Monday, December 24, 2012

Family Christmas Adventures

Our family has been doing things here and there during the Christmas season.  This past week was our busiest!  We had something everything except Wednesday--even then Lee works every Wednesday till 7:30 and then had to figure out some scout stuff last Wednesday night.

We kicked off the Christmas season by going down to Daniel and Amy's.  I didn't tell them that we were coming and completely surprised them.  It was so funny because they were gone when we arrived.  We waited awhile and then drove around and looked at Christmas lights in their neighborhood.  When we drove back to their house they were pulling in.  We went to church with them, hung out that afternoon and enjoyed the First Presidency Christmas Devotional together.  We then took off and pulled in early morning to our house. It was a short trip, but so fun.  We haven't seen them since we moved here and they've visited us three times! Our visit was long overdue. I even brought the camera and didn't take one picture! Here are two for your enjoyment:

Daniel's kids

A couple days later we went to a local Shakespearean theater that annually performs A Christmas Carol.  We met up with friends from the ward.  It was pay-what-you-will night, making it first come, first serve.  We waited in line outside and then waited in the lobby.  Good thing our friends were there with their kids.  It made the waiting not so bad.  AND it was gorgeous outside that day, so standing outside at night was pleasant too! We had a great time and the play was fantastic!  Can't wait to see it again next year.
Dec 4 2012 A Christmas Carol with the Dollers and Vivian Nicol

The 8th of December we were going to spend the weekend at Lois' for Blake's birthday.  But after Shanna threw up at home AND at the post office (they were SO nice at the post office!), we didn't stay the weekend with them.  We had planned on going to the temple that weekend and still did that.  Shanna was feeling a little better that evening and Lee and I swapped at the temple.  It was a fun time to walk around with the kids because of all of the Christmas lights outside the Visitors' Center and the fun displays inside.  Next year I want to check out the Visitors' Center holiday program line-up online and try to go to one.  They have free concerts up there almost every night, if not every night, during the holiday season.  They have some well known performers there too, like Jenny Oaks Baker and a lady from my church that used to sing the part of Cosette in Les Miserables.
Dec 8, 2012 DC Temple VC Cal Clark

I love the DC temple.  I hope all of my kids get married there....okay, at least one!  Any temple would be great, though.
Dec 8, 2012 DC Temple VC Cal Clark Haley Shanna Elden

The lights there are so amazing.
Dec 8, 2012 DC Temple VC Clark Cal Shanna Elden Haley

Dec 8, 2012 DC Temple VC Elden Cal Haley

Dec 8, 2012 DC Temple VC Shanna Clark Elden Cal Haley

Last Sunday was Clark's first piano recital.  He did a great job.  He had both songs memorized!  And he only messed up once during the second song, but kept on playing. Way to do it Clark! Afterwards his teacher had yummy treats for everyone. Great job Clark!

The kids last Sunday morning.
Dec 16 2012 (2)

Dec 16 2012 (3)

Dec 16 2012

Pictures at the recital. Clark's teacher comes to Elkton at least once a week to give piano lessons.  He meets her at a local church six blocks from our house.  So convenient!
Dec 16 2012 Clark's Piano Recital

Dec 16 2012 Clark's Piano Recital (2)

Dec 16 2012 Clark's Piano Recital (3)

Monday night we all went to Cal's 2nd grade concert/program.  It was about an elf name "Elf-vis".  It was a cute program, though I am not too sure that Cal enjoyed it.  When your own child appears to be the only one not singing out of the whole 2nd makes you wonder! I got some cute smiles from him though, just for me.
Dec 17 2012 Cal's 2nd Grade Concert

Dec 17 2012 Cal's 2nd Grade Concert (2)

Dec 17 2012 Cal's 2nd Grade Concert (5)

FYI....I love that outfit on Haley!
Dec 17 2012 Cal's 2nd Grade Concert (6)

There's my cute smile!
Dec 17 2012 Cal's 2nd Grade Concert (7)

Cal made this longhouse at school...I know you were dying to know!
Dec 17, 2012 Cal Longhouse

On Thursday we had some friends over to make gingerbread houses.  I made potato soup and rolls and a friend brought a yummy salad.  The evening together went really well...aside from Elden throwing big toys around upstairs!  I had finished baking and cutting the gingerbread on Tuesday, so that was all done.  And yes, real gingerbread.  I grew up with my mom making real gingerbread and I keep doing the same.  It's actually really easy to do, just takes some time.  The morning of the activity I made the royal icing and I am SO glad I did.  I always think, oh, it won't take long to whip it up, and then it always does!  It took me a good 45 minutes to make the frosting and bag it all.  I had one bag per person, with one extra, and it was the right amount!  I also, amazingly, had everything ready before anyone came.  Granted I was still rushing at the last minute, but the table was all set up, soup was out, rolls ready and I even was able to clean up the dishes in the sink too!  Thankfully Lee was done at work and ran Clark to and from his piano lesson....that saved me. I still need to get pictures of the kids with their individual houses.
Dec 20, 2012 Gingerbread houses Shanna

Dec 20, 2012 Gingerbread houses Lee

Dec 20, 2012 Gingerbread houses Elden Haley

Dec 20, 2012 Gingerbread houses Clark Lee Cal

Dec 20, 2012 Gingerbread houses (2)

Dec 20, 2012 Gingerbread houses

Just the other day I was commenting to Clark on how short I am.....
Dec 20, 2012 Gingerbread houses Ruth, Vivial Nicol, Sunny Doller, Brittany Weiler

Dec 20, 2012 Gingerbread houses Lee Ruth, Vivian, Karl Sunny Doller, Brittany Michael Weiler

I can't believe Christmas is so close!  I am getting just as excited as the kids!  I can't wait!  Shanna is SO excited, it's darling.  Tomorrow night we are going caroling at a retirement/nursing home.  People have stopped by with treats and gifts and our friend/babysitter came by with a group tonight caroling. The ladies at Lee's work gave him these fun cupcakes.
Dec 20, 2012 Cupcakes from Nancy and Miranda

Dec 20 2012 cupcakes

A couple nights ago was the ward party.  Shanna had a fever that morning, so she, Elden and I didn't go.  The decorations looked really cute (thanks for the pictures Lee!) and the kids helped perform in a nativity and sang songs.  Cal and Clark even sat with Santa and got a bag of candy.  Haley didn't want to sit on his lap, so no candy for her. 
Dec 21, 2012 Ward Christmas Party (2)

Dec 21, 2012 Ward Christmas Party (3)

Dec 21, 2012 Ward Christmas Party

Dec 21, 2012 Ward Christmas Party (4)

There are five sets of twins in our ward!  Here is one set that are also in Clark's class. 
Dec 21, 2012 Ward Christmas Party (5)

Dec 21, 2012 Ward Christmas Party (6)

Dec 21, 2012 Ward Christmas Party (7)

Dec 21, 2012 Ward Christmas Party (9)

Dec 21, 2012 Ward Christmas Party (10)

We have had a wonderful holiday season. For me there has been an nice balance between activities and downtime. Tonight the kids opened their present from my parents, and really like the cute birds peeking out of the shell!   
Dec 23, 2012 Grandpa & Grandma B's gift

Are you all ready??  It's almost time! 


Mike said...

wow, you have been so busy! Merry Christmas Ruth!

Lois said...

It's been fun reading about everything you've been up to. I didn't realize you guys still went to the temple. You still should have come over!