Today we celebrated Halfway Day...that means that we have completed half of our required school days for this school year!!!
In celebration, several of our schoolwork-papers were cut short...the teacher announced them to be complete when they were only halfway done. This one threw the students for a loop at first but they quickly figured it out and got into the spirit of it! :) Tonight we picked up Bruce from work and then drove to Lake Lanier Islands' Magical Nights of Light, seven miles of lights displays along the shores of Lake Lanier. We had a wonderful time together. I didn't get much in the way of pictures because we were too busy being together, and it's hard to capture lights from a moving car.
Here's a picture from the other day, though, of the kids hunkering down in the leaf pile, bundled up against the frigid temperatures and holding their umbrellas against the sleet that was falling. What a strange mix of seasons in one picture!
Mindy is getting a little tired of our festivities taking us away from home and likes to hold on tight when we get home again. What a flurry of excitement we've had lately!
Okay, so this Christmas tree is actually just one of the many displayed at our library's annual "Festival of Trees." But when I saw this tree, titled "A Williamsburg Christmas," at the library last night, I thought of the gorgeous Williamsburg-style decoration that my 'blog-friend' Amy made last year to go over her front door. Of all the funny things, today Amy blogged about her door-topper for this year -- you can see it here. Merry Christmas, Amy!
As often happens, this picture doesn't do the tree justice. There is a lot of fruit on it (including pineapples which, unfortunately, you can't see in the picture), a lot of roses and birds, and I love the pheasant-feather topper. Beautiful! It is a style that I definitely want to dabble in someday.
Last night I took the kids to the library for a reading of the book Polar Express. Everyone was encouraged to come in their pajamas and bring their favorite blanket, in the spirit of the story. One of the library ladies read the book while the pictures were projected up on a big screen. It was really neat and we had a wonderful time!
Here are the kids with their train tickets, waiting for their 'ride' to begin.
After the reading, they had craft-time, where they made train lanterns.
Next stop was hot chocolate, cookies, and a candy cane.
Abigail was in awe of the conductor, and was so excited at the prospect of having her picture taken with him that she was beaming. David decided it wasn't cool to have his picture taken with the conductor (how did we get to this stage of growing up already?!) but at the very last minute, the magic of childhood won out and he ran over to be in the picture, too!
We had snow flurries most of the day on Sunday and woke up to them Monday morning; they finally stopped in the early afternoon on Monday. There wasn't any real accumulation, mostly because there was a very stiff wind that just blew it off of everything, but there was some snow in the air and a little on the ground, which pretty much constitutes a snowstorm to my southern kids! :) They spent a lot of time playing outside and then coming in to warm up with hot chocolate and s'mores. We love winter (especially when it's short-lived)!
Our kids were part of the Christmas program at church today...hence all of the sewing lately. I made an angel costume for Abigail; I wasn't going to make her a Christmas dress because I was too busy, etc etc...and then I realized that I have only one daughter, and she will grow up beyond 'fancy dress' stage all too soon, and then I would regret not having made the time to make her feel like a princess! I kept it a secret until yesterday. She was so excited, and when she tried it on, her awe-struck intake of breath and exclamation of "Oh, Mommy, it's just like a real ball gown!" made it worth every minute of work!
Here's a picture of my boy singing during today's play. He played the dad and he did a fabulous job. What a gift to have my children hearing and speaking lines, and hearing and singing music! We do not take it for granted, and I was choked up for about the first half of the play at the wonder of it.
I didn't get any good pictures of Abigail singing in the choir or reciting her verse (which she did wonderfully), but here she is 'coming to Bethlehem' as an angel.
Here is the whole Nativity scene. Are they precious or what?! Look at that beautiful angel! Those gorgeous golden ringlets just shone under the light and I must admit to being a bit teary. :)
Merry Christmas! Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gifts!!!
Aside from our usual busyness, we have had some special goings-on here lately in preparation for some Christmas festivities. The sewing machine has been humming and the cats have been very busy "helping" as usual.
Here is a sneak-peek at the finished sewing projects (and done in plenty of time to require no eleventh-hour sewing -- woohoo!)...
Tomorrow is the big day...do any of you girls recognize this look on the night before a special day? There are pink sponge curlers under that scarf!
Since we were in Florida the weekend after Thanksgiving, we didn't put our tree up on our normal schedule. We went and picked it out this past Thursday night...
David takes this job very seriously!
This is actually his favorite part, though -- look at his smile!
On the way home, we got our annual treat -- Hot Vanilla Cremes from Starbucks. We needed them for thawing purposes this year...it was COLD outside!
Due to our busy schedule, we didn't get to decorating it until today, but now the tree is trimmed and it is just lovely. There's nothing quite as heartwarming as a twinkly, sparkly Christmas tree with my two babies smiling in front of it. :)
We enjoyed a visit to my parents' (in Florida) for our Thanksgiving holiday...Matthew and Caleb were able to join us for most of it, too, and we all reveled in the time spent together. Along with being together and eating a lot, other highlights of our week were...
The guys had their golf outing
The kids thoroughly enjoyed lots of uncle time!
A wonderful Thanksgiving feast with family and friends
There was swimming (way too cold for me...thank goodness for uncles!)
Lots of naps
Tractor rides with Grandpa
Helping Grandma decorate for Christmas
David had a fight with some yellowjackets (and they won)
An uneventful trip home...
...and cats that were very happy to see us!
It's always sad to say goodbye and yet wonderful to be home...
We thank God often for the determination that He put into this girl to overcome the physical obstacles she faces. She has worked so hard at playing the piano and she is doing a great job...she has far exceeded our expectations. Watch this beautiful left hand coordination and be amazed with us!
The autumn colors have been particularly beautiful here in Georgia this year. I have seen so much lovely foliage while driving around town, but driving is not conducive to picture-taking. Here are a couple of pretty trees from our area (there was a magnificent, vibrant, orange-hued tree down the road that I still wish I had pulled over to photograph! Oh well).
Other than that, we have been busy with everyday things. Abigail and I got sick almost a week and a half ago and are still fighting the remnants of it...this is a stubborn, lingering virus. I have started Christmas shopping...my goal is to finish before everyone else starts because the only thing worse than shopping is shopping with everyone else and their brother! :) School is trucking right along and we are only a month or so away from our halfway mark. We've still been enjoying days around 70 degrees, but it's fun to wake up to sparkling frost most mornings. The cats are all hunkered down and ready to hibernate!
Bruce and David spent all day Saturday working at our new church building, while Abigail and I got groceries and did housework (we stopped by the church for a tour, too). The kids and I were there painting yesterday, but I forgot to take a picture of that!
The nights are getting colder, so David got his annual pair of new footie pjs. Here he is with hugs for his grandmas. :)
Here is our sweet Mindy...she loves for me to carry her around like this in the mornings, but it's not as easy as it used to be when she weighed only a few pounds! She's so cute!