"Being a family means you are part of something wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what." ~Author Unknown

Sunday, April 3, 2016

December Basics

Most of the month of December falls under the “getting ready for Christmas” category.  Although there is still a lot of normal life happening. 


We went to school so long this year!  With each passing day we got closer and closer to missing the bus!








These rushed morning were due in part by A) Snuggly cats, B) Advent calendars, and C) not wanting to go to school anymore(that was me).



I was on the ball this year and wanted to do something fun for the girl’s advent calendars.  Also, I don’t love that I’m encouraging them to start the morning off with candy!  So, I bought a few little gifts for each girl and wrapped them.  Mostly Shopkins for Sof, and socks, lotions, lip gloss, and jewelry for the big girls.  I put a string of letters and numbers on the tag so they couldn’t tell who each gift was for and when they would get it.  I put little notes in the advents that corresponded with a gift.  The other half or so I filled with candy.  It was a huge hit, and so fun!  The girls loved it and are already asking me to do it again next year!




Once in a while we go out to dinner while Lexi is at cheer on Thursdays, and it’s like a mini vacation.


Mark and I attended a benefit for Grace Girls home.  A week before Adrienne and I went, there was a big group(about 50) who traveled to Grace together.  Among them was a fantastic photographer.  He had some of his pictures available if you donated above a certain amount.  When I saw the picture of Mathu, I knew we had to have it!  I kept it a secret from Adrienne, as I wanted to use it as a Christmas gift.  She was SOOOO disappointed when we came home and told her we didn’t buy it.  Hee hee!


Adrienne had her first performance with her new dance company.  It was weird for us, and also exciting.  We miss our old friends, and the comfort of our old studio, but we’re excited about the new things she’s learning and experiencing here. 


My coworker Barb had a little party at her house.  I love my colleagues, they are such a fun group! 


We had another amazing experience with Santa.  He always tells the kids a little secret!  This year he told them that Rudolph is getting pretty old.  He only flies on Christmas Eve now. 


Natalie was a whole different kid this year!  Last year she was shaking she was so terrified.  This year she marched right in and told him what she wants!

IMG_3602 We had our annual dress shopping day with Sal.  We switched up the mall this year for the girls to have more options.  We were successful again finding something for everyone!


We went back to Sal’s for dinner and dessert.  The girls made the cupcakes!



While at the benefit for Grace, I was able to connect with a med student who was traveling there this month.  He agreed to bring some things for me(although he probably didn’t expect everything I sent!).  My class made cards for the girls, and I sent craft supplies for the girls to make us some to send back.  I was also able to send a card and necklace to 3 older girls I Skype with on Sundays.  Adrienne sent a letter and pictures too!  It kills me that we can’t send mail there!  It’s just not safe.  Everything gets pilfered:(


Sof had craft night at school where she was able to make presents for her family.  As much as I hate the craziness, glitter, glue, and mess…she absolutely loves it and it’s so sweet to see her think about what she wants to make for each person.


They also raffle off thematic baskets that night too.  Last year we actually won one, and no way Sof was forgetting that!  So, for another $10 in raffle tickets we went home with a winter themed basket full stuff we didn’t need nor want.  She put the penguin earmuffs to use right away and it was exhausting:)   


I’m going to talk religion for a moment in the interest of preserving this funny story.  We attended a wonderful church for over 10 years when the big girls were younger.  There was a nasty falling out in the church causing it to split, and we just didn’t want to take a side.  So we stopped going all together.  The last few years we’ve done cheer on Sundays anyway, and although I miss it, I was okay with where we are at this point in life.  My older girls have a good base to make their own choices someday.  Which brings me to this month when Sof asked at some point, “Who’s Jesus?”.  Yikes. 


So I decided I’d better at least teach her the Christmas story.  I got out one of our better books about it and we started reading a little each night.  She was really into it, and even started copying excerpts of it.  So one night we got to the page where the shepherds were visiting baby Jesus.  The conversation went like this:

Sof:  Awwww, Mary and Joseph are so happy to be a mommy and a daddy.

Me:  Remember, even though Joseph is kinda like the daddy, Jesus is really the son of God.

Sof:  Huh?  Aren’t Mary and Joseph like a mommy and daddy together?

Me:  Yes, but God put Jesus in Mary’s belly.  It was very special.  He chose her.

Sof:  Was Joseph mad about that?

Me:  Disappointed smile


Anyhoo, we talked a lot about it and we’re clear on the Christmas story now. 

We had a cheer competition in December. 



Step away tiger.


We were able to sneak out for lunch before Lexi’s awards!


Mark and I went to an ugly sweater party, only we were the only ones that actually followed through and wore the ugly sweaters.  That’s okay, we rocked it.


Sof loves giving a little gift to all the special teachers(music, art, etc), custodians, secretaries, lunchroom paras, recess paras, and pretty much anyone she sees outside her classroom at school.  She took her time writing a little note and signing each card. 


Other random writing cuteness.


Sof had a music program at school called “Going Buggy”.  Nothing to do with the holidays, but counted as her holiday party anyway.  It was adorable of course.  We had been hearing the songs for 12,000 days before hand, so it was great to hear what they were actually supposed to sound like. 



She was super excited to have daddy there and share her project!


The cookies this year were baked by Sof and I, and Adrienne did a lot of the frosting.  Lexi did a few and lost interest!



I love our collection of Christmas books.  Even the big girls like to read them once in awhile!


I swear Sof has been to more birthday parties than me!


Adrienne’s friend Iain is now in the touring cast of Newsies(the same one we saw on Broadway a few years ago).  It came to a theater near us so we just had to go!







We had dinner first of course. 


We had front row seats and it was fantastic!


But first, let me take a selfie.


Adrienne missed the group pic because she was already meeting up with Iain.  We joined her after and the girls got autographs on their programs.  They thought it was super cool!



Now for the last few random pics before the actual Christmas day…

Sof has about 4 pairs of cute Christmas pj’s.  She of course decided she doesn’t like them, so consequently never wanted to wear them.  On December 22 I thought to myself, “I should pull those Christmas pj’s out of her drawer to make sure they’re clean for the 2 nights I want her to wear them.”.  I then thought, “Silly me, she hates those.  No worries, she hasn’t worn them once on her own.”  On the evening of December 22 I sent her get ready bed on her own.  Mind you, this never happens.  I always have a role in the bedtime routine, but it was our first night of break and the kids fell asleep on their own.  On the morning of December 23 I realized she had worn the one damn pair of pajamas I wanted for Christmas eve.  And I had no intentions of doing laundry.  It’s like these kids have a sixth sense.


All I could do was take a pic, and remind myself there were 3 other unworn pairs to choose from:)  We spent our one day off of school doing some last minute errands and of course a Starbucks run.


We also went to church which Sof was super excited about.  During the Christmas service the kids sit with the parents.  It was late, and apparently Sof was tired.


After all that December business, the only thing left was to finally enjoy the fruits of our labor!  And we were so ready…


Ho, Ho, Ho!

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