the beginning of Christmas week

My kids had their parties Friday afternoon. I took chocolate brownies for my daughter's party and chocolate chocolate chip cookies for my son's. I was almost late, working on something on my computer. Luckily I glanced at the clock, and it slowly sunk that it was party time. I grabbed everything and ran out the door. And then had to walk a block to the school because I was late and missed all the parking spots. But I made it.

The chocolate chocolate chip cookies. I used this recipe  I had cut out a magazine a few years ago. I left out the nuts and used the holiday chocolate chips (the red and green ones). They would also be good with the holiday kind that are minty, but that would be iffy for kids.

My son and his love of photography.

I wandered off from this party to check out the kindergartners.

That was long enough in there. They were a bit more rowdy for this party. Both groups were. Must've been the Christmas spirit.

And then we had an ice storm. This postponed the first of our family gathering and left us with this:

Thankfully the wind wasn't blowing or more limbs would be down. These pictures are from today and it still sounds crunchy with every slight breeze.

We were able to have our postponed family Christmas party last night.

the kids table

We all gathered in a circle to say the prayer before we ate. My grandpa said something but I'm not sure what. My uncle started to pray. My grandpa started to pray, so my uncle stopped. We all laughed a bit (or at least smiled) but then listened to the prayer. It was the second Christmas miracle of the day (the first was while at work). My grandpa has Parkinson's. Among other things, it has affected his speech and his memory. To hear him praying and to be able to understand most of what he was saying brought tears to my eyes, and I was not alone.

It was a fun time with family, although a little shorter than usual. When it's too cold to send the kids outside, we all tend not to linger too long, especially when they've been sneaking fudge all evening.

 Looking for forward to more time with family and friends in the days ahead!