Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Season Activities

It's Christmas Eve and I'm trying to get caught up on our busy December Christmas activities!

Let's see, on December 6, we went to the "Happy Birthday Jesus Party" at Heidi's preschool. It's a fun evening of dinner, music, and crafts. Here they are watching/listening to the musician.Next, on December 8, we went to Lockheed's Annual Tree Lighting. We enjoyed the elementary school choir singing their holiday songs and then stood in a long line to see Santa. From occasional mentions of Santa leading up to this, I had the impression that Rachel was not going to be interested in sitting with Santa. And Heidi continues to be timid of Santa as well. But we wanted to try. When it was our turn, Emma went right up and climbed on his lap. We had to coerce Heidi to get close enough to hand Santa her list (which she wrote out herself), but she was not about to get close enough for a picture. And Rachel had a death grip around my waist with her legs and my neck with her arms. SO... We have a nice picture of Emma with Santa.However they did all enjoy getting the stocking from Santa.Maybe next year...

On December 15, Heidi's preschool had a "4's and 5's Christmas Music Program." Heidi was very excited about it. She was asking me days in advance which day her music program was. I knew she attended a pretty large preschool, but it doesn't feel big - but when you see they have 120+ 4 and 5 year olds - it looks big! It was cute and they did a great job. Here is a video of one of their songs. (Heidi is right in the middle with a black dress on.)

Emma had a school project due on the 16th - they were to dress up as the main character from a book they had read - and they had a character parade. Emma has really enjoyed VeggieTales' Little Drummer Boy movie this season, so she wanted to be The Little Drummer Boy. However - that's a movie, not a book. So I went on a search and finally found myself at Barnes & Noble buying a Little Drummer Boy book. She read it and dressed up like The Little Drummer Boy (Girl) for school.She also enjoys the Little Drummer Boy song and often asks for it to be repeated if it's playing on a disc in the car. Rachel likes it too but she calls it "Drummy Boy."

Saturday the 17th, we gathered with my family in Dahlonega to celebrate Christmas.

Rachel with her cousins (always in the mix - don't you dare tell her she's only 2!)Grammy & HeidiDaddy helping Emma with her gifts (a bible cover for her bible she takes to BSF)Presents (an individual ice cream maker - all the grand kids got one and we're looking forward to using it!)Rachel working hard at tearing in to her presentEmma got some new books from Great GramHeidi & Rachel both received baby doll bath toy setsEmma received a large stuffed horse, which she promptly named "Cosmo" (that is the name of the pony she rides every week).Sisters and MomALL the grand kids with Grammy & PapaFinally, last night we went to the Lights of Life put on by Life University here in Marietta. We've been going every year for awhile now and really enjoy it. Before you get too far in to the lights, they have a place to park and get out for other activities...

Fun picturesPony ridesDespite the timid look on her face, Rachel did really enjoy the pony ride.A train rideAnd a petting zoo. All three girls wanted to go in the petting zoo. Emma, of course, enjoyed it.I was allowed in with Rachel since she is young and I wanted to keep an eye on Heidi since she doesn't always do well with animals. But boy did she surprise me!!! She started with petting a bunny.Then she pet a duck.She saw a lot of the other children holding various animals and decided she wanted to hold a bunny. So I picked one up and gave it to her to hold.Rachel of course wanted her turn with the bunny.Then Heidi decided she wanted to hold a chicken! That's right - a chicken! Who is this child??? She tried picking one up on her own, but didn't succeed. She was trying to pick them up in the middle rather than from underneath. She picked this one up that way, but then I put my hands underneath and it hopped on to my hand.There were two small white ones that she really wanted to hold. She finally found one and picked it up all by herself.I couldn't believe it! I think she was pretty proud of herself. :-)

After the petting zoo we got back in the car and drove through the remainder of the light display. It's a really nice display and it only costs $5 per car (all the activities have costs on top of that). I highly recommend it if you live in the area - although I also highly recommend arriving close to 6 PM when they open. When we left at 8 PM, the line to get in was SUPER long!!!

Tonight we attended our church's Christmas Eve service at 5 PM and then went to The Varisty with my parents for dinner.So that's been our December thus far. The girls are excited about Christmas tomorrow. That post will likely occur sometime in January.

Merry Christmas!!!

