Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010—Wisconsin

Hallie & Jill show their enthusiasm
for their cold weather-gear.
For Christmas this year, my family was blessed to travel to Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, to celebrate the holiday with some of my extended family. The vacation had been planned for over a year, and we had originally hoped that all of my siblings and their families would make it.

Well, as you may have read in my parents' family letter below, 2010 was a year of many surprises, so it did not work out for my two brothers and their families to join us. That was disappointing, but to use up some of the space we already had reserved at the resort (and because we love them!) we were able to invite my grandma Boling and grandpa Homer to join us.

I had never been to Wisconsin Dells before, but it was beautiful, and it snowed every single day we were there. I do not know if I have ever before tried to walk in snow that deep. (I don't know specifically how deep it was, but it was up to my knees.)

An unexpected perk to Jill not being potty trained is that she never said "I have to go potty" after being bundled into all of her cold weather layers.

Jeff, Jill, and I were able to be there for the full week, and it was chock full of activities. We enjoyed finger painting, crafts, bubble baths in the jacuzzi, a horse drawn wagon ride, and the kiddie pool.

Jeff also got to try skiing for the first time. My dad had been trying to think of a way to get Jeff on skis, but neither Jeff nor I thought he could possibly be successful. In the end though, my dad proved to be very tricky. He scheduled a ski lesson for Jeff and allowed Jeff to believe that it had already been paid for. Never one to waste money, Jeff tried it out and enjoyed it. It is not going to turn into anything to rival his passion for golf or basketball, but he had fun and even carried Jill in his arms for half of the bunny slope, so you could say Jill has had a taste of skiing now as well.

Devin, Amy, and Dad also skiied. Dad takes the cake for never falling once. Amy may or may not have done a bit of crying, and Devin gave Hallie her first taste of skiing by putting Hallie's little feet on his skis and also going down half of the bunny slope.

Last week, I was thirty-three weeks pregnant, and it seemed smart for me to not ski. I would have loved to though. I haven't done so in three or four years.

We decided not to tube, since none of the toddlers/babies met the height requirement, but Hallie and Jill did have some fun playing in the snow. Watch a video of Hallie sledding or Jill going down a snow slide by clicking either of those links.

Here is one activity a pregnant woman can still do!
Although I was very grateful to have the help of my mother when it was time to get all of us out and dry.
Since her marriage, my sister and her husband have had annual gingerbread house parties. I have never been able to participate in one, and I guess I technically still haven't. (They were out of ginger, molasses, and brown sugar, so Devin improvised and made cocoa bread houses. He's so fancy.) Almost all of us participated and made some pretty tasty looking homes.

Jill did manage to stick some candies onto the house, but admittedly she got the most enjoyment out of eating the architectural details. I may have sneaked a few as well. ;)

One of the fun surprises Christmas morning was homemade tutus for all of the girls made by their amazing Aunt Rachel. If you can't view the video where you're reading this post, then click this link.

One highlight of the trip was attending the Christmas Eve service at a local United Methodist Church.  We were able to sing many of my favorite hymns and hear lots of the Christmas scriptures. I really enjoyed singing "Silent Night" while the lights were dimmed, and we all held lit candles. (The candles were not as much fun prior to being lit, when Jill and Hanna really wanted to hold/eat them.)

We made it home safely yesterday evening and were able to enjoy dinner with Jeff's family. His brother Jason and Jason's wife Amy are in town for the rest of the week. (They live in Utah.) His brother Ryan's girlfriend Cyanne (from California) is also here for the next two weeks, so we really have everyone here. We feel pretty blessed to be able to see so much family this winter.

The cousins in the cute outfits Gigi gave them for Christmas.
Sadly, the first day back has not been quite as wonderful as the first evening back. I have managed to knock over an entire glass of chocolate milk and dump a seven-pound container of laundry detergent powder on my carpet. Jill has pooped through two outfits already, and we are both sick. (Thank goodness Jeff isn't, too!)

A not-so-nice welcome home was the discovery that our disposal is somehow draining into our dishwasher.

I also have brilliantly gone through four cycles in the washer, even though I only had three loads of laundry to do. (Yes, I forgot to put the clothes in. Yay for wasting water.) :(

I wonder what other "disasters" await me today when I get up from this computer.

That said, I am entirely unpacked from last week, so that's not too bad for a forgetful, clumsy pregnant woman, right? I also tackled 83 e-mails and 9 voice messages after a week of no internet or cell phone coverage. (I am sure I would have had coverage in the city. Our villa was just up in the mountains.)

Here are some more pictures of last week's fun.

Grandpa Homer (Jill's Poppy), Hanna, Hallie, Grandma Boling (Jill's Gigi), and Jill
Hanna LOVED her uncle Jeff.
I'm not sure what Hallie is doing to Hanna, but it is funny.
I wonder how long it will be before Jill stops saying "Hallie?" and "Hanna?" and looking around for her cousins. I wonder when Jill will get to spend time with her other cousins, so she can know them well, too.

This vacation was made possible by my wonderful parents. Thank you!!
My mom and dad, or Jill's Pappy and GranB
Oh yes, and worth mentioning was that I got to be the activities and meal planner this vacation. I was really excited to take on such a big challenge, and I feel like I was, for the most part, successful. I am still in shock at how large the grocery bill was, but it was definitely way less expensive than eating out every meal would have been. And it was a lot of fun to cook together in the small kitchen. :)


  1. Fun! I am so jealous you got to spend Christmas with your family! I am way impressed at Jeff skiing while holding Jill- that would have given me a heart attack- so I guess I am more impressed at you watching it happen. The tutu video is my new favorite. Your homecoming does indeed sound disastrous. Your poor carpet- at least it was powder and not liquid. We had to replace our disposal a couple months ago. I feel your pain. And... wahoo for being 33 weeks pregnant! Daniel will be hear before we know it! :)

    And, as always, miss you.

  2. I think Hallie is trying to "take" Hanna's nose, like Jeff was always doing to Jill.

    I think this was one of our most perfect Christmases ever.

  3. Thanks Mimi. This is almost as good as doing it over again. Thanks for taking me and bringing me back. Love, grandpa H.

  4. wow looks like so much fun! love all the pics :)
    we missed you here though.

  5. One of my favorite memories is from spending time on ski's with Jeff, Devin and Amy and I'll be hoping for a future chance with more of the kids and grandkids on the slopes!

  6. Mimi you did a wonderful job planning the menu and activities; our thanks for doing the bulk of the cooking until Amy and Devin arrived to help you; we felt really blessed and we ate great!

  7. I'm glad to hear you had such an enjoyable holiday. Things are never quite as easy once you get home. After being gone all last week in Tennessee, I have managed to finally put away all of my new treasures, get half of my laundry finished, and clean out a great deal of clutter. Now I just need to get the Christmas decor down. I cannot imagine trying to do that for an entire family. :)


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