Saturday, December 20, 2014

Class Christmas Parties

Thursday and Friday were the kids class Christmas parties.  They all decorated cookies, played games, and made crafts.  It was a sweet celebration at the mid-way point in their school years and fun for me to see them with their friends.

On Thursday evening Handley was writing a thank you note and she told me, "I'm going to be so excited after Christmas because I just LOVE writing thank you notes."  I laughed and she replied with, "Really!  I don't know why, but I just love it." I thought it was so funny for her to say that because I also love writing thank you notes and from very early on I have tried to train the kids that it is the thing to do after someone gives you a gift or does something nice for you.  She's turning into Little Miss Manners, which I love. :-)

And one more quick picture from an impromptu dinner and movie night with neighbors.  We walked over to the burger place across the street from our neighborhood and then went back to their house so the kids could watch a movie (complete with popcorn from the popcorn maker) and the adults could chat.  It was a fun night and I'm so thankful we have become such great friends with them!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Happenings at School

Every year I say I'm going to get my shopping done early so that I can "enjoy" the Season, but I feel like every year I end up running around at the last minute trying to get everything done. 

I spend most of last week doing my last minute running around though because this week has been dedicated to all sorts of fun at the schools.  I have been and will be at one or both schools every single day this week (sometimes, twice) for one thing or another.  It's all fun stuff though and I'm so happy our schools plan meaningful experiences with and for the kids.  

On Monday, Santa came to visit at Hudson's school!  Parents weren't able to attend, but his teacher is always so great about taking pictures for us, so I got these a little later on that day.  

 He really does have the sweetest bunch of kids in his class.  He's usually falls into that "sweet" category, but we have had some major fit-throwing going on this week.  I don't know if it is because he is tired, because he is as stubborn as his Daddy, or if he is just at that age, but I've had to threaten to call Santa on more than one occasion.

This morning I got to be in Harper's class for their gingerbread house decorating.  She's been talking about this all week and all of the kids were super excited.  They were most excited about all of the candy.  Their sweet teacher told them all every time she rang the bell, they could pick one piece of candy to eat from the table.  You should have heard the squeals and giggles every time they heard the bell!

I've spent all evening finishing up teacher gifts for the girls, prepping for their class parties tomorrow, and getting myself organized for another busy, but fun day.  The countdown in on.  Only 2 more days until Winter Break!!!  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Georgia Aquarium - Dolphin Encounter

Handley's sweet friend, Avery, has a love of dolphins.  This darling child knows more about dolphins than anyone I've ever met.  She wants to be a dolphin trainer when she grows up and I would bet money that she will continue on that path.  Last year for her birthday she did the dolphin encounter at the Georgia Aquarium for her 7th birthday (as a Georgia Aquarium policy, all children must be 7 years of age or older to do the experience).  This year for her birthday, she wanted to do the encounter again, but with a friend, and she chose Handley.  Her mom planned the whole day without either of the girls knowing and it was a big surprise for both of them that they were going today.  I woke Handley up this morning and told her she needed to get dressed and eat breakfast quickly because she was going to have a play date with Avery.  She was really excited just to see Avery and you can imagine how excited she was when Avery arrived and told her what they were doing!

I loved that they had a photographer there taking pictures of the entire experience for the girls!   

Not only did they get to do the dolphin encounter, but they also got to spend the entire day at the aquarium.  Handley came home telling us all her amazing experience and says she wants to do the dolphin encounter for her birthday, too.

Last year before school started I knew that Handley wouldn't know a single soul at her new school, but I prayed that she would meet new friends and at least have one friend in her class that she would connect with.  I never could have imagined the sweet friendship that she and Avery would have developed and I'm so thankful for friends like her for Handley!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Gingerbread Houses 2014

It is sort of becoming a tradition for the kids to make gingerbread houses each year with Gigi.  Last night she came over to babysit so I could go to a work dinner with Robby.  She took the opportunity to be here with them at Christmas time and ran with it!  Upon arrival she had the kids help unload a gingerbread house for each of them, platters to display them on and enough candy and icing to decorate about 20 houses!!! They were so excited and couldn't wait for me to leave so they could get started!

