Monday, December 27, 2010

'Tis the Season

Merry Christmas to one and all!

What a wonderful Christmas we've had!

One of the fun things we did was to take something to a family every day for the Twelve Days of Christmas.  We had a lot of laughs over what we took, sneaking around, whether they had "found us out", etc.  In the end, they gave us a far nicer gift than anything we gave them, and we are left with a bond of friendship and love for this family, even though it was all anonymous.  Interesting how that works!

Having Josh home has also made the season special.  I've mentioned this before, but this is the last Christmas where we'll all be together until 2015.  At that Christmas we'll have two returned missionaries!  But let's not think about that, let's concentrate on this Christmas!

We enjoyed a Christmas Piano Recital. Libby played a duet of "Ode to Joy with her friend Sydney.  Peter played Libiamo, from the Opera "La Traviata", and Mary played a Sonatina by Clementi.  Jesse played "Consolation" by Franz Listz.  The video is on my last post, in case you missed it.  I told her that when she wants to marry someone, if he doesn't absolutely melt when she plays that for him, then she shouldn't marry him.  Ha ha

Libby had a Christmas Gymnastics Recital.  Here is a short video of her floor and vault routine.  She took a summer camp in July, and now goes once a week to a local gymnastics teacher.  She has come a long way in just four months!

On Sunday, during Sacrament Meeting, we sang the Hallelujah Chorus again, with Jesse accompanying on the piano.  The conductor asked me to lead that number because she had never done it before and didn't feel confident doing it, so I got to conduct.  What a thrill!  A literal, physical and spiritual thrill.

This is Libby at the Ward Christmas Party with Santa Claus!

At the same party, Joseph was asked to play the part of "Joseph" for the song, "When Joseph went to Bethlehem".  He sang the part with the primary children.  Unfortunately, we didn't get to see it because we had to go to Mary's choir concert.  I heard Joseph, Peter and Libby all did a great job.  I did get to see Joseph practice with the Junior Primary, and I had tears streaming down my face the whole time, seeing him play that part.  He was not named Joseph by chance.

Mary had a wonderful Choir Concert!  Here she is singing a duet:

Mary has also had fun this past month playing on an indoor soccer team.  She played goalie in the last game and did a great job!

As luck would have it, Peter and Libby's choir concert was scheduled on the same night and at the same time as Joseph and Jesse's Madrigal Concert.  Joseph also performed with the Show Choir at this concert.  Oh, the pain of it!  Bruce watched the first part of Peter and Libby's concert with me, and then he took off to the High School.  I had watched the Madrigals practice one day when I was subbing at the High School, so I had at least heard their songs.

Peter and Libby have a wonderful music teacher at their Charter School, so they always do great music programs, and this was no exception.
Libby and Peter before their Concert
 Peter's class also did some bell ringing songs.  Unfortunately the stage and the lighting weren't that great, so I wasn't able to see their faces as well as I would have liked, but the music was great!

I did get over to the High School in time to see Joseph perform in the lats half of a number from "Grease".  From all accounts, it was a wonderful concert.
Jesse and Joseph after their Concert

A lot of people said it was one of the best Christmas concerts they had been to, which was exciting to hear! (Too bad I wasn't there to here it  - ARGGGH!)  Just had to release a little frustration there...

Christmas Eve brought caroling to friends (almost all said, "Wow - you guys sound good!"), Posole dinner, the Nativity Scene, and the opening of the first presents of Christmas, accompanied by the usual picture by the fireplace.  For our Posole dinner, we used a chicken that Peter and Bruce had killed and plucked a couple of days before. 
Mary is taking the picture

We also had the last of the Cider from our Cider Festival.  It was fun to use some of our own harvest.

Joseph and Mary are perfect for the Nativity Scene, of course.  I was struck by how pretty Mary looked.

  Jesse was the angel, Peter a shepherd, Libby a Wiseman, and Josh was the Innkeeper/King Herod.

Then came the pajamas...

 And the chaos that always ensues...
After prayers, they were off to make the famed fort.
They took every blanket, sheet, pillow, and MATTRESS in the house, except from our bedroom, and put them all into a big "Fort".  All six children sleep here for days on end starting on Christmas Eve.  
You can't see Libby very well, but she's already asleep.  You can see her face peeking out from covers right above Peter's head.

Last year they were so sad to clean the Fort up that we let them move it down to an empty bedroom downstairs.  Josh bailed after a week or so, but the rest slept in that bedroom together for the next five months, until May 29th when Josh left.  That empty bedroom is now our Master Bedroom, so that won't work for this year.  We'll see what they come up with...

Christmas morning is always a joy!  Here are some presents and smiles:
The beautiful painting that I got from Josh, Joseph and Jesse

Libby and her Zsu Zsu pets

Mary and her new cleats

What?  Doesn't he go to BYU-I?  "It's the football team!" he said.

Cousin Murlene sent this straight from Spain!

Now there's two happy farmers
Jesse eating an orange (a constant) and perusing her new Anatomy book.

My Zone Bar (the only chocolate treat I eat), my new sweatshirt, and my new boots
The Elders came over for some Posole, which we were happy to serve up.

 Merry Christmas everyone!


ZonePerfect said...


Looks like you all had a very Merry Christmas. I am glad they got to spend time with family and that we are your preferred treat.

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Have a wonderful new year,
- Grace at ZonePerfect

Anonymous said...

So delightful! I loved seeing your photos and the evident joy in your home of celebrating our Savior's birth. Best wishes for a wonderful 2011! - Love, MoSop

P.S. I have a similar Nativity which is my treasure from participating in the BYU Study Abroad program in 1987 [our group was the very first to live in the Jerusalem Center - although it was only partially completed].

lifecontinues said...

Glad you posted some videos. Jesse would be wonderful to hear live. Fun to catch up on your family some this morning. I'm glad you blog!