Saturday, December 07, 2013

When it's cold outside, I've got the month of...

I did no little housework today because we spent the entire day outside (or at least as much of it as we could). It's December 6th and it was—get this—77°F (25°C)!

We pulled out shorts and sandals and partied like it was summer hanging Christmas lights on the house (because that's totally what I do during my summer vacation) and gardening (because that's something that must be done year round here, evidently).

Actually, we spent the morning at playgroup and then spent the afternoon outside with the neighbour kids (at one point we had nine kids in our yard (which is pretty good odds considering how many kids live on our street (not many more than nine))).

The boys next door took turns helping me with the lights and corralling Benjamin away from the street while all the little girls played. When I finished putting the lights up they organized a round of hide-and-seek for everyone. They're very gentlemanly and call me ma'am and everything (which truthfully cracks me up a bit but I appreciate their manners nonetheless).

We were outside for about an hour before neighbourhood kids started coming home from school (two hours before Rachel came home from school) and stayed outside until nearly 5:00.


Benjamin couldn't get enough of this slide:

And here's Rachel, finally home from the school! She was met at the bus stop by an entire cheerleading squad—four girls and three boys! If that doesn't make you feel special I don't know what will!

The kids were having such a fun time playing that I almost hated to break up their games, but Rachel's school hosted a free babysitting night for all the parent volunteers this evening so Andrew and I called today our anniversary, dropped Rachel and Miriam off at the school (they were "taking" kids between the ages of 3 and 12), and headed out to dinner with Benjamin in tow.

We used up a gift card that we'd been given to Applebee's. I don't remember when we got it though I do know we've had it in our possession for the entire time we've lived here. Grandma Sharon gave it to us for some reason after asking us to get her a list of restaurants that exist both in Utah and in North Carolina. Was it a birthday? Christmas? I can't frankly remember, but it was nice to use up one of her thoughtful gifts on our anniversary dinner (even though our anniversary isn't for ten more days—but you can't pass up free babysitting).

After dinner we went to Target to pick up a few things: some Christmas light supplies since part of our string had died (which I didn't notice until I'd finished putting them up, of course), some glitter pens for a class party for Rachel (I'm one of the room parents, which is part of the reason we were invited to the free babysitting night), and a few stocking stuffers since we figured we should have a few things besides the swing set for our children (though from all the packages arriving on our doorstep recently it's quite evident the kids are going to be spoiled beyond recognition this year).

While we were in the Christmas aisle looking at lights we decided to check the Hanukah aisle (because they have one here) for a new set of dreidels. The dreidels we got last year, while cute, were highly unsatisfactory because they never fall over; they just teeter between two sides for an eternity until we say, "I think it's this one!" and continue the game. It was very frustrating both this year and last.

So, we get to the Hanukkah section and everything is—get this—90% off!

When have you ever seen a sign like that before in your life? I don't think I have.

We found a new dreidel set for $7.50 and I, being slightly mathematically challenged, said to Andrew, "Now how do we figure out how much they cost?"

"What's 10% of $7.50?" Andrew asked me.

"75 cents," I said.

"Exactly," he said. "The answer to your question is: tithing."

So, we got dreidels for 75 cents and then I found a Hanukkah menorah on sale for $1.50 (the one we picked up in Israel was a temple menorah (oops)). We actually got two menorahs—a metal one for real candles and a wooden one that's kind of like a child's Hanukkah advent calendar (the flames are also wood)—which might be a little overkill since we're not Jewish.

"But I'm ethnically Jewish," Andrew pointed out. "That's why we're doing this, remember? I'm a quarter Jewish."

It's true. We want our children to feel connected to their heritage—and all for less than five bucks, too!

Andrew's been teasing me about how excited I was by this sale, but seriously—if you've ever wanted any Hanukkah paraphernalia you should run, not walk, to Target because they're practically giving stuff away!

And that was the end of our date. We bought our purchases and then drove back to the school to pick up the children, who'd had a wonderful three hours without us.

Now to gear up for the cold front that's coming our way...


  1. Hmmmm On Friday December 6th... it was -31 when I went off to work, -43 with the windchill. I wish I was wearing shorts and sandals and hanging Christmas lights (especially since I gave my winter coat to Piper so I actually have been wearing my only hoodie that I actually keep with me all the time for when the sun goes behind the clouds in the summer time. It's my summertime - now wintertime hoodie :)

  2. Yay for shorts in December! What a fun day with your neighbors and your children, and a great date night. I'm glad you found such a deal on Hanukkah stuff so you can celebrate Andrew's ethnically Jewish side.