Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Programs

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We had three Christmas programs to attend this year. I guess that's one of the perils of a large family LOL. First was Allegra's Christmas program for Maple Grove Elementary on Thursday the 18th. She was very cute and got to be a dancing reindeer stage - I'd like to say her extensive ballet experience shown through during her dancing, but that might just be bias LOL. Then we had Ian's preschool program later that same day. He looked oh-so-handsome in his shirt and tie. On Sunday it was the children's Sunday School program at church. Ian sang a few songs first as a part of Children's Church and then Hero and Allegra were a part of an entire program for King's Corner (the older kids). Hero soloed with her cousin Oriana on It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (my favorite Christmas carol) and Allegra sang a trio with two other girls for The First Noel. We were all dressed up nicely, but unfortunately since we were running late (as usual) we didn't take any holiday family pictures. We have a few of the girls during the program, at least.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's a...

GIRL!!! I cannot believe that after two baby boys in a row we are expecting a baby girl as our tiebreaker. It was clear as day from the ultrasound and she looked oh-so-adorable (of course). I can't wait to look at baby girl stuff again. Now we have to start thinking names...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Music

We are almost complete with the round of holiday recitals and concerts. Hero and Allegra played at the Festival of Trees and they and Ian played at the piano studio Christmas recital (quite frankly I don't know how they found the time to work on their pieces with all the Nutcracker rehearsals). Hero played jazzy versions of Deck The Halls and Away in a Manger, Allegra played Up on the Housetop and Jingle Bells and Ian played Away in a Manger (he did awesome, although I was super-nervous because you just never know with him). I try not to imagine how many hours of practice I'll be supervising once I have FIVE kids in music lessons, yikes!! Lord grant me patience... On Friday is my violin studio recital (Hero's playing) so that's the last holiday music hurdle to clear LOL.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trimming the Trees

I was slow in my duties this year and I did not have the Christmas trees both completely decorated by the day after Thanksgiving. Oh well LOL. We purchased our first artificial tree this year - I was tired of drooping garland, pokey needles, and spilled water all over and James graciously agreed that I could have one fake tree. We purchased it through Senske and it is beautiful. It's a bit shorter than what we usually have (7.5 ft) because I wanted a multicolor tree and they didn't make the 9ft with multicolor lights, but it's super full and works beautifully in the living room. It has LED lights so it's so very bright. We kept with the traditional real Noble Fir in the music room. It's the tallest tree we've gotten yet at 11 ft (it was SO heavy, it took three people to bring it inside). James wasn't feeling it so much as he had to do the bulk of the lighting and decorating because I didn't want to be up and down on the ladder, but with my helpful (right, honey?) coaching he did a great job. The kids were very in to decorating and hanging ornaments this year, as a matter of fact I think they did the majority of the ornament hanging. After we finally finished (I skipped the tinsel this year because I just didn't have the heart to make James do it) we all enjoyed mugs of fresh-off-the-stove hot cocoa with marshmallows (even Colin). I have pictures of the living room tree, but none of the music room tree as my pics didn't turn out. I love the pictures of Colin at the bottom trying to "plug in" the tree with the vacuum cord. He would hold it up to the lights and wait for them to turn on.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More Baby Pics

I can't believe how fast time is flying (as cliche as I know that sounds). Tomorrow I'll be 17 weeks pregnant and then on December 19th (9 days!!!) we have our big ultrasound where we'll find out whether our tiebreaker baby will be a boy or a girl. I think current odds are 80% boy/20% girl. We've gotten to see the little one via ultrasound a few times due to the sequential screening test. I've included a picture from the last ultrasound we had on the day before Thanksgiving - I love how, in the top picture, the baby has his or her foot crossed on top of one knee (you can see the little toes). We purchased a fetal heartbeat doppler several weeks ago, so we've been listening to the baby's heartrate (usually in the 150s) lots. Lately the baby has gotten more active and you can feel him or her moving from the outside. I can't wait to find out the gender, because I haven't bought anything for baby yet and I'm itching to go shopping. Here's also a belly picture from Sunday at 16 weeks 3 days.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Festival of Trees

Another Festival of Trees tree is done and behind me. I can't believe I've done it for four years in a row! We had a prime place in the room this year, the best ever. The tree was called A Courtly Christmas and was loosely based on my impressions of Versailles and Louis XIV (yes, I know I'm spanning too much history, just indulge me a bit). The color theme was gold and french blue with a ton of luxe ornaments including fleur-de-lis, mirrors, and suns. My favorite part of it all was the box we constructed on the bottom out of gorgeous brocade fabric (thanks for the help, Mom). Decorating day was Sunday and it took us about 6.5 hours all told. Now bring on Christmas LOL.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Disney On Ice

On Sunday evening we braved a rainy, dark ride down to the "taco ballerina" (Taco Bell Arena) in order to see Disney on Ice. Allegra and Ian dressed up to the hilt, but Hero confined it to a Walt Disney World hoodie, because apparently she's to old to dress up for random occasions LOL. We were late because traffic and parking was a mess, but we were not the only ones, so the show actually got a delayed start and everything worked out just fine. The kids were enchanted with the show and enjoyed the whole spectacle. Colin, surprisingly, did watch the ice for the first 30 minutes. After that it was a game of "try to keep Colin from being disruptive", which James and I are old hands at. The best part of the show was that they did an It's a Small World sketch - the music immediately brings us to our wonderful trips to Disneyland and Disney World because it's the kids' favorite ride. I got sentimental and teary-eyed, but I did not cry LOL. I know the pictures aren't the best, but it's really hard to get good pictures of swiftly moving objects from nosebleed seats with a toddler grabbing at your camera every chance he gets and people standing up and walking around throughout a performance LOL.

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