Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas Day.

To capture the magic of Christmas 2011, I will begin with the canine members of our family... they were the easiest and most happy to be photographed.
Turkey relished in a sunbath nap with his girl...
and Penny happily stood guard over her boys while they tested out their new games.
Every Christmas eve, our family wears new pajamas so the we look stylish and fun on Christmas morning. This year our friend Carly suggested we all wear kimonos and since Carly is extremely hip, we took her advice. Here are the dudes of the family posing. Karl is being as macho as possible while wearing a kimono and a parakeet.
 Here are the women of the house... Rosie said that she was going to make a sad face in the picture and there wasn't anything I could do to cajole her into not looking glum. She had a very fun Christmas, but you could never tell from the photos of the day.

Here is the whole Christmas kimono team on Christmas morning. Jamie is showing off his favorite gift, a Harry Potter wand and Henry got his new favorite game..."SORRY!"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Jesus Christ.

Rosie has been doing her best to wrap her mind around Christmas but it's been a challenge for her to piece it all together. The one thing she is certain of is that Jesus Christ is someone who is important and that he is having a birthday party very soon and she is invited to it. So quite conversationally she has been asking people... "were you invited to Jesus Christ's birthday party?"Henry got especially frustrated with Rosie acting as though she was invited to an exclusive "A" list party and I overheard him trying to set her straight.
"It's Christmas! Jesus' birthday is called Christmas and it's not just for you and your friends, everyone can come to Christmas, Rose... stop acting like you're the only one in our family invited somewhere... The whole world could celebrate Christmas if they felt like it, not just you!
Lily explaining the first Christmas to Rosie.
While the whole world (if they felt like it) celebrating one birthday is too big for Rosie to imagine, choosing the perfect birthday gift for Jesus is a task she feels she is up for.
She would like to buy Jesus a Princess Barbie doll... in Rosie's world Jesus is an almost 4 year old girl. Lily has explained to her that we celebrate Christmas by being really nice to each other and we give each other gifts because Jesus wanted us to be really nice on his birthday, but Rosie prefers the enormous birthday party concept instead.
Lily tried to explain again when we went to visit the nativity at the conservatory... "we celebrate Christmas because that little baby named Jesus was born."
Rosie was alarmed that there was a real donkey and a cow so close to the faux Holy Family... "Jesus Christ looks nervous because that cow might bite him."
Which Lily thought was the funniest comment ever.
And then we bumped into Santa who gave her a candy cane and asked what she wanted for Christmas,
"Jesus Christ wants a princess Barbie doll," is what she told the big guy.
Fortunately this Santa was the nod and smile kind of Santa who seemed to be a bit hard of hearing and didn't ask her to explain. Lily told her that Santa Claus is the guy who brings presents on Christmas eve to celebrate Jesus's birthday, which Rosie thought was the funniest, goofiest, thing she ever heard.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Counting Down.

4 days
12 hours 
22 mins
21 seconds.
You can see how excited Santa is about this on Lily's countdown to Christmas clock.
He's fairly bursting from his snowy chimney.
Santa is completely and totally ready for Christmas.

There have been times during the past few weeks when I felt a smidge like the deliriously happy Santa-
but mostly I feel more like "Elfy" our kinda creepy little Elf on a Shelf.
Here he is posing on our kitchen clock.
Elfy spent his first couple of weeks in December lamely shuffling between a couple high ledges around the kitchen. Now that Anna is home he has turned into adventure elf and doesn't mind taking a few scotch tape risks.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bee-ing Brave.

 Immediately following the middle school spelling bee today, our school principal thanked all of the  spellers for participating and reminded them of their bravery.
He told them all that it took a lot of courage to stand up and take a risk of being wrong, especially in front of your class, and he thanked them for their courage in taking that risk.

 Lily was one of the students who represented her 5th grade class in the bee. She maintained a calm exterior, but afterwards she told me that she was really nervous and had "like, a whole flock of butterflies" in her belly.

