Merry Christmas Eve

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire’s so…. unnecessary! The weather this year is frightfully warm! As one who doesn’t love winter, this isn’t particularly concerning to me, as long as I don’t think about the reason behind the warmth! For today, the windows are open (fresh air to clear out the sniffles that have settled in this house!), the kids are riding bikes, and one is even in shorts!

image

When they came in we decided to pretend it was winter and they had popcorn and hot chocolate with marshmallows and candy canes for lunch. Streaming sunshine and nosing daffodils be damned, it’s still Christmas Eve!

image

Tomorrow is supposed to be much colder, only high 40°s!

My sweet silly Christmas elf

Eve used her “Christmas Shopping” coupon today and we went shopping, to the grocery store! That’s where she wanted to buy presents, and that’s where I needed to buy groceries, so it worked out very well. Lex came with us, which complicated matters a touch because her main idea was a gift for Lex. Luckily she is a clever one and turned a complication into a great time at the grocery store! She took one of the paper bakery bags and carried it with her, sticking gifts in it along the way. She snuck away from Lex (I knew where she was going) to get his, then discussed gift ideas with me for a few other people. At one point, standing in the candy aisle, she lamented that she would never be able to buy a present for me because I was with her. I asked if she had an idea and she said yes, it was right in that aisle. Silly girl. So I walked on down the aisle and she snuck something in her bag. A few minutes later she started a story with, “Mom, when I was getting the Swedish Fish… OH NO!!”  She’s so dramatic with her reactions and I was laughing hysterically.  The whole way through the store she was talking about how excited she was and she kept asking Lex if he wanted clues about his present.  When we got to the checkout she slipped back to the candy aisle and swapped my Swedish Fish for something else.  Then she asked the checkout lady to put the bar code reader INTO the bag so Lex and I would see her presents.  The lady was very sweet and played along happily.

The whole way home Eve talked about her gifts.  “Mom, do you think dad will like the gift I got for him?” “Lex, can you guess what I got for you?” “Mom, your gift is the biggest!”  On and on she went and I enjoyed every minute.  She was so excited about giving gifts.  Then she says “Oh, I feel like a million pounds lighter.  Like a big weight is off my shoulders” (or along those lines)  I asked why and she said, dramatically, “I was so worried that I wouldn’t have time to get these presents.  I’m so relieved that we went shopping today and I was able to get this big job done!”  Ha.  She cracks me up!

When we got home she went right down to the basement to wrap everything.  She told us that she would probably be down there for hours!  Not that long later she was done and she snuck all of the presents under the tree, giggling and merry the whole time.  Grocery shopping with Eve has never been more fun.  That was my true gift from her.

image

Sweet gifts from Santa Eve nestled all snug under the tree.

La Salatte

After karate tonight I took the kids over to La Salette to see the lights. It was very dark, but not too cold, so we had a great time! We looked at the lights for awhile, then headed indoors to check out all the beautiful nativity scenes from around the world. I took many pictures, but my lousy phone didn’t save them all, so I have just a few.

image

The lights are so pretty.

image

A nativity from Germany. There are so many beautiful ones there. I wish my camera had all of the pictures I took!

We went over to the big outdoor manger, where Mary and co. patiently await Baby Jesus. I know every year that the baby isn’t there yet, but somehow I’m always surprised too. This year someone left a little gift to keep the baby warm.

image

Sweet baby mitten!

Then we snuck into the snack bar and warmed up with hot cocoa, Cheetos, and popcorn while we continued looking at the lights through the windows.

image

My other indoor picture was much better. :(

Every year I try to go to La Salette on Christmas Eve, since we’re in the neighborhood anyway, and most years it’s stressful and rushed. Tonight was perfect. Not too cold, no time frame, we took our time and left when we were ready. Happiness is.

Tiny teacher treats

We got presents for the kids’ classroom teachers, but we like to make a little something for everyone!  This year the helper teachers, specials teachers, counselors, and office staff will be getting festive little bags of candy.

image

Assembly line holiday treats. Eve fills the bags, Lex wrote the tags, and I tied them all together.

image

I love Christmas!

Actually not everybody gets a treat this year.  In the past we have made little treats for the students as well, but this year we didn’t get to it.  Both kids are bringing in cookies for their holiday parties though, so we’ll just call those the student gifts!

Tomorrow is the last day of school before vacation, and my last day in preschool.  I’ll miss the preschoolers, but I’m ready for vacation!

The past few days…

Here is a quick look back at the past few days. We have officially entered the busy holiday season (unlike the busy sports season, or the busy summer season) and life is moving by quickly!

