Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Merry Christmas! (just a tad late...)

 (What? Oh. Yes. I know it's January. Hmmm? YES, I KNOW it's not the beginning of it, either! At least it's not February. Yet. If I keep piddling away my evenings writing prefaces like this, it will be... Focus, Fiona!)
Just some Christmas-time pics... this has been a very, VERRRY different Christmas than the last couple of ones.  Those were snowy and cold and filled with stuff like European Christmas markets. And snow. And coldness.  THIS Christmas, I'd get a pang here or there, like seeing a photo from our snowy winters in BG, but overall I was thrilled with the weather here! Thrilled, I say.  We went out and rode bikes on Christmas day! YAhoooo! Anyway, we were trying to keep the season not-too-busy, but I'm not sure we accomplished that. We had fun, and made cookies, and hung out with friends, and read Christmas stories, and talked lots about Jesus, and tried to do good, and tried really hard to BE good (some of us were better at that than others...), and drank Daddy's wassail and egg nog, and sang Christmas carols, and watched Christmas movies, and made Christmas artwork, and performed in/watched school Christmas performances, and had fun. Yes, I think we did.
The very wet and chilly Christmas market celebration on base. It was unpleasant, we would all agree. At least Rudolph had a warm cozy suit to snuggle inside.

Maeve was getting restless (and probably slightly numb) after waiting in line for an hour to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. Some nice lady running a little craft booth under an awning lent us her umbrella. Now THAT'S the Christmas Spirit!

Woohoo! Was the wait worth it? Probably not, but it was the only Santa they met the whole season, and I'm sure the fact that they DID sit on his lap outshines the sogginess of the HOUR-long wait.  Obviously it does for me! ;)

Okay. Oh my goodness... I never quite grasped how cute and awesome and hilarious little school programs, of any sort, I'm sure, are. Now that I have my own little performers... Wow! It was honestly one of, if not THE highlight of December for me.  All the kindergarteners put on a little performance during lunchtime one Friday in the Food Court, but only two classes at a time. I love Ms. Parker so much. She's N&B's teacher. She is just wonderful. I'm going to be so sad when Kindergarten's over. Sigh. Anyway, it was a fabulous little performance. The kids looked great, they sang a bunch of terrific songs, one of which was Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer in JAPANESE. Yep, it was totally cute. Nuala was one of the loudest kiddos up there. No problem hearing her.  So far she's a "quantity-over-quality" kinda gal when it comes to singing, hehehee... Bran seemed slightly unsure much of the time. Most likely b/c he's just not as into paying attention as Nuala is, so he was not 127% prepared, like her.  She was dressed as an angel, and Bran as a reindeer. So dang cute.  I was grinning the whole time. 
See? There they are at the very beginning, on the end of the rows.
And again... Awwww... they are just the cutest!!! Obviously them being my offspring has little to do with my thinking that.
Bran focusing on playing his part. (Kaden, the little fella that has made plans with Nuala to get married when they're older, is the 3rd from the end on the bottom riser. So his hands are just about touching Bran's ear.  He and Nuala have a "special bond," as Ms. Parker puts it. He's N's favorite friend in the class, and goes to church with us.  It's really cute, the conversations he and Nuala have had abt getting married, and KISSING (yikes), etc. Wait, conversations about kissing, specifically abt how they will do that when they're MUCH older... not actual kissing...)
Just an overview, because I know you want to set the stage in your mind...
Nuala after the angels moved up to the top row. She was a very enthusiastic singer.
Bran, looking a bit more into it now.  Is that a smile? Why, yes. Yes, it is!
Nuala, the towering angel.  The cute little blond guy in the very middle is Bran's BFF, Jack.  He's not only in their kindergarten class, but goes to church with us, also, just like Kaden. Bran LOVES him. They're a sweet little pair. Sweet little guys who get a bit rambunctious and sometimes have to be separated, but still... would you expect any less?
Afterwards the class ate pizza in the Food Court, and had all sorts of treats. It was such a fun afternoon! I LOVE kindergarten!!! And their teacher, and all their little classmates. Gush, gush, gusssshhhhhh... There.
My friend, Megan, had a special Family Home Evening one Monday and invited several families from church and the neighborhood.  Nuala, Bran, and Maeve told the story of the Nativity for our little part. Nuala drew a picture of Mary and Joseph being told there was no room at the inn, and Bran drew a pic of the actual birth. Well, not the actual birth, but the stable, and baby Jesus, and all.  Maeve wore a crown and a little woven vest and was supposed to be a wise man, or a wise princess, or something. She earned that part by surprising us with the tidbit, "they gave baby Jesus SPICES!" when we were playing with our Nativity set. Good job, nursery leaders.  The spices she brought were a little more mundane than the original ones, but still lovely... cinnamon with glittery bows on it.  That extra little kiddo is Fiona (I know! That's MY name!), Megan's little girl.
The day we decorated the Christmas tree, Nuala decided it needed a little more "oomph!"  so she got all our plastic ball-pit balls and nestled them amongst the branches. They actually looked pretty cool!
 Yummm.... Christmas Eve tamales! We've gotten better, overall, at making them.  They turned out looking beautiful, but I bet if we had found just plain cornmeal and not had to use corn muffin mix, they would have tasted better. Less sweet. Today I bought plain cornmeal, but it's a little late, I guess...

