True to form, this has been another December where blogging happens to fall by the wayside. Which is ok. Because this month is supposed to be all about family & traditions & celebrations & cozy nights with hot chocolate.
I wanted to share a bit of what those traditions & celebrations & cozy nights have looked like around here.
The Ward Christmas party was a breakfast on Saturday morning. Pajamas, ugly christmas sweaters, and mustaches were encouraged. Breakfast was catered by IHOP, the photobooth was super cute, and sweater and mustache awards were given. In an earlier post I hinted at Scott's attire. Well, here ya go! We're just so happy that he didn't wear Santa on the front.
The best moment, though, came when he sat down for the opening prayer and activated the music in Santa's nose. Santa Claus is Coming to Town played throughout the blessing on the food.
We visited some local Christmas lights. This particular street gets into the holiday spirit in a big way.
The kids wrote letters to Santa.
And mailed them in shorts and flip flops.
As for those letters to Santa . . . Anna wants a pink and blue bike with a basket. Payton wants a blue and black bike. But since his letter was mailed he has added an X-Wing Fighter LEGO set. Conner doesn't want anything . . . just money. I remember getting an envelope of money for Christmas when I was 14 and it was perfect.
One evening I pulled out some art & scrapbook supplies. Payton and I made these trees on canvas while the whole family watched Scrooged. Payton really enjoys art these days. I just love his creative side. (Instructions at Christy Tomlinson's blog)
Conner had the opportunity to play a piano solo at his choir concert!
Anna had her class party - they made gingerbread houses. Apparently her house is angry. The next day I also helped serve hot chocolate and cookies while 3 classes combined to watch The Polar Express.
The kids helped me make Christmas treats. Rolo turtles in progress here
Love Conner's OCD tendencies. Every pretzel had to be perfectly aligned.
Then we boxed up the Rolo turtles, ginger snap cookies, and homemade caramels and delivered them to a bunch of friends. The kids were so funny . . . they turned their delivery assignment into a super secret stealth operation and named themselves the Mistletoe Squad.
Watching Elf and munching on popcorn is always a favorite. And I usually last about 20 minutes before falling asleep -- turn off the lights, give me a cozy blanket, and I'm out.
Our homemade ornament project for this year turned out pretty great with Shrinky Dinks! Conner wow-ed us with his 3D TIE Fighter.
Christmas decorations! I love my house all decorated for Christmas.
Anna and I put together a 12 Days of Christmas for her teacher this year - find the cute idea HERE. Great, practical gifts with cute little poems each day. I love that Anna is getting older and loves being crafty. All I had to do was purchase the items and then she assembled the daily gift bags herself.
I made a batch of Christmas Crack (yes, it is as good and addicting as it sounds) and we delivered it with this note to our neighbors.
We know a handful of our neighbors, and they are friendly, but for the most part people really just keep to themselves. So when we show up on the doorstep with a container of treats I kinda love the reaction of surprise and gratitude . . . as if we are doing something that is completely unexpected and so out of the norm! And it makes me feel good that we try to be neighborly.
Today in church Anna and Scott sang a duet -- Star of Bethlehem. I accompanied them on the piano and we have spent the past month practicing. It was so so so sweet! Anna's voice was just precious and it was such a fun thing for her to do with her dad. She was pretty nervous today. Her coping mechanism during performance was to focus her eyes on the end of the microphone so that everyone in the chapel was blurry. She didn't want to see any faces! What a funny girl. The flip side of that, though, was that she may have appeared cross-eyed to some members of the congregation.
Conner also sang in the ward choir today. And he picked up his dance card. Now that he is 14 he can attend the church youth dances. I gave him a short dance lesson including how to ask a girl to dance and what to talk about. He was in complete anguish and I was loving it. He he he.
Silly picture. Check.
And tonight we had dinner by candlelight on the shortest day (longest night) of the year. Happy Winter Solstice!