Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

These pics are getting a little stale, they'll be a week old tomorrow, but it's not my fault the internet was broken. It's a Mediterranean plot, a secret Atlantean conspiracy... it's just darned mean! What is it with these anti-internet anchor-droppers?? Do they realize that we cannot load the Santa-cam videos from NORAD Tracks Santa? I mean, come on dudes. Santa has gone through Australia, Japan, over the Great Wall of China and around Mount Everest, he was last spotted near Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan (keep your head down St. Nick), he'll be here within hours! We were able to follow him on the map, but were looking forward to seeing him live. Hopefully the videos will be available on archive tomorrow when the kids wake up. Anyway, finally, after an all-day ordeal to upload pics, I have got some holiday photos heading out to the real world (ta-daa!):

Rather than doing a secret Santa, or other gift exchange, both kids' classes hung stockings and were asked to bring in small, identical items for every classmate. Wrapping the presents was also part of the fun. It wasn't easy thinking of interesting gifts that fit the 'small, non-candy' item request. I didn't want to do pencils or erasers... at this age, they have all that stuff in class and we have all we need at home. I went to an Egyptian craft store and found a basket full of carved marble eggs in several pretty colors... my kids love them, so why not? Not an easy shape to wrap, but they both did a great job. Oh, and if you notice, we do not have a fireplace, so we have hung our stockings by the kilim with care, sure that Santa will find them there.
Honor's class party involved crafts with a reindeer theme. Cookies, cups, ornaments and such. Her class sang Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer at the winter assembly... they also sang (still sing) the song constantly where-ever they were and during whatever activity... a very musical group.
One of the best parts was EATING the cookies they decorated! The sprinkles are, of course, the best.
Brian's class had their party on the last day of school before the break. They voted to have McDonald's delivered as their lunch/party food. I was impressed that 18+ orders could be delivered on one motorcycle... even more impressed that it only took 3 moms to carry it all (I think the McD's pro handled it better, but he does have more experience - at least we didn't drop anything!)
The 3rd graders opened their stockings in class, and played a fun game that I will have to remember for future parties. The teacher gave each child a wrapped gift. They sat in a circle and the teacher read a story. Every time she said "right", the kids passed their gift to the right. When she said "left", they went left. It was confusing and silly and a lot of fun. At the end of the story, whatever gift they were holding, they got to keep and open.
Brian's class sang "Up on the housetop" at the assembly, and he joined in with his foreign language class to sing the Arabic version of Jingle Bells... and yes, I have all sorts of videos which I could load on You Tube, normally, if somebody hadn't broken the internet... I'm not bitter or anything, I mean, it is Christmas, I have some internet to be grateful for... right? But because I'd like to publish this post, say, some time before New Year's, I don't think I'm even going to attempt an upload... sorry. Imagine their sweet voices lifted in song with their classmates... and be content in the fact that a certain cable-snapping ship-driver will be finding lumps of coal in his stocking tomorrow morning. Yes, Santa knows who you are buster.

Some of the songs were the traditional songs of the season... a few had been adapted for our local needs. I especially liked the Cairo version of "A few of my favorite things".
And of course, we had a visit from Santa and his elves! It was good of them to drop by at this busy time of year.
Honor wore a shirt she made in pre-K last year to the assembly today... seemed appropriate! The kids made these by painting their feet with brown paint to stamp the head, and their hands with orange paint to make the antlers! Hows that for a cute Christmas craft? (for kids, adults... well, I don't know...)
Another highlight of the day - as if parties, singing, start of winter break, etc. were not enough - Honor got to bring home her class pet for the break. Looper, the guinea pig, is our house guest for the holidays. We have set him up on the entry-way bench because we thought it best he be kept in an active and busy place... to remind of him his real home in a kindergarten class! Honor has been very good about caring for him, and talks to him constantly. I have never had much to do with these animals, but I have to say, he's quite cute.... I love the little bubbly-purr noises he makes. The cats have barely noticed him... as you can see in the picture below, Misty peeked in the house at Looper, then totally ignored him so he could hop up on Honor's lap for after-school love and attention. Looper also shows no fear of the cats - probably not a healthy instinct, but we keep them supervised or separated!

Honor took this picture of me holding Looper - or should I say, of Looper, with some of me in the photo!

Anyway, we spent Christmas Eve at home today. Playing games and watching Christmas videos. We visited with neighbors. We goofed off. Honor built a nest under the tree and played under there with a bunch of plush animals all day. In the afternoon, she and I made some salt dough, and then the kids and I made decorations. While we were mashing up the dough, friends from the security and facilities staff came by to deliver a bouquet of flowers as a gift - how sweet, and it will likely be our centerpiece for tomorrow's feast. I finally feel good again (darn cooties) although I am still coughing and congested. I think I'll manage to handle everything tomorrow. I felt good enough today to stand up long enough to cut Brad's hair, and he is much relieved - or at least cooler around the ears! I made him cook dinner for it. He cooked by phone - Papa John's was all right by me.

Kids are in bed. Mostly. They keep popping up for some reason..?? But they had a busy day and should be asleep soon. I want to be too. Tomorrow will be a busy day. See you there!

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve! (yea... even you, Captain Internet-wrecker, may your holiday be blessed and your email go through not-timed-out.)


Christine said...

Merry Christmas! What a cute little shirt Honor made. Sorry about the Egypt shirt...... it's in the trash of course. Hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas. We will be thinking of you tomorrow.

Tina in CT said...

We had a guinea pig that looks like the one from Honor's class.

Have a Merry Christimas!

srsr said...

Merry Christmas to the Egypt Reeds!
Know that all the stateside Reeds love and miss you. Your younger cousins are always asking me when are Brian and Honor coming back
Lots of hugs are coming your way,
love G-Ma and G-Pa

LiLu said...

Your family is so lovely!!!

My cousins in Madrid sent us all Christmas presents from Morocco this year- I am now the proud owner of the most beautiful camel purse (i.e., the ONLY camel purse) I've ever seen in my life.

Merry Christmas!

srsr said...

Wa'll at least I get to see pics of my beautiful grandkids and my charming grandpets!

Mama Seoul said...

I went to the CAC Christmas Assemble in 2006 because a friend's daughter was playing an elf. Looks like the kids had a busy and fun celebration.