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Christmas in Little Chute, It's Here Again

  

This year we were heading back to Little Chute for Christmas.

We figured the kids could open all the presents from us before we left for the holidays.
 
Meadow got Theo Magnatile Cubes. 

Theo got Meadow another Lego Harry Potter "Book."
 
Both kids did chores the last couple months to earn money to buy each other gifts.  

Theo had a surprise for me too. 
 
 
 A picture just for mama.

Theo's first gift from us was a 4+ Lego Batman set. His first Lego set!


For Meadow we got her a Lego Harry Potter Hogsmeade Village Set. 

We kind of spoiled the kids. Theo also got a 100 piece Picasso Tiles car track. Think MagnaTiles meets Magic Tracks.
 
They've been so patient with us over the last few months that I guess we felt guilty.  


 Meadow got one last gift, a bean bag chair. When we first looked at this house she imagined herself in a bean bag reading her books.

We then got right to building a track.

And building Theo's first Lego set.

Since we are going to be gone for a while for the holiday we let the kids open their gifts a few days early so they had time to play with them. 

Meadow still had lots of work to do on her Harry Potter set. Before heading to Wisconsin I decided to spend the day playing with the kiddos.

We were having too much fun building a village around the Picasso Tiles race track.
 
 
Meadow had also made a little comic strip for Theo.
 
Halfway through our drive to Wisconsin it got super foggy and then turned a little icy.

Theo couldn't watch.
 
There would be no big family gathering this year for Christmas Eve. It just be us, my parents and Blake. We decided to have a snack dinner. 


Nothing better than snack feasts with Brooke's fam and watching Mike's YouTube videos. 

Christmas morning was slow moving as we waited for Chelsea to arrive. We can't have Christmas morning without cinnamon rolls. 


When it's time to open Christmas presents at the Romenesko's you better be prepared for a marathon.



Meadow was very excited to get a Caboodle full of makeup from Chelsea. 


We keep on saying to ourselves, "No more stuffies!" But then the kids are so excited about just one more.


Brittany and Chelsea got my parents a new sign for our cottage.



Meadow got her very own kayak for the cottage. Well, I'm sure it'll be shared.
 
Marina got one last summer so now the two can kayak together. I think the sit on top kind will be easier for Meadow. She struggles with getting the paddles over the boat on ours.  





Much to Scott's dismay we got a shared gift again. A front basket for our cargo bike. 

My favorite gift was the lottery tickets that Dan got me. I've never played a lottery game in my life.

The taco dip from Christmas Eve was nearly demolished. The only thing holding us back was too few chips.


That's a perfect Wisconsin Christmas feast plate.



Meadow gave me a makeover with her new kit. 

I also cut bangs for Meadow recently and now she's just a mini me. 

Brittany and fam went to New Mexico for Christmas this year. My parents are bunny-sitting Dunkin Donuts while they're gone. 

Meadow then decided she wanted to make a pulley in my dads workshop.

I meant to make these linzer cookies for Christmas day, but with too many cooks in the kitchen it had to wait.

He was determined to get these made. 

These are my absolute favorite cookies.

Over Thanksgiving when we took the scenic route home from Green Bay, we saw a house in the distance that had their yard completely covered in Christmas  decorations. We knew we had to go back. Except we didn't quite remember exactly where it was. Once we found it, it was pretty obvious. 

You could get out and walk around the yard to view it all. 

Meadow refused to come with, as she does lately. I think she would have loved this place. 

It took a few detours to find it, but the drive was totally worth it.
 
Before Blake headed back to Duluth I went over with him to see Chelsea's house for a quick tour. 

Theo came along with me, Meadow didn't want to go anywhere again.
 


When we got back we went over the Haesakker Park with my dad. They had added a trestle trail this year and I wanted to check it out. 

Just Theo came along again, while inside girl Meadow stayed home.  

Well, I was there too.

This used to be the old pumphouse. 


We could have brought Meadow's new kayak. 



We'll have to bring our bikes the next time we're here in the summer. 

 
Later we pulled out the old VCR to watch Home Alone.
 
Theo still loves sleeping in the crib when we visit. Now he's big enough to get himself in and out. 

We always have to stop to see the Hill family when we are in town. 
 
Always a highlight of our Fox Valley visits.

Their house always feels so cozy, especially during Christmastime. 

The girls worked on Lego creations. 

Theo and Lewis mostly played on their own. Theo is still not used to being around other kids. 


Meadow was getting pretty creative. Maybe she needs more Legos.


Meadow could have stayed all day, but Theo said he was ready to go. We could probably stay all day but we don't want to overstay our welcome. 

Meadow decided she wanted to get everyone gifts for Cottage Christmas this year too. Her and I went thrifting all afternoon to pick out the perfect gifts. 

For Daniel she found a frame she liked then she drew a Ruth comic strip for him. 

We've been stuck at Brooke's parents too much of the week. Brooke was working remotely, which left not much for Meadow, Theo and I to do.
 
With having a work holiday on Monday and using PTO on Thursday, I didn't think it was worth it to drive home for 2 days.  

I had to drag them to Heckrodt Wetland Reserve in nearby Menasha.
 
I've had this place on my list to bring the kids for a couple years now. I'm glad Scott could get them there.  

The playground here looked like the perfect place for the kids. 




I tried talking the kiddos into hiking some of the trails, but stuck to the admittedly cool playground.
 
My mom said she was making us dinner. When it was time to eat she mentioned there were meatballs on the stove. My dad commented, "We have meatballs? Those have to be old." Once we bit into them they were indeed not very good. I joked they probably expired in 2016. Lo and behold.

 Brooke's mom for some reason always gets a hard time about her cooking. I've always liked what she cooked us. This was the one case where I couldn't finish dinner.


 G.G. had wanted ice cream earlier in the week, but Culver's was closed. So we went back in the snow for a few pints.
 
It's tradition for us to walk to get treats during a snowstorm.  

 

The next day Brittany, Jeff and Marina were back from their trip and came over to open their Christmas gifts. This worked out for us because Scott and I had Brittany and Jeff as our names this year.

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