Friday, December 18, 2015

Holiday Preparations

This holiday season is getting away from me fast; it seems like Thanksgiving was just yesterday but Christmas is only one week away! Here are a few highlights form the last few weeks that went whizzing by.

Our extended Thanksgiving trip to Wisconsin included two visits to the (new to me) Discovery World. It would have been fantastic if this place was around when I was a kid. I'm jealous! The best part; we could go for free thanks to reciprocity with our Sciencenter membership. ;)

At Discovery Museum with cousin Jack

Sailing the seas

Our last day in town was spent vising Great-Grandma Case at the assisted living facility she recently moved to. The girls enjoyed this special, all-girls lunch very much. They are pros at visiting places like this and they worked the whole lunch room; chatting it up with every single table. Noelle appreciated how special this was also since it was a four-generation lunch. 

Four generations of Case/Brock/Hayes women

The above picture from lunch and the one with Grandpa, below, were Noelle's show-and-tell items the following week. She was enormously pleased with the whole trip. Flying in Grandpa's plan was an extra-special treat!

Grandpa showing Noelle the plane's controls

Once home, we dove right into decorating for Christmas. Our annual trip to cut the Christmas tree was done in unseasonably warm weather (and we were joined by our neighbor, Nora!) so everyone enjoyed it. Alex didn't even seem to mind getting down on the ground to cut the tree. 

Perfect tree successfully located!

\Why must you put this outside my reach?

We weren't done yet; Holiday Party season commenced as well with the Astronomy Department's annual party. Holiday cheer reached a new high with Dylan's reaction to Santa (played graciously by one of the department members). Little Dylan *LOVED* on Santa like nothing I have seen before. He ran up to him, gave him *huge* hugs, and didn't want to leave him. It was extremely endearing.
You look like the nicest man I've ever met!

Next up; Noelle and I paid a visit to the Ithaca Ice Festival. This local ice carving competition is world renowned and attended by Guinness Book of World Records ice carvers. It is, truly, a marvel watching these people crafting things out of ice. Unfortunately for them, the high temperature that day was nearly 60 degrees and none of their sculptures survived the day. I was on the commons the next morning and nothing was left; not even the ice throne that Noelle is sitting on in the picture below. Usually, these sculptures decorate our downtown throughout the holidays. This year the picture I took of Noelle will have to suffice.

Enjoying the ice throne for the duration of its short life

Finally, no holiday preparations would be complete with out cookie baking. My master chefs were an enormous help, both with the baking and eating of the cookies! 

Time to bake!