Thursday night was the school concert and Friday was Alan’s company party. He got an award for being with them for fivve years. He also got a lot of attention for his holiday décor. He seems to be pretty well loved at work. :)

image

You can tell he works for a big corporation. Had this come from the local office it would have said something different. :)

On Saturday Alan went to a conference while the kids and I had some fun on our own. It started with Eve pretending to be a cat for several hours. She took it pretty far!

image

Kitty Eve doesn’t fit in the laundry basket quite as well as Daisy does.

image

Don’t worry, she’s eating craisins, not cat food!

I took the kids to karate, then we stopped by Alan’s diner. It’s not really his, but it’s where he goes every Saturday morning while the kids are in karate. The diner staff were excited to meet the family of “eggs benedict and a large grape fruit juice.” Hahaha…

image

The waitress suggested we take a picture and send it to him. He laughed.

image

She’s a classy date!

After lunch we did some painting at the pottery studio. There were several holiday craft fairs going on and the Gingerbread Festival, but alas, we were tired and headed home after painting. I was a little bummed to miss the Gingerbread Festival and not see all the cool houses people made. Maybe there will be other craft fairs we can check out next weekend. ‘Tis the season, after all!

Sunday we got our Christmas tree.

image

It was a misty, mizzly morning… well, all day really! There was intense fog most of the day and into the next day.

image

Our little tree. <3

While the boys put up the tree, Eve and I went to Clara’s Dream and Tea. I’ve been wanting to take her for years, but I never got tickets. Last year I was so excited that I got tickets, but then Lex’s FLL championship was the same day so we had to sell them again. Sad. I think I might have missed the peak opportunity for this with Miss Eve though. If you’re going to the ballet (Clara’s Dream), you can also buy tickets to Clara’s Tea, a sweet and fancy tea serve at the ballet studio nearby. Everyone dresses up in fancy clothes, drinks tea, eats scones, and meets the cast of the ballet. Eve was only mildly interested and wanted nothing to do with dressing up. She ended up putting on a somewhat dress and we discovered (again) that she has no dress shoes. She didn’t want any jewelery and wouldn’t let me touch her hair. Oh well. I got gussied up and we had lots of fun.

image

She’s so silly!

image

Pretty ladies at a tea party.

image

They served tea, scones, sandwhiches, desserts, and even gave out little presents. This girl dances in the ballet and she brought around a basket of gifts for each little girl.

image

Eve with the Russian dancer and “Hot Chocolate” from the ballet.

I was beat after that, but the kids were itching to decorate, so I made them eat dinner and shower, then we broke out the decorations, put on some tunes, and relaxed into the holiday spirit.

image

Who are these big kids?!?

image

The front camera on my phone is awful! The colors are so washed out, and for some reason the picture is sideways. I’m not going to fix it now. Sorry.

image

I tried using the regular camera and just guessing at the aim, ya know, the old fashioned way, but we were too silly and wobbly for that to be useful.

image

Our beautiful tree.

Monday we skipped karate (shh… don’t tell!) and decorated the house.

image

Peaceful

Happy holidays!

The 2015 Holiday Concert

We had another lovely holiday concert tonight. I’m so glad our school does this. The kids are adorable and it’s nice to see all the parents I don’t see very often.

image

We were five rows back and could barely see! This is a zoomed in picture I took by holding my phone way above my head.

Eve’s class sang Oh, Hanukkah, and did a song with the boomwhackers (plastic tubes the use to make music).

We had a very special guest at this year’s concert. Listen closely to the bells and see if you can spot him.

That’s right, Lex was in the concert this year!! He wasn’t even very nervous! He told me last night that he knew all the songs (they played four) and was pretty sure it would be ok. It was!! It was absolutely perfect, and when they pulled out those hats for the final song (in this video), and he didn’t put one on, that made it even more perfect. He’s still Lex. :)

I haven’t been in school lately and it was nice to get a chance to see all the holiday decorations they have up. I took pictures of just a few things, but the whole lobby looked amazing!

image

The gingerbread neighborhood. Each class makes one and then they are all donated to the Gingerbread Festitival, a local fundraiser that happens each year.

image

Lex’s class made these. He was telling me about them the other day. The used tin and hammers to punch out the designs. I think the display looked beautiful, but I can’t wait for his to come home.

image

They also punched out designs on tin can lids to hang on the tree. I’m not sure who made the pictures on the wall, but they are beautiful too.

Happy holidays!

Advent Boxes

Advent boxes are up! Fa la la. 

image

This year I went with coupons. (Thanks Mom!)  And candy, of course. 

image

image

I hope the kids like them.  They love the advent boxes and look forward to them each year.  This year they were hoping for puzzles, and Legos, and tiny toys.  All the things they’ve had in past years.  :-)

Advent

Lex reminded me, via a conversation he was having with Eve, about the advent boxes. Once again they are very excited for them and once again I completely forgot. I feel like I had so much more time back in the day! Back when our life revolved around the home, not schools. December first is a measly 12 days away. I suppose now is a good time to start thinking about what to put in those boxes I love so much. Any suggestions?