New Year, Same Old Us

I’ll tell the story of that photo later, but for those who are concerned, that’s not white wine. Oh, and I also taught them NOT to hold a wine glass stem like a bat. But before we get to that…

We survived the first full week of the year, during which the girls had no school, but Bart and I were back to full-time work hours. I went back to Camp Kikiwaka (our fake at-home pandemic summer camp) planning and pulled out the Google doc schedule to keep everyone on track.

We signed the girls up for some Outschool courses, which I highly recommend. They took two art classes, including this “Northern Lights” one that was fabulous (attentive and encouraging teacher, great for all skill levels, and a nice keepsake). They also took Minecraft drop-in design, learned about the 7 Wonders of the World, and got to make Boba tea! Most of those classes required very little parental support. WOO HOO! However, duh, making Boba tea requires Boba.

Guess when I thought of that? The day before they were set to take the class… We’re in lockdown out here and are doing our best to limit or avoid going into any buildings at all. Guess what’s not easy to have delivered? Boba. I finally found it at a nearby Asian market, and my saint of a husband went for a quick run to get a bag of Boba and a box of Jasmine tea. We agreed that all could live without a Boba straw…

Guess what else I didn’t realize? Making Boba requires a stove, and an adult. So I had to work that into my schedule, too. Best laid plans. On the bright side, they loved it!

Don’t worry. We didn’t use all those tapioca pearls, but there was only one bag size at the store. Of course, that meant they got to make tea more than once, which they didn’t mind at all. If you’re not a big Bubble (Boba) Tea drinker (I am not), you should know that the reason these girls love it is the SYRUP you make out of brown sugar, in which you cook those pearls.

But Boba wasn’t the only fun time we had in the past 2 weeks. How about this moment when Ella came straight out of her room first thing in the morning walking under this tent:

In fact, she’s inside the tent in that very picture, along with her clothes for the day, which she changed into before emerging like a superhero coming out of a phone booth or a Wonder Woman twirl, very proud of herself. On a different day, she came out wearing rainbow pants and shirt, with a unicorn jacket and boots. She announced that it was Unicorn Day. She gave us all unicorn horn headbands (yes, we have several of those). That kid is full of ideas.

Speaking of transformation, I wanted some around-the-house shoes (since I rarely leave the house) and decided I wanted some of the new Ultra Mini Ugg boots. I am an Ugg boot fanatic. Of course, they are apparently pandemic popular and impossible to find. So being the resourceful human I am, I grabbed a super old pair of Uggs from the back of my closet and adapted them.

Yes, I really did that. Sure, they’re beat up and will likely fall apart, but hey, at least they’re not in the back of my closet anymore! Plus, I can’t say enough great things about having ankle-high Uggs. When they’re back in stock, I will own them, but until then, these will do.

We’ve continued with our weekly Sunday lunch donations, and the girls decorated and packed 10 more brown bags to give to those who need food right now. It’s a very well-run operation, and I’m thankful to be in a position to give to others.

And speaking of food, I’ll wrap up with a last minute Friday night dinner plan that worked out well! Back in April, when we were still exploring ways to not go crazy and to have some fun, we had our first Fancy Dinner night, where we dressed up, set the table “fancy” and pretended we were out to a nice dinner. This time…

Welcome to Restaurant Dîner Raffiné!

That’s what Zoe named our French restaurant on her official invite to my mom. Clever. We again pulled out my mom’s china (carefully), and this time the girls got to drink out of real wine glasses! To keep it real, we cut open some Honest Appley Ever After drink pouches, and I swear it looks just like white wine. They loved that. I also tried to teach them where the utensils go (and why), though to be honest, I’m not sure I really know. And seriously, I could barely get them to stop grasping their wine stems like baseball bats… but I tried. We’re pretty classy over here.

Because we didn’t actually plan ahead for this fancy dinner, our French restaurant didn’t exactly serve French food. We didn’t even have any pain (bread), so I popped two slices of bread into a toaster and cut out the resulting toast with a flower shaped cookie cutter. Très chic! And we realized at the end of the meal that we hadn’t thought of a dessert at all. But that didn’t deter us. Et Voila!

Anyway, we had a great time improvising, and my mom was a trooper, playing along even though she didn’t get to enjoy the food (sorry, Mom – one day!)

Tonight we’re headed outside for a Flower themed dinner that the girls were excited about making all sorts of crafts and decorations for, but they lost steam when it was in the upper 80s outside today. Good news, it’s dropped to 79, so I still think dinner al fresco (yes, I know that’s not French) might happen.

And so, we’re hanging in there as this new year that’s so far not so different from last year gets started. Hope your year is off to a great start and that we can all remember to be grateful and have better days ahead.

Bon soir!

4 thoughts on “New Year, Same Old Us

  1. Can’t wait to receive another invitation to Raffine’ and recommend this 5 Star restaurant to all! The chef was fantastic, Susie’s French rendition of the food was perfect,and the beautiful ladies dresses in fashionable red gowns were great conversationalist! I even was taught what each utensil was for and why it was in it’s special place..Plus the after dinner piano music supplied by Zoe And Ella was wonderful 😘Susie you are an awesome writer. You have the gift of making words come to life ….I think l saw the tent move!!the Johnson’s home makes me wish everyone had their creativity.

  2. Based on that photo, it looks like you’re only feeding the girls green beans and a tiny rectangle of cheese. Is that how the French stay so svelte?

    1. HA! I almost mentioned the cheese (especially the tiny piece on MY plate). I did mention that we had to dole out each bit as it was ready, which started with fromage et les raisins, of course. You should have seen the steak and grilled fish that followed. :)

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