Friday, December 26, 2008
What do you get when you combine gingerbread cookies, icing and lots of candy and children? Lots of fun! Our family has a Christmas tradition of having all the children in our family and friends over for a gingerbread house decorating party. We eat pizza together and then the real fun begins. Icing everywhere and candy being used creatively to adorn the creations. Everyone has fun visiting together and creating together and have a wonderful keepsake from the time. I usually deliver the houses in the days that follow the party so that the houses can dry. I love to hear everyone's comments when they see their houses again. This time is one of my favorite things that we do during the Christmas holidays. This year my dear friend and I were able to meet the week before our get together and pre-assemble the houses so the children were able to use all the icing on the roofs of the houses that they wanted to. Making memories with the children and their friends is priceless to me. I love to take time to spend with the kids doing the little things, or in this case not so little, to help make memories for them that eventually turn into traditions. So what if I am cleaning icing up for several days after the party and sucking up little candies in the vacuum cleaner for awhile. Thankfully the memories of the good times last a lot longer than the mess and we our building those bonds that will tie all of us together.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I am posting today about our experience with the Nutcracker ballet this year. My dd is dancing with the Carolina Ballet and has the honor of being a truffle and dancing with the Sugar Plum Fairy. Talk about what dreams are made of for a little girl! The whole experience has been wonderful, lots of work and time committment, but wonderful. I am so humbled by my daughter and her attitude in dancing in this ballet. She has been full of pure joy and I have had so much fun shadowing her and watching from the sidelines. I really have had to sit on my hands when I see the different dancers from the Carolina Ballet company come and go...I guess you could say I was starstruck! I love this time of year and I love this ballet. If you get a chance, go to the Carolina Ballet's Nutcracker this year or to your local ballet company's production of this great ballet or maybe catch a version of it on television. It definitely has our family dreaming of sugar plums and such.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Our family has had an extra great week with a visiting dog cousin, "Happy". She has been such a fun addition to our family. The kids have had fantastic adventures taking care of another dog. It has been a good experiment to see what it would be like at our house with two dogs. Since our dog, "Sandy" is 14, she cannot hear so well, so her cousin has been hearing things for her. The wonderful barking of two happy dogs! Sandy is rejuvenated by having her younger cousin, who is 11, around to get into trouble with her. How does the song go? Two turtle dogs and a partridge in a pear tree?
Christmas time and two dogs, what more could a kid ask for, all the excitement and the sheer joy! Well, the trial run has gone very well, and the kids are very sad about "Happy" leaving at the end of the weekend. What a great part of the 12 days of Christmas!
Monday, December 8, 2008
I want to take a minute and write about checking priorities during this typically busy Christmas holiday season. Really I started looking at priorities before Thanksgiving, knowing that Christmas tends to be a whirlwind of activities. I am trying to keep from getting overwhelmed by all the stuff of this time of year... It is easy to get bogged down quickly. I have worked hard to make school my priority with the kids, giving them my 100%...most of the time I have been able to. When I have to divide myself up into more pieces, things begin to slip. I have had to really pray and determine what activities are truly worthy of our time and energy right now and which ones can be dropped or skipped this year or maybe done in a different way. It is good to take a survey of priorities every once and awhile, really every season...so I can see where we are headed in homeschooling, as a family and individually as well. Almost like a spring cleaning of the priorities in my life. I thank God for helping me sort them all out and for giving me the peace to let some things go... That's really the hardest part, realizing that it is o.k. not to do EVERYTHING!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I had the wonderful experience of going to an event at my church called Holidays Honoring Him. Every table hostess decorated the table with a holiday theme that centered around honoring Christ. My Mom and Sister decorated this first table at the beginning of my post. The table sparkled and was magical in the candlelight. It was a lovely night and a wonderful way to remember to keep Christ the center of everything I do from holidays to homeschooling and everyday life. My home school support group is having a Christmas tea this evening, and I look forward to going every year if at all possible. The Holidays Honoring Him event reminded me of our group's Christmas tea, but all of the tables at the tea are done in a Christmas theme. This year getting to the tea is a little more challenging because I am a solo parent again with dear Husband gone with pre-deployment training. I did not go last year because my sister in law was in the hospital battling cancer and I just couldn't go and be with others... This year I am going and excited and counting it a blessing for my week!
Here are a few more of the tables that I captured with my camera... Enjoy the everyday in your Christmas holidays, you know cards in the mail...the cool air...hot chocolate with rosy cheeked children...snuggling up with a Christmas quilt and looking at your to do list...enjoy