Holiday Spectacular! Day 1

So, the first graders had three performance of their Holiday Spectacular! (You can’t type the title without the exclamation point. It’s the rule.) The first one was Monday morning for the 4th- 6th graders at school. I headed off to see it, too, so Matthew would have a familiar face in the audience. Our favorite sitter, Danielle, joined me.

Entering the cafeteria

We waved to him when he was in position because we are cool, classy people. He waved back.

Each first grade class had time on stage to sing and dance to two songs.

The "snowflakes" went first.

Next came the "snow day" kids. They rocked out on air guitars.

They were all fun, but the penguins were the best.

Matthew told me he would be the one "with the green, red, and blue glitter."

Don't they look cute in front of that awesome scenery?

I’m not that good with the video camera (actually, I’m terrible with it), but I did get one video of the class singing “Penguin Polka.”

After each class had a turn (I missed the reindeer, oops) they all got up and sang a few winter/holiday songs together.

Nobody puts Matthew in the corner!

There are 100+ first graders up there, all singing along and doing a wonderful job.

Danielle and I had a great time. It was such a fun show! The kids were very proud of themselves and Matthew was delighted to have TWO friends in the audience.

It was, as the title suggests, Spectacular!




December 30, 2011. Matthew, special occasions. 1 comment.

First Grade Scenery

A week before the first graders had their Holiday Spectacular!, I got an urgent plea from a fellow mom. Sara had been hard at work creating the scenery for the first graders, but needed help getting it all hung. We had to do it the Friday before the show, and it had to be done by COB on Friday to be ready for the first (of three) performances Monday morning.

Ten days before Christmas is not an ideal time to be out volunteering, so of course, I said yes.

We spent five hours working on the scenery. It was well worth the time. The teachers were over-the-moon excited to see the beautiful work Sara had done. In past yeas, the set has consisted of shower curtains.

We started by gluing down some gossamer to create “snow” and then we glued down the large pieces to the backdrop. At this point, I was coated in a layer of spray glue and glitter and I stuck to pretty much anything I touched.

One of the tall mothers hung snowflakes from the ceiling on the stage and all around the cafeteria.

Once the big pieces were down, we glued stars at the top of the backdrop. Sara added some beautiful shimmer around the stars that was truly impressive. I helped hang white sheets on the sides of the stage (because I don’t really “do” impressive).

We were finally ready to hang the backdrop a little after lunch. Unfortunately, many of the volunteers from the morning had to leave. We had to recruit a few moms who happened to be at school doing other volunteer jobs. Even better, one of them was tall AND wearing heels. We stood on ladders and used binder clips to attach the backdrop to a ledge in the ceiling tiles.

It looked so good!

We taped it onto the floor so it wouldn’t wave when the kids walked in front of it. Then we fussed with the rest of the stage to make it look a little more finished.

At some point, someone found some old decorations and we decided to put them at the entrance.

Cute, eh? We did the whole thing before we lit the sign. Thank goodness it worked.

We finished this just as the kids were lining up for their final dress rehearsal. Matthew is always happy to see me at school.

The kids loved the scenery. The teachers loved the scenery. After five hours, I loved it, too, but I was kind of over it. I was in desperate need of a cup of coffee, so I didn’t stay for the rehearsal.

So shimmery!

PS – The glue mostly came off my jeans, but there is still enough glitter stuck on to be a good conversation piece.


December 29, 2011. Matthew, Mommy, school. Leave a comment.

Nutcracker Ballet

Today, my niece Meghan turns 10. I met Meghan when she was just a newborn baby. That doesn’t feel like ten years ago…  Earlier this month, we got to see her perform with Ballet Nova in the Nutcracker. She was one of the party girls.

Before the performance.

Matthew's very loose tooth finally fell out when he hugged Grandma and bumped his mouth on the button of her coat.

She was great. Matthew loved the ballet. He sat on the edge of his seat through both acts. David fell asleep just as the first act started. He woke up half-way through the battle with the Mouse King. He was a little confused. He sat out the second half with Grandma, who had seen the ballet many times that week during dress rehearsals.

"Party girl" Meghan, on stage

Since the party girls are only in the first act, Meghan joined us for the second act.

Flowers for the ballerina from her delighted parents.

The boys have been playing Nutcracker with their pretend swords ever since. Matthew is the Mouse King and David is the Nutcracker. They hum the tune while they leap around swinging foam swords in the air.

It’s priceless.

December 28, 2011. David, family, Matthew. Leave a comment.

Happy Half

December 7th is a day that will live in infamy. It’s Matthew’s half birthday.

He announced at breakfast that we could bring his treats to lunch that day. I suggested that maybe we would just celebrate at home after dinner.

Notice the teeth? Or rather, the lack of front teeth? He loves walking around pretending to be a vampire with his remaining canine fangs.

Anyway, since it was his half birthday I got him half a cake. Matthew was a little disappointed in the lack of presents, but I pointed out I couldn’t really give him half a gift.

David helped blow out the Advent birthday candles.

Clearly, we are experts at throwing half(assed) birthday parties.

December 28, 2011. family, Matthew, special occasions. Leave a comment.

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!

After the pre school concert, the church hosted a birthday party for baby Jesus. We had popcorn, crafts, and holiday carols. Steven was asked to help lead the singing.

Matthew offered to help, too.

And then, of course, we had cake. Lots of cake.

The boys ate the frosting. I don’t know where they get that from….

December 27, 2011. family, special occasions. Leave a comment.

David’s Christmas Program

David’s pre school Christmas program was at the beginning of December. The Star Ponies wore angel halos for the performance, and I think they all actually kept them on.

Nana, Grandpa, and Matthew sat in the audience and cheered him on. We got to sit with our buddy Luke, too, so his mom could set up the birthday party for Jesus we had after the show.

David did such a good job. Steven and I were very proud of him.

He appreciated seeing familiar faces in the crowd.

His favorite song is “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” He sang it a lot around the house. He sang it on his walks with Steven and Lucy. He even sang it at McDonald’s. Loudly. With hand gestures.

Enjoy! We sure did.



December 27, 2011. David, special occasions. Leave a comment.

Attitude Is Everything

Every year, I try to find some balance in the Christmas season. And every year I end up stressed out and frustrated, vowing to make the next year different.

This year was different.

This year I announced that I expected the Christmas season to be totally crazy, overwhelming, and exhausting. I predicted we would run around like mad to multiple performances, parties, and events, and then we would cap it off with a 48 hour family visitation marathon.

I. Was. So. Right.

The boys had concerts! Steven had concerts! Meghan danced in the Nutcracker! Uncle Steve had a birthday! With ice skating! The first grade play needed new sets! The first graders needed a party planned! And costumes! And the teachers needed cookies! And the cub scouts had a big meeting! With gifts to collect! And THEY needed cookies! People needed gifts! The church needed help running the angel tree! The children needed to see Santa! And they needed haircuts!

By Christmas dinner, we were wiped out. We spent Boxing Day staggering around until it was at least a decent hour for a nap.

It was one of the best Christmases we have had.

To be fair, the boys are older now and that makes life in general easier. But I think the biggest difference was my attitude. Sure, I was totally stressed out. I was overwhelmed. It’s just possible I yelled a tiny little bit at the kids, but I was never surprised. I just went with the stress, powered through the craziness, did what absolutely had to be done that day and left the rest for the next crazy day. Some things did not get done. Some things got done just in the nick of time.

We made sure we did all the really important stuff. More importantly, we enjoyed the time with each other and with our families.

And even more importantly, it’s finally over.

Merry Christmas!


December 27, 2011. family, holidays. 1 comment.