Merry Christmas and other stuff

It has been a strange month.  I have had a cold for most of it, my husband has been down recovering from his 4 wheeler accident, various colds and different flus and the kids have taken turns with colds.  And then we have been all geared up and ready for a cold winter and we have had September weather instead.  However, it still gets dark at 4:30 pm, so we haven’t been able to make it on many hikes– or anything else– it’s just too dark and at least someone is too sick to go.  But we have enjoyed the weather anyway and it was super awesome on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and happily everyone was healthy for those, although everyone was sick last night– 3 kids puked multiple times.  uggh!  Here’s a pic of the pretty weather and some lights and garland on the stairs:

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The girls performed in the school winter performance, the older one with the choir singing and accompanying one song, the younger one playing the trumpet in the band.  The choir teacher from last year retired and the band teacher took over the choir as well as the band and neither of my girls have liked him much.  He is apparently just not very nice to the kids and he tries to lead out of fear instead of hope and love.  It is unfortunate because both my girls love music and they feel that he has ruined it.  They are thinking about taking a different class when the semester ends because it is quite unpleasant for them both.  It has also been an exercise in doing your best in unfavorable circumstances and getting along despite others’ behavior.  But you wouldn’t know it from the performance, the performance was fine, except the power went out halfway through, but they carried on and performed with phone lights.

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We have been able to do a lot of school work this past month, everyone is progressing nicely and that makes us all happy.  We finally got our Christmas decorations up.  The advent calendar tree below was made by my mom probably 35 yrs. ago.  We love it still!  That is a bit of a messy room– why did the 5 yr. old put on his swimsuit?  Why is there a snorkel on the floor? and other random products?  The world may never know!!

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My 8 yr. old hung the garland and lights– he did an excellent job and I love how they look in photos!christmas_8

I finally got some creative Christmas crafts when I was out shopping at Michael’s–  their Christmas stuff was 70% off so I got a bunch and the kids had a lot of fun with it and it all turned out quite nice and made it all quite festive– better than sugar cookies or gingerbread houses– we got plenty of sugar without those!!  I’m glad the sugar part is just once a year!!

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Here is my oldest at work on some of her compositions. I love hearing her play, it makes me happy!

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And other decorations we set up this year– the kids love playing with the nativity scenes– they are all ceramic and a few pieces have broken, but it’s so fun for them!

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This set is from Mexico– I love it!  And I bought most of the little houses here last year– I love them, they look just like our neighborhood and village.  We just need a little snow!!

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This is the end result of the kits from Michael’s– a couple Christmas houses, a bunch of ornaments, another Nativity and a Christmas train.  They worked hard, I’m proud of them!!  They were glad to finally have a break from academics too and just make things:

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Right after Thanksgiving, the 5 olders earned their purple belts in karate.  They have done very well and their instructor is very patient and good with them all.  They always come home happy.

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The girls and I went for a jog on Christmas Eve.  The girls went 2 miles, and I went 3.  It was beautiful and warm– there was actually a warm breeze– it was surreal and made me want to go on a day trip somewhere spectacular– I even wore shorts and I couldn’t stop myself from taking photos of the cute buildings along my route:

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We also got a lot of cleaning done, wrapping finished and last gifts taken care of.  Happily most everybody was healthy or at least not too sick!

We had a nice tasty meal of simple stuff for Christmas Eve– salads, crackers and different cheeses and spreads.  We also had a veggie tray and gingerbread cookies with coconut cream, and lime pudding made from avocadoes and almond date rolls.  I also had pita bread and hummus in the works but we started before it was quite done and there was plenty of food without it, so it made a great lunch on Christmas Day.  We had a family concert where everybody performed either singing, piano or trumpet.  That was a lot of fun and pretty wild– we also sang a few Christmas songs and read the Christmas story out of Luke and then the kids opened their Christmas Eve present which was pj’s.  This is the first year we have done new pjs for Christmas– whoever thought of it is genius– kids get to open a new present, and they are excited to get ready for bed in pjs that are easily found.  This will be a continuing tradition for us I think!

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Santa came– we even had an extra Santa this year– he left presents in the fireplace!

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These heli balls from Five Below were a big hit.  They are well designed and last longer than I thought they would.  I made sure everybody got outside at least for a little bit.  It was perfect weather– even the guinea pigs got to enjoy it:

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We were then lucky enough to get invited to our friends’ house and have homemade tamales and empanadas- guacamole, chips and salsas and homemade ice cream and more gingerbread cookies.  We were all full then.  It was a lovely Christmas.  Then Saturday for one of the presents we all saw The Force Awakens–we all loved it!!  But then kids puked that night, others didn’t feel good and others slept for a really long time, and so we missed church today.  We are looking forward to a relaxing week and hopefully everyone recovering completely!!

We hope you have had a fabulous holiday as well.  Take care and Merry Christmas!!

 

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