Thursday, December 31, 2015

Before December officially slips away......

We had a very busy Christmas season. It felt like there were events and activities almost all through the month that kept us very busy. 

We did have time to make Christmas cookies and even had friends over to help decorate and eat them up.  We used the recipes from Cranial Hiccups for the two kinds of cut out cookies.

We made to Temple Hill in Oakland three different nights for different events. 
 We saw the Nutcraker ballet, Zion's Choir (which is directed by friends of our from when we lived in the city) Fun to see and catch up with them!
We also were able to watch Behold the Gift which was a retelling of the life of the savior through dance. And that was followed by the Christmas concert of the Backward Piano man Jason Lyle Black
 I guess he is from the area and has done a Christmas concert the last few years. This was our first time seeing him perform (other than on Youtube videos). We all agreed we would try to make his concert again next year too. Very fun performance!
I don't have any pictures of the kids piano recital. I took movies of their performances but didn't snap any pictures. Sophie performed the "Happy Working Song" from the movie Enchanted as well as a duet of O, Christmas Tree. Molly played "Jingle Bells". Ian played "Scarborough Fair" (He is my shy boy and only wanted to play one song) and Henry performed "Moonlight Sonata" and "Linus and Lucy" and "Christmas Time" from Charlie Brown. It love seeing my kids progress with their music.
 The kids were treated by their Dad to the new Star Wars movie. I stayed home with Molly so I still don't know what happens. I guess I will have to wait until the DVD comes out.
Christmas Eve was very rainy and we had nothing planned for the day so we started a Harry Potter Movie Marathon.

We actually had Harry Potter going most of the day and still only made it through 5 of the movies.

 At one point the rain started to really come down. We could hear it, and then we all looked out the window we saw hail pounding down.  It didn't last too long but that was as close as we were going to get to a White Christmas so we enjoyed it.
Of course being in California anything wet coming down from the sky is something to celebrate!

I really tried to get the kids to stay in bed on Christmas morning. I had set the rule that we couldn't get up until the sun did. But at about 5:45 Henry could be heard dancing around. He claimed the cat woke him up. Their bedroom doors had been closed and she was scratching on their door trying to get in.  We tried to send him back to bed but by that point everyone was up and all excited to get going on the stockings and presents.

So the kids dug into their loot. 
Stockings had socks, beanies, yo-yos, sketch and joke books and a few other more personalized things for each kid.
The presents under the tree were quickly dug into.

Henry was given some Minecraft stuffed animals. His favorite was the Ender Man but there was also a pig, a mooshroom and a creeper.
 Molly doesn't look excited at all to have a stack of gifts to open!

 Sophie picked out a Sonic Screwdriver for Ian. He really likes the 10th Doctor best so that was the screwdriver he was given. Now he needs a fez!

 Molly got some new fashion plates. This is the Glamor collection. We take these with us to piano lessons quite often and she has requested this particular collection so she was thrilled!
 Each kid was also given a new Wii game. I hadn't bought any new Wii games for years. Henry told him he was bored with all the ones they had so needed new ones.  Kirby's Big Yarn was the favorite new game!
 Molly picked out a puzzle for Sophie that had castles and Dragons and if you look closely Chitty Chitty bang bang is flying over too.

 A few new games made it into our collection too.

We have spent the last few days relaxing and enjoying all the new games and things that made it's way to our house. We even finished the Harry Potter Marathon and watched the last three movies (just not all at once).

I am actually looking forward to getting back into a more normal schedule. Next week we jump back into classes and school work.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Gingerbread Houses and Candy Trains

My kids always look forward to decorating gingerbread houses. Henry and Molly went to the store to pick out candies to use. Our store has a nice bulk candy section so they picked out gummy worms and bears, gobstoppers, red vines and all sorts of other candies. A little of each goes a long way.

I made some gingerbread and then cut out the house shapes.  We invited some friends over to build with us and they brought supplies to make Candy Trains. We hadn't ever done candy trains before. 
 Ian started his his house well.
 Sophie and Molly worked together on a house
 Henry made a house with a little friend.

 Here is the start of a candy train.

 Ian's house looks great. A candy bar walk way up to the door and strings of twizzler "lights" along the roof.

 My kids decorate the yard around their houses almost more than the house itself sometimes.

 Oh No! Ian's house fell down! It still tastes great!
 Sophie braced hers with candy canes to make sure hers didn't fall too.

 Molly always has to strike a pose

 Those girls sure got a lot of candy on and around their house.
 Here is a cute candy train.
 There is a lot of details that were added to this train. It even has a face like a Thomas train.

 Here is the finished product made by Henry and his little friend.
Now we eat it! Not that a lot of candy wasn't consumed already while we worked. 

A fun evening with sugar and friends! Great way to spend a Monday evening.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Ward Christmas Party

 We had our first Ward Christmas Party. I say first because we are a brand new ward and this was our first large scale Ward event.  Of course I didn't take a whole lot of pictures.  But it was a fun evening with good food, friends and some Christmas performances for a program.
The primary kids sang a song and put on a Nativity. Here is Molly sitting so primly. Henry was one of the wise men but I didn't get a picture of him in his costume that wasn't fuzzy. 
 There was a little photo area in the lobby where people had fun taking pictures with a few props.

Henry and one of his BEST friends!