First, we party at the Oseid home. Every year we participate in a few traditional activities, one of them being decorating a gingerbread cookie. This year, we decorated a cookie in the shape of a house. As you can see from the pictures below, each person (from the youngest to the oldest) has their own decorating style and motives (frosting). Personalities really come out during the cookie decorating activity. That's my favorite thing about it.
Kylie and Emily
This year, our time was split up a bit. We started the party at our house, ate some lunch and decorated cookies. Then off we went to Bunker Park Stables for our sleigh ride.
A surprising fact about Minnesota in the winter time is that we have a lot of sunshine. Often, the coldest days of the year are the sunniest days (another reminder of God's common grace to us all). Today was no exception to that rule. Several layers of clothing, a few toe warmers and hand warmers placed in our boots and mittens, and the sunshine made this event quite tolerable, dare I say, even enjoyable.
We took a lot of pictures, and Greg even shot a few videos.
It was Alli's first Niece and Nephew Christmas Party and her first hay ride. She liked jumping off the back and running back to the sleigh to hop on (much with uncle Greg's help, of course).
Ethan's favorite activity was also jumping off the back of the sleigh and then jumping back on. I think he might have spent more time off the sleigh than on.
In this next video, I had no idea Greg was shooting it (I thought he was taking pictures). Part of the hay ride route is to stop half way on the trail and allow the families to climb up a large hill and slide or roll down it if they like. Kylie was preparing to run and slide down the hill, and I was trying to teach Alli how to roll down the hill. It makes for a pretty funny little video.
When I originally scheduled the hay ride (three weeks ago), I was told it was a very busy day at the stables, and I could have one of two slots still available, so I chose 12:30. After the hay ride today, Greg asked if they had many cancellations today, and the reply was, "Yep. Everyone but your group." When I heard that it suddenly made sense why when I arrived at the office to make the payment arrangements for the ride, I was greeted with the words "Ahh, the hearty group has arrived." The park worker also told us we were the first sleigh ride of the season (they use wheeled wagons until there's enough snow for a sleigh), and we were the first group to take out this brand new sleigh--a banner day for sure.
After the sleigh ride, we headed back to our house for a lively round of the dice game for small prizes (a favorite activity every year), some snacks, and hot apple cider or hot chocolate.
We love our nieces and nephews, and we're ever so grateful God allows us the opportunity to spend time with them. As usual, a fun time was had by all.