Friday, December 10, 2010

holiday happenings

December is always such a busy month! We've been cramming it full of fun things, though, and, as always, I've been taking pictures. :)

We started getting out all the Christmas decorations on the 1st. It took almost 2 full days to get everything in place... and that's not counting our main Christmas tree! I took this photo one of the days, after I'd unpacked a bunch of my snowman figurines, and before I'd put them on display in our hutch and around the dining room. I have just a few snowmen.... ;) On the 3rd, I helped Ben write a letter to Santa Claus:

We put it in a special mailbox just for Santa at the park district building where Ben has preschool:
That night we headed over to Village Hall for the Luminaria celebration. The high school choir was there, to perform various Christmas carols throughout the event. Emmalie has been unable to take choir this year because of scheduling conflicts, but she knows several choir members and also the director (who was her choir director in middle school). A friend suggested that Emm join in with the singing, and Mr. Hain agreed to it, so Emmalie got to be part of the choir for the evening. :) (She's in the back, with the white and blue hat.)

After they performed several songs, we went outside for the tree lighting ceremony. There were luminaries like this one everywhere:
Nick, Ben, and I walked around the veteran's memorial park while we waited:
Finally it was time to light the trees. Two children were chosen (through a lottery system) to flip the switch, and then, ta da! A blaze of light!
We went back inside afterwards to see Santa and Mrs. Claus:
Ben had a great time chilling with Santa (who suggested they take a nap, LOL... I don't think Ben was quite as tired as Santa!):

One more shot of the village trees and luminaries:
We had no snow for Luminaria this year, which is pretty unusual. The next morning, however, we were excited to wake up to this:

Nick's heated birdbath:
and some of his feeders:
Nick, making a snowman:
Later that day, Emmalie and I drove to church for the WELCA Christmas Luncheon. The food was scrumptious, as always. Here is one of the 2 tables that were filled with wonderful dishes:

Three wonderful choir groups from Palatine High entertained us with song:
Me and Emm:
Shortly after we returned home, we all drove over to Home Depot and picked out a Christmas tree, a Fraser fir this time. We spent the rest of the evening decorating it and watching Christmas movies:

All finished:

On the 5th, we went to our regular church service in the morning, then stayed in town, eating lunch at McDonald's and hanging out at the awesome Arlington Heights library until it was time to go back to church again. At 2, it was gingerbread house-building time!
We each took turns putting our own touches on the house:

Emmalie and Nick made the fondant door, Ben decorated the tree and the windows, I helped with the M&M's, and George helped with the wreath:
Emm made this window and decorated the gingerbread man. We all worked on the roof:
Nick created the snowman and Emm put up the fence. The Tootsie Roll woodpile was an idea of George's last year that we used again this year:
Ben decorated these windows:
At 4pm, it was time for the nativity play, Follow the Star. All the little kids are encouraged to help out with one of the scenes, so Ben decided he would be a shepherd and his friend Ben, who sat with us for the play, decided to be an angel:
Here they are, during their scene:

Afterwards, Ben the shepherd went to check out our church's creche:
Then we all went back into the fellowship hall for the special Advent dinner. We sat with our friends Ben and Kirstin. (Our gingerbread house was used for our table's centerpiece.):
Later on this week, the kids and I did a photo shoot, to come up with a picture to put in our Christmas cards. It always amazes me how difficult it is to get all 3 to look at the camera at the same time and smile! After several shots similar to this one:
we finally ended up with one I could use:
I took a few individual shots:

plus some of Emm and Ben cuddling:
and kissing under the mistletoe:

Also during the week, I managed to take this shot. I know it looks posed, but I promise it wasn't! I was busy with some other things, then noticed Ben flipping through this catalog and gazing longingly at all the fun toys inside. I quietly reached for my camera and snapped this:
On the 9th we attended Nick's school's winter concert and listened to the 5th and 6th graders perform several holiday songs. (Nick is in the middle of the back row, in the light blue shirt.):

Now we are gearing up for another busy week. Hopefully it will be as fun as the rest of the month has been!


Blogger Katy Cameron said...

Wow, another fun month for you guys, and that santa was fab!

December 13, 2010 3:25 PM  

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