Monday, December 15, 2008

it's the most wonderful time of the year...

It's also the busiest time of the year, LOL! Last week was pretty much a blur for me, but I did manage to take some pictures in the middle of all the busy-ness.

Dec. 7th, between church in the morning and taking Em to Confirmation in the evening, George and I worked on hanging all of our outside Christmas lights. My fingers were too cold to take a picture of that, but I did snap this one later that night, of our favorite holiday drink. All 5 of us LOVE egg nog, and especially AE eggnog (from Iowa) ~ thank you to Mom and Dad for bringing this for us at Thanksgiving! It is the best eggnog evah!: Dec. 8th, it had been snowing most of the day, and the kids couldn't wait to go out and play! They went out in the afternoon, and again after supper, when I snapped these pics:

Dec. 9th, just a *few* of the snowmen from my collection... I think I have over 200!:

Dec. 10th, I took the kids to see the fun lights at North School Park in Arlington Heights:

We then went to church so that Nick could attend his drama practice. As soon as that was over, we hurried to pick George up from work, grab a quick supper at McDonald's, and then we went to Nick's school choral concert:
Dec. 11th, lots of people know that I LOVE snowmen and collect them, but did you know I collect Santas, too? LOL I think I have around 50 of them:

Dec. 12th, in the evening, we dropped Emmalie off at a school dance, and then the rest of us headed for a ride on the Polar Express! We started out at this train station:
Here comes our train:
Ben loved the ride to the "North Pole"... aka Elgin:
Once there, we got in line to see Santa. Ben hid out under my coat:
But did finally agree to go up and see Santa, as long as I was with him:

We made crafts at the train station, ate a snack, and sang carols. All the kids were given a jingle bell from Santa ~ Ben took his outside and tried to make a train appear by ringing it, LOL, but for some reason, that didn't work:
Around 10:10pm, we got back on the Polar Express and headed home.

Dec. 13th, we all drove to church right after lunch. Nick had a dress rehearsal for the nativity play, and Em and I were busy helping with scenery, costumes, and props. Meanwhile, George and Ben joined in on a gingerbread house activity:

The 2 of them made this awesome house!:
At 3, it was time for the play, Follow the Star. Nick was a shepherd (he's the one at the microphone here): All of the little kids are encouraged to be shepherds or angels, as well, and to join the big shepherds on stage during their big moment. Here is Shepherd Ben:
All the kids did a great job!:
Here's Nick, after the play (with the sheep he received from my friend Katy when she was visiting from Scotland!):
Dec. 14th, we were at church all morning because Nick was in yet another play that he and the drama team performed at both the 9 and 10:30 services. (I forgot my camera, ack!) I did get this photo of some of our Christmas decor back at home, though:

Thank goodness this week should be a little less busy....

Saturday, December 06, 2008

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

It hasn't even been a full week yet of December, but it sure looks like Christmas at our house! :)

Dec. 1st... "Let It Snow"... here is Ben, playing out in our first real snow of the season. He insisted on helping me shovel, too, LOL:

Dec. 2nd... "Deck the Halls"... we finally trimmed the tree we'd bought on Sunday:

Then I attempted our traditional Christmas card photo shoot. I mostly got shots like these:

but did finally get a few good ones like this: Dec. 3rd... "Away in a Manger"... our new nativity set. Well, the people are new, but Nick already had the plastic animals:

Dec. 4th... "O Christmas Tree"... we finally got ALL of our Christmas trees up. Besides the big real tree in the living room, we also have several smaller fake trees ~ one for each room, in fact. This one is on the entertainment center in our living room ~ I've had this tree (along with the star and snowflakes I made) since college!:
This is our cookie tree in the kitchen:
I have 2 snowman trees in my bedroom, a bigger one:
and a smaller one:
Em used to just have an angel/fairy theme on hers, but apparently this year the theme is "the more the better", LOL:
Nick and Ben's tree has animals (for Nick) and trains (for Ben):
This one is in our penguin bathroom: This one is in our fishy bathroom:And this one is in our scraputer room ~ the ornaments were all created with scrapbook supplies, by me and some of my friends: Dec. 5th... "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town"... George, Nick, Ben, and I went over to the Village Hall for the annual Luminaria celebration there. (Em was sleeping over at a friend's.) All day long, Ben had been telling me that he couldn't wait to go see Santa, sit on his lap, and tell him that he wants Santa to bring trains and race cars for "Cri-mas". When we arrived at Village Hall, we got into the line to see Santa. Here we are at the back of the line:
We didn't have to wait very long to get to the front of the line, and as we got closer and closer, Ben looked more and more like this:
He would NOT go anywhere near Santa, even if I went with him. Nick talked to Santa for a bit, and gave him his own list and Ben's:
Mrs. Claus was there, too: Then I walked back behind Santa so we could at least get a picture with both Ben and Santa in it, LOL. Santa talked to Ben a bit and gave him a candy cane. Ben did agree to high-five Santa, but still clung to me, tears streaming down his face:
After that, we had cookies and hot cocoa, and went out into the freezing cold:
to watch them light this tree and the surrounding ones: Dec. 6th... "The 12 Days of Christmas"... that was the theme of our church's Christmas Luncheon this year. Em went with me, and we enjoyed all the yummy food (it was a potluck):
as well as the singing group, New Beginnings, that performed fun Christmas songs for us after dinner:

It's been a busy week!