Monday, December 31, 2012

Preschool Chrstmas Program

It doesn't get much cuter than preschoolers up on stage, dressed in their fanciest clothes, singing Christmas songs.  I love these little programs and am so sad knowing that this was our fourth and final Christmas show. Kennedy was so excited to sing and had been practicing all month.  Her teacher complimented her on knowing on the words and hand motions...but performing in front of a packed house can be a little different.  I was curious how she would do.
But before we could leave for school, we had to take a few pictures...

She looked so darling

While many of the kids were excited and waving to their parents, Kennedy was all business.  You can tell she was nervous and a little overwhelmed by the number of people in the audience.

Up on stage it was a bit of the same ~ all of her classmates were waving to their mommies and daddies and Kennedy was standing still, just waiting for the music to begin.  
They sang two songs...

Lullaby of Love was up first and it was so cute!

They paired up and danced a bit...
drawing lots of oohs and ahhs from the audience.
Notice the little twosome in the left corner, no dancing for them!
such cuteness as they...

were quietly singing to Jesus.
Pure sweetness

Next up was I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Kennedy loved this song and knew every word

After the performance, we headed to the classroom to pick up little gifts that the children had made.  Super cute snowmen ornaments made using their hand prints.  Darling.

And then we went down to the fellowship hall for cookies!
It's a big deal, because the kids are allowed to have two cookies - yummy!

We didn't waste any time

Kennedy and her sweet friends,
Lyla and Logan

Proudly showing off her art work that had been hanging around the room.
She informed me that she worked very hard on this, in fact it took her two whole days to finish!
I love it, sweet girl, and I love you!
I am so proud of you and how well you did during your program.

Crazy 8's

We ended a great basketball season the weekend before Christmas break.  It was such a fun group of boys, many of whom are in our small group or attend school with Carter.  Kyle did a wonderful job coaching them, he's so positive and really tried to help the boys improve.  And improve they did!  What a difference from the first game to the last.  They were dribbling well, shooting more accurately and trying to pass (a little...a very little bit in Carter's case)  All eight boys scored at least once and they seemed to have a wonderful time, which is what's important at this age.
Carter loved the season ~ he loved playing with his friends and I think he really liked being good.  He was confident and shot the ball well.  Kyle was really trying to get him to pass more but would usually just pull him out of the game so that the other boys would have a turn at shooting.  I think he would have played every minute of every game if he could have - he really loved it.

Andrew, Samuel, Lucas, Bryce, Asher, Carter and Andrew

Crazy 8's was an appropriate team name

and here is how the girls spent the games, coloring and playing

After the game we snapped another quick photo because Ben arrived a little late and missed the first ones.
What a great season, boys, good work!

Donuts and trophies after the game (and Starbucks for the parents) - easy and fun.
I have to say I really enjoyed basketball too.  It was fun to watch Carter do well and I loved that the games were indoors, so we were warm and that there weren't extra practices throughout the week.  It was fun and easy, which is my kind of sport!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

{a visit with Santa} ~2012

We headed downtown to visit Santa Ted - he moved from Macy's last year and they set up a cute little house in Pioneer Square.  I think the kids missed seeing the reindeer and decorations at Santaland but Santa Ted really is worth it.  He is the best Santa ~ so authentic and sweet!

getting excited
we were lucky as we chose to go on a Wednesday, so there was no line at all!

It's Santa!
 giving him hugs

Kennedy dove right in and started telling Santa what she would like this year...very specific was her request "a bike...with a basket and a bell" and it should be purple
Carter also requested a bike this year and Santa kindly asked what color he would like - green.  Hope Carter is a little flexible.  Thankfully Santa kind of covered his tracks and explained that he would do his best but that the elves had many toys to make this year.

We had to go back around and visit Santa a second time, because none of our pictures were very good.  The kids weren't super cooperative, but I was happy with the end result.

Kennedy wanted to continue their conversation...she had a lot to tell the jolly old man!

sneaking a peek

a quick stop to admire the huge tree in Pioneer Square
I love being downtown this time of year ~ it's so festive!

Calling all Super Heros

Gracie's 5th birthday was a fun superhero themed party and Kennedy was thrilled to be invited.
Of course when we arrived, she was shy and reserved but she perked up and had a wonderful time playing with her friends.
It was such a fun theme and Shannon did an awesome job and made everything look darling.
Gracie looked so happy throughout the party and everyone had a great time!

Customized coloring sheets were up first - such a good idea!

Gracie had an old pink cape (and pink just isn't her color), mask and gloves that she let Kennedy borrow.
A much better option than Carter's "C" superman cape.
My girl loves all things pink!

Pinning the mask on the super girl!

