On December 1, we all went to the Festival of Trees where the kids sang in the elementary choir and I directed the choir. There are about 120 kids in choir. The morning of December 1st we had our first practice with everyone together (the senior choir sang three songs, the junior choir sang three songs, and they all sang one song together). My hands hurt for the rest of that day because I clapped "Shave and a Haircut" so many times trying to get their attention. We passed out the new music T-shirt at that rehearsal, too. The last time I sweat that much was during a hot yoga workout. Kids be crazy, y'all.
We got to the South Town Expo Center in plenty of time, but I had no idea where to go because we were on the South Stage and we've only ever been on the North Stage. The adult volunteers hurried to get a bow tie on all the kids (except for the girl who wore the sparkly red dress - for the love) and then we led a line of 120 kids through the back stage area to sit next to the big stage. Depending on where you were standing in the audience, they sounded great or strange. Ha! It was a blast to see the kids waving at their parents and especially to see my own kids singing. Bridget was half of the duet accompaniment for one of the junior choir songs, "Fum, Fum, Fum." She messed up a little bit and she was a bundle of tears afterward. Poor thing! It was a big stage and a big audience and no one noticed because there were so many crazy kids dancing and acting weird, but she took it pretty hard. I have no photos of this event because I was already doing a job. ;)
A sampling of the 120 kids in choir.
Next, the boys were invited to Pierce's house to make gingerbread houses. For some reason, that's been Emil's dream for a few months. With all the stuff going on, I couldn't wrap my brain around making gingerbread houses, so Pierce's mom, Janeen, kinda saved my life. All of Emil and Colin's kindergarten friends were there and Janeen had the gingerbread (graham cracker) houses all ready, the icing in mini Zip-lock bags, and the candy in bowls. What?! A Christmas Miracle for sure.
Here's Colin flirting with Lydia.
We celebrated St. Lucia Day on the 13th by having Swedish meatballs, molasses cookies, lots of candlelight and Bridget dressed in white with a red sash. There was a lot happening that night, Brian had meetings and it was the night of our neighborhood party. For the neighborhood party this year we donated stuffed toys to Project Teddy Bear through Bank of American Fork. I did a story on it for the paper, so I got to take a fun picture of neighborhood kids.
Back row: Cooper, Henry, Jace, Ryder, Aleah, JD (TJ?), Jackson. Middle row: Flossy, Bridget, Millie, Natalie, Freddy, Quinn. Front row: Archer, Isaak, Emil, Jett, and Colin. And this is only from six families in our neighborhood! So many kids.
The boys had their first ski lesson on the 16th, the day of a huge blizzard. We let them skip school and Brian took them to Park City with Bridget. From 9:00AM until about 1:00PM, Bridget and Brian skied and the boys were learning how to ski. Then they had to close everything down because the blizzard was awful.
On Saturday the 17th, we had our Christmas party with Brian's side of the family.
It was a pretty sunset and I thought I'd get a shot of Grandma and Grandpa's house as it looks in December before it got too dark.
Of course we had the fishing pond right after dinner. There's Nate with a triumphant catch.
Emil loves fishing in all forms.
Brighton and I bonded when I went to pick her up earlier in the day. She'd been in the van with me for several minutes when she asked sweetly, "Do I know you?" :)
This is fun for me. Grandpa, Brian, and Hal fixing the hook. Grandpa set up the blue blanket this year for the fishing pond. Much more realistic.
Aunt Dena told the kids a story about the candy cane. I loved the sight of Emil's toes here, so I had to get a picture.
Denise is snuggling her great granddaughter, Olivia. (Olivia is a Good Baby.)
Bridget and Abby.
Grandma and Grandpa opened their present from their kids. New phones!
We celebrated December birthdays with cake and the Birthday Song. I stole this off my Instagram account because I was having an Exceptional Hair Day and this is the only proof.
Santa came and Colin was Jonny-on-the-spot going to sit on his lap and ask him for Pokemon cards and Power Ranger Legos (they do not exist).
Emil asked for a wagon and a drone. (He looks green because Colin is sitting out of the frame with his new green mini light saber from Santa.)
Bridget wins at Christmas every year because she is SPECIFIC about what she wants, she doesn't change her mind and she asks for things that exist. Who knew that was so hard?! She asked for a skateboard and a pink ukulele.
It seems like there were more of them. Perhaps it's the four little boys being super loud? Maybe.
On Monday the 19th we celebrated the boys 6th birthday! The Sunday before was rough for me. I stood behind the island counter in our kitchen and made food, served food, cleaned up food, refereed fights, answered the same questions every five minutes, then lost my mind. Monday was a new day and I decided to be Yes Mom no matter what happened. The boys asked to go to the Natural Curiosity Museum and I said, "YES." They were so happy. In the van on the way over Colin said, "Mom! Let's only do fun stuff today!" So we did. :) I arranged with both of their teachers to read a book to the combined classes (I read Snowflake Bentley) and I brought fruit roll-ups for all the kids. I'm their teachers' favorite now because I brought an easy snack. Brian came home a little early and the boys opened presents.
Colin got Emil a mini Pac-Man game. I'd taken 1000 trips to Teton Toys over the last few weeks, each time with a different kid or by myself. When I went with Colin to buy for Emil's birthday and Christmas he spent a lot of time looking at Pokemon stuff that Emil is just kinda interested in, unlike Colin. When we found this Pac-Man game, Colin knew he had a winner. "I hope he shares," Colin said on the way out. Ha! Colin also tried to buy Emil "homework." When I showed him stuff I knew Emil liked, Colin checked the price tag and exclaimed, "$12.99?! No way."
The coveted Pokemon cards. They're for the floor, it turns out.
And there's Emil hoping Colin will share.
The boys requested Pizza Pie Cafe for dinner and we got there long before the rush, so all the running around wasn't bothering too many people. After dinner we came home and got bundled up for Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point. They stopped doing the drive-through lights and created this walking tour of lights in Ashton Gardens to take the place of the drive-through. It was amazing. We saw the luminaries filling the big green first and that was pretty spectacular, but then we walked through the Peppermint Forest or something and there were red and white lights shaped like candy canes. Brian and I looked at each other at the same time and asked, "Do you smell peppermint?" That's when it became amazing! We all got tired and it was cold, but no one broke down or cried (unlike many young kids we saw). Success!
On the 21st, my 43rd birthday, I didn't plan anything big. I went to the Provo City Center Temple with Brian to do sealings after dropping the boys off at the bus stop. That's always nice - we do it all the time, so I know how long it's going to take and where to go now. Brian had to get back to work, so I ate lunch by myself (my secret favorite thing to do) and went to Pioneer Book on Center Street in Provo. They had this tree on display and I thought it made my day:
Yes! I browsed for a little while and bought a couple of pretty, hard-bound classics. When I got to the register the guy told me I had a $10 credit for being a frequent customer and my total came to $2. Happy birthday to ME. I opened presents from the kids when I got home (socks from Colin, water bottle from Emil, a scarf from Bridget) with Brian listening on the phone. (Brian got me new couches for the front room. I've been researching it for months, so I hope it turns out. They'll be here tomorrow!) I went to get my hair cut and my stylist (what DO you call them?) was 40 minutes late so she wouldn't let me pay her for the haircut. What she doesn't know is that I'm fine sitting by myself and reading without being interrupted for 40 minutes so she gave me two presents for my birthday. ;)
I'm thinking Christmas Day needs a separate post. Whew! My fingers are tired from typing.