Bye Bye Training Wheels

Heidi's latest accomplishment - of which she is very proud, and we are very excited - is riding her bike without training wheels!!! She has been riding a balance bike for several months and it seemed like she was doing pretty well with that. But I wasn't sure how that would translate to her bike and the need to pedal. But when I mentioned it, she was eager to try. The very first try, I held her while she put her feet on the pedals. I walked behind her holding her for about 10 feet and then let go and off she went! Within about 30 minutes of working at it, she was starting all by herself. (It's wonderful to have a flat drive way and live on a cul-de-sac for things like this!) It's really neat to watch her.

We have concluded that she needs a bigger bike - she looks a bit like a bear at the circus. So I know what I'll be looking for at the Spring consignment sales! ;-)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Heidi's 5 Year Pictures

And here are Heidi's 5 year pictures. She's growing up quickly too!

Emma's 8 Year Pictures

Better late than never... We finally got around to having Emma's 8 year pictures done. She's growing up so much!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Advent Musical

Our church had a wonderful Advent Fair this past Sunday. It began with a musical done by the Junior (1st-5th grade) and Cherub (3 yrs-K) choirs. Emma is in the Junior choir, but chose not to participate. She wanted to just watch her friends. Heidi is in the Cherub choir. She loves to go to choir and knew the two songs they were singing.

On Saturday, they had a dress rehearsal. When it was time for the Cherub choir to go up on the stage, Heidi would not go. I asked her why and she said, "I just want to play with Rachel." Never mind she lives with Rachel, can play with her all the time, and had been playing with her for a couple hours already that morning. So I asked if Rachel went up with her would she go - and she said yes. I asked Rachel if she wanted to go up on stage and she immediately hopped out of her chair and headed up on the stage with Heidi following. Rachel stood perfectly with the rest of the Cherub choir the entire time they were practicing (about 30 minutes). The Cherub choir was going to be in angel costumes and they ended up fitting Rachel for one too. Once she was fitted for a costume, there was no turning back - she was GOING to be an angel.

She did everything the rest of the Cherubs did and even sang parts of the songs (third child - captive audience in the car listening to the practice CD). The entire musical was great - all the kids did a wonderful job memorizing lines and singing.

Our "angels"The littlest angel right in the middle.Not sure what was so funny, but it's a cute picture.After the musical, the children were encouraged to go up to the gym to make some take home crafts as well as do some service projects (decorate goody bags and baby socks that will be given to kids in a children's shelter; make Christmas cards to send to some of our home bound church members).Oh, and decorate sugar cookies! Yum!It was a really fun evening! So thankful for the church family we are blessed to be a part of.

Dahlonega Christmas Parade

Last Saturday was a VERY busy day. It started with Jason going to his BSF leaders meeting from 7-9. The girls and I all headed down to church for their Advent Musical dress rehearsal (see next post) from 9:30-11:30. During the dress rehearsal, Jason and I talked on the phone several times and decided to go look at a pop up camper we had seen on Craigslist. (We've been thinking about getting one for a little while and this one seemed like a good option.) So after the dress rehearsal, the girls and I drove to meet Jason in Northeast Georgia to look at the camper. I ended up leaving Rachel with Jason (and the van, since that is the car with the hitch and her car seat - and all 3 car seats won't fit in the CrV), and Emma, Heidi and I headed to Dahlonega to meet my parents for the Christmas Parade. (Jason spent several more hours learning the ins and outs of the camper and yes - we did buy it. So, stay tuned for future posts about camping.)

The girls LOVED the parade - especially Emma. Here they are waiting for it to start.It was a great, small town parade. Heidi's favorite thing to see was the majorettes that marched with the high school band. Emma's favorite was "the Grinch-mobile."She got so excited as each float or group of animals or whatever came down the street. This is her literally jumping with excitement (I'm not sure at what).And she kept inching further in to the street as she got excited. We had to remind her to stay back multiple times. :-) There were local organizations with floats, some horses, a unicyclist, classic cars, and a husky sled team (minus the snow).Several of the floats had people tossing candy out which was fun to collect. And the parade ended with Santa. It was a really cute and fun parade - the perfect length to keep their interest. After the parade we walked around the downtown square and visited the live nativity. They had quite a few sheep, goats, and a couple donkeys.Afterward, we had a nice dinner at Grammy & Papa's house then drove home. It was a long day, but lots of fun creating memories.