When I got home later on I was super impressed with how well they decorated them.  I was actually a bit shocked at how well thought out they were with their designs.  Gigi took lots of pictures so we could see all the fun they had.

This morning when I woke them for school, they were each so proud to show us what they had made and tell us all about it.

Harper's house

Hudson's house

Handley's house

Monday, December 8, 2014

Annual Pink Pig and Santa Visit

This afternoon we met up with Tiara, Christy, Jen and all of our kids to ride the Pink Pig and see Santa!  This little Christmas outing was started 7 years ago when Tiara and I took Avery and Handley for the first time.  We loved it so much that we knew it had to become an annual tradition.

The kids were really looking forward to it today and I was, too!  I love seeing my friends I don't see that often and the kids always have so much fun together.

Right after school Handley did her homework quickly and they we got dressed and ready to go meet our friends.  They've grown older and bigger each year, but they still get just as excited to see Pricilla and take a ride on the Pink Pig!

Everyone had their tickets and waited patiently in line for our turn.  

These two girls were beyond excited and ready!  

And then it was finally their turn to hop on for a few rides through the life-sized storybook.  

After our ride we were off to see Santa!!!  We love going to Lenox on a weekday after school because there is really never any wait.  Last night the kids wrote their letters to Santa to have ready with us today.

Handley's list included a pink or turquoise bike and Bazooka gum.  

Harper really wants an American Girl Doll with straight hair (so it won't get tangled) and a camper for her dolls.  

Hudson is hoping for a toy bow and arrow and a Power Wheels Jeep.  

Tiara sent me this sweet picture of the girls that she took.  They were comparing their lists and I just love that they are still such great friends, despite not living close to each other anymore.  They always seem to pick right up where they left off.

When it was our turn to sit on Santa's lap, Hudson ran right up and gave him a big hug.  He's been really working to have good behavior and wanted to tell Santa all about it.  Santa took a long time with each of the kids to read their list and ask if they had been good.  He even asked Hudson if he'd been eating his dinner well which is hilarious becuase that is actually something he has been trying to do to be on the nice list.  In fact, last night he was refusing to eat anything when we went out to eat, but then after reminding him about Santa he tried some of the mac-n-cheese and ended up cleaning the plate!

After everyone had their turn with Santa we had dinner in the food court together and then it was time to go home.  My kids were not ready to go and wanted more time with their friends, but it was a wonderful evening and sweet, sweet memories were made!

The Nutcracker

Before Thanksgiving, one of my good friends told myself and another friend about a local production of the Nutcracker and asked if we would be interested in all going together.  Our girls all dance together and are the sweetest of friends, so I jumped online and got tickets right away.

We decided to keep it a surprise for the girls, so none of them knew they were going or meeting each other there until we got there.  In the morning I told the girls we were going to do something special and helped them get dressed and ready.  They were so cute trying to make guesses as to what the surprise might be and I kept it from them until we arrived.  Needless to say, they were super excited and even more thrilled when they saw their friends there, too!

Our tickets for yesterday included a tea that began an hour before the show and we had been told that it would be so much fun for the girls.  The principal dancers were out in the lobby signing autographs and our girls just ate it up.  They ran from dancer to dancer to get the next autograph and were in awe being up close to them and their beautiful costumes.

They also had a few additional characters in attendance and as soon as Harper spotted Olaf she took off running to give him a big hug. It was the sweetest thing ever!

After the girls got all their autographs they filled up their plates with snacks and treats and then stood in line for face painting!  

It was finally time for the show to begin and we were in the balcony, but because the theater was small, we still had a great view and the girls were entertained the entire time.

This production was put on by The Roswell Dance Theater, Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance, and it was a fantastic event.  It was close to where we live, parking was a breeze, the dancers did a phenomenal job and the costuming and choreography was superb.  I would highly recommend it to anyone local.  The entire program was top-notch and I have a feeling this will become a new tradition for us!

On the way home Handley kept saying "thank you for taking us" and I know both girls loved our little outing and a special day with their friends.