She was fortunate in that she had a ton of telepathic support. When it was Lily's turn to spell, I noticed that a few of her friends in the audience had closed their eyes and crossed their fingers in order to send her some good spelling vibes. It was a nice display of 5th grade solidarity and Lily was quite touched by this... me too. 

She did really well and hung on until the 4th round... the tough word that stumped her was damagable, oops... I mean... "damageable."

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holy Cow...and sheep.

Jamie and Henry got to play the very holy livestock who witnessed the birth of Christ in our church Christmas pageant. They both did a convincing job... Jamie was a poised and serene spotted cow and Henry a wooly sheep. 
They stayed in character and posed attentively as the story of the first Christmas unfolded around them. They was a bit of excitement when the sudden great host of many angels appeared all around and things got pretty intense. A few of the more expressive little angels needed more space to flap their wings and weren't too shy about it. They were boisterous and quite determined, and to be fair, the livestock really did need to scootch over a bit so they could make their most important point. One kind mom apologized to me afterwards for her little angel daughter throwing a roller derby style elbow at my sheep. My little sheep didn't really seem to notice and afterwards the sheep and roller derby angel remained friends and enjoyed post show cookies together. 
It's all good.    
Because the pageant actors did double duty as the choir, the holy cow and sheep stood up to sing after little lord Jesus was born. This might be my favorite photo ever of a singing sheep.  
There was some down time too... show business isn't always glamorous and glitzy.
Lily played Silent Night post pageant and I didn't realize that her soft and fuzzy red holiday scarf looks exactly like a red feather boa until just now. 
Holy cow post pageant, noshing on cocoa and cookies.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tiny Sneaky Toothbrusher

Rosie the Riveter looking every bit the tiny +  maniacal dental hygienist.

Rosie got a brand new mermaid tooth brush that she loves very much.
She loves it so much, in fact that she wants to share it.
But she doesn't really want anyone else to touch it because she really doesn't trust anyone with her "new beautiful tooth brusher."
Her solution is to sneak up on unsuspecting family members and brush their teeth while they aren't looking.
Which isn't cool and only served in annoying her siblings.

The other night, I awoke from deep sleep with my dear girl trying to brush my teeth.
As you can imagine, this is intrusive and weird, but I really wasn't surprised.

What I find most interesting is her process of thought.
She must have woke up at 3:00 in very early morning (late night?) and thought to herself
"hmmm... right now seems like a really good time to brush my mom's teeth?"
And then, what fascinates me the most, is that she had the follow through to get up and go find her new "beautiful tooth brusher" in the bathroom and try to sneak in some parental dental hygiene in the wee hours.
So I guess that how her mind works...
She has a new cool toothbrush and wants to brush someones teeth, but doesn't really want to share it.
Mom is sound asleep in the next room.
Connect the dots and... BINGO!
Rosie's best 3:00 am idea ever.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

And the Band Played On...

Lily and about 29 of her fellow 5th graders had their very first band concert last night.

It was the most impressive concert I have ever attended.

The band played 11 songs all together... all at the same time.

To be clear... as a group, these 30 began playing their trumpets, clarinets, flutes, trombones and one baritone, all on the same note... and then, remarkably, they all stopped at the exact same time.
It was amazing.

Everyone in the band is new to their instrument. In September, during her first few weeks of band, Lily could only play her flute for a few minutes before she would get dizzy and come close to fainting. This seemed like a problem to me, but Ms. Nowlin took it as a matter of course and taught her some different breathing techniques.
And offered a ton of encouragement.
And then, 12 weeks later, this one intrepid band teacher gave a concert where 30 ten year olds played eleven different songs on five different instruments.
I really can't wrap my mind around how a mere mortal does something like this. 
I am pretty sure that Ms. Nowlin is some sort of a band teaching genius.
With the patience of a saint.
And a sense of humor like no other.
From breathy squeaks to Jingle Bells in just 3 months.

Bravo, Ms. standing ovation to you.
As the mom of a fifth grade flutist,
I very much appreciate your optimism, talent and kindly perseverance.
Lily post show, playing a solo encore for an audience of one mom.