Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Fun 2011

Christmas break so far has been stellar.  (I almost hesitate to say that out loud.)  When the kids were little I couldn't fathom the idea of a two-week school break, let alone kids that stayed up late or slept in.  But alas - time moves faster than we think it will and we've arrived at that sweet place of trading the rigorous, structured daily routine of school days for two whole weeks of unstructured play.  

The kids have been staying up late and (GASP!) sleeping in until 8 a.m.!  We've tried to do something fun each day.  There has been a good representation of kids monitoring everyone's behavior except their own and we've all had moments of having to choose a good attitude, but overall the Christmas spirit has descended on our house.  My overwhelming feeling the past few days has been, "It's loud, chaotic, and at times frustrating, but I am one blessed mama.  I wouldn't have it any other way."Here's a glimpse of some of the fun things we've been up to.

Katie dancing at half time

Friday, December 16th - School's out!  Paige and I attended an hour long sing-a-long to finish the school day.  Grant and Alli rode the bus home because the bus driver was passing out candy and they didn't want to miss out.  Paige and I dropped Katie off at Holiday Dance camp - a 5 hour camp where hundreds of little girls learned a choreographed dance routine to the song All I Want for Christmas is You and then performed it at half-time of the high school basketball game.

An hour later, Paige and Alli left for a Polar Express party.  Jammy-clad and holding their golden ticket, they excitedly knocked on their friend's door and waved goodbye as they headed in for a night of movie watching, popcorn eating, and Christmas celebrating.  

Don't feel bad for Grant.  He thoroughly enjoyed having Mom and Dad all to himself!

Saturday, December 17th - I went for an 11 mile run with my two running buddies, Carissa and Tanya, to start the day.  It was crisp and cold and we managed to bang out a great pace too.  Merry Christmas to us!  Curt was on call.  It was also his company Christmas party but we all were so busy relaxing and enjoying a quiet day at home that we completely spaced the party.  When we remembered two hours before, it was too late to pull it together.  We opted instead for a quiet family night at home that ended up being very enjoyable.

Girls at the Nutcracker Ballet
Sunday, December 18th - We've been married long enough to outlive our mattress.  How cool is that?  When we went to buy a new one, we spotted a cute bunk bed.  Paige (who is quickly approaching 6 years old) was still sleeping in a toddler bed so buying bunk beds was long overdue.  We left the store with a delivery date for a new mattress AND a new bunk bed.  I don't know who was more excited - Alli and Paige, or Curt and I.

Later that afternoon, the girls winterized their flower girl dresses from this summer and we headed to the Nutcracker Ballet.  A Christmas gift from my sweet friend Kelly, we were blown away that Newberg could put on such a classy production.  The sets were beautiful, the dancing elegant and advanced, and the baby fairy dancers adorable. The girls were on the edge of their seat the entire time and danced their way through the lobby during intermissions.
New bunk beds

Monday, December 19th - the kids played with their friends from church that they don't see very often.  I unexpectedly had two hours to myself so I went for a run and ended up getting a personal best for time.  Super fun!  The kids had a group sleep over in the toy room, stayed up late, and slept in the next morning.

Tuesday, December 20th - we played with more friends from church that live in Tigard.  While they were here, the bunk beds were delivered and set up.  Who knew you could play so much on a bed?!?!   Todd, one of our college "kids," came over for dinner which is always a treat. That night Alli and Paige slept in their new beds while Grant and Katie built and slept in a fort in Grant's room.

Paige scootering

Wednesday, December 21st -  The weather has been amazing this month!  Colder than usual (but still not really cold) and dry (very unusual for Oregon), it's been great playing outside weather.  The kids rode their bikes to the park (I ran) and then we played at the park.  Grant and I ran football drills and then we got all the neighborhood kids together to play Sharks and Minnows.  It was loads of fun to do that in the middle of what should have been a school day.

Grant scootering

The evening was filled with a church Christmas party just for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade.  Three hours of unlimited candy and sweets, gingerbread house making, games, and a Solid Rock style Price is Right game show made 200 kids VERY happy.  Grant's name got called to participate in the game show and he did the worm across the stage before taking his place.  When asked WHY, he said, "Because I had everyone's attention and it's funny."

Thursday, December 22nd - Today I woke up (late) to the kids arguing over whether they should play Wii or watch a movie.  AWESOME choices (although I would have preferred no arguing) given that a few days ago we were rushing to the bus stop at that exact time. 

me baking, only that's a gingerbread house the
kids made and not what I was baking.
While I baked Christmas goodies to deliver to the neighbors, the kids played together.  ALL day.  They rode bikes and scooters outside.  Delivered plates of goodies to the neighbors and practiced caroling.  At one point they were playing church.  Grant was the kid's worship leading and was practicing his guitar to an audience of baby dolls that the girls lined up.  The girls were putting on an adult church service in the play room, complete with mood lighting during worship.  My heart was so full.  I knew the harmony wouldn't last forever (I kept waiting for them to start arguing over who would be the preacher), but I sure enjoyed eavesdropping on their play.

Alli riding her bike

Katie bike riding
Good friends joined us for dinner and their son is sleeping over in a fort he and Grant built.  Life is full and life is good.

Thank you Jesus for coming to earth so many years ago.  Your birth changed everything and I am so grateful!

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