Humoring the wife.
Cookies left out for Santa.  And there's Syrup, our "Elf on the Shelf."  He's kinda sporadic in his movements, and thank GOODNESS doesn't leave messes for me to clean up, but sometimes he bring the kids treats, or notes, and they love him. Nuala has been lobbying to change his name to "Candy Cane," poor little guy. I can only imagine the confusion. 
"Cheers!" Having fun with Maeve's tea set from Auntie Maria.
Hehehee... I was ridiculously proud of my gingerbread people. Aren't they cute? That one's all, "ahhhh! You're gonna eat me!" And the grandpa one? Haha! Ahem. Yes, I liked them...  Oh! The yummiest, easiest icing/glaze is this:  powdered sugar and lemon juice.  I can't remember what the "recipe" is... 2 cups pwdered sugar to however much lemon juice it takes to get the right consistency... I'm sure you can google it, but it's so easy, and soooooo delicious! Nice and tangy.  Anyway.

The rascals sprinkling "reindeer food" on the lawn.  They made it at school... glitter and oatmeal! Then Nuala lost her bag, but luckily we were able to whip up a batch at home. Then she found her bag the next day. And, for the record, Maeve was up before 5 looking at the presents, and Nuala had come in before then telling us all about them, and then Bran popped in at 5:30 and we were all up and down from then on. Z and I got a nice nap later on, though... ohhhh yeah!

The kiddos got some nice presents.  Nuala's favorites were her own easel/paints set, and a little purple beret.  Berets, of course, help you paint better.  I love her easel set.  The drawer with her paints and brushes and stuff slides right inside, and the easel just folds down, and it came with a nice black bag it all fits in. And it all goes right under her bed! Our house is little. I like it, but there's really no extra space for lotsa stuff.

I just wanted to put a pic of their window decorations they made at school in here. They're really pretty, and the light coming through them in the afternoon is lovely. Maeve loves "the rainbows!".

Snowmen they made from the craft kit Grandma Buttons sent.
Annnnd.... pictures in front of the tree.  For some reason our good camera had a moment of weakness and made them kinda blurry (yes, we've given it a talking-to. We don't anticipate it happening again, but you know... cameras these days!) ... but you get the idea...
Me and the rascals.  I didn't get one of Z.   We could photoshop his head onto my body here... hmmmm....
Cuteness.  They are RASCALS in every sense of the word (unless there are some senses I'm not familiar with, just as a disclaimer), and are the best little rascals we could've asked for. Also, Nuala put her own side ponytail in, and really wanted it to stay. Just so ya know. I kinda hope that you would have guessed that anyway...

The Muffin Man.
Nuala Badoola!
And our little Gator!  We had a lovely Christmas, and know we are very blessed.  Merry Christmas (late), and a happy New Year (not-soooo-so-late)!


Tara said...

Oh, my goodness, that pic of all three of them in front of the tree is so gorgeous! And N&B are so, so cute in their costumes, I bet that was the cutest performance ever. Nuala makes such a cute little artist, too. Love the whole family pic too, despite your naughty camera, your hair looks really good!

pauline said...

Hi ... all those pics are beautiful... it looked like lots of busy fun. The fam pics by the tree are lovely... I really like how great your gingerbread cookies look, and I can almost taste the tanginess of the little bits of decor frosting ... with the lemon/powd sugar mix. I hafta remember that (not a chance of remembering... but maybe logic'll dictate it as a good option...) Thanks for sharing! Love, Mom (Dad too) xox

zachariah said...

It's a shame Christmas comes and goes so quickly...

Grandma said...

I'm late responding. Just wanted to say what a delight Christmas was at your house. The pictures are beautiful and full of fun. I don't know of any Mom whether she had 1 or 10 children that doesn't get excited about their child being in a Christmas program. I miss them here. In Maria's school they don't sing Christmas songs or do programs anymore It isn't politically correct to display anything about Jesus.