This Christmas break has been one of the more relaxing ones I can remember during my years of teaching. I think that there were several different things that attributed to it:
* I made sure my school work was caught up BEFORE the break began. I worked hard to make this happen but because of it, I have not had to do ANYTHING for school while I have been off. I haven't even had a little thought in the back of my head saying "you really should be doing this" or "you should spend some time doing that." How nice!
* Most everything was bought and wrapped prior to my first day off.
* We host Christmas Eve for Bruce's side of the family. My first day off was Dec. 23. I therefore had this entire day to spend preparing some of the dishes I served on Dec. 24. The girls helped me too. Also, before everyone left on the 24th, they pitched in to clean up (dishes, putting chairs away, etc.). That was a big help!
* Besides Santa gifts on Christmas morning, we had only ONE other place to go on 12/25. This is a first for us and it was WONDERFUL! We completely relaxed after opening gifts! Bruce did make breakfast, but (like I said in a previous post) from 10am - noon, he and I both took a nap in our couch recliners!
* We spent one night at the Ameristar Hotel and casino. There was a teeny tiny bit of stress involved there because we kept this a secret from the girls and I had to pack for them without them knowing. We snuck their bags into the back of the van. But once we were there, all I had to do was read magazines, swim in the pool, sit in the hot tub, enjoy the suite we had for a room, eat, and gamble. And winning $125 at the blackjack table didn't hurt either!
* This one is HUGE: The girls did not have any basketball (that's 3 teams total) practice OR games over break. Neither of them had pitching lessons (this is a twice-a-week activity; those coaches need time off too!). Sunday School was on break for 2 Sundays. B2 was supposed to go to gymnastics on 12/28 but that was the night we were at Ameristar, so we skipped it. Usually, we are running to these places Sunday - Thursday (yep, 5 days of the week!) but we had NOTHING during break! I love my kids and their activities but this time off from them truly helped make the break into somewhat of a "vacation."
* Although it seemed that I fixed a lot of dishes, we didn't eat many meals at home. One of the ones we did have at home was prepared by B1 and B2 using a cookbook they purchased with some of their Christmas money. Here are the things they made:
Main course: Chicken and Dumplings
Side: Chicken Quesidillas
Side: Fruit smoothies made with bananas, strawberries, and blueberries
Dessert: Cinnamon bears
Honestly, they did a fantastic job! Everything tasted really good. I was impressed with all of it, but especially the bears because they had to use yeast and let it rise, then punch it back, and let it rise again! Little chefs I have on my hands here! They were missing a vegtable in the meal, but at least we had some fruit in the smoothies! LOL!
* Bruce is good about helping take down the Christmas decorations, especially those outside. I am the main "putter upper" but he takes charge in getting it down and put away. He is also very good about taking ornaments off the tree and putting them back in their boxes, as well as fitting as many little ornament boxes into one big rubbermaind container as he can!
* New Year's Eve was planned a long time ago with people I knew are reliable and would definitely not have a change of plans at the last minute.
* We rented movies a couple times - once from the Red Box and once from a video store. We NEVER do that otherwise. At the video store, the sales person was trying to talk us into purchasing some deal where you rent a certain # of movies, collect points, get a certain # of movies free, etc. We declined because as I told Bruce, come Monday, life goes "back to normal" and we will most likely not be renting any movies until summer!
* We didn't have to go back to school right away on Jan. 2. I see this happening in a couple years when Jan. 1 falls on a Sunday. I can remember in the past having to go back on Jan. 2. Not fun!
That's about it for now. Monday, it's back to reality! Happy New Year to all of you!