Sunday, December 30, 2012

Went to the Movies

I have been looking forward to heading to the movies this Christmas. I was tempted to go see the Hobbit as well but since I could only fit in one movie I picked Les Miserables. I am so glad I did. I have been singing those songs and thinking about the movie ever since.

I think the best review I have read that pretty much says exactly what I think is this one.

As we left the theater, my sister-in-law asked me if I thought it was better as a stage play or as a movie. I have seen the stage show twice. I saw it in London and then again on my mission in New York.  Just as an aside, Elder Russel Ballard came to my mission to speak to the missionaries and he told us that none of us should leave NY without seeing Les Miserables. We could attend broadway shows (Wednesday matinees) but had a very limited list of shows we could see. Les Miserables wasn't on the list at the time but quickly was added. 

After thinking about the question from my Sister-in-law, I had to say I liked the film better. I loved how much more I got out of each song because I could see the expressions on the actors/singers faces. I think I understood so much more about what they were saying and feeling because I wasn't just listening to the music but I was intimately involved with the story because of the way it was filmed and songs were recorded.

No, the actors weren't the best singers I have ever heard but they certainly conveyed the emotion of the character. "Empty chairs at empty tables" still haunts my thoughts. So well done! I am so glad I saw this one on the big screen with the surround sound. 

Hiking in the Snow

My kids really wanted to go play in the snow while we were up at Grandma's house. We are a bunch of California city slickers and don't get to see snow often. We certainly didn't have the clothing for a good long trek or day in the snow but we headed up toward Yosemite to see some snow. We weren't able to actually go into Yosemite National Park because they required chains and were didn't have any so we stopped a little before the park entrance and hiked along a river that feeds the Hetch Hetchy reservoir.

It was a very fun, cold trip up to the snow. My kids got to pull icicles off the roof of a cabin, build a snow man and have a snowball fight. For kids that don't ever get to see snow unless to go up to find it this is a major event in their lives made even more fun because they got to do it with their cousins. They loved it and wanted to do it again the next day too! But it was toward home we headed the next day and not up to the snow. We headed back to the real world and had to face that it was the end of our Christmas trip to Grandma's house.  We had a very nice visit and are so grateful for Grandma and Grandpa for letting us come and taking such good care of us. And we need to say thanks to my brother and sister-in-law and cousins that always make our trips up there so fun. We LOVE our visits up the foothills.

Columbia with the cousins

After a number of days of straight rain the kids needed to get out and run around. So we met the cousins at Columbia. Columbia is a Ghost town up in the Mother Lode near where my parents live. The main street is closed to car traffic and all the stores look like they did back in the gold rush days.

 My kids mostly like to climb on the large rocks left after the hydraulic mining that was done in this area.

 Then they headed to the museum where they could dress up as miners or in pioneer type dresses.

 The kids set up a table and had a pretend meal.
 They then headed next door and did a little old time bowling.

It was a great way to spend an afternoon between rainstorms.

A Very Lego Christmas

When I asked my kids what they wanted for Christmas this is what each would say.

Molly - A tea set and Princess Playmobils
Henry - A New Webkinz and Legos. He really wanted a big set like The Black Pearl pirate ship but I told him we could most likely get him a meduim set. He also said he wanted lego windows and doors.
Ian - A New Webkinz and Lego Technics
Sophie - couldn't think of anything in particular but I knew she really wanted a webkinz.

So lets see if they were happy with what they found under the tree this Christmas.
Lego Hogwarts. They loved this set and were so excited to get a dementor and Nevil Longbottom mini figures.
Molly received a bunch of princess dress up things. She loves being Snow White especially. And now has lots of little high heal shoes to clomp around the house in. 

Each of the kids found a new Webkinz in their stocking.
Sophie got a pink frog. Ian got a green bullfrog. Henry got a cheeky monkey. Molly got a lemur.
Henry got a nice log cabin set of legos that has windows and doors.

Ian got some lego technic pieces and some books about how to build different things with them. And then also opened a little car technic set. He was very happy!
The boys fulfilled Molly's wish for a tea set. They bought her this very cute little pink tea set. We have been having endless tea parties since Christmas morning.
Sophie's big gift was a camera.
And Papa got a Kindle Fire HD. He was a bit shocked. He quickly found how much he liked it.
Molly also go some playmobil stuff. There was a castle, a princess, some unicorns and even some mermaids. She was very excited to try them all out.

The boys set to work building each of their new Lego sets.  Henry also was thrilled to find out that he didn't just get one set of legos but two. He also got this Lego City set with a police man, dogs and a bandit.
I didn't even get pictures of the nerf guns that the boys got or the books that any of the kids received. As I wrapped presents a week or so ago I kept thinking how spoiled my kids are. We have such abundance and really their wish list was all fulfilled plus some. 

It was a great Christmas!