December 24th found us at Mike's mom and dad's place for a full-day Penner marathon. The girl's started the day out with decorating the tree. Christmas gifts were made with Auntie Corina, and Jay entertained us as he cooked up a storm in the kitchen. A few rounds of "Bananagrams" were played (in which Hannah came out victorious). As a side note, that kid can play "Bananagrams" like nobody's business. She actually researches strategies and tips online in her spare time. Sometimes I wonder if she's mine.
Mike had long-wanted to watch "A Christmas Story" with the girls. That had been a tradition in his family when he was growing up, so Christmas Eve he started it with his girls. "Fa ra ra ra ra" could be heard repeated for much of the holiday as a result.
Finally, FINALLY it was time to open some presents! Sasha could hardly wait!
And what do you think Hannah got? Yep, that's right. A book. Crazy reader that she is.
The "Knuffle Bunny" books by Mo Willems have long been Ellie's favourite series. She received the third book in the trilogy and her own Knuffle Bunny! If you haven't read about Trixie and her adventures with her beloved stuffie, you must pick up those books. The illustrations are amazing, and the stories are wonderful.
The day culminated with Mark's partner Lena convincing Sasha that she needed to sit on Uncle Mark's lap. I don't think Sasha regretted it one bit!
New Year's Day found us at the house we were staying at with a Penner Sibling Pancake Fest. Mark and Lena amazed us all by showing up, considering they only got home from Mark's New Year's Eve Moses Mayes gig a few hours before they showed up for brunch! Here Uncle Mark is sharing some of his trade secrets with Sasha.
And Jay is once again found in the kitchen, cooking up some vegan blueberry pancakes.
A little musical collaboration with Lena and Mark.
And then the magic really happened. Ellie received a book on animation from Mark and Lena for Christmas. Now we know that it's because Mark secretly wanted to use it for his own creative pleasure! In any case, Ellie and Mark became a claymation force to be reckoned with when the two of them spent two hours creating a little movie. They were a dream team!
We now present to you, the finished masterpiece - the fruit of their laborious and fun afternoon.
Ellie called it "Elmo's Wife". Enjoy!