Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Eve Part 2

So as is tradition we made our way up to grammae and papa's house.  
Marcus played "Rudolf" on his baritone,
ala "Christmas Vacation" style

Bunny wanted to make sure everyone felt included, so she
chose to play Adam Sandler's "The Hannukah Song"
I played "Mele Kalikimaka" on the ukelele also.  After the music concert we had a DELICIOUS dinner of rib roast, ham, potatoes, broccoli-rice casserole, carrots, green beans, salad, ambrosia, and snackie-type foods.  The kids were all VERY interested in opening presents but they had to wait until after the adults cleaned the kitchen, boo.  Soon enough it was time but only after....
Another holiday tradition: the Oakridge Boys songs
(Jesus was born today, born in a manger....)
Let the present-opening begin!
The siblings and spouses draw names for gift-giving, as do the kids.  Since Marcus and I now have half of the cousin population, we got to give gifts to each of the kids from the other families!  So excited to finally be able to do that.  :o)
Grammae and papa give gifts to everyone, of course.  They are very generous and always seem to find the perfect gifts for each child.

At this point, I went home with Seddy and grandma/grandpa.  It was already 10:30pm and Seddy was beyond tired.  I was sad to miss the rest of the activities but I knew going in that a little 6-month old could only handle so much activity!  It was nice to come home to a quiet house and get a little more wrapping done before Marcus and the rest of the kids came home.
Marcus kept the camera and caught the two
little best friends in action.

Next post...Christmas day....

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve Part 1

Christmas Eve:  You may have heard that Mari P was sick in the AM.  She stayed on the couch for most of the morning.
poor sick girl
the rest of us did PT with grandpa
and we baked cookies

had to make some spritz!  (I let Mariposa work the cookie
press when she was feeling better and after she washed all
the germs off her hands)
 At 2:20 we left for town to get to church early for the Christmas play.  Our priest, Father Peter, writes a new play every year for the 4pm family Mass, and he always makes sure that everyone who wants a speaking part will get one.  It is amazing!  The kids look forward to this every year; it is a major part of their Christmas experience.
Bunny was a nun this year, "Mother Prioress"
James was a Roman soldier
Mariposa was feeling better so she was
able to be an angel as planned
We got a great spot, front row on the side of the church so
grandpa could stretch out his leg (knee replacement in Nov).
It was wonderful not to sit in the long pews!  Better to manage
all the activity with the kiddos.
 Bunny's part as a nun was kind of like a narrator.  There were 4 nuns and they commented throughout the play.  She had many lines to memorize, and she did great!  We are so proud of her and she found that all her school training in poetry memorization has paid off.  :o) 
At one point the angels came in.  They were discussing what kinds of gifts to bring to baby Jesus.  Mariposa had a cute little line, and she was fabulous!!  I am so glad she was feeling better and was able to participate.
Mariposa is toward the end of this line
 The Romans were next.  After the angels brought all their many large wrapped boxes that you couldn't even see the holy family (get it? the lesson was how we think more about shopping than Jesus)...the guards were called in to protect the gifts (since the gifts were SOOOO important).  James was awesome!  He spoke very loudly and clearly as Roman #1.
James is the first Roman, in the red and gold helmet
(Bunny is sitting in front of the altar)
 In case you were wondering about Gemma...well, she made it through one rehearsal on Sunday and I quickly realized she is WAY to comfortable in church.  She was all over the place.  Honestly I couldn't trust her to even stay on "stage."  So we just had her sit in the pew.  She was sad when she put 2 + 2 together and saw all the angels up there :o( but it was the right decision.  Maybe next year.  So, other than Gemma, they had a great time and made fantastic memories while learning a valuable lesson about the real meaning of the season.
My wild & crazy kids
 Then we went to grammae and papa's to open gifts.... to be continued... ;o)

Pre-Christmas festivities

Someone got ahold of the camera...can you guess who??

 Later that day:
Reading to the kids (a favorite activity of all)

New Seasons shopping on a Friday afternoon=samples!

Grandma's happy

Christmas Fun Day--the food!

Deschutes Brewpub is our usual restaurant of choice.  Fantastic food, very kid-friendly but still "cool" for the adults, and of course lots of beer.  (I don't like beer...but I sure do love their food.)  For the complete delicious menu go to:

I got the Portabello Mushroom "burger" and the
sweet potato fries.

Yellow Belly burger: 
(Voted Best Burger at Brew ‘n Burgers, 2011)
Seared Coleman Ranch beef, root beer braised pork belly, jalapeno pesto, whipped goat cheese and candied yellow tomatoes on fresh baked pretzel bread roll 

We thought Uncle Joe would like this
beer bottle tree.
And what do we have for dessert? ....
Saint Cupcake of course!!  Coconut for Marcus, mini for
grandma, chocolate cake with white frosting for grandpa,
red velvet for Gemma and Bunny, swirl for James, and
salted carmel for me (Mariposa got the big top, not pictured)

We had a fabulous day!!!!  Another Christmas Fun Day in the books.  Until next year....

Christmas Fun Day--visit to Santa

Every year about this time, we plan a "Christmas Fun Day" in Portland.  Marcus and I pick a school day and drive all the kids downtown for a visit to Macy's, dinner, and dessert (sometimes a trip to the toy store, too!).  This year was a little different: we postponed our trip a week so that we could include grandpa and grandma (yay!!!) and we went to town in the morning so we could have lunch and then make it back for a Christmas play practice in the afternoon.  So on Thursday we bundled up and braved the wet winter storm to continue with a happily-modified version of our annual tradition.
On our way to Macy's

Seddy's first Christmas

This is the first "meaningful" Christmas for Gemma.
Everything was magical to her.

Every kid got some one-on-one time with
the big guy.  The best part for the adults...
no line!  (Yay homeschooling!)

This is one of the monorail cars that used to zoom around
attached to the ceiling.

SOOO happy to share all of this with
grandma and grandpa!

Writing letters to Santa

James wrote Mariposa's for her

Sunday, December 23, 2012

G&G preschool

Grandpa helped Gemma with preschool the other day.  This honor is usually held by Bunny, who does "preschool" with Gemma to keep her busy for one hour each school day, so I can work with Mariposa.  It is a lesson in colors, shapes, and numbers for Gemma...and a lesson in patience for the teacher.  This day, Gemma was a great student, no doubt thanks to an excellent teacher.  :o)