was mine as a kid so it is getting a little rough around the edges. 
Winston may have waited up for Santa because we found this photo of him with all the presents under the tree. I guess Christmas morning was too exciting to wait and little people were up at 5:30am. We were dragged out of bed and allowed to brew a pot of coffee before the opening could begin.
It was hard to make the nice list when things are so chaotic but Gemma must have made the cut. She got her purple Vans shoes she wanted. 
Lily made the nice list as well and got a bunch of books and a lego dragon set. 
Lily also got a Harry Potter chess set since she and Alex have been playing the set at the beach condo. 
A Merry Christmas indeed. Sitting by a roaring fire. 
The biggest gift was the one not asked for but much needed. They each got a new scooter. We have worn our scooters out this past year and needed a new bigger one. They have already been a big hit.  
Even though we are not together we made do with a family zoom to England. It was evening there and morning here. We opened gifts from one another and Lily and Gemma performed their Christmas duet. They practiced all month to play jingle bells a duet on the flute and trumpet. We did an afternoon zoom with our Peterson family, cousins, and Goppy. They performed for them as well and Ben & Gwyn did a drum/singing performance. So fun even though it's weird to celebrate everything from afar. 

One very exciting gift I received was a set of socks with Winston's face on them. It was pretty funny because I almost gave Alex the exact same thing. 
Gemma was most thrilled to receive a set of Beddy's sheets from Granny and Grampy. She has been wanting this new bedding to match her new purple room and loves them. She got a purple fuzzy throw to go with from Ben & Gwyn. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Christmas Festivities

Well, it's not easy to carry on with traditional holiday activities when you are still in a pandemic and things are getting worse by the day. Thanksgiving this year was just dinner at home with the four of us. We decided to forgo the usual meal and made a homemade lasagna which pleased everyone. After Thanksgiving we went to the beach for a couple days. We've noticed there was a lot more time spent at California beaches this year since it is a pretty safe place to go and get fresh air and exercise. We even had a few dolphins show up on Padaro beach to visit us. Too bad there were a TON of bees on the beach and Lily ended up stepping on one and of course she is allergic. Her foot did spell up a bit but she was still able to return to school with a hobble. 
Rosie was back for the holiday. I guess she figured if she wore a mask and brought matching masks she would be allowed in the house. 
She did her usual routine hiding silly places and stole the chocolate advent calendars.


Lily had her December girl scout meeting at a park. We made it just in time before the stay home order began so we could still meet in person. They decorated gingerbread houses which was a bit hilarious between assembling on the ground and then trying to get them home they all collapsed. 
Lily managed to salvage hers back at home and let the frosting dry. 
That same weekend we had our last movie night with Liv and Scarlett. They voted on Home Alone 2 with hot cocoa and candy canes and cookies. We have done a friends holiday outing the past few years but we made do with a home movie night.

Rosie brought back some reindeer poop from the North Pole one morning. They taste a lot like donut holes and the girls gobbled them up!

We got our Christmas tree, the usual family tradition in the Costco parking lot. 
It was a beauty this year, even if it did dry out and nearly collapse by Christmas day.
Lily has been taking a tennis class with Sabina which was able to carry on since it is outdoors and masked. I'm not sure she loves tennis yet but she loves spending the hour with Sabina. 
Looks like Rosie was teaching the nativity scene some important facts.
Of course it wouldn't be Christmas without cookies. Lily & Gemma always choose gingerbread to decorate. 

Gemma's school had their holiday sing along on zoom. There were hundreds of kids on zoom wearing funny  festive gear singing songs together. They usually get to do this at school as a big assembly the week before break. 

Once school was out for winter break the days got longer and longer. Work did not go on winter break so the children were free range at home. They kept each other occupied pretty well. They spent one whole day building a lego elf house.
Gemma had her Girl Scout meeting on zoom and made a couple of holiday crafts. 
The best Christmas present came early this year. The distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine began. Healthcare workers were first in line to receive the vaccine. This probably serves the purpose of making sure healthcare workers are well to take care of others and we can test it out for the rest of the nation to prove it won't alter your DNA and turn you into a zombie. First shot down and one more to go in 21 days. 

We weren't finished holiday baking although we had already made several variations of cookies and distributed to family and friends. Once more batch of peppermint chocolate mint M&M.
We took our cookies and some hot cocoa one evening in the car to go look at lights. People really went all out with lights since most people are staying home for the holiday and there is not much to do looking at lights is even more of an event. 

We try to still get out and go ride or walk and get fresh air. Across from the soccer field there are some resident llama and alpacas. 
Rosie seemed to be ready to go back to the North Pole and get away from quarantine. I don't blame her I would like to get away from this whole situation too. Maybe we can all move to the North Pole until this is resolved.