decorating with dodi

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Joy to the World

I really am seeing the joy in some of the little things in life this year! Having my youngest daughter and her family right around the corner affords me the opportunity to see them for short or long visits-big plans or little plans. On this particular day, I had the 2 youngest with me for several hours and we made up some gingerbread play dough. This stuff was wonderful. I used to make flavored and scented play doughs when I was teaching, but this is truly the cleanest, easiest, best smelling dough ever. You can find the recipe on my Christmas Pinterest board. The kids and I had so much fun with this so simple activity! And my house smelled yummy as a bonus!

Several nights later, we gathered at the YMCA to see this little guy receive his first trophy ever for basketball. Two of the girls had already arrived for our weekend and it was just wonderful to be together for Hudson's "big" moment-even if we did have to pry him away from the distribution of cupcakes to get this picture!

This was our traditional Nutcracker weekend usually with our 4 oldest grand daughters. This year, Olivia was not able to join us as she was appearing in a special Christmas performance at the Pier in St. Pete. We missed having her but her Aunt Jennie was thrilled to fill in. Jennie took lessons for many years from the founder of the Marion Performing Ballet, so she was thrilled to see how the ballet has changed and grown.

Once again, it was a beautiful afternoon. This year we got seats in the front row and it was fabulous!!! Think Nana will have to be the first in line when tickets go on sale for evermore! We got shot with confetti and could see every move made but the best was to be in line for the waves of "winter wonder" as the dry ice "smoke" wafted off of the stage. The snow scene is my absolute favorite! I love the costumes, music and choreography but mostly, the wonder of the "whiteness" with the snow falling and the stage filled with fog always takes my breath away and this year, to feel the chill coming off of the stage was almost more than I could take in!

After the performance, we always head to downtown Ocala. It is lit from top to bottom for the holidays and there is always someone performing in the gazebo. Our first stop is always Harry's for dinner where we get a booth looking out on the square. Everything about it says "holidays!". We will be there for quite some time as we eat our way from appetizers to dessert! Then we head outside.

Our next stop is usually the horse and carriage ride. This year, once again, the girls chose the Cinderella carriage. It is so much fun riding through the streets of downtown Ocala. Even though downtown Ocala isn't very big, it is truly dressed to its finest!

After all of this fun, I'm not sure how we can top it, but the girls always want to go home, put on their Christmas jammies and see if they can beat their "old Nana & Papa" at a rousing game of Michigan rummy...and seeing as the 2 old folks are usually catatonic by this point, that is an easy thing to do.

The weekend is far from over for us, but I have got to get out and about before there is nothing left in any store, so that will be for another post. Stay tuned.

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