Monday, December 28

It Was a Merry Christmas


Hello everyone!  We're recovering from a sugar hangover here--so many baked goods, so many sweets, so many kind and generous friends and neighbors.  Santa comes to Whittier every Christmas Eve on a fire truck.  Here's Stacy's sweet face as she heard the sirens and knew Santa as approaching...


Her excitement was less about Santa (our kids have never believed in Santa) and more that Christmas was getting so close and feeling so real.  Either way...big smile!  Just before going downstairs we had decorated a boatload of sugar cookies.  Some for Santa, some for the Christmas Day community potluck.


We were joined by some friends including a friend of ours from Girdwood who is recovering from surgery on a broken leg courtesy of a snowboarding accident.  We got him all set up and comfy on our couch and then Stacy set him up with a side table and some cookies to ice as well.  Judging from his smile, I think he appreciated the effort.

After Santa's arrival we headed downstairs for our Christmas Eve service.  This service had two parts: the kids' performance part and the candlelight portion.  It was a good way to prepare for Christmas Day.  We left cookies for Santa...


And I finished up some last minute Christmas Eve sewing...


Christmas morning we got up a little earlier than usual and opened our friends and family gifts.  We had some friends over for breakfast, Skyped with my family and FaceTimed with Scott's family.  My favorite part of Christmas is always the gifts the girls get for each other.  I didn't get any great pictures of them opening them this year, but Stacy got Kelsey a nice pair of earrings.  She bought them back in October, super-organized little lady!  Kelsey got Stacy a hair feather kit.  Stacy got feathers in her hair at Forest Fair in July and loved it.  One feather had broken a few months ago, but the other was still hanging in there.  She's got a whole bag full now, along with the tool and the crimping rings. 

In the afternoon we went outside for a bit in the snow, then down to the community potluck.  It was a great way to spend the day...time with family, time with friends, time with community.  Hope all of you out there had a wonderful Christmas as well!

Wednesday, December 23

Caroling

We did some caroling last Christmas and it was very fun!  It's fun to make people smile, even if it feels like there's not that many people to sing for because most of them are caroling along with you! Last night was our first night of caroling for this season.  We started on the 15th floor and worked our way down.  The kids wrapped up with this song in the lobby...


Good stuff, friends!  Merry Christmas!


Gymnastics


This past Saturday the girls had their final gymnastics class of the session which was an exhibition where they got to show off their skills.  Although you can watch every class, Scott and I often ran errands or enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee during that hour.  It was fun to see how far their skills had progressed. We took classes at Aurora Kids and I cannot say enough nice things about them!  Everyone there is so kind and great with kids.  They were very accommodating and understanding, encouraging and kind.  I'd go back in a heartbeat! 


They each had a routine on the bars, on the floor, and on the beam.  I took some {blurry} pics of them both on the bars and then enlisted Scott to help by taking some videos as well.





Kelsey is very close to getting her back handspring...



We are taking a break from gymnastics for a bit.  The girls had lots of fun, but we are all ready to not be on the go every weekend for a bit and now that winter is here we like to plan our trips around the weather a bit more.  We'll reassess in the spring and see where we are.  Until then, we'll settle for cartwheels in the tunnel on the way to school!

Monday, December 21

Christmas Vacay

It's been a bit since I have posted here...hectic times!  Scott was gone for a week earlier in the month at a conference and then made a quick trip to Washington for his dad's birthday.  The girls and I managed to hold the fort down, even if I did fall into bed exhausted each night!  It was also the weekend of Saturday school which was a very fun day, even if it was school on a Saturday.  We did a maker fair for the kids, so they got to try all sorts of making and inventing things.  In the afternoon we got to go outside and play in the snow...win!

Then there was the famous week before Christmas Break where we were all just hanging on for dear life and waiting for the ride to end.  The kids did awesome every morning but afternoon was a bit more challenging.  Whether that was because of kiddo excitement or teacher exhaustion, we'll probably never know!

Thursday night was our Christmas program at school.  This year it was a collaboration between the church and the school which turned out very nicely.  Here are a couple of videos...

Church group songs...




Whole school songs...





I guess I missed the end of the final song where the kids got all excited over Santa arriving.  It cracks me up--they are so surprised every year!

Now here we are on the first day of Christmas break.  I managed to get in a run and a shower before noon so I am considering that success! :-) 

Tuesday, December 8

A Beautiful Drive

This weekend found me putting in some serious car driving time.  I attended a Christmas party in Anchorage on Friday night and was lucky to be able to spend the night it town.  Saturday I grocery shopped and met up with Scott and the girls after gymnastics and headed home.  Sunday the girls and I went back into town for a birthday party.  It was a lot of driving, but every time I find myself making that trip multiple times close together like that I am struck by how different the drive looks daily, particularly at different times of day.  I am so lucky to have one of the most scenic drives in America right out my back door!

Don't worry...I stopped before taking this one...




Photo credit for that last one goes to Kelsey.  It's handy to have big kids who can take pictures from the back seat while we are driving!

This week Scott is at a conference in Anchorage all week and the girls and I are rushing here and there back in Whittier.  They are involved in practices for a grand Christmas program at the church and I am *trying* to sew some Christmas presents and do all my teacher stuff too.  We have Saturday school this weekend, too.  It's a very fun day (a maker fair!), but even with it being pajama day, it's still school on a Saturday!

Hope you all had a good weekend...and are having a smooth week so far!