Oh, this poor neglected family blog. Will it ever see regular posting again?
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Our first Christmas back in the States was celebrated with Mimi! Hooray! Mimi drove over from Virginia on Saturday and staying through Christmas morning, wanting to be here when the girls opened their gifts...and such a mountain of gifts there were! My goodness, we are all very spoiled this year.
Ellie is such an avid reader (she devours books like they are going out of style), so her favorite gifts were books (naturally). She received 10 and has read them all already. Luckily, she loves to read the same books over and over, so the reading has only just begun. Mimi gave the girls some awesome Playmobil sets (a zoo and a stable, as well as some smaller sets), and Ellie has really enjoyed those too, particularly the zoo. It was such a favorite that Papa allowed it to stay set up in the middle of the living room floor for three days before he just couldn't handle the disorder anymore and it went to the playroom (where she resumed playing with it).
Stephanie received many beautiful presents, but thus far, her undeniable favorites are Ruthie the Deer from Mama and a musical Christmas card from Grandmary. She has carried both items around almost constantly since Christmas morning. Ruthie the Deer is her new best friend. She has been with Stephanie non-stop, even sleeping with her at night which is very unusual (Stephanie often finds sleeping with toys disturbs her rest).
Alas, Markus and Stephanie both woke up sick with colds on Christmas morning. Papa was rather cranky about it, and Stephanie just sounds poorly. Both of them are coughing and exhausted and occasionally feverish, though now we're on day 3 and are slowly getting better. Unfortunately, we had planned a trip to visit friends in North Carolina that we have had to cancel since Papa and Stephanie were too sick. The weather has also been rather wintry (a winter storm strong enough to be named like a hurricane would be in summer), and the airports are a mess. We will try to meet up with them sometime in the spring.
On Boxing Day, we woke to grey skies with a predicted snowfall of 4-6 inches between 10am and 2:30pm. We didn't believe it. We should have! It started snowing at 9:40am and didn't stop until the afternoon. It was so cold out that the snow stuck. Markus could not be stopped from shoveling and salting the driveway before dark.
Now, he and Ellie are outside throwing snowballs near each other. He has lugged at few at the glass door right in front of me since he can see me inside on the computer. Stinker.