Tonight we did quite a bit of Christmas time activities. Once my parents were both home and we were all set, all 5 of us went out. We went to Strawberry Lane first. This is the MOST amazing house in Southington. They have lighted things crammed in their front yard AND their backyard. I don't see how we, the public are supposed to see what is back there as it is private property, but you catch glimpses, especially if you get out of your car. They have the huge inflatable characters, but what is really neat, is most of their lights move. The angels wings flap slowly, the tiny choo-choo train looks like it's wheels movie and smoke puffs, etc. Now I took a few pics, but as it was my regular camera, and stuff moves, they are all blurry, but I still thought I would post a few so you get an idea, HOW full out they go!
Then we went over to Hubbard Park to drive through and look at their lights. They are neat because they have so many kinds of animals. Turtle lights, Moose, alligators, giraffes, elephants, a dragon, squirrels, you name it! The only thing I would change is make them colored! They are all white lights except for the 3 poinsetta lights and the daffodils and 3 big candles. After my camera's poor pictures at Strawberry Lane, I skipped the photos and just enjoyed the scenery. It was so cold already, only 25 degrees, brrrrr.
After we finished, we drove to Liz's Cafe, she now calls us her Thursday Family, lol! The Polish food is SO good here. I got a cup of chicken noodle soup and Katie and I split farmer cheese and potato pierogies and chicken cutlet with cucumber salad. It was so delicious, and so warm inside. It is like being fed in someone's kitchen, it is so small and quaint. We had a great time laughing and talking. Dad went daring and had goulash and veal stew and he was in heaven!! He loved it so much! We were all so full when we left. We did bring Maxie a little bit of chicken home though, He is our baby after all.
When we got home, we broke out the Christmas music and the ornaments and decorated our tree. Putting up special ornaments is the best part, ones from third grade or my thumb print Santa from when I was in Sunbeams in church. Special ones made in the last few years to commemorate people we love and people we no longer have with us. Here is my ornament with me and Grandpa.
Bittersweet, as the 18th, it is 13 years since his passing. Why is the pain of reliving losing him, so fresh then? I miss him so much. If I write a post at the end of my day tomorrow, it will probably be brief, otherwise I will dwell on losing him.
Anyway, we decorated the tree with all our favorite ornaments. And this is the end result:
After my Dad went upstairs to "lay down and die" (his daily phrase, so he can go watch TV in his room for the rest of the night), us women folk pulled out the gingerbread mini-house village. We had been looking for a gingerbread house to try our hand at decorating one, but all we could find was these tiny houses...yeah this was WAY harder than a bigger house, the parts were SO very miniscule and it was hard to tell where the parts were supposed to go exactly, bu we decided to just have fun! So while it is no where as classy as the package, we love it! Katie made 2 of the houses, and the rest of us all made one, to total 5. While my Mom went up to take a bath, we girls, transferred, very gently, the houses and added gum drop trees and I attempted to make a woodpile out of mini Charleston Chews, and Sandy made a car with twizzler pieces and M&M's. Then instead of using cornstarch for snow, because seriously, WHY would they tell you to do that?!! One sneeze or cough when you are NEAR the village and you make a huge mess!! So we went with coconut. We think it looks more like real snow in our tiny village anyway.
So I am going to show you house by house, and then what the whole village looks like together.
This is Mom's A-frame house. She went to town delicately putting these tiny confetti and sprinkles on. When you see the whole village you will see how SMALL these houses were:
These are Katie's 2 houses. I call the red and green one, the Scary House in the neighborhood. It looks like it is mad! LOL:
This is Sandy's house and her licorice car. I added a Sour Patch Kid so people would get it was a person getting in the car:
And this is my little cottage. I attempted to do some of the icing techniques. I have no real experience with piping icing, but I think my Lattice on the roof turned out cute, and I tried the icicles, they did not turn out so great, maybe if the house was a bigger one! LOL!
And here is the COMPLETED Village:
Can you see the size of the houses in relation to the Sourpatch Kids and the M&M's? LOL! It was so hard to decorate them!! But we are SO proud of our Christmas Village.
Hopefully, my parents WILL indeed be able to distract me tomorrow, and keep my mind from dwelling. Today was a great day though. I felt the Christmas Spirit as we laughed together as a family.