1. Early this week, Grammy treated us to the movies: The Muppet Movie. It was surprisingly good. The 8 year old, 5 year old and 3 year old loved it. The one year old loved running up the aisle and diving into rows near the front, hiding from me. Luckily there were only a few other people there and they seemed very forgiving. (He was quiet, but it had to be distracting.) I've never gotten that much exercise watching a movie before.
After the movie, we did some charity shopping. The girls went with Grammy and picked some gifts for a little girl whose name I picked. The boys went with me and Kansas Dad. The girls did a great job focusing on their goal, but First Son was terribly distracted by the Lego aisle. He only makes it to a store two or three times a year, so I'm not sure he realized there was such a thing as the Lego aisle. It was cute and I didn't chastise him too much; he did help pick a few things and he didn't ask us to buy anything for him. (He has a substantial amount of money now that his birthday has passed, but he's not allowed to spend it until after Christmas since he'd just buy many of the things he's going to receive as a gift.)
2. Second Son has two new teeth! They're just peeking through, his second two on the top. Everyone say a quick prayer that means he'll be a nicer toddler over the holidays than he has been this week. (Now he has eight teeth, which seems a bit low for 17 months, but we'll hope that just gives him less time to get cavities, right?)
3. We finally set up our Christmas tree. I had intended to have it up before the third Sunday of Advent. The older two were so excited to get out the ornaments. They each remembered some of them, asking for them before I even found them in the box. We hung all our homemade ornaments as well. I love those!
4. I received my first teacher gift. One of our families brought something for each of the Catechesis teachers. It's funny because I don't even think of myself as one of the "teachers" since the other two ladies present nearly all of the lessons. What's the policy on thank you notes for thank you gifts: required, acceptable or too much? One girl in Catechesis wrote me a thank you note and another colored a picture for me, too. How cool is that?
5. Story hour Christmas party - watching a Christmas bear version of Duck Duck Goose. Second Son running around the gym.
6. We started handing out our annual Christmas ornaments, though I can't tell you what we made this year - yet. Some of the recipients read the blog. We made a lot this year so there are plenty to go around for all the family members, teachers and pastors. The more years we do this, the more I love them. I'm already considering some ideas for next year. For the first time this year, we had enough for each child to pick one to keep for our tree. I think we'll try to do that every year. I wrote their names on them and they can take them when they grow up and have their own trees (though then mine will be very sad, won't it?); at the very least, it relieved some of the unhappiness we had last year when First Son wanted to keep all of his ornaments.
7. Kansas Dad and I went to a party on Friday night without kids! Thanks to Grammy for giving up her Friday night for us. The kids, of course, would rather have her than us any night, especially when frozen pizza is involved, so they were thrilled.
8. We made a peanut butter cookie man for Kansas Dad's birthday. He he! I received this Gingerbread Boy Kit a few years ago. No one here on the Range cares that much for gingerbread, but we love this pan. I made our favorite peanut butter cookie dough and pressed about two-thirds of it into the pan then baked it up. Delicious! The kids love decorating it. (They often ask when we're going to make a cookie-man, but since it involves eating a lot of cookie, it's a special treat.)
9. The Nutcracker - I loved it. The kids had differing reactions. Though it took a whole afternoon during a busy month, I hope very much we can make this performance an annual tradition.
10. While I was doing the dishes this week, the girls stripped the Christmas tree of all its ornaments. When I asked, dejectedly, what they thought they were doing, they replied they were playing "earthquake." It was really funny. But also a bit distressing. We've already broken two ornaments this year and all the more fragile ornaments I'd put near the top are now scattered about, many low enough for Second Son to reach. (I made the girls put them all back, so now the tree is decidedly bottom-heavy.)
11. Ok, this is such a little thing, but I bought the third wise man for my Nativity set. I've been watching for it for years and it's always been outrageously expensive, but I found one on ebay and just bought it. I felt weird about it all day, which just goes to show how infrequently I buy something for myself. Now I can consider my set complete and I'm foolishly happy about it.
12. Kansas Dad's birthday was last weekend and I think he had a good one. I'm not one to get all gushy on the blog, but there's no doubt in my mind that Kansas Dad is the best thing to ever happen to me (outside of Jesus-was-born-died-and-rose-again-for-me, of course). I thank God for him every day and wish him much love and many blessings in the coming year.
We're celebrating Christmas with Kansas Dad's parents tonight to accommodate holiday travels. There are lessons to do, cookies to bake, presents to wrap and all sorts of other things like an eye doctor appointment and First Son's baptism anniversary.
(Sorry for the lack of pictures this week; I don't want to take the time to get any off the camera.)