Such a cute crew of kids...and so sweet too.

Pinanta time!
I gave Shannon a few pointers on making the pinanta and suggested using a lot of duct tape so that it wouldn't break easily (ours only made it through two boys at Carter's Lego party).  Guess she made it a little too well, because we went through the line three times and still couldn't manage to break it open!

Kennedy had a few good hits

Gracie and Kennedy

Kaitlin, Gracie and Kennedy
time for cake!

I love this picture of Shannon and Gracie
Such a sweet girl, filled with joy on her special day!

Hard to believe our youngest ones are turning five,
Happy Birthday, Gracie!

Friday, December 21, 2012

a little bit of life, December edition

Whew, December has been one busy month!
  I feel like I need to go to work to catch my breath, but then I get home and am even more tired.  Thankfully the things that have been keeping us busy have been a lot of fun.  We've managed to do a lot of fun, festive Christmas activities (which I will hopefully get around to blogging about before 2013!)  I am trying in earnest to keep up with this online journal of our lives, so in keeping with that effort, I am combining lots of little memories into this one post ~ a December overview!

I just had to snap a quick picture of our guest room...this is pretty much how it's looked over the last couple of months.  Between planning the retirement party at church, shopping and stashing Christmas gifts and trying to maintain some semblance of cleanliness throughout the rest of our home, this is how our spare room ended up looking.  It's a little representative of how I feel about life at times...I try real hard to "appear" composed, pretty and put together but often feel like giant mess, in reality!
Thankfully we had guests who were planning on staying with us, so that was motivation enough to get this room into shape.  I can breath a little easier now that it's finally organized.  It felt great to purge and just toss a lot of stuff.  I hope to do more of that in the upcoming weeks.

Carter worked on his first school project ~ he had to make a poster board of his family's traditions.
I tried hard to offer little advice (which was really hard at times!) and let him determine how he wanted his poster to look.  It wasn't nearly as flashy as I would have made it, but he was proud of it and I thought it looked great.  He was excited to share the pictures that he had chosen with his classmates.
(Sadly, I didn't think to take a picture of him with his finished project)

Oh Jakey
My poor dog humors me most of the time, but he was not happy about his candy cane headband.
He's turning 9 at the end of the month...and he's really starting to show his age with that grey beard and those droopy eyes.

Kennedy had great fun playing with our nativity scene before we placed it onto the mantel

Our little one got a quick stomach bug and spent an entire day throwing up...she wouldn't hear of waiting to get our Christmas tree, though, so 12 hours later she was outside hunting for the perfect tree!
Dressing up for Christmas is so much fun!
a quick photo shoot was in order before we left for church

such a handsome little guy

seeing these pictures makes me a little sad ~ Kennedy got a little crazy with the markers during Sunday school and ruined her dress.  It was one of my very favorites of the season and one that I had planned for her to wear on Christmas...I tried everything and there's still a faint pink smear, right in front. 
All markers meant for children should be washable!!!

Such a sweet picture

Our annual Linfield girls brunch and book exchange
I love hosting this each year and really look forward to it as a way to kick off the Christmas festivities.
This year we adopted two children in need, a brother and sister who often don't have enough to eat and are sleeping on couches (breaks my heart to even think about it), and went crazy making their Christmas special.  It was so fun buying for a child who I knew had next to nothing.  Knowing that a new coat or a pack of socks would be greatly appreciated.  We were able to give lots of clothes, books and toys and hope that they will have a merry Christmas, indeed.  I love that we do this each year and I love this group of ladies ~ generous and loving hearts!

Happy birthday, Papa!
My father-in-law is a special guy ~ a wonderful papa, a great dad and just overall a good man.  He is generous with his time and loves his family very much. 
We are lucky to have him!

Fun times with Papa

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

First Sunday of Advent

One of my favorite Christmas traditions in making our Advent wreath at church on the first Sunday of Advent.  It's fun to make something together as a family and then display it in our home for the month.  It's also a great opportunity to talk about the real meaning of Christmas.  It's so very easy to get consumed with the "to-do" lists, shopping, gifts and numerous activities...but during this hour at church we are able to make something that will encourage us to keep our focus on Jesus during the busy month.
And I must admit, this year's wreath was much nicer than years past. 
Kennedy helped prune the greenery and then place it around the wreath.

She loves to craft

Carter was more interested in playing in the branches with his friends, building forts and causing trouble, than helping us construct our wreath.

the end result ~ a beautiful reminder of Jesus's gifts to the world
My hope is to focus on His LIGHT during the Christmas season

Our friend Jeff was having too much fun with the nativity costumes~
He is most certainly a shining star!

our annual nativity photo
this year we have two handsome wise men, a sweet angel and Mary