December 22, 2014

christmas things

At the end of November, I saw that our calendar for December was filling up quickly with christmas parties, recitals, and activities. 

More than anything I wanted to have a peaceful christmas season filled with fun (but not too filled) and focused on what christmas is really about.

We said no to some things and yes to others. We have seen santa and nativity displays, we wore festive sweaters, and exchanged gifts white elephant style. We have made treats and delivered them to neighbors and friends. We have decorated our christmas tree and wrapped simple presents for family we love. We have danced to christmas music, read Christmas books and watched lots of Christmas movies (and some christmas shows on repeat. Thanks to curious george's christmas our entire family bursts into "christmas monkey" throughout the day. eek. It'll be a happy day when that disappears from our netflix watchlist.)  We are on a countdown to Christmas with the 25 days of Christ ornaments. We have had some busy days and nights, but it has been a happy busy.  

Bellevue Nativity Festival . .
The kids did a scavenger hunt through all the nativity displays to find a list of things. I loved to see Layla pausing to write down what she found just like she saw her older brothers do.

This was Kyler's pick for a favorite nativity.

Here is Kacin's pick for a favorite.

We stopped in the dress up room, too.

Chocolate sampling on a sunday afternoon . . .
I am mostly glad E grabs the camera unexpectedly. I'm glad he is capturing family moments. It's just that he also seems to be real good at capturing awkward moments.

Christmas books . . .
I set one specific goal for myself this christmas season: read more christmas books to each of my kids. I didn't give myself a number of books or how often to read, just to read. Some days we don't read, some days I read to Kacin after school and Layla at bedtime. I might read to Perry in the morning or sit with Kyler and read before I start making dinner. Sometimes it's all four of them and sometimes just a few. We read about santa, the first christmas and baby Jesus, snowballs, christmas shopping, children giving at christmas, or penguins. I cherish these moments I've been able to steal.

By the way, Perry is usually shirtless these days. He chews his shirts until they are sopping wet or have holes. By mid afternoon, he just takes his shirt off because the "dirty" wet bothers him.

Piano recital . . .
These boys performed at another beautiful piano recital. Kyler's Christmas piece was "O Christmas Tree" and Kacin played "Silent Night". I was most proud of them for playing their first duet together, "The French Carol". It was not easy for these two to work together to play a piece side by side. There were lots of arguments, lots of harsh words, and lots of wanting to give up. But I made them stick with it. I hope they felt that, in the end, their hard work and team work paid off. I really think it did!

Botanical Gardens christmas lights . . .
It's become tradition to meet our friends, the calton's, to walk around the Botanical gardens. Sadly, Christy got sick so they didn't make it with us. But what beautiful lights! 

I laugh though. There was a miscommunication and no one checked which shoes Layla put on her feet. Yeah, so we had to carry her in her socks. We tried to put her in the stroller, but it had a flat tire. Kacin and Kyler traded off with the camera and E and I traded off carrying Layla and chasing Perry. It was too crowded and became too much for our Perry guy so all the way back to the car E carried him yelling and hitting. That's a pretty typical outing for us. :)

Christmas parties . . .
We went to some fun christmas parties. At one of our white elephant parties, we came home with the wax-vac.

And Eric and I are really bad at minute to win it games. Yes sirree.

 Layla keeps telling us "It's hard to wait for Christmas." But with all this Christmas fun under our belts, I guess this means it's almost here!