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Merry Christmas Eve!

Here we are, Christmas Eve. Caroling was great fun, in spite of my croaky voice. We had about fifty people come sing! Always good for the soul, and it definitely helped put me more in a Christmas frame of mind.

We're spending the day at S's brother's house, hanging out with family. Always good to get the cousins together. Then Nana J will come back with us to spend the rest of the holiday at our apartment.

Caroling and Christmas Preparations

I've been having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit this year. It's been very different, now that the kids have declared they didn't want to visit Santa. The cat is out of the red and green bag, as it were -- but each kid thinks that the other still believes, and we made a huge deal about how important it is not to be a spoiler of the Christmas magic. So there is a lot, an awful lot, of odd pretending going on. It's made for a strange season.

School Traditions: Gingerbread Houses and Manners Party

It was one of those days that took three trips from the car to the school! Definitely a driving and not a walking day. BB had her third grade gingerbread house building project, and BJ had the fifth grade manners party. Between the gingerbread pieces and food for the party, our hands were very full.

Here's BB's finished house, on "Snowy Street." The room smelled fabulous!

BB's Turn for Making Gingerbread

Here we are again: third grade gingerbread! Ever since BJ made his gingerbread, she's been eagerly waiting for her turn! We invited our favorite baking friends over again (BJ made his with A, and so of course BB wanted to make hers with A's sister, B). The girls had a great time and worked very well together. Mixing by hand was their favorite part.

Ren Faire 2015

I'm glad we found time to go to the Ren Faire this year. As usual, we had a very good time. BB got a replica of Hermione's wand for her Halloween costume -- and then got to try it out on stage with the magician!

S didn't want to dress up this year, so it was just me and the kids in garb.

Teddy Bear Parade

I have had so much fun helping BB's classmates sew their teddy bears! It's a second grade tradition at our school, and every year they celebrate the end of the sewing with a big Teddy Bear Parade. Here's BB on her way to the parade, with her handmade "Blue Beary."

And here's BJ, with the bear he made two years ago. Softy is holding up pretty well!

10 Years Old!

Look who's TEN YEARS OLD!

How is this possible? My baby boy, a decade old?

He's growing into such an intelligent and earnest person, full of enthusiasms and energy. He has so much to tell the world! I am so proud of him.

Happy Birthday S!

S and I celebrated his birthday with a favorite date night!

We're still figuring out this whole selfie thing...

Happy Birthday sweetheart!

Getting Ready for Christmas

We've had a busy time of it getting ready for Christmas! Cookies to bake, Santa to visit, carols to sing!

Giki and Pop-Pop are in town, and we'll be heading to Mariposa for the holiday, meeting up with my sister's family. Should be a memorable holiday!

2014 Holiday Gift Fair at the Triton Art Museum

One of my favorite holiday traditions: participating in the annual holiday gift fair at the Triton Museum of Art!

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