Christmas 2013

We had Christmas as usual in Austin. ¬† In addition to Kit, the girls, and myself, we also had Kit’s parents, my parents, and Kit’s Uncle Bob. ¬†So it was a party of nine. ¬†Us adults can get pretty boring at Christmas, but not so much with the kids in the mix. ¬†The sneaking around to hide presents, stuffing stockings, leaving cookies and milk for Santa were all still in play this Christmas.

Claire reminded us several times in clear terms that Christmas is not about the presents. ¬†It’s about togetherness, Claire says, and she is right. ¬†At one point for fun, Claire and I asked Siri on my iPhone what the true meaning of Christmas was. ¬†Siri said it found a related article on the web. ¬†That is always her lame answer! ¬†Claire and I had a good laugh at that. ¬†Siri is great, but she should know the true meaning of Christmas from her heart, not some web page! ¬†ūüėČ

For her part, Molly basically is a Christmas elf. ¬†She has exactly the right size and energy as an elf. ¬†You don’t get to have an elf join you for Christmas every year.

Even Molly didn’t ask for presents for Christmas, and she didn’t snoop and poke at the presents under the tree. ¬†That may be because there was basically nothing under the tree until December 23 or so, as is our tradition. ¬†By the time Kit and I had agreed on what to get everyone, bought all the gifts, wrapped and labeled them, and transported then down to the tree, it is a miracle that Christmas has not passed by already.

Probably the best part of Christmas was seeing the girls have nice long days with all their grandparents, doing art projects, games, cooking, etc. ¬†It was almost perfect. ¬†Then there is the overlapping sound of different TV shows, music, etc. on the TV, the computer, someone’s iPad, etc. ¬†Kit made a rule that only one show/sound could be played at a time. ¬†In general, World War II documentaries dominated the TV. ¬†At one point, Kit and I resolved that there was going to be a goddamn Christmas movie on for Christmas. ¬†We put on White Christmas or something. ¬†Within an hour, it was back to the war documentaries. ¬†But that’s okay, at least it was one sound, and we all settled into it. ¬†And the kids had already seen plenty of Elf and The Polar Express¬†in the weeks leading up to Christmas.


Okay, so we have established that Christmas is not about the presents. ¬†You can stop here if you don’t care about presents.

Okay good, since presents don’t matter, I shouldn’t even mention them. ¬†But since they are kind of a time capsule, here are a few highlights‚Ķ Both girls got sleeping bags for camping. ¬†They also each got a big fancy box from Santa to keep their stuff in. ¬†Many of Molly’s favorites were actually from Uncle Bob, including a 530-piece (!) paper activity set and some plastic princess shoes which Molly calls her glass slippers. ¬†She also ended up with a giant floor piano you play with your feet and¬†a musical marble stacking/rolling thingy. ¬†Claire got some cool sets for designing clothes and making her own custom dollhouse. ¬†She also got her some shoes and roller-skates for her beloved Fluttershy stuffed pony. ¬†And a sewing machine that doesn’t work so much, or at all (oops!).

So there it is, Christmas 2013‚Ķ Sometimes a little too fast, sometimes a little too slow. ¬†But this was still a real kids’ Christmas full of magic and togetherness. ¬†See the brief Christmas video too. ¬†Also, the girls’ very sweet present to Kit and me.

Second Grade Thanksgiving Musical

Claire on stage.

The second grade put on a fabulous Thanksgiving show today. ¬†They played a half-hour musical to a cafeteria packed with parents. ¬† ¬†The performance involved a Thanksgiving crisis as the turkeys decided to go on strike this year. ¬†The arbiters and mediators tried to hammer out a solution. ¬†The cranberries and squash fought for a new place in the middle of the table. ¬†In the end, they kids all sang “It’s not about turkey, it’s not about Thursday, it’s not about the big game. ¬†We call it Thanksgiving because it’s thanks that we’re giving‚Ķ” ¬†It was a great message and extremely cute.

Claire was cast as “a public”. ¬†So she got to dress as an adult and sing as part of the general public. ¬†She was a little bummed about the less-than-glamorous role, but she did get to appear and sing a little. ¬†The next day, Claire asked me what my second favorite part of the play was. ¬†Obviously my favorite part was Claire’s bit, but what did I like after that? ¬†I told her it was the singing cranberries. ¬†Claire said she liked them too.

If there is anything more adorable than a second grade Thanksgiving musical, then I can’t think of it, not even a cute little baby. ¬†Babies drool and puke. ¬†Second graders sing their hearts out and try to make you smile.

Halloween 2013

A few pictures from this year’s Halloween. ¬†We did trick-or-treating around the neighborhood for a while, then I took Claire to meet up with her friend in her nearby neighborhood while Kit finished up with Molly near our house.

Santa’s Helper

SantaLast night when tucking Claire into bed, she sheepishly told me she had a question. ¬†“I heard from Harper and some other kids that maybe Santa Clause gets help from parents. ¬†Is that true?” ¬†I said with a smile, “That’s a secret, I can’t say a word.” ¬†Claire said, “I knew it! ¬†You do help! ¬†It’s a secret! ¬†That means you do help! ” ¬†Claire was smiling ear to ear and was very excited.

I was a little confused at this point. ¬†Why was she so happy and excited? ¬†Isn’t it sort of a let down if the parents “help”? ¬†Then Claire cleared it up. ¬†She asked, “What is Santa like? ¬†Is he nice? ¬†How exactly do you help him?”

I stuck by my vow of secrecy. ¬†Claire had one last question. ¬†“Who decides if the kids are naughty or nice? ¬†Is that Santa or the parents?”

This coming Christmas may be interesting.

How Easter Began

Claire had Friday off and, as usual, she spent most of her day working on a project.  Lately, she is particularly interested in making seasonal or holiday-related pictures, cards, gifts, etc.  This Easter, she has taken this idea to new a level.  On Friday and Saturday, Claire planned and prepared her first play, a performance about how Easter began.  She assigned each member of the family a character.  Claire was the Easter Bunny, Molly was a chick, Kit was a bumble bee, and I was a butterfly.  Claire then made costumes for each character.  She taped paper and stickers to dresses for her and Molly, a similar idea for Kit, and we agreed on an outrageous orange outfit for my monarch butterfly.  Claire wrote a script, which I dictated on the computer so we could print out a copy for everyone.  Claire picked some music so we could do a dance in the middle.  She created a set and put out chairs for the audience.

This whole play was a surprise for Grammy and Grandaddy, who were staying with us and served as our audience.  Claire made sure they did not see the costumes or other preparations before it was time for the performance on Sunday morning!  Claire was super excited about her play, and he excitement was contagious for the rest of us.  Well, except for Molly, who refused to take part in the dress rehearsal, but who came around when it was time to actually do the play for a real audience.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you “How Easter Began”…

Christmas 2012

Minimalist post, only pictures… ūüôā