Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Holiday Happenings

We had a nice month of December!  Just the right amount of fun activities, but not overwhelmingly busy.

"Wreath" by Diddles
"Santa" by Diddles

We went to our annual Nativities Around the World.  We've lived here long enough, I can still remember walking Diddles around in a stroller and then spending the evening in the children's room for fear of her breaking one of the fragile nativities.  We've all grown so much, it was so fun to see her joining in on the scavenger hunt for the nativities with the big kids!  I felt free (finally) to just wander and enjoy the nativities!

-Our annual photo op-

These two were my favorite nativities this year:  Crocheted  and Lego!  

Speaking of Nativities, Boo made this nativity out of Sculpty clay for an A-days activity.  I think it's so sweet!  It has sat upon our kitchen window sill, and it makes me smile.

For Boo's birthday, we gave her a coupon to go get her nails done!  I had completely forgotten about it, but one evening for their date night, Josh took her to go get her nails done.  She was thrilled!  It cost a small fortune (35$!!!), but the paint has stayed put for weeks, and she loves the sparkles and the teeny tiny candy cane.  :)  Night out with Dad is always priceless.  Right?  

The weekend before Christmas, we ventured up to Spokane to visit the mall.  Our main objective was for Josh to take a computer into the Apple store, but Diddles' big plan was to "whisper in Santa's ear".   

 This Santa was quite the entrepreneur, and he "discouraged" people taking pictures with personal cameras or cell phones unless you have already purchased a picture package.  No thanks.  So, no photos with Diddles on his lap, but she whispered her deepest Christmas wish, which was...A Jack-in-the-Box.  Isn't it just the sweetest wish? That's it.  Nothing else.  Just a Jack-in-the-Box.  We'll see if he delivered.

Speaking of Santa, Yaks has asked me about 500 times "Mom, is Santa real?"  My reply was always the same, "What do you think?"  His answer was perfect, "I think it's somewhere in the middle of real and not-real".  Finally a few days before Christmas he figured it out, and I confirmed it.  His biggest puzzle was how Buddy the Scripture Elf moves around from place to place every night.  He's a member of the club now, and had fun wrapping some gifts and exchanging "knowing winks" with Josh and me.  ;)

We ate at the Food Court, and then rode the escalator up and down.  The kids were thrilled at this simple adventure!  Diddles looked at it as a death-defying stunt every time she got on or off the thing!  I forget sometimes the big-city things I don't miss living in a small community. 

Boo's teacher arranged a performance are our neighborhood Avalon Care Center, and Boo had a chance to perform the Christmas pieces she's been learning.  Older kids played other instruments, and each took their turn oldest to youngest.  Brittany (Boo's teacher) played both the piano and her cello.  It was a wonderful experience, and the residents really enjoyed it.  We are hoping to make it a monthly thing!  

Boo and her piano teacher, Brittany
Our wonderful primary put on a Nativity pageant during Sharing Time the Sunday before Christmas.  Sister Carter had dozens of darling costumes, perfectly sized for kids, and it was a blast helping them get dressed up, and seeing our timid Diddles so excited about being a horse (donkey)!  That same day, I was gearing myself up to take her back down to class with me, but she said, "I'll just stay in my class by myself."  It was a miracle! She did it last week, too!  Just in time for her to get a new teacher.  :)

Last year my parents started a tradition of giving the kids an opportunity to serve.  We talked about several ideas of ways we could use the money to serve someone, and this year we decided upon helping our local animal shelter.

Living in a small town we also have a small animal shelter, but being in such a transient area with people coming and going, we have a lot of homeless pets, but the shelter cannot house all of the animals in need!  They have a Facebook page, and are always asking for donations of supplies to run the facility.  The kids LOVE animals, and were really excited about this project to help their furry friends in need.  So, we went to our local Wal-mart with a big wishlist in hand from the shelter of things they needed, and each of the kids got a chance to pick some things out to give. 

 We delivered the supplies to the shelter, and took some time to stop in and visit the animals.  The cats were a little more calm and quiet than the dogs, so we headed over there to love some fur, and of course, beg to take some home!

My favorite part of this project is getting the kids to express how giving makes them feel:

Boo: "I felt very happy that we were helping homeless animals and made sure that they have everything they need until they find a loving home."

Yaks:  "I felt really excited to go to the shopping and get things for the cats and dogs.  It made me feel really good inside."

Diddles:  "I got the kitty cats some food at the store...some kitty food.  I got to pet the kitties.  I like the striped one.

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