Here's a recap of this month's highlights.
This year we did something new. We picked out a real tree! I've wanted to do this for a couple of years and this year was the year! I imagined how dreamy it would be and in the end, it really wasn't all that dreamy. Mowgli and Bud had their hearts set on one tree and The Mr. and I were having a little sticker shock and trying to direct them to some not so insanely expensive trees. This made them frustrated, which made us frustrated. The Mr. was late getting off work which made for some restless, impatient children (and mama). And Tigerlily and Hawk just wanted to run around and see the goats, which meant we were chasing them all over the place.
But after we got that beauty strapped to the top of our van and we drove home while jamming to some Christmas tunes, I reflected on how it was true that things didn't go perfectly but my kids would remember the overall experience of selecting the tree and hopefully the peaceful, excited feeling in the car that night as well as the joy they had while decorating it.
We came home and got right to decorating.
The kids absolutely LOVED stringing popcorn and cutting snowflakes to adorn he tree. Ask Mowgli and he'll tell you this is the best Christmas tree ever.
This guy spent an afternoon stringing Christmas lights on the house. (Another first for us!) Notice the shorts sleeves? We still can't believe this weather! It's nuts! Mid 40's lately.
We've been enjoying all sorts of Christmas books. The kids enjoy unwrapping a new one each night.
This is our first year reading the original A Christmas Carol rather than the abridged version. The kids are so familiar with the story that they are doing really well with the unabridged. I also read The Little Red Buckets, as I do each year and as I did with my mom in my teenage years. I've still got Jacob T. Marley to get to.
One Thursday morning the big boys and I headed off to one of the many ski resorts in our area. We had a blast on the empty slopes all day. We didn't have to wait in line for a single person all day long. This really was a dreamy day. These two were so giddy and grateful. I l-o-v-e skiing with them.
We've been making all sorts of yummy treats. (Which means I've been eating too many treats!) Bud loves his cooking class and often comes home wanting to recreate for us what he made in class.
We are looking forward to our Meals on Wheels route next week when we will deliver a handmade card at each stop.
Mowgli finished up another sewing project (the basketball pillowcase).
We've had some great outings too. Here we are at a children's production of A Christmas Carol. This is an annual tradition for us that we couldn't stand to miss. I am always in awe at the talent that is displayed.
The cub scouts toured the local fire station.
And let's not forget that morning I was pulled over for having expired registration. Thankfully, the officer was generous enough to let me go with a warning since I had all the paperwork right next to me that proved I had it in progress. The kids thought it was the coolest thing ever and now Mowgli considers himself the registration police as he looks for expired registration everywhere we go.
We attended a spectacular performance at Brigham Young University called Christmas Around the World. This is another of our most favorite events each year.
The kids' eyes lit up when the Samoan fire knife dancers came out. They really stole the show. Hearing those drums and watching the knives twirling threw me back to my days living in Hawaii.
We put on a training breakfast for all of the adults who work in our children's organization at church.
I got to spend an evening out with some of my favorite people I'll ever know.
And we're still trying to get outdoors for at least one hour each day.
We had our church Christmas party. The theme was Christmas Around the World. The primary (children's group) was assigned The North Pole. I am blessed to work with some incredibly talented women who came up with a great display for Santa to visit the children.
All the kids dressed up as The North Pole.
The Mr. is part of the presidency for the men's organization (called Elder's Quorum). I gotta say, I love their simplicity. All they said that mattered was that they served good food. Which they did. They had some delicious lumpia for everyone to sample.
Here's the only photo I got at our homeschool Christmas party held at the skating rink.
Wrap all that up with a bow and some tears, some poop in the check out line, a child who needed to put on his swimming suit in the middle of the night, some yelling, some gasps of exasperation (probably mostly from me), some stress, a lot of smiles and laughter and there you have it.